In the 1980s, the tenure of California City Managers began to dramatically shrink, from typically over ten years in the 1960s and 1970s to terms as short as just a few years, with the average term quickly dropping into the five-year range.

The California City Management Foundation was founded in 1985 with a three-fold mission:

  • Strengthen the City Manager profession
  • Improve City Management education
  • Promote the Council-Manager form of local government

In service of this mission, the Foundation focused substantial effort on education for and about City Managers. By 1995, CCMF had published a number of groundbreaking documents for the profession as well as the first version of the CCMF Model Employment Contract.

In the 1990s, the Foundation began an outreach program for City Managers who had left their city employment and were seeking a new position with another city. This formalized “Managers In Transition” (MIT) program included an extensive information packet with counseling and legal service referrals, as well as the provision of general advice on appropriate lines of action. The MIT program, along with the Model Employment Contract, met a critical need for the profession that had previously been ignored.

As the organization grew, so did its expenses. In 1996, in order to create a stable funding source, CCMF decided to become a membership-based organization. The modest dues paid by members, as well as the income generated by the organization’s new Golf Tournament fundraiser, allowed CCMF to further expand its efforts.

In 2000, CCMF launched to more easily facilitate the dissemination of information to its members. Shortly thereafter, Bill Garrett was hired as Executive Director.

Since then, CCMF has begun hosting the New & Future City Manager Seminar to help train and support new generations of City Managers. The Model Employment Contract has become the standard in the industry, the MIT Program provides City Managers with a network of support during challenging times, and the Wes McClure Scholarship (established in 2011) gives funds annually to promising young leaders.

In 2013, CCMF hosted its first career development webinar for members. Working with industry professionals, we continue to build new online educational opportunities through our growing series of webinar presentations.

In 2014, CCMF’s Executive Director, with the support of the Board of Trustees, launched the organization’s Professional Resumé Review service: an exclusive, member-only resource for the CCMF community. Working with recruitment professionals in the local government sector, individuals can update their resumés with confidence, whether they are an Assistant City Manager looking to make the jump to City Manager, or a long-time professional looking to change cities. This is just one of many ways in which CCMF continues to support California’s City Managers at all stages of their careers.

In 2015, CCMF continued to build bridges and connections with sister organizations in order to further support the City Manager profession, especially the future generation of city managers. The Foundation published a Member Resource titled “Women In Leadership: the #13Percent Movement” — building on the findings of the 2013 survey performed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Task Force on Women in the Profession, coupled with first hand advice and insights from female CCMF members from across the state. CCMF also spoke to future public servants at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy “State of the City” luncheon, and also led sessions focused on helping the next generation of city managers at the annual MMANC and MMASC conferences.