The City of Willits operates under a council-manager governance structure. This system combines the policy leadership of elected officials on the City Council with the managerial expertise of an appointed city manager.
The Role of the Elected Officials
Under the council-manager form, the elected officials are the legislative body and the community's policy makers. Power is centralized in this body, which approves the budget and adopts local laws and regulations. The elected officials also focus on the community's big-picture goals, such as community growth and sustainability. The elected officials hire a professional manager based on that person's education, experience, skills, and abilities and not on their political allegiances.
About the City Manager
The City Manager serves as the chief administrative officer of the organization managing the day-to-day delivery of public services. He serves as the governing body's chief advisor by providing objective information about local operations, discussing options, offering an assessment of the long-term consequences of decisions, and making policy recommendations. The City Manager is responsible for carrying out Council policies and preparing a budget for the Council's consideration. He is also responsible for recruiting, hiring and supervising City staff.
Brian Bender started as City Manager for the City of Willits on January 4, 2021. Brian earned the distinction of being a Credentialed Manager with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) as well as certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners. Brian has two decades of experience of working for local governments in both urban and rural settings. He has a B.A. in Geography from Plattsburgh State University, a M.S. in Geography from Western Washington University and a Master of Regional Planning from the University at Albany. Brian is looking forward to making positive contributions to the Willits community.