City Managers Association in Romania (AAPRO) was founded in 2010, as a follow-up of a pilot project called “Public Administrator – a success factor for an efficient management at local level” carry out by the Central Unit for the Public Administration Reform (a structure within the Romanian Ministry of Administration and Interior Affairs).
AAPRO is commited to form a national, relevant, elite and professional Body of City Managers, who must have a clear image on the background of this career and become responsible for their professional conduct and self-improvement.
The initiative to introduce the City manager position at each local level in Romania targets an higher lever of professionalism at counties, municipalities, cities and communes staff.
The romanian equivalent of the city manager can be hired upon the Mayor’s proposal or the one of the local council (wich must give the final aproval anyway), after a transparent selection process. His main responsibilities are to coordinate some of the public administration affairs and services (on an agreed agenda) and to do other specific tasks delegated by the Mayor / President of County Council, all of these concluded in a management contract, based on clear management objectives and performance criteria.
The City Manager is one common thing among the efficient and successful local governments
all over the world. Adopting him in the romanian administration was a step from public adminsitration to public management, focusing on delivery good qaulity services for the citizens. The Public Administrator, as we call it here, is not another birocrat, but a strategist, a visonary, balancing day-to-day (organizational) problem solving with planning and shaping the future, acording to the adopted local strategy and the community aspirations.
At the local level, the elected body and the technical staff, coordinated by the Mayor or the President of County Council and the Public Administrator, must first find aut and understand what people want, need and hope, then come up with a strategy, an action plan, seek for solutions, means and resources, involve the local actors such as bussines community and civil society, and communicate at any moment what has been done so far, and what is is comming.
In this picture, the City manager has a leading role, he is an communicator, technology facilitator, and can be, if the Mayor delegates him, even budget chief authorizing officer. Currently, in Romania activate more than 700 Public Administrators (the number varies from month to monyh), as follows :
- Out of 41 counties, 34 ocupied positions and 7 vacancies
- Out of 103 municipies, 56 ocupied positions and 37 vacancies
- Out of 216 cities, 60 ocupied positions and 65 vacancies
- Out of 2850 communes, 550 ocupied positions and 350 vacancies
Those above figures makes 459 vacancies in total, with the observation that, in many cases, we are talking about small comunes with scarce Romanian City Managers Association (AAPRO) conducted a survey among its members that identified the needs for training, building local capacities on climate protection, urban regeneration, structural changes and energy policies, concept of smart city and creatively intelligent communities.
Establishing appropriate training structures for the now and future City Managers is essential for supporting the development of the cities and climate strategies (it aims to encourage cities and municipalities to take concrete actions for climate protection in Romania), urban regeneration and structural changes, concept of smart city and creatively intelligent communities.
This project focuses on the competences that the city managers must have in order to achieve a multiplication effect through their contribution. The nationwide implementation of a systematic local energy management using the City Managers can thus make an important step to tapp existing saving potentials in different regions and to establish a sustainable portfolio management.
We hope that, with your support, that the outcomes of this important project, can be forwarded on an extended scale to the local institutions (schools, hospitals, etc) and communities, as good practices, improving the energy efficiency status and reducing the energy poverty, urban regeneration and structural changes, concept of smart city and creatively intelligent communities.
The pilot group will be composed of 50 to 80 city managers upon their self enrollment and applying few clear selection parameters : level of municipality, experience, english language, etc. The target group will be afterward authorized to further train other city managers and employees of the local municipalities. This core team is expected to disseminate the information and to act as an experts group in our Association.
As Romania has (at this moment) a deficit of at least 250 city managers, the learning and workshops center will be powerful tool, a public management academy and a testing facility for the ones applying for this position.