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By now you should understand the relationship between the bureaucracy (and the public managers who lead it) and the elected officials who make public policy. The decisions of federal, state, and local elected officials drive what public managers and other civil servants are required and allowed to do. As a citizen in a democracy, it is your obligation to be informed and your right to vote. As a public manager, awareness of what’s happening in the world — including the political world — is critical. Just to be clear, politics doesn’t just mean voting on your preferred candidate. Politics can be trying to influence someone to vote on something you believe in. If you are a city manager, it can be talking to an elected official or public manager in state government about funding for a local need. It can be working with citizens on a controversial topic. Increasingly, we see the federal government involved in state and local issues. Federal government was once hands-off on schools, but now the whole education system is dependent on federal funding. In return, those who receive the money must go by the rules. Governments can use carrots or sticks to get other governments (and others who are regulated by government) do what they want to meet their policy goals Other intergovernmental relationships may be partnerships or an arrangement in which the state carries out duties on behalf of the federal government. In this final week, you’ll be exploring a political issue on your own to learn more about the multiple sides of a debate. While the elected officials will vote and decide on a policy to be implemented, what they know about an issue often comes from their advisors, whether they are local, state, or federal. The public manager may be responsible for collecting information and making recommendations to elected officials, who can decide what to do with that information. The public manager must research and thoroughly understand the policy problem and should give all the sides of issues, and although he or she can recommend, it’s up to the elected officers to make that decision. In a written assignment, students will analyze a current political issue, identify and explain the political environment, and recommend a policy alternative.In this final written assignment, you will employ critical thinking to determine how experts and other policy actors in the policy debate affect the decision-making process of public managers.
Individual Policy Memo Assignment: Babcock Place (Article located on D2L)For your final, you will submit through the Dropbox a “policy memo,” with your efforts to explain all the options concerning a certain highly political issue as indicated in the Babcock Place article . In this scenario, you are the staff member for the city council who has been asked to explore this hotly debated issue. Make sure that your “elected official(s)” have a clear picture of all issues and the positives and negatives of each position by reading the paper.Prepare a 3 -5 page policy memo with proper headers that includes the following sections, proper citations, and that provides enough information to the elected official for whom you work to make a decision on how to vote/whether to support or oppose:• a brief description of the issue with background data (include statistical numbers) that will help the elected official understand why this is a problem or a concern.• the levels of government in the debate (state, local, federal – does this issue involve more than one level of government and if yes, which ones)• the major stakeholders involved in the issue. (Stakeholders are all of those affected by the issue.) Describe each group’s position and the reasons they have taken those positions. Students often breeze over this part and don’t thoroughly address stakeholder positions. Be thorough.• List several alternative policy choices. Describe the pros and cons of each alternative fully.• Make and justify a recommendation from the alternatives you have chosen.* Finally, discuss why the Public Manager must be engaged in politics to do their job effectively. Guidelines: The central issue in your analysis should be to describe what the case tells us about the theory and practice of public administration. There is no one best way to address this. Thus, as you think about the answer to this primary question, you will need to develop your own framework for answering it.Some general questions that you may want to consider include the following:What are the issues and what are they issues? Who are the actors? What are the organizational forces? What are the external forces? What theoretical perspectives or models help you understand what happened in the case? How?I have included the grading sheet for the policy memo for your reference.