Evaluation of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Teams Pilot: Final Report. Mayor


Pilot city mayors adopted various approaches to the engagement, ranging from being deeply involved to being uninvolved. Interviews with SC2 team leads, team members, and city leaders indicate that there were three types of mayoral approaches to the pilot:

  1. Mayor as vision setter. In two cities, the mayors were key drivers of the engagement in their respective cities and were closely involved in the early stages of implementation to ensure that team members and city staff understood mayoral priorities for the pilot. These mayors used their leadership position to convey their vision for their city to the SC2 team and to identify specific priority areas for SC2 team attention. As implementation progressed, these mayors became less directly involved in the process, but in their place appointed key city staff to serve as points of contact with the SC2 team. Doing so ensured the SC2 teams stayed true to the mayors’ visions and offered a means by which the mayors’ input could easily be obtained when needed.
  2. Mayor as point of contact. In two other cities, the mayors were regularly involved with the pilot, serving as the primary points of contact for the SC2 teams. In both cases, the cities involved had very limited city staffs, suggesting that mayoral involvement was a necessity as much as a strategic decision. Neither of these mayors had a clear vision for how to maximize the team members’ time in the community, which led to delays in implementation for both cities. In the absence of strategic direction, or the delegation of strategic planning responsibilities to a senior city staffer, the SC2 team lead helped to develop the vision for the pilot, proposing ideas to which the mayors readily responded.
  3. Mayor as supporter but not closely involved. In the final two cities, the mayors were not closely involved with the implementation of the pilot, despite being supportive of their respective city’s participation. In one city, the mayor was said to have a positive relationship with the SC2 team lead but little involvement in the direction of the engagement after helping set the initial agenda. In the second city, the mayor was described as being uninvolved in the pilot, not presenting a strategic vision for the SC2 team to meet and delegating responsibilities for the engagement to a key aide. One team member in this city noted that the team was not aware of the mayor’s number one priority for the engagement until well into the pilot.

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