Blueprint for Building Community

Leadership Insights for Good Government

by John Perry



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 4/13/2010

Format : E-Book
Dimensions : E-Book
Page Count : 176
ISBN : 9781452006277
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 176
ISBN : 9781452006260
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 176
ISBN : 9781452006253

About the Book

American cities are a basic part of the fabric of our democratic traditions. Many of these cities are served by professional city managers and administrators. Cities that succeed at an outstanding level often employ professionals. Yet the average American knows little about the role of these professionals. City managers have seldom written about their experiences.

Blueprint for Building Community is a rare look at the career of a city manager. This career portrait is set in two Illinois communities --Park Forest and Woodridge--communities which hold high aspirations for their residents. City managers, partnering with elected leaders and citizens in these communities, have worked to fulfill those aspirations. This book highlights the values and relationships that must be cultivated by the city manager to successfully build community. Although the focus is on the role of the city manager, other key participants such as elected officials, citizens, and employees can gain from the insights. Community building requires connecting the key groups in the community to the mission and “sacred things” dear to residents. Harnessing the energy of all the players produces tremendous results. For the many people who worked to build Park Forest and Woodridge, and so many communities across this country, this book is a tribute to their efforts.

This book is written to encourage the next generation of city managers to pursue the challenge of building communities. The author chronicles the lessons and principles that add to success as a city manager. He conveys the inspiration, passion and excitement to those who consider public service.

About the Author

John was Village Administrator for Woodridge Illinois from 1989-2009. He served in Park Forest, Illinois where he was Village Manager from 1983-1989. John began his career as Assistant to the Manager in Park Forest and was promoted to Assistant Manager, Deputy Manager, and Acting Manager. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and an MPA degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Perry is known for mentoring local government professionals, which now serve in leadership positions in more than a dozen communities.

John has served in a number of leadership positions in municipal organizations. Perry served as President of the Illinois City/County Management Association. He is a founding member of the Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association and also a founding member of the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency which he also served as its Chair. He chaired the Managers Committee of the Illinois Municipal League. Perry chaired the Planning Committee of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference and served on its Board of Directors. John served on the DuPage County Emergency Telephone System Board and chaired the Interoperable Radio Steering Committee. Perry was a founder of the Suburban Housing Coalition, now Diversity, Inc., and chaired the predecessor agency, the Fair Housing Legal Action Committee.

During his service in Woodridge, the community was named “100 Best Places To Live” by Money Magazine and the “World's Greatest Community-Midwest by the World's Greatest TV Show. Park Forest was named an All-America City and a special mention recipient during his service in Park Forest.

The Illinois City/County Management Association bestowed upon Perry its highest honor, the Robert Morris Lifetime Achievement Award. John twice received the Intergovernmental Cooperation Award of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference. Perry received the Woodridge “Building on our Dream Award.” for outstanding contributions to community building.

He is an ICMA Life member and a Credentialed Manager.