The Impact of National Issues on Local Politics and the Role of City Manager with John Kincaid, Bev Cigler and Matt Candland

Posted by: on August 9th, 2023

Today I am excited to welcome three return guests. Dr Bev Cigler, professor emerita from Penn State, Dr John Kincaid, professor at LaFayette College, in Easton Pennsylvania and Matt Candland from Upper Moreland Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

In this episode, we talk about the rising occurrence of national issues entering into local politics and the resulting polarization that occurs.

This episode presents views that balance, on the one hand, the role of our federal constitution in supporting activism on national issues at the local level, and on the other, the business of local government and the role of the city manager.

In short, this episode is a quick study on how federalism impacts local government. As you will discern, this conversation is one that deserves many more. But what is presented here is a foundation for understanding, perfectly crafted and presented by my three esteemed guests.

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Professor John Kincaid is the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service and Director of the Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania. He is recognized around the world for his scholarship in the area of Federalism. Connect with him on LinkedIn HERE or learn more about him HERE.

Professor Bev Cigler, is a Penn State Distinguished Professor Emerita of Public Policy and Administration. Her affiliations include Wayne State, Thiel, North Carolina State, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Penn State Harrisburg (PSH). She is well-known for her pracademic perspectives and scholarship in the area of American Federalism and Intergovernmental relations. You can connect with her on LinkedIn HERE or learn more about her HERE.

Matt Candland is the Township Manager of Upper Moreland Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in the Washington DC area. He attended Brigham Young University and received BA – double major English Literature and American Studies; he received his Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University and a MBA from Frostburg State University – Master of Business Administration. You can connect with him on LinkedIn HERE


00:00:00 Polarization and local politics.

00:08:04 Local government activism can be detrimental.

00:11:36 Local government faces increasing challenges.

00:17:09 Managers’ role in addressing issues.

00:21:18 Local governments can push back.

00:24:44 Sanctuary cities and nullification.

00:32:09 Polarization threatens local government effectiveness.

00:34:58 Managers can promote good government.

00:42:17 Digital literacy can reduce polarization.

00:45:24 Moving from debates to dialogue.

00:52:23 Local activism leads to division.

00:53:00 Stay neutral as a manager.

01:04:45 Managers can lower political temperature.

01:02:20 Think globally, act locally.

01:04:59 Managers can influence community temperature.

01:10:57 Local governments can engage internationally.

About Nancy J. Hess

I help leaders pioneer extraordinary change through high engagement and whole systems approaches that focus on HR and People.