The City of Darien operates under a “Council-Manager” form of government. Under this form of government, the mayor and city council provides the primary policymaking role, and an appointed city manager provides the primary executive role. It combines the strong political leadership of the elected mayor and council with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager.
The council-manager form of government was developed in the early 1900s by reformers who envisioned a more business-like approach to municipal government. Thus, the structure of a municipality operating under the council-manager form of government is similar to the structure of a corporation. To this end, the municipality’s citizens are treated as shareholders that elect a city council to serve as their board of directors. The city council establishes the city’s policies, while a professional city manager, hired by the city council, is charged with implementing the council’s policies. In this capacity, the city manager functions similarly to a corporation’s chief executive officer, or CEO.
Another important appointed official is the city clerk. The city clerk is the custodian of the official city seal, maintains city council records required by this charter, and performs such other duties as may be required by the city council. The city clerk also serves as the city treasurer. The city treasurer collects all taxes, licenses, fees, and other moneys belonging to the city subject to the provisions of this charter and the ordinances of the city and enforces all laws of Georgia relating to the collection of delinquent taxes and sale or foreclosure for nonpayment of taxes to the city. The city treasurer is also responsible for the general duties of a treasurer and fiscal officer. Under the charter, the city clerk and city treasurer may be the same person.