Bridging the Generations in Local Government

Cookingham Connection

Today is the launch of a blog series we’re calling “Cookingham Connections.” Laurie Perry Cookingham is who some people call the “Godfather of City Management.” He pegged 22 guideposts for city managers to followand his suggestions can still be applied today.

Strategic Government Resources (SGR) is partnering with Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) in this project with the hopes of bridging the generation gap in local government. Each week, you’ll read blog posts about one of Cookingham’s 22 guideposts one through the eyes of a city manager, the other through the eyes of an emerging city management professional.

We hope this blog series will help both sides of the spectrum gain insight that will ultimately cause all to become better leaders.

Below is a brief introduction to this L.P. Cookingham blog series, written by a city manager who learned from Cookingham’s examples.


L.P. “Perry” Cookingham, “the Dean of City Managers,” was a legend in the city management field. If you haven’t read about Mr. Cookingham, he is just a Google search away. He served as a city manager in three Michigan cities in the mid 1920s to 1940.

He spent his most influential years in Kansas City, Missouri from 1940 to 1959 where he rose to national prominence. He then finished his career in Fort Worth, Texas in 1964.

A closer look at Mr. Cookingham’s life and career reveals that he had great insight into the foundation of our profession. His thoughtsas portrayed by newspaper articles, books, speeches, and articles he wrotedemonstrate his acumen on a wide range of issues we all deal with in City Hall.

Mr. Cookingham provides guidance and thoughts on the role and responsibilities of the different players in the municipal landscape; how to harness the varied power centers that exist in all cities to accomplish our work; the need for a manager to grow and change to stay current with the times; the importance and knowledge brought to bear on problems by a truly professional management team; the power of ideas that come from proper and thoughtful analysis; the need to invest in long-range planning; sustaining council/manager relations; the need to treat everyone in the city (friend or foe) with the respect and dignity they deserve; and the list goes on and on.

I encourage you to read the upcoming blog posts and spend some time learning about Cookingham. His example will make us all better managers, and with a bit of luck, maybe “Cookie” (as he was called by his friends) will make us better people along the way.

Bruno Rembelow

Written by:

Bruno Rumbelow
City Manager, Grapevine, TX

42 responses

  1. […] to week one of the Cookingham Connection! This week, we hear from Chris Jordan, the city manager of West Linn, Oregon. Chris Jordan began […]

  2. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city manager had […]

  3. […] now in week two of the Cookingham Connection. Today, we hear from Frank Robinson, Town Manager of Apple Valley, California. Frank is an […]

  4. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city manager had […]

  5. […] now in week three of the Cookingham Connection. Today, we hear from Roger Kemp, a consultant, adjunct professor, and former city manager. Roger is […]

  6. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city manager had […]

  7. […] to week four of the Cookingham Connection. Today, we hear from Cal Horton. He’s the former town manager of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. […]

  8. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city manager had […]

  9. […] in week five of the Cookingham Connection. Today, we hear from Scott Lazenby. He’s the city manager of Lake Oswego, Oregon. Scott was […]

  10. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city manager had […]

  11. […] in week six of the Cookingham Connection. Today, we hear from Kevin Duggan, West Coast Regional Director for ICMA. Prior to that, he was […]

  12. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city manager had […]

  13. […] in week seven of the Cookingham Connection. Today, we hear from Allen Barnes, City Manager for the City of Gonzales, Texas. Barnes has also […]

  14. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city manager had […]

  15. […] in the eighth week of the Cookingham Connection. Today, we hear from David Ammons, Professor of Public Administration and Government at the […]

  16. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a UNC professor had […]

  17. […] continuing in our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Dave O’Leary. O’Leary is the City Administrator for the […]

  18. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what a city administrator […]

  19. […] continuing in our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Julie Underwood. Underwood is the Assistant City Manager for the City […]

  20. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what the assistant city […]

  21. […] in the 11th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Tom Lundy. Lundy has been the County Manager for Catawba County, North […]

  22. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what the county manager […]

  23. […] in the 12th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Cheryl Harrison-Lee. She is the City Administrator for the City of […]

  24. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what the city […]

  25. […] in the 13th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Sherilyn Lombos. She is the City Manager for the City of Tualatin, […]

  26. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what the city manager of […]

  27. […] in the 14th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Ray Gosack. He is the City Administrator for the City of Fort Smith, […]

  28. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what the city […]

  29. […] in the 15th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Tom Bonfield. He is the City Manager for the City of Durham, North […]

  30. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what the city manager of […]

  31. […] in the 16th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Ed Zuercher. He is the City Manager for the City of Phoenix, a […]

  32. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what the city manager of […]

  33. […] in the 17th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Kurt Bressner. He is the Florida Senior Advisor  for ICMA,  a […]

  34. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what ICMA Senior Advisor […]

  35. […] in the 18th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Rick Usher. He is the assistant city manager for Kansas City, […]

  36. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what Assistant City […]

  37. […] in the 19th week of our Cookingham Connection series. Today, we learn from a 34-year veteran of the city management profession: Ed Wyatt, who is […]

  38. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what Interim City Manager […]

  39. […] in the 20th week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Michelle Crandall. She is the Assistant City Manager for the City of […]

  40. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what Assistant City […]

  41. […] in the 21st week of our Cookingham Connection series today as we hear from Pete Olson. He is the Assistant Town Manager for the City of […]

  42. […] continuing our series in the Cookingham Connection with a perspective from an emerging leader in local government. You heard what Town Manager Pete […]

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