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When Mayors Matter–and When They Don’t

- March 3, 2013

This Tuesday, voters in Los Angeles head to the polls to pick a new mayor.  And last Friday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced his decision to appoint a manager with far-reaching powers over Detroit’s finances.  It’s as good a time as any to consider the impact that mayors can actually have on city spending–and the limits of that influence.  That’s what I do in a post over at Wonkblog.  There might not be a Republican or Democratic way to pick up the trash, but mayors do have a pronounced influence on public safety, an area on which their authority is relatively uncontested.