chapter  8
Improving Urban Services The Power of Municipal Service Agencies: The Bureaucratic
Pages 30

The reform movement cleaned up much of the favoritism, abuse, and partisanship that plagued big cities during the era of the political machine. The reformers reduced the authority of elected officials by shifting decision-making authority to careerist experts residing in civil-service-protected municipal agencies. In doing so, the reformers inadvertently created a new generation of city problems. Protected by tenure and civil service regulations, teachers, tax assessors, and other municipal officials do not have to respond to citizen requests in order to keep their jobs.