City manager vs. administrator: Which is it?

Some confusion, concern over titles raised in city government

Recent discussions on changes to the city charter have led one former charter commission member to specify Jefferson City is a mayor-administrator-council form of government, not a council-manager form.

The difference between the two is something many likely are not aware of, and the two are often confused.

A Google search of the term “City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus” turns up several news articles where he is quoted by area broadcast media as city manager.

A news release published by the city regarding the mobile app contest in early April even referred to him as city manager. When asked about the new title, a spokesperson with the city said it was merely a mistake.

So what do the terms really mean and what is the difference between the two? And is Jefferson City moving toward a council-manager form of government?

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