What Customer Service Should Mean for a City: Worth Knowing Wednesdays




Sometimes, our local governments can get caught up in an ineffective mindset while managing cities, where they take on the role of a customer service representative. While it comes from a place of wanting to be helpful, it’s not always the best approach our cities should be taking.


In this episode of the Strong Towns Podcast, host Chuck Marohn discusses subsidiarity versus the customer service mindset we tend to see in city halls. Subsidiarity holds that it matters less what decision is made and more who makes the decision—in other words, a decision should be made at the lowest level that it can competently be made. When a city is making decisions that should be made at the block level, it can create a bigger mess than intended. To dive into and explain this concept further, Chuck relates his personal experience within his neighborhood, one that has not always been picture perfect.