City Administrators Office

City Administrators Office

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The City Administrator's Office is responsible for the executive management of the highly diverse operations of the City of Ann Arbor. The City Administrator provides leadership, vision, and direction to City Departments, implements City Council policy, and works with City Council and administrative staff to implement strategic and financial planning objectives.

The City Administrator serves in a highly visible capacity as an ambassador for the community and to other governmental agencies. Duties include: General Administration; Organizational Development; Community Relations; Intergovernmental Relations; Council Support/Relations; City Budget and Financial Planning; and
Human Resources and Labor Relations. 

The City Administrator provides updates to City Council prior to every scheduled regular City Council meeting.  The reports are included as written communications from the City Administrator as part of the published meeting agenda. 

     City Administrator's Report - September 3, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - August 19, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - August 5, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - July 15, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - July 1, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - June 17, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - June 3, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - May 20, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - May 6, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - April 15, 2019 (PDF)

     City Administrator's Report - April 1, 2019 (PDF)

On September 3, 2019, City Council voted to release a redacted version of the report “Privileged and Confidential Report of Investigation Howard Lazarus, Ann Arbor City Administrator."  

The report was directed by the City Council Administration Committee concerning text message exchanges between the former Director of Human Resources and another party. The report is the result of a professional, external legal investigation and internal review concerning knowledge by City Administrative Staff (upper level administration including the City Administrator) about any violations of City employment practices by the former Human Resources Director. The review consisted of interviewing appropriate witnesses, reviewing documents, and providing a written report via the City Attorney for the benefit of the City Administration Committee and the City Council. Those conclusions specifically address the questions that the Council Administration committee posed to the investigator, and are summarized below: 

  • The City Administrator and upper level administrators were unaware of the text messages.
  • They were unaware of the extreme, vile, hateful nature of the opinions expressed.
  • The City Administrator – and assistant City Administrator counseled, coached, and worked with the former Director of Human Resources  - whose skills, experience, and technical competence were valuable assets – with the hope and expectation that she would live up to her potential.
  • That had the City Administrator or City Attorney known the full truth, they would have put a stop to it and reported it.
  • That the City Administrator and City Attorney took proper, appropriate, and immediate action once they learned of these text messages on April 5, 2019.

With the investigation completed, the city will proceed with a cultural assessment of its Human Resources operation and a Request for Proposals has been issued. The HR assessment will include interviews of staff and stakeholders with recommendations forming the basis of a new HR Director's work plan.    

Guiding Principles


A unified team, creating and sustaining excellence.


To deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe, and diverse community. 

Core Values

The City's goals form the basis of our Organizational Strategic Plan, and are supported by the following core values: 

  • We are accountable to the public we serve.

  • We are committed to the pursuit of excellence in all of our endeavors.

  • We value our integrity and are completely trustworthy.

  • We are proper stewards of the public trust and environment.

  • We work as a team on behalf of our community.

  • We ensure that we perform all of operations safely.


In our efforts to provide the core functions of government, we have integrated the following goals into each service area:

  • We will deliver exceptional service to the public.

  • We will support and enable sustainable economic development.

  • We will protect and ensure the financial health of your City assets.

  • We will integrate external engagement into what we do, operating openly and transparently.

  • We will leverage information technology to increase the efficiencies and effectiveness of our work.

  • We will strengthen human capital by recruiting, developing, and retaining exceptional City staff.

Strategic Planning

The City Administrator's Office serves the Ann Arbor community and  supports City staff's mission to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe, and diverse community. 

Community support and partnership is the key to unlock the potential of your City government.  In 2019, City staff will use City Council Work Sessions for “visioning” which will enable us to focus on developing financial, technical, and structural approaches to ensure sustainable quality of life for the community. Each one of these opportunities will offer citizens the chance to tell us what is important to them as we strive to provide better service. 

City Administrator
Howard S. Lazarus

Contact Information
301 E. Huron St. 
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734.794.6110, ext. 41102



John Fournier
Assistant City Administrator
734.794.6110, ext. 41107

Sara Higgins
Strategic Planning Coordinator
734.794.6110, ext. 41102