Muskie School of Public Service

Muskie School course on local government

PPM 534: Managing Cities, Towns, and Counties

Summer 2022 Begins Jun1 On-line

Take advantage of a unique opportunity to combine academic learning with an opportunity to create a career ladder in town management

The course: The Muskie School in partnership with the Maine Town. City, and County Management Association is offering PPM 534: Managing Cities, Towns, and Counties with Dr. Carolyn Ball, Professor Emeritus.  Maine town and county managers will provide on-line guest lectures to complement Maine specific readings to prepare students for careers in town, city and county positions. 

Two opportunities

Internship:  Take the course with an internship.  You’ll be placed with a town manager at the same time you are taking the course. You will be taking the course in lieu of PPM 696 Public Service Internship. Town/County managers serve as mentors and site supervisors; ensure that interns become familiar with the basic aspects of being a town, city, or county manager, particularly in budgeting and finance; and familiarize students with the responsibilities of the major departments. Students also complete a project to present to a town council or other committee.  Some internships are paid while others are not. Students intern for 150 hours. 

Town, City or County Project:  Students who are working FT or already working in local government may wish to take this option.  You’ll have the opportunity to work with a town manager (or department head) on a project involving 10-20 hours to expand your options to become a town manager. 

Both options give you an opportunity for networking

Competitive Internship Funding Apply  Or  Some communities also have funding.  Please contact regarding your application and she can also provide you information on Muskie School funding.

Permission This course requires permission to register to ensure you are matched with an internship location or project.  Please send a resume to Carolyn Ball, Ph.D. at  with your interest in an internship or project.

Results  The demand for educated local government professionals has never been greater.  Recent students have continued working after completing an internship or moved up the career ladder to Asst. Manager, Planner, Economic Development Associate, Administrative Analyst, Internal Affairs Asst., Sheriff’s Office.  Students have accepted jobs in Bowndoinham, S. Portland, Auburn, Lewiston, Falmouth, and Westbrook.