The chart below provides a visualization of how much city managers are paid compared to how many people they represent. As you can see, for medium to large sized cities the managers are paid comparable salaries. Kettering and Centerville even pay their city managers more than the City of Dayton despite having less people combined than Dayton. Those cities even pay their managers more than the county administrator. Other than the townships, only the stop-sign villages of Verona and Phillipsburg lack a high-paid city manager.
Here we look at how much a city manager costs per citizen. This goes by population so for actual taxpayers the numbers are higher. Note how much Moraine, New Lebanon, and Oakwood pay. Also note how the Montgomery County administrator’s salary amounts to pocket change.
Data compiled 2018.