It is the City Council's responsibility to govern; the Council has a commensurate authority to govern. Individual Council members do not. That is, whatever authority is legitimately wielded by a Council is wielded by the Council as a group. Hence, a City Manager is bound by what the Council says, but never by what any Council member says. A Council should pledge to its City Manager that it will never hold him or her accountable for keeping Council members happy as individuals and will never hold him or her accountable for any criteria except those expressed officially by the full Council. In other words, the Council as a body is obligated to protect its staff from the Council as individuals.