Students should focus on resources available from the municipality they are going to research. Do not limit yourself to their website, as some cities do not update their city websites as well as they should.
Speak to City Council members, the City Manager, and other civic leaders. You may consider speaking with business leaders, but consider their viewpoint will be skewed.
Look at social media for your city. There may also be online groups for individual city council districts. These may or may not be run by city officials, but can provide valuable information either way.
Visit the public library in your city. They may have a local documents collection. Ask a librarian, don't rely on the library's website.