Frank’s is great advice (of course).
Whenever you’re shopping the market you definitely want to meet the city officials and determine if they’re going to be a problem or a help. If they’ve got their minds made up already you’re not going to change them. But bring your resources, such as numerous articles Frank has authored (and others) and see if you can’t convince city to work with you because (you should convince them) you are going to be 100x better manager than the previous (nincompoop) who let the problems build up and you’re providing a valuable public service by providing an affordable place to live.
Who should you meet with? In a medium-sized suburb or city you could probably meet everyone you want, possibly not the Mayor or City Administrator but every department head under them. Let them tell you how they want you to run the park and be ready to do that if you’re going through with the deal. You can’t fight city hall and you want them on your “side” (against the tenants, if necessary). This is the essence of this business.
We have walked a deal and closed a deal both in great part determined on the quality of the local government.
In one case the town is a county capital and the city/county administration seems very on-the-ball, active, dynamic, etc. Interested in civic development.
In another case the town was a smallish ex-urban town near a major city with high growth potential in a great location, but local officials did not want to do anything to help and were hoping to hinder higher occupancy at the local (20% full) park. It was not the only “wart” on the deal, but knowing we’d be fighting city hall on every little thing made us walk the deal. I should mention that local council owned most of the (high-vacancy) local apartments.