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Section 1 Introduction-1

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1 Section 1 Introduction-1
Structure of Local Government Key Terms county, county board, township, municipality, special district, incorporation, referendum Find Out • What are the four basic types of local government according to the areas they serve? • What are the similarities and differences among the three major structural forms of municipal government? Section 1 Introduction-1

2 Section 1 Introduction-2
Structure of Local Government Understanding Concepts Federalism What is the relationship between a state government and local governments? Section Objective Describe and compare various forms of local government. Section 1 Introduction-2

3 The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of southern California is a special district of local government created to handle a serious problem. Set up in 1928 to supplement local water supplies of its original 13 member-cities, today it serves 15 million people in more than 239 southern California communities. The MWD has developed long range water-management plans that include studying methods of reducing demand and conserving water, forecasting the area’s future water needs, and researching ways of assuring purity in local water supplies. Section 1-1

4 I. Created by the State (page 663)
A. Local governments have no legal independence; each is dependent on its state government. B. State constitutions set forth the powers and duties of local governments. Section 1-2

5 II. Types of Local Government (pages 663–665)
A. The four basic types of local government are 1) the county, 2) the township, 3) the municipality, and 4) the special district. B. The county is normally the largest territorial and political subdivision of the state. Counties vary in number, size, population, power, and influence. C. In most metropolitan areas, the county government has been growing more powerful. Section 1-3

6 II. Types of Local Government (pages 663–665)
D. In most counties, a county board has both executive and legislative powers. Board officials are usually elected by the voters. E. Townships exist in less than half the states, and their powers and duties vary from state to state. F. In New England, select men now make some of the decisions citizens once made in the direct democracy of a town meeting. G. The municipality is an urban unit of government that has legal rights granted to it by the state. Section 1-4

7 II. Types of Local Government (pages 663–665)
H. The special district is a unit of local government that deals with a specific function such as education or transportation. I. Some states also have a separate tribal government that serves its Native American population. Section 1-5

8 II. Types of Local Government (pages 663–665)
Do you agree that New England town meetings are “the perfect exercise of self government’’? Why or why not? Answers will vary. Smaller towns still exercise direct democracy; larger towns and cities do not because the process is too cumbersome for large groups of people. Section 1-6

9 III. Forms of Municipal Government (pages 666–668)
A. A municipal government may be formed when people in a community ask the state legislature to permit their community to incorporate. B. Urban areas in the United States use one of three basic forms of government: 1) the mayor-council, 2) the commission, or 3) the council-manager. C. In the most widely used form of municipal government, the mayor-council form, executive power belongs to an elected mayor and the legislative power to an elected council. Section 1-7

10 III. Forms of Municipal Government (pages 666–668)
D. There are two types of mayor-council government: 1) the strong-mayor system and 2) the weak-mayor system. E. The commission form of municipal government combines executive and legislative powers in an elected commission that passes laws and makes policy decisions. Section 1-8

11 III. Forms of Municipal Government (pages 666–668)
F. Under the council-manager form of government, the executive and legislative powers are separated. The council acts as a legislative body and makes the policy of the municipality. A manager carries out the council’s policies and serves as chief administrator. Section 1-9

12 III. Forms of Municipal Government (pages 666–668)
Which type of mayor-council government do you think is preferable, the strong mayor type or the weak-mayor type? Answers will vary. See description of mayoral powers on text page 666. Section 1-10

13 Checking for Understanding
1. Main Idea Use a graphic organizer like the one below to compare the separation of powers in the mayor-council form of municipal government to that of the federal government. Municipal: mayor has executive powers, council has legislative powers. Federal: president has executive powers, Congress has legislative powers Section 1 Assessment-1

14 Checking for Understanding
Match the term with the correct definition. ___ county ___ township ___ municipality ___ special district ___ incorporation ___ referendum B E F D C A A. a special election B. the largest political subdivision of a state C. the process of setting up a legal community under state law D. a unit of local government that deals with a specific function E. a unit of local government found in some states, usually a subdivision of a county F. an urban unit of government chartered by a state Section 1 Assessment-2

15 Checking for Understanding
3. Identify mayor-council form, commission form, council-manager form. A mayor-council form is a form of municipal government in which executive power belongs to the major and legislative power to an elected council. A commission form is an elected commission that combines executive and legislative powers. A council-manager form is a type of municipal government in which legislative and executive powers are separated. Section 1 Assessment-3

16 Checking for Understanding
4. Analyze the structure of county government. elected county board has legislative and executive power; board members head departments; board members may share executive power with other officers who are elected Section 1 Assessment-4

17 Checking for Understanding
5. Compare the methods of selection of the heads of departments in the three forms of city government. Mayor appoints heads in mayor-council form. City manager appoints heads in council-manager form, and elected commissioners are heads in the commission form. Section 1 Assessment-5

18 Critical Thinking 6. Drawing Conclusions Why do many large cities prefer the council-manager form of municipal government? Political experts believe it leads to better management and responsible government because executive and legislative powers are clearly separated, making it easy for voters to assign praise or blame. Section 1 Assessment-6

19 Section 1 Concepts in Action
Federalism The four basic types of local government that exist in the United States are the county, the township, the municipality, and the special district. Choose one type of local government that exists where you live. Create a diagram that shows how it is organized. The diagram should indicate the officials that make up the government and their functions. Section 1 Concepts in Action


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