3City GovernmentsAll local governments are created by the state, with their powers and duties established in the state constitutions.They are not mentioned within the U.S. Constitution.
4City GovernmentsA “municipality” is defined as an incorporated place, or an area that is officially organized to provide services to its residents.
5City GovernmentsAll incorporated areas begin by applying for a city charter, which acts like a city “constitution”.Each charter must be approved by the state.“Home Rule” allows cities to write their own charters to create their own governments.
10Other Forms:In the “Council-Manager” form, the council and mayor make decisions jointly.These members are elected in “at large” elections.Usually hire an administrator to run the day to day operations.
11Other Forms:In the “Commission” form, individual “commissioners” are elected and serve as heads of departments.Within the group, a mayor is selected.The commission serves as both legislative AND executive branches.
12Special Districts The most numerous of all local governments. Usually deal with specific issues:EducationWater / SewerTransportation
13Metropolitan AreasThis form of government encompasses the city center and the surrounding “suburbs”.
15County Governments A “county” is the largest subdivision of a state. Only Connecticut and Rhode Island do NOT have counties.Louisiana has “parishes” and Alaska has “boroughs”
16County GovernmentsMost counties have a centrally located county courthouse, which serves as the center of government.The “county seat” is the town that contains this courthouse.
17County GovernmentsDespite the rising power of city governments, the county still controls many parts of government:ElectionsHospitalsEMSWaste Management
18County GovernmentsMost counties are governed by a board of commissioners.“County Managers” are often appointed to help run the day to day operations of the county government.“County Executives” are newly elected positions in some counties.
21Towns, Townships, & Villages Towns, townships, and villages are the smallest political units of local government.Like cities & counties, they get all of their power from the state.
22Towns, Townships, & Villages In New England states, “towns” are the most common.Like cities & counties, they get all of their power from the state.“Selectmen” are often chosen to carry out the day to day business.
23Towns, Townships, & Villages “Town Meetings” are common in these areas, with a simple majority decision.This is known as “direct democracy”.In more recent times, many have become more “representative” (electing someone to speak for them)
24Towns, Townships, & Villages In NY, NJ, PA, and other Midwestern areas, “townships” are still common.A “township” is a 6 mile by 6 mile block of land.“Township Committees” are selected to run these governments.
25Towns, Townships, & Villages The “village” is the smallest form of local government.Usually created when residents want to control their own services.This usually results in higher taxes for the residents.