<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

City government

Municipal governments oversee the operation and functions of cities and towns. Census estimates for 2012 show just over 19,500 municipal governments and nearly 16,500 township governments in the United States.

Lavin, “Census Bureau Reports There are 89,004 Local Governments in the United States (CB12-161).”
The vast majority of municipal government s operate on one of two governing models: a mayor-council system or a council-manager system.

Under the mayor-council system    voters elect both a mayor and members of the city council. The city council performs legislative functions and the mayor the executive functions. Under this system, the mayor may be given a great deal of authority or only limited powers.

“Forms of Municipal Government,” http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/resources/cities-101/city-structures/forms-of-municipal-government (March 14, 2016).
Under a strong mayor system, the mayor will be able to veto the actions of the council, appoint and fire the heads of city departments, and produce a budget. Under a weak mayor system, the mayor has little authority compared to the council and acts in a ceremonial capacity as a spokesperson for the city.
“Mayoral Powers,” http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/resources/cities-101/city-officials/mayoral-powers (March 14, 2016).

In a council-manager system    of government, either the members of the city council are elected by voters along with a mayor who presides over the council, or the voters elect members of the city council and the mayor is chosen from among them. In either case, the city council will then appoint a city manager to carry out the administrative functions of the municipal government. This frees the city council to address political functions such as setting policy and formulating the budget.

“Forms of Municipal Government.”

Municipal governments are responsible for providing clean water as well as sewage and garbage disposal. They must maintain city facilities, such as parks, streetlights, and stadiums ( [link] ). In addition, they address zoning and building regulations, promote the city’s economic development, and provide law enforcement, public transportation, and fire protection. Municipal governments typically rely on property tax revenue, user fees from trash collection and the provision of water and sewer services, a portion of sales tax receipts, and taxes on business.

An image of the inside of a stadium. The stands are filled with people.
The Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, is home to various sporting events. The stadium first opened for business in 2011, and taxpayers financed $146 million of the total cost to build the stadium, an office park, and a youth soccer complex.
Mark Alesia, “Kansas City has Stadium Success Story—in Major League Soccer,” Indy Star , 18 March 2015. http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2015/03/17/kansas-city-stadium-success-story-major-league-soccer/24928853/.
(credit: Wesley Fryer)

Summary

County governments can adopt the commission system, the council-administrator system, and the council-elected executive system of government to carry out their functions, which usually include the work of the sheriff, the county clerk, the assessor, the treasurer, the coroner, and the engineer. Municipal governments can use the mayor-council system or the council-manager system and manage services such as the provision of clean water, park maintenance, and local law enforcement. Cities and counties both rely on tax revenues, especially property taxes, to fund their provision of services.

Council of State Governments. 2014. The Book of the States . Lexington, KY: The Council of State Governments.

Elazar, Daniel. 1972. American Federalism: A View from the States , 2nd ed. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company.

Governing: The State and Localities (http://www.governing.com/).

National Association of Counties (http://www.naco.org/).

National Conference of State Legislatures (http://www.ncsl.org/).

National Governors Association (http://www.nga.org/cms/home.html).

National League of Cities (http://www.nlc.org/).

Rosenthal, Alan. 2013. The Best Job in Politics; Exploring How Governors Succeed as Policy Leaders . Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press.

———. 2004. Heavy Lifting: The Job of State Legislatures . Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press.

Wright, Ralph. 2005. Inside the Statehouse: Lessons from the Speaker . Washington, DC: CQ Press.

United States Census Bureau, “Quick Facts: United States” (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html).

Questions & Answers

to this textbook which countries have the highest rates of execution?
michael Reply
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having so many levels of subnational governments in the United States? Explain
Nicole Reply
to help in protecting the right of the citizens, in safety purpose also if not many tribulation war and conflict in between the Nations and perhaps the citizens that is we really needs them.
Emmanuel
What are the advantages
maureen
what were the initial issues that led to the introduction of legislation
Benedicta Reply
Do the consideration and bill of rights protect the life and liberty of all Americans?
Benedicta
yes
Emmanuel
how do we answer government questions
Comfort Reply
by following all the due processes
Emmanuel
how many types of pre_ colonial political system do we have in Nigeria
Israel Reply
3
nkama
we 3 which are yoruba,hausa, Igbo
Israel
3
Ibrahim
opening day in the house. what is the speaker's first duty
Gabriel Reply
what is bill of right?
Dyutoe Reply
first 10 amendments to the Constitution
Ruthie
a bill of right in the United States,bill of right is the first tan amendment to the Constitution.
Israel
what prevented the equal rights Amendment from being ratified?
Darhel Reply
why some countries adopts written constitution
Paschal Reply
because it is documented
Comfort
what part of our government is based on parliament
SonIa Reply
what important political idea came from Thomas Hobbes
SonIa
Thomas Hobbes who is he
SonIa
what is democracy
Haliru Reply
government of the people by the people and for the people
Emmanuel
what is Constitution
Joy Reply
What's separation of power in government?
Fortune Reply
What's political parties?
Fortune
What's Political apathy
Fortune
political parties can be defined as a group of people who share a common interest
Waris
political apathy it can be defined by act of not having Interest in any politics
Waris
political parties are organised group of citizens,acting as a political unit and through the use of their voting power trys to control the government.
Jasper
what are the broad purposes of government
Slande Reply
what is constition
Diana Reply

Get the best American government course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, American government. OpenStax CNX. Dec 05, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11995/1.15
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'American government' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask