Understanding Local Government
By Sandra M. Stevenson
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Local governments have their own unique characteristics and personalities. In some ways, they are similar to the Federal Government because they are totally dependent on the kind of structure and authority that has been delegated to them by their states. Although this means that there are pronounced variations from state to state, there are also basic characteristics that are common to all. Focusing on those basic characteristics, this treatise aims to provide a general understanding of the functionality of local governments.
Understanding Local Government identifies the underpinnings and the concepts that determine how local governments function in fulfilling their purpose of providing both needed and desired services to their residents. The book is designed for ease of use in both teaching and learning, having an introduction and overview at the beginning of each chapter and clearly delineated subsections. The book also makes numerous references to laws and other materials of particular states and regions, making it easy to provide illustrative examples and to supplement the text. Specific areas covered include:
• Local authority and regulation;
• Land use controls;
• Local contracts;
• Delivery of services and assistance;
• Public access to information and right to vote;
• Local officers and employees;
• Local government liability; and
• Local finances.