Local government


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Local government

  2. 2. FOCUS:
  3. 3. What is the job of local government? Where do local governments get their power? What municipalities make up Blair County? What types of government are used by local municipalities? Geography of BLAIR COUNTY AGENDA
  4. 4. Local Government The Need for Local Government The biggest role of local government is to provide conveniences and SERVICES we the public use every day. ROADS AND BRIDGES Water and water conservation Snow removal Education (Some but not all) – Trash removal, electricity, gas Main job of local government is to make a community a better place to live (SAFE, CONVENIENT, PROSPEROUS) ORDINANCES are laws that govern a community – Ex. DOG WASTE PICKUP, USE OF BURNING BARRELS, CURFEW FOR MINORS Helps the state with health and safety of citizens Land Use – ZONING protects safety and property value – NO PIG FARMS in H-burg Borough Health and Welfare – POLICE and FIRE SERVICES
  5. 5. How do local governments know what to do? Charter is a basic plan of government approved by the state (Sort of like a constitution) Dillon’s Rule – Iowa Judge from 1868 who was fed up with dishonesty ruled that all local governments must be authorized by state legislature (Incorporated) by being given a charter and have very limited powers to govern themselves. Home Rule – Michigan Judge Cooley thought Dillon was too restrictive and so created the Charter form or optional form of gov. giving locals more power. Places can alter their charter without checking in with state for every little thing. Most places (PA for example) use home rule now.
  6. 6. Different Levels County Governments County government is the largest form of local government (Name could also be Parish, or Borough) State is divided up into these sections to complete the following: run elections, enforce laws, serve as court districts. 67 Counties in PA The central location or head of the county is called the County Seat . Hollidaysburg is the one for Blair County. It is led by a group called either Board of Commissioners (*) We have three and jobs include
  7. 7. Leaders – Terry Tomasetti, Donna Gority, Ted Beam Act as Legislative and Executive Jobs – Tax or Property assessment/collection Oversee County Jail Oversee County Hospital or Retirement Home County Infrastructure County Budget
  8. 8. County Board or Board of County Supervisors Executive person is called a County Manager or Chief Clerk – Helen Schmitt was appointed by the commissioners to keep the books and accounts of the board of county commissioners, the salary board, and the pension board; to record and file all proceedings and papers from meetings Others important employees include: Treasurer - responsible for monies and issuing of dog, hunting and fishing licences Controller – Internal auditor of expenses Sherriff – issues warrants, PFA, and handles courthouse security Coroner – Issues death certificates and conduct autopsies District Attorney – Prosecutes criminals Prothonotary – Clerk of records from all court cases + marriages and divorces Recorder of Deeds and Wills - Handles paper work of land/real estate purchase and death certificates
  9. 9. Municipalities or Unit of local government that is incorporated by the state. Typically, municipalities are categorized based on size of population and/or urban (city) vs rural (country) 1. Examples are city, town, village, or borough Altoona - CITY Allegheny, Blair, Frankstown, Logan, Antis - TOWNSHIP Hollidaysburg - BOROUGH Duncansville - BOROUGH
  10. 10. Towns and Townships Towns are smaller than a city but bigger than a village. Concept of town hall meeting comes from towns – All citizens meet to discuss town issues. ORIGINATED IN COLONIAL NEW ENGLAND STATES NOTE: Townships vary in size depending on where they are. (Civil) Townships in Midwest are larger than towns but in the Northeast, townships are smaller. i. Led by a Township Supervisor and assisted by a Board of Commissioners or ii. A panel of Township Supervisors who act as both legislative and executive bodies. iii. Decreasing in importance because municipalities are merging to reduce cost. If any of the above three gets a large enough population they can petition the state to give them the status of CITY, but many like to keep the original status because they like the sense of community associated with those names. ***
  11. 11. Cities Cities vary both in size (NYC – 8 million to Parker PA 799) and in type of government (4 main types). More and more cities are being given HOME RULE by their state which allows them to alter their own charter. The following are the four types of government * Mayor- Council Plan 1. Weak Mayor Plan – an elected official serves as mayor but the city council has most power. Mayor gets one vote which is the same as the council. 2. Strong Mayor Plan – Mayor is chief executive officer who is the primary power holder (Pittsburgh, Philly, NY) a. Appoints city officials b. Prepares budget c. Vetoes ordinances
  12. 12. * Council-Manager Plan – Council is lawmaking body Manager runs the city like a BUSINESS attempting to save as much money as possible; Appointed by Council – NOT ELECTED May or may not have a MAYOR to run political dealings (Hollidaysburg and Altoona have a mayor but they are more figure heads who are equal to council members in voting power – Mayor Dodson is in charge of Borough Police) * Commission Form of Gov’t – City is run by 3 -9 elected officials each in charge of different categories. They act as both legislative and executive - Health and safety - Budget - Public welfare - Etc.
  13. 13. Special Districts Unit of Government that combines several areas/municipalities for practical reasons – save money, gather groups/teams, logistics School District (HASD = FRANKSTOWN, BLAIR, JUNIATA, ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIPS AND HOLLIDAYSBURG, DUNCANSVILLE AND NEWRY BOROUGHS) Hired executive of the School District is SUPERINTENDENT The elected governing body of the school district is the SCHOOL BOARD How Governments work together A. Supreme law of the land is the Constitution. No state or local law can impede or supersede the Constitution B. Most of the time all three levels work together (roads, taxes, education) i. Local roads paid for by local gov. ii. PA Turnpike paid for by state gov. iii. Interstate (I-80) paid for by federal gov. C. Usually about 1/3 of local gov’t income comes from state/federal gov’t. i. Grants-in-aid – (Specific) ii. Block Grants – (General)