Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers offers a practical introduction to the changing structure, forms, and functions of local governments. Taking a metropolitan management perspective, authors Kimberly Nelson and Carl W. Stenberg explain U.S. local government within historical context and provide strategies for effective local government management and problem solving. Real-life scenarios and contemporary issues illustrate the organization and networks of local governments; the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of city and county managers; and the dynamics of the intergovernmental system. Case studies and discussion questions in each chapter encourage critical analysis of the challenges of collaborative governance. Unlike other books on the market, this text’s combined approach of theory and practice encourages students to enter municipal and county management careers and equips them with tools to be successful from day one.

Types, Functions, and Authority of U.S. Local Governments

Types, Functions, and Authority of U.S. Local Governments

Municipal corporations owe their origin to, and derive their powers and rights wholly from, the legislature. It breathes into them the breath of life, without which they cannot exist. As it creates, so may it destroy.

—Justice John F. Dillon (1911, p. 62)

Despite the critical role local governments play in the daily lives of citizens, they are not mentioned a single time in the U.S. Constitution. Over time, the relationships between local governments and the federal and state governments have shifted. While not referenced in the constitution, the federal government has sought to influence policy at the local level. Power and authority of the nation’s local governments varies greatly depending ...

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