County Government: A Guide to Efficient and Accountable Government (Google eBook)

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 2000 - Political Science - 199 pages
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Since the early 1900s, the manager form of municipal government has had enthusiastic support. Today, it is one of the most popular forms of municipal government and brought greater efficiency and accountability to municipal operations. However, as Coppa makes clear, this wave of reform has not fully impacted the counties. The commission form, widely criticized for its lack of accountability, remains the most popular form of county government. Coppa suggests greater accountability and efficiency can be achieved if the commission form is replaced with the Union plan and existing county administrators are given greater executive power. The manager plan in Union County can serve as a model for counties without an elected executive, much the same way the Lakewood plan in California symbolizes county and municipal cooperation.

Although Coppa provides a guide to efficient and accountable county government, the book goes beyond its subtitle. It treats neglected topics, such as the legal status of counties, forms of county government, row officers, autonomous bodies, and the central role played by counties in reapportionment litigation. Supreme Court cases involving counties and critical issues such as free speech, elections, tax immunity, and the commerce clause are analyzed. Major issues such as the battle over ratables, revenue limits, and declining population are explored as well. Coppa examines the most critical issues faced by counties today--such as mandated expenditures--and raises the possibility of a constitutional amendment to treat unfunded federal mandates. Coppa recommends creative programs as well as an agenda for achieving efficient and accountable county government. To this end, he examines charter revision and the noncharter route as approaches to achieving economical and responsible county government. This work is an important analysis for students, scholars, researchers, and policy makers involved with local and state government issues.

  

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Contents

Counties in the American Political System
3
Should County Government Which Predates Statehood Be Granted Greater Legal Standing?
25
Corruption in County Government More Past than Present
26
The March Against Intimidation Free Speech and Dollars
28
County Elections Some Require Federal Preclearance
29
The Battle Over Rateables
30
The Chippewa Tax Immunity and County Government
32
Contracting Out Waste Free Speech and Commerce
33
Present Problems and Future Challenges
99
Union Countys Options
105
A Proposed Form of Government for the Future
117
Effectiveness and Economy of the Commissions Recommendations
127
A Plan of Action for an Orderly Transition
133
Administrative Code Recommendations
135
Schedule of Meetings Held by the Union County Charter Study Commission
139
Statistical Tables
143

Issues in County Government Revenue Limitations Rural Counties and County Reform
35
Toward the Next Millennium
77
Works Cited
81
THE UNION COUNTY PLAN ACHIEVING EFFICIENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY THROUGH CHARTER REVISION
85
Preface
87
Summary of Findings and Recommendations
91
Introduction
95
The Proposed Charter
147
The Right to Vote on Taxes Act Proposition 218
171
An Approach to the Resolution of Public Land Disputes
179
Bibliography
185
Index
193
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Frank J. Coppa is Associate Professor of Government and History, Union County College, Cranford, NJ.

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