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The Backbone of Municipal Government
The extent of each county and municipal government differs not only within states but within different counties and cities located within those states. For the most part, local area voters are able to pick the basic construction of the government, which will always depend on their state’s set of codified laws.
A lot of times, both the county and its municipal governments will have their own governing body, which will each be overseen within the mayor or administration office.In most cases both counties and municipalities have a governing council. For local governments there is the option of the government being ran by something along the lines of a local/city manager. This position would be overseen by the city council.
Within local government areas such as these, there are many times elections for positions other than mayor or council positions. For example, these elections might bear witness to judge, sheriff, and coroner positions.
The most common of these types of governments are the municipal ones. They can range in size of a few hundred people to upwards of millions of people. The size of the municipality will determine the exact structure of their local government. There are an ever number of grown local governments who now operate with a planning department/planning commission. This can be an internal department or something that is contracted out by the local government. This is all dependent upon the size of the government. For example if you take the governments of Augusta, Georgia, which has merged as a consolidated government with Richmond county, and the government of Hilton Head, South Carolina, their departments not only different in content and services but the size of them as well.
There are different names given to the types of municipal governments, such as city, county, town, and others. The names do not necessarily correspond to the use of that word. For example, the word city implies that the area it occupies is large and has a large population. However, this word can be used in the United States for areas of as few as a hundred people.
Hawaii is on the only state in the United States that has no incorporated municipalities at all. What does exist here is that there are four large counties which all operate as consolidated city-county types of government. The boundaries for these areas are decided upon from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Governor of Hawaii.
It does need to be mentioned that all municipal governments operate beside one another. For example, there are governments that share a boundary with another that is within seconds from the other. You could be traveling down a neighborhood street and leave one town, immediately arriving in another. While you have have left municipal government, you are still within the county area, but a another government.