The Government of Metropolitan Areas in the United States

By Paul Studenski; Frank H. Sommer et al. | Go to book overview

formed by towns may be transferred to the county, but the power of the legislature to amend or modify the adopted charter continues. Under this new authority, three determined but unsuccessful efforts to obtain a locally drafted charter have failed in Westchester. The first charter proposed was defeated by the people at the polls in 1925; the second, containing some minor changes, was vetoed by the governor in 1926 after passage by the legislature; the third was also rejected by the voters in 1927. The purport of all three, which were modeled after the form of government of second-class cities in New York, was to centralize power and responsibility for administration and to separate in some degree administrative and legislative functions. While the proposals tended towards a modernization of the present archaic structure, none of the three attempted to broaden the scope of county government by transferring town powers to it. Consequently the increasingly aggravated problems of the political organization of the region are yet to be worked out.


Summary and Conclusions

The review of the developments which have taken place in individual metropolitan counties and suburban counties forming parts of metropolitan regions can be summarized briefly as follows:

There has been a great expansion in the activities of these counties in their historic field of road construction, but such activities have been confined as a rule to areas outside the city.26 Although some counties take care of a few roads in parts of the city which, prior to the annexation of the city, fell within their jurisdiction, only two or three as yet furnish county aid in major street developments or participate with the city in planning them as an integral part of the county highway system. With respect to major bridge construction the tendency of the counties to include the city in the scope of their activities has been more pronounced. In at least four cities the major bridges have been bat and are operated by the county.

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26
This expansion has been forced on the counties by the great increase of traffic within them, and by the tendency of the states to let such counties build their own roads and to confine their work to the poorer counties. The policy of the states with reference to road construction in metropolitan counties, in other words, is often the same as the policy of the metropolitan counties with reference to road construction in the cities.

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