County Government and Administration

County Government and Administration

County Government and Administration

County Government and Administration

Excerpt

This volume may be considered as an outgrowth from a briefer study on Local Government in Counties, Towns and Villages, by one of the present authors, which was first published in 1906. The present work is about three times the size of the earlier book; and this difference gives some indication of the developments in this field, and of the more intensive treatment of the subject. This is due, in the first place, to the increasing importance of county government, both in the scope of its older functions and in the notable expansion of activities in new directions. This development is reflected in the greater volume of statutory legislation and in the increasing number of judicial opinions on legal questions brought before the courts, which have been carefully examined and analyzed. A second factor is the attention given in the present study to the administration and operation of governmental activities in various fields. This has been made possible by material in a considerable number of detailed studies on local government in particular states, in the reports of numerous agencies of the national and state governments in particular fields of public administration, and in the printed official reports of a considerable number of local authorities. The list of bibliographical references gives some indication of the material now available for still more comprehensive and intensive studies in this general field.

From this study there emerges the outstanding conclusion of the increasing importance of county government in the United States, not only in comparison with the smaller units of rural local government, but also at a faster rate of increase than the urban municipalities. The increasing scale of county finances and the steady expansion of county activities make an understanding of this part of our governmental system much more important. Even in the larger urban communities many of the problems of local government lie within the field of county rather than city government; and some of the most difficult problems of metropolitan government have to do with the relations of the city to the county or to the larger urban region.

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