County Government across the Nation

County Government across the Nation

County Government across the Nation

County Government across the Nation

Excerpt

This volume is an attempt to provide the particularity in respect to county and township government in the several states which a general textbook must necessarily lack. It goes beyond a generalization for each state and describes the organization and operations of one county in each state. In brief, it is a volume of case studies. In selecting sample counties for description the authors, as well as the editor, were fully aware that no county is truly typical. There is variety within every state, sometimes great variety. Usually the principal variations within a state are mentioned, but the unique, and perhaps most useful, feature of the book would have been sacrificed had an attempt been made to describe all variations in detail. This feature is to bring into sharp focus 48 separate pictures of local government in the United States--one in each state. Even though none is completely representative of a state, extremes such as metropolitan counties and sparsely settled desert counties have been excluded. Naturally, in New England the center of focus is the town, with no more attention given to the county than its relatively minor role in local government warrants.

In every instance except one, the unit described was examined on the ground. The one exception was the town of Guilford in Piscataquis County, Maine. In this case the author sought and secured the collaboration of the town manager. Both author and editor wish to give special thanks to Ernest C. Marriner, the manager, for his gracious and invaluable assistance.

It will be noted that ten of the case studies were made by the editor. These field trips were made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Fund for Research at the University of North Carolina, for which he hereby makes grateful acknowledgment. These visits constituted one of the most pleasant aspects of the undertaking, and in themselves would compensate for the many hours of toil that the preparation of the volume has entailed. County and town officials were invariably courteous and helpful, and they uniformly grasped the significance of such a volume as this is designed to be. Acknowledgment of great indebtedness to them must be made however in general terms, because the large number of persons involved makes individual mention impracticable.

Nine of the studies were made by Emmett G. Asseff and submitted as a doctoral dissertation at the University of North Carolina. This explains why these sketches are a bit longer and more detailed than the average. Several . . .

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