The Government of Metropolitan Areas in the United States

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

CHAPTER XV
SPECIAL METROPOLITAN ALTHORITIES--STRUCTURE AND POWERS
From the point of view of the relation of special authorities to the state and to the local governments, such authorities may be divided, generally speaking, into four classes:
1. Those organized as the Instrumentalities of the state and not as local governments.
2. Those set up as distinct local governments functioning independently of other local bodies.
3. Those organized primarily as the agents of the municipalities located in the territory, i. e., as federated governments.
4. Those bearing a peculiar relation to the state and low bodies and the people under their jurisdiction and belonging to none of the above-mentioned classes.

Each of these four classes will be briefly described.


State-controlled Authorities

State-controlled authorities are always appointive. Their members may be appointed by the governor, with or without the advice and consent of the legislature, or by the legislature alone. But not all the authorities so appointed are state-controlled. The best criterion of state control is that which looks to whether or not the activities, revenues and expenditures of the authority are controlled by the state government. The authorities belonging to this class are:

The Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission which is composed of five members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. One of them is designated chairman; the others, associates. It functions under the direction of the governor and executes such projects as the legislature from time to time adopts. It is financed by the state by means of appropriations and special bond issues. For most of these appropriations, however, and for the interest and sinking fund charges on these bonds, the state reimburses Itself by means of an assessment which it imposes upon the municipalities in the district. The expenditures of the commission are controlled by the state budget just as the expenditures of any other department of the state.

The Division of Metropolitan Planning of the Massachusetts Metropolitan District. A commission of seven members, three of whom are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Four others are officials representing different departments concerned with transportation and other problems of the district; three of these represent state departments (public

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