city government


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city government,

political administration of urban areas.

The English tradition of incorporating urban units (cities, boroughs, villages, towns) and allowing them freedom in most local matters is general in the United States (see citycity,
densely populated urban center, larger than a village or a town, whose inhabitants are engaged primarily in commerce and industry. In the United States a city is legally an incorporated municipality (see also city government; local government).
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; local governmentlocal government,
political administration of the smallest subdivisions of a country's territory and population. Characteristics and Types

Although there are special-purpose local government bodies (e.g.
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). The traditional U.S. city government had a mayor and council, whose members (aldermen) represented districts (wards). As the complexity of urban life increased in the 19th cent., the old system became less efficient: problems included overlapping of old offices with new, poor methods of accounting and taxation, and much blatant graft.

From these abuses arose movements for municipal reform, which have become a recurrent feature of American political life. They have familiarized Americans with a gallery of such political figures as William M. TweedTweed, William Marcy,
1823–78, American politician and Tammany leader, b. New York City. A bookkeeper, he became (1848) a volunteer fireman and as a result acquired influence in his ward. He was an alderman (1852–53) and sat (1853–55) in Congress.
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 of New York City, Frank HagueHague, Frank
, 1876–1956, American politician, mayor of Jersey City, N.J., b. Jersey City. He worked his way up through the ranks of the local Democratic machine and was elected (1913) to the city board of commissioners.
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 of Jersey City, and William Hale ThompsonThompson, William Hale,
1869–1944, American politician, b. Boston. His family moved to Chicago when he was nine years old, and there he later entered politics as an alderman (1900–1902). He became commissioner of Cook co.
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 of Chicago (see bossismbossism,
in U.S. history, system of political control centering about a single powerful figure (the boss) and a complex organization of lesser figures (the machine) bound together by reciprocity in promoting financial and social self-interest.
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). Although the urban political machine has, in most cities, lost its former power, the traditional type of city government, also known as the independent executive type, remains the most common urban governmental form. It is often subdivided into the strong mayor type (e.g., New York City) and the weak mayor–strong council type (e.g., Los Angeles).

Reform efforts have resulted in the development of two fairly widespread alternative governmental types. The commission form has a board, both legislative and administrative, usually elected nonpartisan and at large. First adopted by Galveston, Tex. (1901), this system achieved great popularity in the early 1900s, but many cities (e.g., Buffalo and New Orleans) later abandoned it. The city manager plan gives the administration to one professional nonpolitical director. The system has gained in popularity; notable examples are in Staunton, Va., the first (1908) to adopt it, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

A perennial problem of U.S. urban government is the division of urban areas among several independent city governments, survivals of old separate communities. The Eastern metropolises all provide examples, aggravated in some (e.g., New York City and Philadelphia), where state lines run through the heart of the metropolitan area. Attempts at efficiency have produced such organizations as the Port Authority of New York and New JerseyPort Authority of New York and New Jersey,
self-sustaining public corporation established in 1921 by the states of New York and New Jersey to administer the activities of the New York–New Jersey port area, which has a waterfront of c.900 mi (1,450 km) lying in both states.
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, a corporation set up by joint action of New York state and New Jersey, and assigned specific powers formerly held by local governments. Another problem besetting city government is the migration of middle-class families to the suburban areas, thus shrinking the tax base and financial resources of the cities.

In the rest of the English-speaking world and wherever else there is much local self-government, American forms and problems are paralleled. Elsewhere, as typically in France, the local officers, albeit elected mayor and councillors, are largely figureheads, serving mainly to carry out the regulations of the central bureaucracy.

Bibliography

See C. R. Adrian, Governing Urban America (4th ed. 1972). W. A. Robson and D. E. Regan, ed., Great Cities of the World (2 vol., 1972); M. David, Running City Hall (1982); C. R. Adrian, A History of American City Government: The Emergence of the Metropolis, 1920–1945 (1988); R. Suarez, The Old Neighborhood (1999).

References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, some 90 beneficiaries have been identified by the city government to be trained for a National Certificate (NC) II on Carpentry; NC II Masonry; NC II Electrical Installation and Maintenance; NC II Plumbing; NC I and NC II Shielded Metal Arc; NC II Massage Therapy and NC II Processed Food.
While encouraging uses of LED lamps as replacements for the energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs, the city government will offer subsidies, which can be as high as 30% of the value of each procurement case.
As such, city government should not continue with its fleeting romance with the concept of diversity but rather the city should embrace diversity in order to sustain it.
The Tajimi city government predicts collecting 50 million yen annually from the Nagoya city government.
Other common strategies cited by more than half of all respondents included: advocacy efforts to raise public awareness of issues and needs (57%); forums for increased communication between city government and CBOs (56%); and CBO consortiums working with city government (55%).
In order to fulfill their day-to-day obligations to customers, the city government called upon the assistance of able bureaucrats, loyal bakers, members of organized labor, and representatives of the women's movement.
Sumitomo itself, working with its partner in the project, Osaka's city government.
This committee and the council as a whole can perform a vital service by forcing city government to confront the underlying policy choices, which have long been avoided and by demanding explicit statements about what a goals and standards a revamped homeless system will employ," Rose said in his testimony on March 31, 1993.
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), this article analyzes the job gains minorities and women have made in city government in recent years.
Oklahoma City residents have recognized the city government for its excellence in promoting public welfare and initiatives that improve quality of life -- and we want to make sure that we remain deserving of their faith in us," said Steve Eaton, network director and systems support for the City of Oklahoma City.
Presiding over the meeting of the Local Tax Department on Tuesday the DCO appreciated the efforts of Local Taxes Departments officials especially the Executive Director Local Taxes, Muhammad Rehan Khan, for selling the rights of City Government hoardings for more that the prescribed rates.