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Local Government and Finance in Minnesota

Local Government and Finance in Minnesota

WILLIAM ANDERSON
Copyright Date: 1935
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 368
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttv2vq
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  • Book Info
    Local Government and Finance in Minnesota
    Book Description:

    Local Government and Finance in Minnesota was first published in 1935. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. A comprehensive survey, by the foremost authority in the state, of the organization, history, functions, and administrative procedures of local government units in Minnesota.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3746-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. PART I. THE STRUCTURE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

    • CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN MINNESOTA
      (pp. 3-11)

      A system of local government, or at least of local administration of public services, exists in every modern state. Everywhere one finds some larger unit, called the state or the nation, for dealing with certain large problems of government, such as defense, foreign affairs, and the regulation of commerce and industry over large areas; and everywhere one finds also a system of local units for the detailed administration of those public functions which must reach into every community.

      The necessity for some division of labor between central and local authorities is everywhere recognized. From an administrative point of view, it...

    • CHAPTER II THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL UNITS
      (pp. 12-28)

      The functions of local government and administration are carried on everywhere by a number of different agencies — councils, boards, departments, officers, and employees. These serve their respective areas and peoples in a variety of ways, and are interrelated at many points. The whole picture is very confusing, but it can be simplified somewhat if we think of each agency and each individual public servant as connected with a particular unit of local government. We can then make a preliminary analysis by describing, counting, and classifying the operating units. Later their interconnections can be more fully described. In Minnesota the...

    • CHAPTER III LOCAL UNITS TODAY
      (pp. 29-51)

      In the preceding chapter the increases in local units and the relationship of these increases to population growth were presented. In this chapter an attempt is made to analyze the present situation.¹

      It has already been shown that the total number of local govenmental units in 1930 was 10,561, a number that has been only slightly reduced since that date. (See Table 3 below.) How does this number compare with that in other states?

      The total number of units of local government in the United States is very large. There are in the forty-eight states over 3,000 counties, 16,000 incorporated...

    • CHAPTER IV THE LEGAL STATUS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
      (pp. 52-75)

      Under the Constitution of the United States, certain functions and powers are delegated to the national government and a few are denied both to it and to the states. All other powers are reserved to the states or to the people. The central point to keep in mind is that the national constitution makes no mention of local governments within the states and gives no recognition to them. Whatever local units exist inside a state such as Minnesota are the legal creations of the state, and of the state alone.

      Two expressions on this point that have come from the...

    • CHAPTER V GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
      (pp. 76-95)

      For each of the 10,500 local units in the state there is a separate government — a principal governing board or council and a set of officers and employees to manage the affairs of the unit. The general forms in which these authorities are cast are in part very ancient, as in the case of some features of county, town, and city governments, but in other instances they are of more recent origin. School district forms, for example, are not of great antiquity, and the commission and council-manager plans of city government are still more recent.

      In general the forms...

    • CHAPTER VI PERSONNEL IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
      (pp. 96-118)

      The greatest statesmen in our own and in other countries, in ages past as well as in the present, seem to have recognized the need for good men in the public service. Three qualities of a general nature probably summarize the character we desire in the public servant. The first is honesty and integrity in the handling of public funds and property. Second, perhaps, come courage and initiative in the doing of what needs to be done for the public welfare, even at some personal risk and sacrifice. The third is competence, or ability, compounded of native ability, adequate training,...

  4. PART II. LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE

    • CHAPTER VII REVENUES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
      (pp. 121-163)

      The great increase in the services rendered by governments in recent decades has necessitated a corresponding increase in their revenues. It is neither convenient nor truly economical in modern society, especially in local units of large population or area, to have even local functions performed to any extent directly by the citizens themselves. The principle on which the unpaid volunteer fire department is based is not applicable to most services or in the larger units. Paid workers and equipment, materials, and supplies which can be had only for cash are necessities in all modern public administration. For these reasons all...

    • CHAPTER VIII EXPENDITURES AND EXPENDITURE CONTROL
      (pp. 164-183)

      “My other piece of advice, Copperfield,” said Mr. Micawber, “you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and — and, in short, you are for ever floored. As I am.”

      Poor Mr. Micawber! When he had just been released from his debts under the Insolvent Debtors’ Act, and was being forced to give up his home and furnishings, he took the time to read...

    • CHAPTER IX THE DEBTS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
      (pp. 184-203)

      The tremendous increases in local government debts in recent decades, and the serious effect which these have upon all local financing operations, make it necessary to devote special attention to this problem.

      At the beginning of the calendar year 1934, state and local debts less sinking funds in Minnesota amounted to over $328,000,000.¹ This amount gives an average of $128 per capita, or over $500 for the typical family of between four and five persons. The state debt accounted for over one-third of the total; city, village, and town debt for just under a third; and county and school district...

    • CHAPTER X STATE AID
      (pp. 204-226)

      The people of Minnesota laid the foundation for a system of state aid for schools in the original constitution, by the following provision:

      The proceeds of such lands as are or hereafter may be granted by the United States for the use of schools within each township in this state, shall remain a perpetual school fund to the state. . . . The principal of all funds arising from sales, or other disposition of lands, or other property, granted or entrusted to this state in each township for educational purposes, shall forever be preserved inviolate and undiminished; and the income...

  5. PART III. THE FUNCTIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

    • CHAPTER XI THE RANGE OF THE LOCAL SERVICES
      (pp. 229-238)

      Civilization is a word we use often but find very hard to define. It is frequently contrasted with barbarism and savagery, and sometimes even with the rude conditions of the frontier or pioneer communities. The pioneers themselves, as in the early days of Minnesota, may have some book learning and include many cultured people, but the conditions under which they live may fall considerably short of the conditions in older settlements. Thus civilization may be said to imply two related factors: cultivation, civility, and gentleness in the people themselves, and physical surroundings which have yielded to man’s struggle for a...

    • CHAPTER XII LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATION
      (pp. 239-256)

      The study of educational administration has become so much the special field of a professional group of experts that the non-specialist hesitates to state his views on the subject. Then, too, the frequently stated proposition that education is a state and not a local function raises some doubt as to the propriety of discussing public education in a book on local government.

      Upon the first of these points it should be said that the following pages deal not with the technical questions relating to teaching methods, learning processes, and similar problems more or less peculiar to the schools, but rather...

    • CHAPTER XIII HEALTH AND WELFARE ACTIVITIES
      (pp. 257-273)

      The late President Folwell closed his excellentHistory of Minnesotawith twelve brief accounts of “the acts of the apostles.”¹ In these short studies he covered briefly the work of twelve leaders in the early history of the state who contributed greatly to the development of the arts, the sciences, and the public services in the state of their adoption. Whoever wishes to know of the cultural and administrative progress of Minnesota needs to go back to these pages in Folwell’s history for his starting point.

      Two successive essays in the group deal with Hastings H. Hart, “apostle of public...

    • CHAPTER XIV POLICE, COURTS, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
      (pp. 274-285)

      Although nowhere specifically mentioned in the state constitution, the maintenance of law and order is unquestionably a function, and the primary function, of the state. Upon no other basis than that of public order can the beneficial services of education, health protection, welfare work, and highways be provided, and the good performance of the latter functions, instead of making law enforcement less necessary, has in some cases increased the need for it. There is no present evidence that men will ever be able to do without agencies to enforce the law.

      From the beginning of Minnesota’s history it has been...

    • CHAPTER XV HIGHWAYS, ROADS, AND STREETS
      (pp. 286-301)

      It is customary to deal with the roads which lie in the rural portions of the state and the streets which are situated in cities and villages as if they were separate systems. The political reasons for this separate treatment are not persuasive, and it may be that they are of declining importance. The obvious fact is that everywhere rural roads and city streets constitute one continuous and connected system. Rural residents daily use city streets in reaching their destinations, just as city-dwellers when they leave their home cities drive over rural highways and roads. The problem of financing these...

    • CHAPTER XVI THE TWIN CITY METROPOLITAN AREA
      (pp. 302-316)

      The combined area of Hennepin and Ramsey counties is 726 square miles. This is less than one per cent of the area of the state, but within these two small adjoining counties will be found more than one-third of the state’s problem of local government.

      This area and a few adjacent suburbs just across county lines contain one-third of the people of the state. Here will be found more than one-third of the assessed valuation of taxable property, more than a third of the local public debts, and far more than a third of the local public employees of the...

    • CHAPTER XVII THE OUTLOOK FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
      (pp. 317-328)

      A distinguished French historian published in 1913 and again in early 1914 his prediction that there would be no war between France and Germany. Looking back upon this indiscretion in later years he remarked that historians may be able to tell with some accuracy what has happened but had better avoid trying to forecast the future. Similarly the student of government may be able to describe what he has seen of the organization and operations of government, and can point out some of the effects of past and present institutions. He may also be able to say that if a...

  6. Appendix I. AREAS THAT ARE NOT UNITS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
    (pp. 331-333)
  7. Appendix II. LOCAL BOARDS THAT ARE NOT UNITS
    (pp. 334-336)
  8. Appendix III. JOINT AUTHORITIES THAT ARE NOT UNITS
    (pp. 337-338)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 339-355)