Social Studies - 2017-18

GOVT.8b - Structures and Powers of Local Government

The student will apply social science skills to understand the organization and powers of the state and local governments described in the Constitution of Virginia by 

b) examining the structure and powers of local governments (county, city, and town); 

Adopted: 2015

BIG IDEAS

Big Themes/Concepts: Power & Authority, Balance

What is the right balance of local, State, and federal government?

How much power should State government have?

How local should government be?


UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD

Virginia local governments vary in type, form of organization, and responsibilities.

ESSENTIALS

Counties, independent cities, and incorporated towns are the three types of local governments in Virginia. 

Cities 

 Are separate government entities, independent of authority and taxing power of adjoining counties 

 Adopt and enforce ordinances 

 Set their own budget and tax rate 

 Provide services for their residents

 An elected council is the local legislative body 

 A city manager can be appointed by the council to oversee daily operations 

Counties 

 Adopt and enforce ordinances 

 An elected board of supervisors is generally responsible for the legislative and administrative affairs 

Towns 

 Part of the county in which they are located 

 An elected council is the local legislative body 

 A town manager can be appointed by the council to oversee daily operations 

An elected or appointed school board oversees the operation of the public schools in cities and counties.

KEY VOCABULARY

Updated: Jul 11, 2017