Counties in Iowa
Types of local government
Local government in Iowa consists of 99 counties and 947 cities. In addition, there are 527 special districts and 166 independent school districts.
Cities in Iowa are classified in one of two ways:
- Home rule charter city: of which there are 5 (Clinton, Fort Dodge, Marion, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids)
- General law city: of which there are 942
- Counties are also authorized to adopt a home rule charter, but currently none have done so.
Initiative process availability
- Charter cities
In Iowa, initiative is only available in charter cities. State statues mandate an initiative process for citizens to propose charter amendments through petition. Charter cities also have authority to permit an initiative process for ordinances.
The Iowa Supreme Court, in City of Clinton v. Sheridan, 530 N.W.2d 690 (Iowa 1995), held that general law cities are prohibited from adopting local initiative and referendum measures. The rationale is that state statutes grant municipal legislation power to city councils (Iowa Code § 364), and a city provision allowing electorate-initiated ordinances would improperly contradict these statutes. Authority could be granted through future state legislation. The court confirmed that charter cities can grant initiative and referendum power within the charter for local ordinances/measures. A recent Iowa Supreme Court case discusses the legislative versus administrative limits of this process (Berent v. City of Iowa City, 738 N.W.2d 193 (Iowa, 2007)).
County website evaluations
- See also: Evaluation of Iowa county websites
As of 2009:
- 33 counties posted their budgets online.
- 63 counties included information on their websites about public government meetings.
- 41 included information about the county's elected officials.
- 61 included information about the county's administrative officials.
- 36 counties gave information about permits and zoning in the county.
- 10 of the counties put information on their websites about audits that the county government has had performed.
- One county gave information about contracts with county vendors.
- Zero county websites disclosed whether the county belonged to any government sector lobbying associations.
- Eight counties provided information on how to request public records using the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
- 36 county websites provided some information about county taxes.
Counties without websites
As of March 2009, 19 of Iowa's 99 counties had no website.
List of counties
This article was taken and modified from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia under the GNU license.
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