Counties in North Dakota
Types of local government
Local government in North Dakota consists of:
- 53 county governments.
- 1,314 township governments
- 357 city governments.
- In addition, there are 759 special districts and 183 independent school districts.
Counties may be governed under the general law or a home rule charter. 8 of the 53 counties operate under a home rule charter. They are, with year of charter adoption: Walsh County (1986), Richland County (1990), Cass County (1994), Stutsman County (2000), Ward County (2001), Steele County (2005), Williams County (2006), and Hettinger County (2012).
Cities may also be governed under the general law or a home rule charter. 130 of the 357 cities operate under a home rule charter.
Initiative process availability
The local units of government in North Dakota that make the initiative process available are:
- All 35 general law cities with a commission or modern council form of government have a mandated initiative process for ordinances.
- All 130 charter cities have a mandated initiative process for charter amendment. Charters may also contain provisions for ordinance initiative.
- All 45 general law counties have a mandated initiative process for ordinances.
- All 8 charter counties have a mandated initiative process for charter amendment.
County website evaluation
As of 2009:
- Only five of the 53 counties posted their county budgets online.
- 15 counties included information on their websites about public government meetings.
- 21 included information about the county's elected officials.
- 22 included information about the county's administrative officials.
- 10 counties gave information about permits and zoning in the county.
- One county put information on its website about external audits.
- No counties gave information about their contracts with county vendors.
- No county websites disclosed whether the county belonged to any government sector lobbying associations.
- No counties provided information on how to request public records using the North Dakota Open Records Statute.
- Eight county websites provided some information about county taxes.
- National Association of Counties Website, "County Seats," accessed September 18, 2013
- The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- North Dakota Association of Counties, County Home Rule Charters
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