Municipal Governments - Reading Comprehension
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Municipal Governments Reading Comprehension
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Municipal Governments
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     According to the 2002 Census of Governments, there are 19,429 municipalities in the United States. Some are large, and some are very small. Approximately 230 million people live in these municipalities.
 
2     A municipality is a city, town, or village that holds a state granted charter outlining their powers. Larger municipalities provide many different services to its members. These include trash collection, sewer systems, parks, public buildings, public transportation, and police and fire departments. Municipal governments also adopt zoning laws to separate business and residential areas. Large municipalities have three basic types of government. These are mayor-council, council-manager, and commission.
 
3     The mayor-council type of government is the most popular form for running a city. In this type of government, there is an elected mayor and a separate elected city council. The mayor is the chief executive and the council is the legislative body. There are two separate forms of this type of city government - the weak mayor and the strong mayor. In the weak mayor form, the mayor plays a small part in the city's government. The mayor does not have the ability to veto laws or appoint department leaders. Many cities choose this type of plan to avoid giving too much power to one individual. Cities with a strong mayor grant their leader the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council intervention. A strong mayor oversees all aspects of city government, prepares a budget, and approves the plans and programs of the city council.

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