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Local Government Case Law
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Minnesota Legislation, Statutes, and Legislative History
Minnesota Administrative Rules and Executive Agencies
Counties, Cities, and Towns
The law provides: Counties are governed by a board of commissioners and administrative officers elected by the people to four-year terms (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 375A)
Functions: Counties are responsible for property tax assessment, tax administration, elections, record keeping, transportation, planning and zoning, solid waste management, environment, parks and water management, law enforcement, courts, and health and human services.
The law provides: Home-rule charter cities, operate under a local charter. Statutory cities, operate under the statutory city code (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 412).
Form of government: Home-rule charter cities may establish any form of government they choose in their charters. Statutory cities may choose a form of government from three alternatives: the mayor-council plan with either an elected clerk (standard plan), or an appointed clerk (plan A), or the council-manager plan (plan B).
Functions: Police and fire protection, street maintenance, sewer and water, parks and recreation are traditional city services. Cities may choose to provide utilities, sell liquor, operate a hospital, maintain an airport, and provide ambulance service, among other options.
Special Forms of Government: Metropolitan Council
The law provides: The council consists of one citizen member appointed by the governor from each of the 16 districts, and a chair. The chair and the council members serve at the pleasure of the governor. Council districts are reapportioned every ten years to provide districts of equal population.
Functions: The metropolitan council coordinates the planning and development of the seven-county area. The council is authorized by state and federal legislation to plan for land use, transportation, sewers, parks and open space, airports, air and water quality, and housing (Minnesota Statutes, Section 473). The council operates regional services including wastewater treatment