UNC’s School of Government has posted two new websites useful to legislative researchers. The first is a searchable database listing forms of government of municipalities, the second a repository of interlocal agreements between municipal governments. The forms of government site replaces a publication dating back at least to 1969 (we have them back that far at the Legislative Library, updated and reissued every two years through the mid ’90s when reissuance became sporadic.) The online database will be very useful in drafting charter amendments and handling legislative research requests.
Professor David Lawrence posted the announcement today to the local government law listserv:
FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
From Professor Lawrence:
“We have replaced our publication on Forms of City Government with a searchable data base. The data base sets out the form of government in each city and town in NC – size of governing board and what it’s called, how members are elected and their terms, how the mayor is elected and his or her term, method of city election, and administrative form. You can search the data base by each listed item and by population group, so that you could ask to see all cities between 5,000 and 10,000 with mayors serving 4-year terms, or all towns of less than 1000 with 5-member councils serving 2-year terms, etc. We intend to update the data base each fall, and are in the process of gathering the information for doing so this fall in the next month or so.”
My comments: The release notes indicate it is currently accurate through charter changes in October, 2006. The search engine itself has a lot of functionalities, such as a statistical summary chart and the ability to view and print a list of all 500+ muncipalities sorted alphabetically or by population. SUGGESTION: Missing from the 12 search choices is the ability to search for a specific municipality by name.
From Professor Lawrence:
“This new web page has a number of features but probably the most useful is a listing of example North Carolina interlocal agreements that have been submitted to our documents warehouse. We have an outline by subject matter and type of agreement of what we have in the documents warehouse at this time. There are then links to the actual agreements. I have been soliciting and collecting agreements for several months, and I very much appreciate the agreements that have been sent to us by city and county attorneys. A number of you have sent me agreements that are not yet listed. We had to cut off the development of the listing in order to have a fixed document to post on the new web page; now that it is on-line, we will continue to place documents in the warehouse and add them to the outline. It is intended to be a dynamic document, with new agreements added fairly continuously. We continue to welcome examples of agreements to add to the page.”
Kudos to the School of Government.