Key Term Six – Municipality

Municipality – a city or town that has corporate status and local government.

 

When municipality speaks of “local government”, they really mean self-government. It’s incredible to understand exactly what it would mean. The power of municipality ranges from essential autonomy, of complete independence, to absolute subordination to the state that it is reporting to. Municipalities could potentially have the right to tax individuals and corporations, with income tax and property tax, but still be able to receive funding from the state.

In the United States, municipality is pretty much used when describing a village or a town, formed by a charter from the state as a corporation. Local government in the USA helps with some of the smaller but important issues, such as school districts, sanitary service, and public libraries. The government of New York City is more centralized than that of most other United States cities. This is because the city government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, public safety, and welfare services. When I first began working for a group of people intent on helping criminal justice in New York City, I was asked to write a literary review on electronic health records. When I handed in the papers to my boss, he looked them over and complimented me on the quality of my writing. “New York’s prisons, though, are vastly better than the rest of the country,” he told me. I learned about how Rikers is so much better because the city isn’t controlled by the nation’s government – this means that the city can do as it pleases when it comes to the correctional system. This is what I liked about this particular term – it was helpful for me to understand how New York is run. It makes me feel as though I am almost part of a rebellious city – we are not completely under the thumb of the big bad government reigning over everyone else.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tgmccormack
    Apr 18, 2014 @ 16:31:26

    Municipality: Of course rikers island is notorious for its mistreatment of criminals. The battle between federal, state and local municipality control of things like prisons and education is something that goes on all the time. For every story of big bad government you can find one of municipal apathy, corruption and mistreatment.

    Reply

  2. tgmccormack
    Apr 18, 2014 @ 16:32:31

    I would like to see you write a little more about these terms in relation to NYC. So what are the municipalities of NYC, for example. How does the governemnt work here?

    Reply

  3. tgmccormack
    Apr 18, 2014 @ 16:32:58

    “government” typing too fast.

    Reply

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