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Georgia and the American Experience

Georgia and the American Experience

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Georgia and the American Experience

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  1. Georgia and the American Experience Chapter 16: Local Government and Citizenship Study Presentation ©2005 Clairmont Press

  2. Georgia and the American Experience Section 1: County Government Section 2: City Government and Special-Purpose Districts Section 3: Where Do Georgia’s Citizens Live? Section 4: Participation in a Representative Democracy ©2005 Clairmont Press

  3. Section 1: County Government • ESSENTIAL QUESTION: • What are the powers of Georgia’s governor?

  4. What words do I needtoknow? governor lieutenant governor Section 1: County Government

  5. County Government • Georgia has 159 counties, nearly 600 towns – each has a government • county: subdivision of a state set up for certain governmental functions • most Georgia counties are run by an elected Board of Commissioners • most counties are set up in a similar manner

  6. A Look at One County • Camden County used as example • County depends on tourism and Navy’s submarine base for jobs to support economy • Spanish settled area in 1500s – one of Georgia’s original counties • Government led by five-member Board of Commissioners • county administrator hired by the Board to manage day-to-day operations • Woodbine is county seat • School Board: five elected members and elected school superintendent

  7. Sharing Services • Some city and county governments share services • Fulton County is home to city of Atlanta • Fulton County and city of Atlanta share zoning duties and library system • Fulton and DeKalb counties share a hospital authority • Fulton County and the City of Atlanta have separate school systems

  8. Officials in County Government • Most counties have the following elected officials: • commissioners, superior court clerk, probate court judge, sheriff, tax commissioner, coroner • Many officials are appointed: • county clerk, fire chief, road supervisor, emergency management director, attorney, planning and building inspector, etc. • Larger counties have more officials Click to return to Table of Contents.

  9. Section 2: City Government and Special-Purpose Districts • ESSENTIAL QUESTION: • How do city governments work in Georgia?

  10. Section 2: City Government and Special-Purpose Districts • What words do I need to know? • municipality • mayor-council form • figurehead • council-manager form • special purpose district • ad valorem taxes • user fee • general local option sales tax • special purpose local option sales tax • bond issue

  11. City Government • municipality: a city with its own government • city receives charter from state legislature • city charter explains what the city government can do • police protection, maintain streets and sidewalks, license businesses, control traffic, provide water and sewerage • some city charters allow for a city-run school system

  12. Forms of City Government • Mayor-Council: most common in Georgia • elected council, elected mayor • weak-mayor system: mayor has little power, figurehead • strong-mayor system: mayor has power to run the city, propose budget, can veto council • Council-Manager • voters elect council members • mayor may be elected or appointed • council hires city manager for day-to-day operations of the city • City Commission • voters elect commissioners • commissioners form department heads of the city • mayor chosen by the commissioners

  13. City-County Government • some city and county governments merge when the region becomes more urban • can reduce the cost of government • Examples • Athens-Clarke County • Columbus-Muskogee County • Augusta-Richmond County

  14. Special Purpose Disticts • Created for a specific job or task • Within certain guidelines, these districts are self-governing • Examples • school districts • MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) • Public Housing Authority • Georgia Ports Authority

  15. Funding Local Government • Sources of funding include state and federal grants and taxes on citizens • ad valorem taxes: taxes paid based on the value of the property • user fees: paid by the user of the service • sales tax: added to purchases made in the city or county • general purpose local option sales tax: tax for general use • special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST): approved by voters, adds sales tax to fund special projects such as parks or schools • bond issues: a way for governments to borrow money; interest must be paid on the bonds Click to return to Table of Contents.

  16. Section 3: Where Do Georgia’s Citizens Live? • ESSENTIAL QUESTION • Where do Georgia’s citizens live?

  17. Section 3: Where Do Georgia’s Citizens Live? • What words do I need to know? • urban area • rural area • metropolitan area • urban sprawl

  18. Where do Georgians Live? • Georgia is one of fastest-growing states • Hispanics are fastest-growing group • Georgia’s has an increasing number of older citizens • Most Georgians (2/3) live in metropolitan area (area in or around a city) • Over 50% of Georgians live in metro Atlanta • Just 50 years ago, most Georgians lived in rural areas – Georgians were mostly farmers

  19. Urban Sprawl • In 1960s, people began to move to suburbs – areas near edge of cities • Expansion of suburbs created declines in urban population • Large numbers of people in suburbs cause challenges to infrastructure – not enough roads, utilities, schools, sewerage, etc. • Sprawl can cause traffic and pollution problems and an economic problem for the central city since the number of residents declines

  20. Urban Revitalization • Effort to attract citizens to live in urban areas • Cities need people to work and live there in order to grow and be healthy • Examples • Atlanta: Sweet Auburn, Little Five Points, Virginia Highlands • Savannah: historic district, Bay Street, Factor’s Walk • Augusta: Riverwalk Click to return to Table of Contents.

  21. Section 4: Participation in a Representative Democracy • ESSENTIAL QUESTION • What duties and responsibilities do I have as a citizen?

  22. Section 4: Participation in a Representative Democracy • What words do I need to know? • political party • interest group • lobbyist • general election • citizenship • naturalized citizen

  23. Political Parties • Organized groups of people with common ideals – seek to influence government policies • Two major political parties in US: • Democrats • Republicans • Minor political parties also exist • Independents are not part of a particular political party

  24. Interest Groups • People who share common goals and objectives who ban together with others for political purposes • May be concerned with labor issues, business issues, agricultural issues, etc. • lobbyist: person paid to represent interest groups in Washington or Atlanta • May support certain candidates in elections if they believe doing so will help their group

  25. Voters • Major influence of government each election day • Voters decide who will make the decisions for the government • Georgia Election Code guides national, state, and local elections • General election: held each November in even-numbered years to elect major federal and state officials • Other elections may be held as needed for national, state, county or city officials • Voters select most important officials, others are appointed

  26. Public Opinion • Influences government decisions • News media keep voters informed about issues • Voters can call or write representatives to explain how they want the official to vote or act • Example: Vietnam War; public opinion against the war became so great that leaders had to end America’s involvement

  27. Citizenship • If your parents are US citizens or you were born in the US, you have all the rights and protections of the US and Georgia constitutions • Naturalized citizen: foreigner who chooses to become a US citizen • Process to become naturalized citizen requires much time and effort • Responsibilities go along with rights • participation in government (voting, running for office) • upholding the laws of the nation and state • defending the nation against enemies • serve on juries • serving the community Click to return to Table of Contents.

  28. Click to return to Table of Contents.