Tuesday, December 29, 2009


With John D'Amico's undying interest in renaming our state's 21 Boards of Chosen Freeholders, the vast editorial staff here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog thought we would look at what other states call their county legislatures.

County Commissioners may be found in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia (Georgia has a phenomenon in some counties calles a "Sole Commissioner", where the governing body consists of only one commissioner - right up Flippy's alley.), Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Kentucky counties are governed by a Fiscal Court, consisting of a County Judge/Executive and either the Justices of the Peace or County Commissioners.

6 states; Arizona, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin call it the Board of Supervisors. Hawai'i used to have County Supervisors, but it now has County Mayors and County Councils. There are no municipal governments in Hawai'i. South Carolina has County Councils.

New York counties are run by a County Legislature, except the five counties making up New York City, which are merged with the city government.

Maryland has County Commissioners in 16 of 23 counties; the others are governed by a County Council. Illinois counties are governed by a County Board, whose members are called Board Members, except for Cook County, which calls them County Commissioners. And Nebraska has some counties with County Commissioners and others with a Board of Supervisors. Go figure!

Indiana has a system of two boards per county. The County Council is the legislative branch, and a Board of Commissioners, a collective executive body, carries out the legislation of the Council.

Two of our neighbor Delaware's three counties are governed by a County Council; the third is governed by a Levy Court, whose members are called Levy Court Commissioners. All of Delaware's counties once operated under the Levy Court system.

Vermont's counties exist as judicial vicinages only; other functions are performed by local or state government. Connecticut and Rhode Island have nothing; having abolished counties decades ago.

Alaska calls its counties Boroughs, and they are governed by a Borough Mayor and Borough Assembly.

Louisiana calls its counties Parishes, most of which are governed by a Police Jury. Others use the Council - President form (with the President equivalent to a County Executive and the Council as the legislative body), and the Council - Manager form (where an elected council appoints a manager).

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