Appendix 2

The Municipal Year Book

Definitions of terms and survey response rates

[ pdf version]

Note: This information was excerpted from International City/County Management Association, The Municipal Year Book 2004, pp. xi-xiii, 79, 102, 123; 2005, pp. xi-xiii, 79, 100, 116; 2006, pp xi-xiii, 84, 106, 125; 2007, pp x-xiii, 75, 99, 120 (Washington, DC: International City/County Management Association); and information provided by the International City/County Management Association. Non-substantive editorial adaptations have been made.


Northeast--the New England and Mid-Atlantic Divisions;

North Central--the East and West North Central Divisions;

South--the South Atlantic, and the East and West South Central Divisions;

West--the Mountain and Pacific Coast Divisions.

Geographic divisions

New England--Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont;

Mid-Atlantic--New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania;

East North Central--Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin;

West North Central--Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota;

South Atlantic--Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia;

East South Central--Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee;

West South Central--Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas;

Mountain--Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming;

Pacific Coast--Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

Metro status

To be classified by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), an area must include either at least one city with a population of 50,000 or more or a U.S. Census Bureau-defined urbanized area of at least 50,000 and a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000 (75,000 in New England). The OMB further groups metropolitan areas of 1,000,000 or more population into consolidated metropolitan statistical areas (CMSAs) and primary metropolitan statistical areas (PMSAs).

Central cities--The core cities of an MSA having a population of at least 25,000 and meeting two commuting requirements: at least 50% of the employed residents of the city must work within the city and there must be at least 75 jobs for each 100 residents who are employed. Cities between 15,000 and 25,000 population may also be considered central cities if they are at least one-third the size of the MSA's largest city and meet the two commuting requirements.

Suburban cities--The other cities, towns, and incorporated places in an MSA.

Independent cities--The incorporated places not located within an MSA.

County types

Metro--Counties located within an MSA.

Nonmetro--Counties located outside the boundaries of an MSA.

Forms of government

Mayor-council--An elected council or board serves as the legislative body. The head of government is the chief elected official, who is generally elected separately from the council and has significant administrative authority.

Many cities with a mayor-council form of government have a city administrator who is appointed by the elected representatives (council) and/or the chief elected official, and who is responsible to the elected officials. Appointed city administrators in mayor-council governments have limited administrative authority--they often do not directly appoint department heads or other key city personnel and their responsibility for budget preparation and administration, although significant, is subordinate to that of the elected officials.

Council-manager--An elected council or board and chief elected official (e.g., the mayor) are responsible for making policy. A professional administrator appointed by the council or board has full responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the government.

Commission--An elected commission performs both legislative and executive functions, generally with departmental administration divided among the commissioners.

Town meeting--All qualified voters of a municipality meet to set policy and elect officials to carry out the policies they have established.

Representative town meeting--Voters select a large number of citizens to represent them at the town meeting(s). All citizens may attend and participate in the meeting(s), but only representatives may vote.

For counties, forms of government relate to the structural organizations of the legislative and executive branches of counties. There are three basic forms of county government:

Commission--A governing board that shares the administrative and, to an extent, legislative responsibilities with several independently elected functional officials.

Council-manager/administrator--An administrator is appointed by, and responsible to, the elected council to carry out directives.

Council-elected executive--Two branches of government: the executive and the legislative. The independently elected executive is considered the formal head of the county.

Survey format

The 2003 survey was the third year the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) offered an online version of theannual local governments surveys. In July 2003, paper surveys were mailed to all municipal and county governments with populations of 2,500 or more and to those under 2,500 that are recognized by ICMA as having a council-manager form of government or as providing for an appointed general management (chief administrative officer) position. The mail survey gave the Web site address for the online version and provided a unique identification number for each local government. After allowing time for local governments to respond, ICMA mailed a second paper survey to those that had not responded to the first mailing or had not submitted the online version.

Beginning with the 2004 survey, ICMA began offering Survey Navigator, a Web-based interactive version of the local governments surveys. The Survey Navigator System is managed and operated by The Waters Consulting Group, Inc. The methodology is similar to the 2003 surveys. In July of each year survey notices were mailed to municipal and county governments meeting the same criteria as the 2003 survey. The survey notice provided the Web site address for Survey Navigator, and provided a unique identification number and password for each local government. After allowing time for local governments to respond, a second abbreviated paper survey was mailed and/or e-mailed to those that had not responded.

View table of survey response rates in Acrobat format.