What is a charter?A document issued by a government that grants to a person, a group of persons, or a corporation the right to carry on one or more specific activities. A state government can grant a charter to a municipality.
What is consolidation?The union of two or more governmental units to form a single unit.
What is a constitutional initiative?An electoral device whereby citizens can propose a constitutional amendment through petitions signed by the required number of registered voters.
What is the Cooley Rule/Doctrine?The view that cities should be able to govern themselves, presented in an 1871 Michigan decision by Judge Thomas Cooley.

What is a council of governments (COG)?A voluntary organization of counties and municipalities concerned with area-wide problems.
What is a county?The chief governmental unit set up by the state to administer state law and business at the local level. Counties are drawn up by area, rather than by rural or urban criteria.
What is Dillon's Rule?The narrowest possible interpretation of the legal status of local governments, outlined by Judge John E. Dillon, who in 1872 stated that a municipal corporation can exercise only those powers expressly granted by state law.
What is functional consolidation?Cooperation by two or more units of local government in providing services to their inhabitants. This is generally done by unifying a set of departments (e.g., the police departments) into a single agency.

What is a general law city?A city operating under general state laws that apply to all local governmental units of a similar type.
What is a general sales tax?A tax levied as a proportion of the retail price of a commodity at the point of sale.
What is a home rule city?A city permitted by the state to let local voters frame, adopt, and amend their own charter.
What is a line item veto?The power exercised by the governors of most states to veto particular sections or items of an appropriations bill, while signing the remainder of the bill into law.

What is municipal home rule?The power vested in a local unit of government to draft or change its own charter and to manage its own affairs.
What is a New England town?A governmental unit in the New England states that combines the roles of city and county in one unit.
What is a property tax?A tax on the value of real estate. This tax is a particularly important source of revenue for local governments.
Who is a selectperson?A member of the governing group of a town.

What is the town manager system?A form of town government in which voters elect three selectpersons, who then appoint a professional town manager, who in turn appoints other officials.
What is a town meeting?The governing authority of a New England town. Qualified voters may participate in the election of officers and the passage of legislation.
What is a township?A rural unit of government based on federal land surveys of the American frontier in the 1780s. Townships have declined significantly in importance.
What is an unincorporated area?An area not located within the boundary of a municipality.