REGIONAL COUNCILS AND THE INFLUENCE OF STATE LAWS ON REGIONAL GOVERNANCE
1 online resource (154 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Regional decision-making, in which multiple local governments seek to address concerns that affect communities across jurisdictional boundaries, has been approached by scholars from two opposing viewpoints. Some argue in favor of consolidated regional or metropolitan government, while others prefer voluntary cooperation or regional governance. The first approach represents structural regionalism, while the latter reflects the potential for functional regionalism. Regional councils are organizations that work to facilitate communication, and at least ostensibly cooperation, between local governments. Approximately 700 such organizations are currently operating in the United States. State statutes related to regional cooperation and regional councils are present in all but six states, and fall into one of two categories--enabling or prescriptive. Enabling legislation allows local governments to form partnerships with others while prescriptive legislation requires jurisdictions within a given state-defined "region" to belong to a particular regional council. This research compiled a list of all active regional councils in the United States, and administered a survey to the executive directors of those organizations to better understand the work they endeavor to conduct. This study also coded the type of state legislation and analyzed the directors' survey responses to determine the influence of the two different types of state laws. Results from logistic and ordinal logistic regression analyses suggest that the type of state legislation is less important than other organizational and community characteristics, such as whether or not the council operates as a metropolitan planning organization, the region's history of working together, and recent population change. Qualitative review of open-ended survey responses provides context, suggesting the inherent weakness of voluntary regional councils, and the importance of support at the state level and strong leadership both within the regional council and within its member jurisdictions.
COGCOUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTSMETROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONMPOREGIONAL COUNCILSREGIONAL GOVERNANCE
Szmer, JohnKropf, MarthaGraves, Bill
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2013.
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