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Local Government
Wayne State University Law School
Mogk, John E.

Theoretical Perspectives on the Function of Local Govt.
The big picture…
All power flows from the constitution
Some specified powers on the table went to the federal Govt., the rest were reserved for the states. At the end of the day there is no reference to municipalities.
Reserve powers went into the state constitution. The people of the states adopt the state constitution, and all powers flow through to the legislature.
Federal constitution only says that states have to adopt a republican form of govt., not necessarily constitutional.
The state legislature creates local units of govt. They can do anything they want unless there is a federal, or a state constitutional constraint.
If a local statute is passed…
Must look all the way up to the constitutional level to see if it is prohibited.
If a local person objects…
Has the local unit properly acted in pursuing this ordinance? Has it followed the necessary procedures? Is there substantive and procedural adequacy?
Does the property owner have any rights to be protected against the local municipalities actions? May be yes. Federal, State Agency, Etc.
At the federal level are bound by the bill of rights. Originally the BOR only applied to the federal govt’s actions, until 1868. Courts interpreted 14th amend to apply the BOR to the states.
Local governments are set up to provide services and to govern the local people. Local units of government have no inherent powers of their own as today’s case law stands. They exercise power that is delegated to them by the state.
Example for having two standards. In order for the local government to pass a statute must meet the highest bar.
City of Wayne v. Poletown. City of Det. created economic development corporation created by the state legislature. Mayor Young was facing a loss of people and jobs from Detroit. Mayor offered to provide incentives for car companies to develop factories within the city. GM needed 400 acres, and found them, but there were still homes located on them. City decided to take the homes, court said the taking was fine. This could be a taking under the 5th amendment, but it says that taking can be used to “further public purpose”. Case was argued under the MI constitution which has the same language as the federal constitution.
County of Wayne v. Haftcock. 2004 case which allowed State S.Ct to revisit Poletown. Wanted to develop industrial park next to the airport

oroughs, towns, and villages.
o        General purpose local government to a specific population in a general area. Operate under a grant of authority from the state.
o        More rural in character. Divided into 6×6 mile plots. They have the ability to incorporate in order to create a more general purpose government. Unincorporated governments only provide the basic needs.
Special purpose districts- 
Most common is the school district. Do not necessarily have the same geographic boundaries as the local governments. Generally have elected boards, but when they are set up the state executives whether they are appointed or elected.
Single purpose governmental entities-
Sewer and water, conservation, irrigation, reclamation of lands that are contaminated.
Public Authorities-
May operate within an existing district to perform a special function. Ex. Michigan state housing development authority.
There are certain regional bodies created by state law.