Patterns of Government 2012

Structure and Services of County, City, Town, and Village Governments

A Study by F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse and the Community Benchmarks Program of the Maxwell School of Syracuse University

The 2012 revised “Patterns of Government” is an important resource for elected and public officials, citizens, students, businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and the general public. “Patterns of Government” also serves as a textbook for the Citizens Academy, sponsored by F.O.C.U.S Greater Syracuse and classes at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. This document contains vital information that ordinarily can be found only when one researches multiple sources.

This material will help you to understand how local governments are organized, the services they provide, and sources of funding. You will understand how tax dollars work, programs operate and interact with each other, and “who to call” for service and information. If the information in this document motivates civic trusteeship and mutual responsibility with governments, it has achieved its purpose.

Conscientious care was given to updating the information by Kelly Baug, a Policy Studies student at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Her efforts were supervised and guided by Carol Dwyer, Director of the Community Benchmarks Program (CBP), also at the Maxwell School and Charlotte (Chuckie) Holstein, Executive Director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse. Website links and updated information was provided by Chenzi Qian, international student in the Masters Program at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.  To all of them we express a hearty thank you.

A special thank you is extended to all of the Departments who supplied updated information for the 2012 revised “Patterns of Government.” This document is dependent on the information supplied by the government agencies and their review of the sections in which the information appears.

The original “Patterns of Government” was published by the League of Women Voters of the Syracuse Metropolitan Area in 1970 and revised in 1981, 1996, 2006 and 2011.

The 2012 Patterns of Government is sponsored by F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse, and the CBP of the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

Read the Patterns of Government 2012