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Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government Quiz


In the three forms of municipal government authorized in South Carolina law, the city or town council retains sole authority for both legislative and administrative functions.


Legislative authority refers to the power to make, alter and repeal local laws and establish policy for the municipality. In all forms of municipal government, legislative power rests in the collective judgment and discretion of the full council. 

Council cannot delegate the power to decide legislative matters to any other group or person, such as an individual councilmember, a municipal officer or employee, or in any kind of committee, including committees composed of councilmembers.

Administrative authority is the power to implement laws and policies. Council's level of administrative authority varies based on which of the forms of government the city or town has adopted.

In both the mayor-council form and the council-manager form, state law names a chief administrative officer. In the mayor-council form, it is the mayor, and in the council-manager form, it is the city manager. This person is responsible to the council for the administration of municipal affairs. The council form of government differs from the other two. Under it, state law vests council with administrative powers. Council can either retain this authority, or it can delegate some or all of these powers to an administrator through an ordinance. 

A summary of the differences between the three forms can be found in the Forms and Powers of Municipal Government handbook

The Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government offers in-person and online courses.