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Showing posts from July, 2001

HOME RULE DEBATE COMMENCED BEFORE 1901 CONSTITUTION

HOME RULE DEBATE COMMENCED BEFORE 1901 CONSTITUTION
THOMAS SPENCER News staff writer
Publication Date: July 8, 2001  Page: 10-A
By the time Alabama was writing its constitution in 1901, the issue of home rule was being raised across the nation. State legislatures had tired of spending much of their time on local matters and had begun delegating more power to local governments.
The relationship of counties and cities to their state govern ments is different from states' relationship to the national government. At the founding of the country, the 13 colonies were essentially 13 sovereign nations. Those states joined together and, in signing the U.S. Constitution, agreed to give up those powers listed in the Constitution to the central government.
Cities and counties were creations of the individual states. The powers given to the cities and counties are granted either in state constitutions or through legislative acts.
In Alabama, cities are divided into classes based on populatio…

COUNTIES BARKING FOR BITE OF POWER FROM CAPITOL

COUNTIES BARKING FOR BITE OF POWER FROM CAPITOL
THOMAS SPENCER News staff writer
Publication Date: July 8, 2001  Page: 01-A

The incessant barking of his neighbor's hounds sent John S. Norman of Westover on an odyssey into the heart of the Alabama Constitution of 1901.
After pleading with his neighbor, after suffering the barking morning, noon and night, Norman turned to his county commissioner for help. But he found that the county lacked authority to pass an animal-control ordinance.
He got the answer many Alabamians get when seeking solutions from county officials for problems, petty or profound: The county can't do any thing about it. You'll have to go the Legislature.
The journey to Montgomery is a familiar one for frustrated Alabamians and the local officials who serve them. The Alabama Constitution concentrates power in Montgomery, leaving the Legislature to decide many local is sues.
That applies particularly to county governments, which can't pass ordinances,…