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Project/Research Report

An Overview of County Administration: Appointed County Administrators

NACo Trends Analysis Paper Series

by Emilia Istrate and Cecilia Mills

“County administrator” is a function with various titles and fulfilled by different county positions around the country. Most often, county administrators implement the board’s policy, run the daily operations of the county and prepare the annual budget. This analysis by the National Association of Counties (NACo) examines the occurrence of the function of county administrator and manager (called “county administrator” hereafter) and finds that: county administrators play a major role in overseeing county operations, county administrator is a function fulfilled by 115 different titles and position around the country, nearly half of counties appoint administrators, majority of states have statutes that allow county boards the right to appoint a county administrator, and the trend towards appointing county administrators accelerated in the 1970s and 1980s. 

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National Association Of Counties, DC
Jurisdiction Type
National Association

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