The intergovernmental grant system as seen by local, State, and Federal officials : Page: 7
This book is part of the collection entitled: Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and was provided to Digital Library by the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
manager cities responded at the highest rate
(43.6%) and town meeting and representative
town meetings at the lowest (7.6 and 16.7%, respectively).
Hence, in general, the answers to the
questionnaire are most representative of the middle-sized
and larger central cities, the western
region, and the council-manager form of government,
and least representative of small jurisdictions
outside metropolitan areas, the town form of
government, and the northeast part of the country.
Counties responded at a one-third lower overall
rate than cities. Again, the smaller population
units responded least frequently. Counties of the
western region responded at a rate 65 percent
higher than the average, while those in the north
central states replied at about 25 percent below the
nationwide average. Metropolitan counties were
represented at about twice the rate of nonmetropolitan
counties, and counties with administrators
likewise responded at about double the rate
of those without administrators. In general, the
survey responses most adequately represent the
larger counties, the western region, metropolitan
areas, and governments with administrators. They
least represent the smaller population units, north
central states, non-metropolitan areas, and counties
without a chief administrative officer.
Since cities over 50,000 population and counties
over 500,000 responded at about a 50 percent rate,
there is greater certainty about the representativeness
of their responses than those of the lower
population jurisdictions, which responded at
lower rates. The analysis of answers to the survey
questions will, therefore, when feasible, differentiate
between the responses of these larger cities
and counties and those of the smaller jurisdictions.
The terms "larger cities" and "larger counties"
will be used to identify these two groups.
Respondents were asked at the outset of the
questionnaire to indicate whether their locality
had received Federal grants in the fiscal years that
included July 1, 1969 and/or July 1, 1974. The fiveyear
period was chosen as representing a span
during which there had been substantial Federal
effort to improve grant administration. If respondents
answered "No" to the question, they did not
have to answer the rest of the questionnaire. The
purpose was twofold: to establish some facts on
the extent to which Federal grants are received by
local jurisdictions, and to assure that perception
questions reflected recent experience. The right
hand columns in Table II-1 show the results.
Overall, 73.3 percent of the cities responding
and 80.6 percent of the counties said they received
grants in one or both years. Examination of the
returns indicated that for these "Yes" respondents,
in all but a few cases grants were received in both
the years specified or only in the fiscal year which
included July 1, 1974.
The survey consisted of an original mailing to all
the cities and counties in the fall of 1975; a second
mailing of the same material about six weeks later
to those who had not responded; and a final mailing
after another six weeks to those who had not
responded among cities over 50,000 population
and counties over 100,000. The relatively light
return, especially from the smaller jurisdictions,
may be subject to several interpretations. The questionnaire
may have been too complex or lengthy.
There were some indications, for example, that the
request for fiscal data discouraged some officials,
even though, on the basis of a pre-test run by ICMA,
these questions were considerably simplified from
their initial form. Another possible cause of the
light response may be that the problems of grantsin-aid
and particularly categorical grants,
which are the principal focus of the questionnaire
-are not as acute as is commonly supposed.
To the extent that this is true, it constitutes
a significant finding from this survey. Officials
who are bothered by a problem could be
expected to use a reasonably convenient opportunity,
such as this questionnaire, to communicate
their perceptions and express their concerns. Finally,
the non-respondents may reflect a resistance
to questionnaires. A number returned the questionnaires
without completing it, saying they were
over-burdened by such inquiries.
The 15 questions in the Federal portion of the
questionnaire addressed three general areas: fiscal
impact, including information with respect to the
magnitude of Federal aids received and the numbers
of grants as well as the effect on local decision
making; the effects of various Federal efforts to
help state and local administration; and the administrative
impact of the grants, whether or not
they were intended. The following analysis of
these questionnaire returns is divided under these
three general headings, with the replies from the
cities separated from those of the counties. A
summary of responses to two final questions on the
use of grant-in-aid coordinators and general comments
about the Federal grant system as a whole
concludes this section.
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
United States. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. The intergovernmental grant system as seen by local, State, and Federal officials :, book, March 1977; Washington, D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1368/m1/16/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.