What is a County Council? (Roles and Responsibilities)

  • By: Tara Astbury
  • March 28, 2023
a group of people at a table listening to a presenter from the group

A county council plays an important role in the administration and economic well-being of the people residing within the local area it serves. Managing a county council requires skills, knowledge, and the right tools to help council members deliver quality service. 

Learn the roles and responsibilities of the county council and how municipal government software helps county councils achieve their goals with increased productivity. 

What is a County Council? 

A county council is an elected legislative body of the county that has the power to enact, repeal, and amend all local public laws within a specific county or region. The council is under the system of the local government and consists of different county council committees, including an audit committee and a standing committee. 

The county council is responsible for making decisions regarding their area’s budget, infrastructure, and public services. Public services under the county council’s purview include education, public safety, recreational resources, and health care, among others.

County Council Responsibilities 

A county council provides a wide range of services to promote the community’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. Its responsibilities include:

1. Adopting Operating Budgets 

County councils adopt and adhere to operating budgets. Because the council is a trustee of the local government, they are responsible for ensuring they act in good faith when adopting operating budgets. With effective budget management, the county council provides a high quality of living for its constituents.

2. Oversee Economic Development Opportunities

The county council plays a vital role in the economic development of the local area. This includes evaluating and approving development opportunities when they benefit the community. 

3. Voting on Land Use Issues 

Land matters are among the primary elements that the county council oversees. While the local government administration manages land assets, the county council ensures that the local community gets the best possible value from its assets, such as land. The council members vote on land issues and can approve, modify, or disapprove the decisions made.

4. Voting on Human Services Issues 

The county council ensures the effectiveness of the human services systems that impact people within the community. In short, the council focuses on remedying problems, maintaining a commitment to improving the quality of services provided to the people, and meeting human needs that improve the quality of life. Through voting at in-person or remote meetings, the council seeks to improve accessibility, accountability, and effective coordination among the service providers. 

5. Grant Writing 

Communities require consistent funding for effective running. This is why the local government opts for grants to run various projects. Grants offer a great way for local governments to receive funding beyond the limits of the operational budget. 

A county council writes proposals to  federal, state, and private entities to source funding for the local government. This process requires in-depth research and planning to submit a strong application. 

Hosting an Effective County Council Meeting 

Effective county councils must hold productive county council meetings and committee meetings. This means following specific city council meeting procedures and taking comprehensive government meeting minutes that outline action items. 

Many county councils invest in government software solutions to enhance meeting effectiveness. eScribe offers a meeting management software platform purpose-built for the unique needs of the public sector. With collaboration tools, reporting, and workflows to help track deadlines, the software enhances good governance, promoting sustainable development, transparency, social inclusion, and effective decision-making. 

eScribe’s platform also supports virtual work. Check out our best tips and tricks for hosting a successful remote meeting.