On any given day Missourians could interact with many governments. This may include the federal government, state, county, city, or even the school board.
Each government has their place and are better suited at certain functions.
Each of these governments are also capable of tyranny.
When tyranny rears its ugly head it must dealt with. The method to do so is different depending on the form of government and where it derives its power.
The people and the states have authority to place checks on the federal government. We the people have the ability to elect a new president or congress. The many states may instead call a convention to adopt amendments to the constitution.
As a check to the power of the state the people have the ability to elect a new governor and assembly. If needed the people may also propose laws via the initiative petition. In this way they bypass the legislature and the governor.
What about city government? What methods are available to reign in local tyranny?
The people may elect new officials as they do with the federal and state governments. This does not always work, as we also see at the federal and state levels.
At other times, waiting for an election isn’t a choice.
Just last year the City of Ferguson made national headlines mishandling protesters and rioters. Many called on the governor and the state to step in and protect the citizens. The city had failed to do so and it needed help.
Another response to Ferguson was Senate Bill 5. The legislature passed SB5 to limit “taxation by citation” to fill city budgets. Cities should create police forces to serve and protect, not increase their budget.
The governor signed SB 5 shortly after a large majority passed it in the legislature.
State government derives its power and authority from the people. Article 1 – Section 1 of the Missouri Constitution says, “That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”
Where do city governments derive their power?
From the State of Missouri.
City government is a sub-division of the state, a part of the whole. Local governments must adhere to the constitution and the laws of the state.
City governments manages those duties the State of Missouri delegates to them. Many of these duties are appropriate and the local government is the best choice to manage them.
But the state, deriving its authority from the people, must stop local government from abusing the power delegated to it.
Tyranny in local government is wrong and the state has a duty to protect the rights of the people.