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e-Li: Electronic Library

Traditional Structure

The most basic and widely used form of county government in Tennessee is one with a popularly elected county executive, entitled county mayor (T.C.A. § 5-6-101), who is the administrative head of the county, and a popularly elected county legislative body, which the General Assembly has formally entitled board of county commissioners and which is commonly referred to as the county commission. Members are generally referred to as county commissioners. T.C.A. § 5-5-102(f). This is the constitutionally required form of county government unless a county has followed the provisions provided by the Tennessee Constitution and implemented by statute a consolidated form of government with one or more of the county's municipalities, or an alternate form of government. Of course a consolidated government will have a legislative body of some type, but the size limitation of 25 does not apply. Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 1.