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Online Survey

Portage County wants to serve its residents in the most effective way possible. In order to improve our community, we are asking for your help in completing an online survey. As an important part of the community, we look forward to hearing your comments on community services and events. Click here to complete the brief, (5 questions) online survey.

History of County Government

The role of county government as an administrative arm of the state and a unit of self government can be traced as far back as 603 A.D. to an area in southern England that was divided by a king into territories which became known as "shires". Shires were controlled by the monarchy through the appointment of a governing official.

The term shire was used in England until the fifteenth century when the term "county" was adopted. Since the county was the chief administrative area, the concept of local control and responsiveness to the people became a basic principle of English heritage. County government evolved in England over several centuries and was brought to the United States with the English colonizers.

American independence fostered numerous changes to American government, including the strengthening of state governments and more defined county roles. Today there are 3,139 county-type governments in the United States.

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