Unlike most counties in Missouri, Jackson County is not governed by a 3-member administrative "Court" and independently elected officials heading administrative departments. In 1970 the voters of Jackson County adopted a Constitutional Home Rule Charter for the County, establishing a County Executive position and the County Legislature.
On August 3, 2010, County voters approved a revised County Charter (PDF) that focused on ethical reforms and called for an automatic Charter review every 10 years. The revised Charter took effect August 23, 2010.
Different Branches of Government
The Constitutional Home Rule Charter provides for a separation of the legislative and executive functions. The heart of the Charter is a strong-elected Executive, accountable to all the voters, who has the power to appoint the administrative officers of his government, the power to veto legislation, and both the responsibility and the means at hand with which to operate an effective, efficient County government. The Legislature is given broad legislative power and is so construed as to be truly representative of all of the people of Jackson County.
After 150 years of usage, the voters of Jackson County replaced the old structure of County government with a new structure as authorized by law. The new Jackson County form of government was one designed to close out the 20th Century and usher in the 21st Century and beyond, with the opportunity for the people of the County to make changes in Jackson County rather than in the State Capitol.