Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.

The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or (where appropriate) federal government. “Local government” only acts within powers delegated to it by legislation or directives of the higher level of government and each country has some kind of local government which will differ from those of other countries.

All cities derive their existence from a larger political entity, either a state or national government. The City of Waterford government includes a mayor and a council, both of which are subject to popular election. Their most important functions are the provision of services, including public safety, health care, education, recreation, housing, utilities, transportation, and cultural facilities. Revenues come from local taxes and fees as well as grants and subsidies from its state or national government.