City Government Glossary

There are numerous agencies and programs that cities use, many of which are referred to by an acronym. Additionally, there is a variety of common terms used when discussing city government issues. The following is a glossary for city government officials of the different acronyms and other terms.

​28E​Joint service contracts under Chapter 28E of state code
​411​Chapter 411 of state code, which governs the MFPRSI (see MFPRSI below)
​$8.10​General fund levy limit ($8.10 per $1,000 of taxable value)
​ABIAssociation of Business and Industry
​ACA​Affordable Care Act
​ADA​Americans with Disabilities Act
​ADAA​Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act
​AFSCME​American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
AG​​Attorney General
​AGO​Attorney General’s Opinion
​APA​American Planning Association
​APWA​American Public Works Association
​BOA​Board of Adjustment (also Zoning Board of Adjustment)
​BOD​Biochemical Oxygen Demand
​CATV​Cable Access Television
​CAFR​Certified Annual Financial Report
​CBD​Central Business District
​CDB​City Development Board
​CDBGCommunity Development Block Grant
CEBA​Community Economic Betterment Account
​CIP​Capital Improvements Program
​CMC​Certified Municipal Clerk
​COBRA​Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
​COG​Council of Governments
​CPA​Certified Public Accountant
​CPI​Consumer Price Index
​DATA​Drug and Alcohol Testing Alliance
​DNR​Department of Natural Resources
​DOLU.S. ​Department of Labor
​DOM​Department of Management
​EDA​Economic Development Administration
​EEO​Equal Employment Opportunity
​EIS​Environmental Impact Statement
​EMS​Emergency Medical Services
​EMT​Emergency Medical Technician
​EPA​Environmental Protection Agency
​FAAFederal Aviation Administration ​
​FCC​Federal Communications Commission
​FEMA​Federal Emergency Management Agency
​FHA​Federal Housing Agency
​FICA​Federal Insurance Contribution Act (Social Security)
​FLSA​Fair Labor Standards Act
​FMLA​Family and Medical Leave Act
​FOIA​Freedom of Information Act
​GAAP​Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
​GASB​Governmental Accounting Standards Board
​GIS​Geographical Information System
​GO Bond​General Obligation Bond
​HAZ-MAT​Hazardous Materials
​HHS​U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
HSEMD​Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (Iowa)
​HUD​U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
​IaCMA​Iowa City/County Management Association
​IAMU​Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
​IARC​Iowa Association of Regional Councils of Government
​ICAAP​Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program
​ICAP​Iowa Communities Assurance Pool
​IDNR​Iowa Department of Natural Resources
​IDOT​Iowa Department of Transportation
​ICE​U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
​IECDB​Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board
​IEDA​Iowa Economic Development Authority
​​ILEA​Iowa Law Enforcement Academy
​ILOC​Iowa League of Cities
IMAA​Iowa Municipal Attorneys Association
​IMFOA​Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association
​IMWCAIowa Municipalities Workers Compensation Association ​
​IPAIT​Iowa Public Agency Investment Trust
​IPERS​Iowa Public Employees Retirement System
ISACIowa State Association of Counties
​ISUIowa State University ​
​IUB​Iowa Utility Board
​IWD​Iowa Workforce Development
​LMI​Low and Moderate Income
​LUST​Leaking Underground Storage Tank
​MFPRSI​Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa
​MSDS​Material Safety Data Sheets
​MSWLFC​Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Criteria
​NEPA​National Environmental Policy Act
​NFIP​National Flood Insurance Program
​NLC​National League of Cities
​NPDES​National Pollution Discharge Elimination System
​OM/OR​Open Meetings/Open Records, reference to state laws governing each topic
​OSHA​Occupation Safety and Health Administration
​P & Z​Planning and Zoning
​PERB​Public Employment Relations Board
​PILOT​Payment in Lieu of Taxes
​PO​Purchase Order
​PWS​Public Water Supply
​Quorum​A majority of all council members
​RC&D​Resource, Conservation and Development
​RCRA​Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
​RDA​Rural Development Administration (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
​REAP​Resource Enhancement and Protection Act
RFP​​Request for Proposal
​RFQ​Request for Qualifications
​RIG​Rural Innovation Grant
​RISE​Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy
​Roll Call​Method to determine vote of each council member
​Rollback​Reference to state property tax system that limits taxable valuation growth
RPC​​Regional Planning Commission
​RUTF​Road Use Tax Fund
​RWA​Rural Water Association
​SDWA​Safe Drinking Water Act
​Section 8​Federally Subsidized Housing Program
​SOP​Standard Operating Procedure
​SRF​State Revolving Fund
​SSMID​Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District
​T & A​Trust and Agency
​TIF​Tax Increment Financing
​U of I​University of Iowa
​UNI​University of Northern Iowa
​UST​Underground Storage Tank
​WHP​Well Head Protection
​WWTP​Waste Water Treatment Plant
​ZBA​Zoning Board of Adjustment

Latest Resources

Our resources are continually updated, here's some of the newest resources.

Why was SimpliCity created?Cities run more efficiently and effectively with buy-in from residents who know how…

See Details

Every day residents use city services. We cover a few and show how residents may interact…

See Details

Residents may not know how to communicate and connect with their city. We discuss a few…

See Details
IOWA League