Explaining Tompkins: Its Growth & Government discusses, with stunning maps, how towns in the county expanded, then decreased until we have ended up with 9 towns and a City. The second half of the pamphlet, written by Joe Mareane, former county-supervisor, in lively prose discusses the things the county does: those that the state imposes, those that people want, and some of those in the middle that happen. He begins his march through the 20th century with Pinkerton detectives chasing the county treasurer around the country in an attempt to retrieve some money he just happened to leave with. This essay explains the many duties that the county performs, some like collecting taxes quite obvious, others like insuring that a gallon of gasoline at the pump is actually a gallon. It is a civics lesson well-told.