Community politics

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Community politics

  1. 1. Community Politics
  2. 2. Community Government <ul><li>The state’s diversity plays itself out at the community level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many/overlapping jurisdictions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizens often unsure where to get services or assistance </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Role of Community <ul><li>Local governments in CA perform three generic functions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide goods and services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socialize residents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage conflict </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Limits of Community <ul><li>Local governments in CA face three major limits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Privatization of Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dillon’s Rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Myth of Apolitical Politics </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. County Government <ul><li>Boundaries unchanged since 1907 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Result is tremendous disparities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The state expects all 58 counties to perform similarly, but their resources for doing so vary widely </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Boards of Supervisors <ul><li>Each CA county’s legislative body is the board of supervisors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Four-year staggered terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supervisors adopt county budgets, determine some service levels, and make decisions affecting unincorporated areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The most contentious decisions usually surround land use </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. May 3, 2011 Special Election <ul><li>Vacancy created by election of Mark Church as County Registrar/Clerk </li></ul><ul><li>Mail-only election (first ever!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>details </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Other County Elected Officers <ul><li>District Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>Sheriff </li></ul><ul><li>Fiscal Officers </li></ul><ul><li>County Clerks </li></ul><ul><li>Superintendent of Schools </li></ul>
  9. 9. County Troubles <ul><li>Financial pressures </li></ul><ul><li>Policy problems that cross county lines </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of political responsiveness </li></ul>
  10. 10. City Government <ul><li>80%+ of the state’s residents live in one of CA’s 478 cities </li></ul><ul><li>Most CA city governments consist of an elected council plus a mayor </li></ul><ul><li>A city manager runs the day-to-day affairs of the city </li></ul>
  11. 11. City Councils <ul><li>Adopt ordinances (local laws) </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the extent of public services offered </li></ul><ul><li>Make land use decisions </li></ul>
  12. 12. Mayors <ul><li>Most CA mayors are very weak </li></ul><ul><li>Mayoral duties are largely ceremonial </li></ul>
  13. 13. City Managers <ul><li>Build agendas for city council meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Hire and supervise department heads </li></ul><ul><li>Provide budget leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Study the city’s long-range needs </li></ul><ul><li>Do whatever else the council wants </li></ul>
  14. 14. Commissions <ul><li>Although they are easy to ignore, local commissions and boards play important roles in California cities </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The most common are planning commissions, which advise city councils on land use matters </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Atherton City Government <ul><li>City Council </li></ul><ul><li>Next general meeting, November 17, 7pm </li></ul><ul><li>What does the Atherton city council do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>minutes </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Special Districts <ul><li>Special districts do what general purpose local governments can’t or won’t do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water utilities, fire protection, recreation and park, flood protection, lighting, waste disposal, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3,400+ in CA : 66% independent, 34% under control of boards of supervisors or city councils </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be as small as one block or cover several counties </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. School Districts <ul><li>School districts reflect the assumption that politics and education can and should be separate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlike most other special districts, school districts operate under very close scrutiny </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Regional Governments <ul><li>When policy problems spill beyond various local jurisdictions, regional approaches are needed </li></ul><ul><li>Two models of regional governance in CA </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination (e.g. Councils of Govt) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regulation (e.g. environmental protection) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Next Week – Election Day! <ul><li>The candidates </li></ul><ul><li>The ballot measures </li></ul><ul><li>What are these sorts of local elections really about? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do they matter? </li></ul></ul>

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