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Local Agency Formation Commission, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 300

Essay

LAFCO is a main agency in California that regulates agency formation, and its influence on governmental change is extremely high. There are several initiatives that  highlight the benefits of providing state and local governments more power. These arguments will be reviewed below.

Detwiler (2013)  argues that local economy interests can be best represented by the municipal and district agencies. Making changes to district boundaries, for example, is only possible if the representatives of districts are involved. As the commissioners are selected from a diverse pool, and there are city members, direct members, and public members, the interest of all parties is represented. As people of California desire and value influence on local affairs (Detwiler, 2013, p. 4), based on the Brown Act, the existence of boundary commissions, such as LAFCO increases the effectiveness of strategies and enhances the democracy.

One of the benefits of establishing and strengthening local and regional agencies is based on size advantage. Smaller agencies are not only easier to manage, but also more transparent and responsive to local needs. It is easier to hold officials from a smaller jurisdiction accountable than those who work on a state level. Still, the greatest advantage of local and regional governments is that it empowers citizens and officials to make decisions that serve the interest of the community the most. As Detwiler (2013, p. 11) confirms: “history, LAFCOs became a statutory template upon which vying interest groups imposed their vision of what California should become in the 21st Century”.

There are, however, several boundaries preventing the effective functioning of LAFCO-s, such as state level bills that impose the superiority of regional interest over local development plans.

References

Detwiler, P. (2013)  California within limits: research notes for a history of California’s local boundary laws. Land Use & Natural Resources Program UC Davis Extension —December 9, 2013

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