Mission Viejo residents this November will take a first step toward what could be eventual cityhood if they approve a proposal to dissolve their county service area in favor of forming a locally controlled community service district.
Orange County's 14 county service areas provide residents of unincorporated areas such services as street sweeping, park maintenance, street lighting, traffic and speed enforcement, and slope preservation, according to Ken Scattergood of the Local Agency Formation Commission.
Budget constraints resulting from the drying up of post-Proposition 13 bail-out funds, however, are putting many county service areas in a bind, prompting residents of some areas to consider forming community service districts.
The main advantage of such a move, Scattergood said, is that community service districts, sometimes called "junior cities," get to keep property taxes that normally would go to the old service area. A locally elected board of directors decides how the money is to be spent.