* As a member of the League of California Cities Board of Directors representing Orange County, I would like to clear up some misconceptions conveyed by Garden Grove Councilman Bruce A. Broadwater's letter (April 3).
First, as dreadful as it sounds, the more than $700 million in revenue taken from cities by the state in recent years could have been much worse. For example, the state removed $2.5 billion from counties and $619 million from special districts. The hit on cities was reduced considerably because cities have a former mayor and past president of the League of California Cities in the governor's mansion and the league mounted an effective, grass-roots lobbying strategy aimed at legislators on their home district turf.
Second, votes in this nation haven't depended upon financial position since folks paid tribute to the Crown prior to 1776. Dues to the league's Orange County division are based upon a flat rate and a population escalator to reflect the relative impact of cities on division staff resources. The state league dues are based on population only to calculate the relative impact of larger cities on state league resources.
Third, there are matters upon which cities vote that are structured to give more weight to larger cities. For example, the election of a city representative to the South Coast Air Quality Management District board of directors requires a vote of two-thirds of the cities in Orange County (21) that also represent two-thirds of the county's incorporated population. Ironically, the decision of who to appoint to the South Coast AQMD board was one of the toughest we've faced in Orange County for a long time. It appears that regardless of the rhetoric, Garden Grove's departure from the League of California Cities was fueled by a tough decision not going their way. We hope they will decide to return so we have the benefit of their perspective on difficult public policy decisions.
City councilman, Los Alamitos