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Don't increase bureaucracy

March 21, 2007

Re "From CAO to CEO," editorial, March 18

Amending the Los Angeles County code and charter to shift accountability from the Board of Supervisors to the appointed chief administrative officer removes the people from the process of governance and muzzles their elected officials. This reckless proposal is disruptive to the democratic process.

The county's current structure already provides the officer with authority and oversight of the department heads and supports open government. It allows those elected by the people to discuss in open forum problems and solutions for all the issues that come before the board.

The officer doesn't even have a budget for this new form of governance, which will cost millions of dollars. This is money better spent extending library hours, adding sheriffs patrols and improving services for foster youth. Having a better quality of life should be the priority, not more government and more red tape -- and not adding more bureaucrats to a government that already has nearly 100,000 employees.

The Times' proposal is a bureaucrat's dream and a taxpayer's nightmare. We need accountability and less bureaucracy, not less accountability and more bureaucracy.

MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH

L.A. County Supervisor

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