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Special Districts

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 1992
No one could argue that Orange County's 35 special districts don't serve an important purpose. They grapple with many significant civic issues--water, sanitation, parks, libraries, cemeteries and mosquito abatement. They also bring democracy down to its closest level to the people. But special districts have grown like Topsy--there are more than 3,000 of them throughout California--and they are overdue for some reforms.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 1997
Passage of Propositions 13 and 218 is surely thus far the fraud of the century foisted on the public by archconservative, reactionary property rights advocates and the real estate industry. Never mind the resulting grotesque unfair property taxes, the huge benefits to the development interests, to established businesses that never sell, and the shameless elevation of property rights to that of civil liberties. They have the public loving it! This same public doesn't comprehend that their local homeowners' association dues are actually real property taxes but exempt from limitations of Proposition 13 or 218. And, although the local homeowners' association relieves the local city or county of substantial maintenance costs from what was the obligation of local government, no tax credit is given to the homeowner.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 1990 | MAJA RADEVICH
Jerry Gladden believes that when it comes to government, smaller is more effective than larger. "Some people think that bigger government is better government, but I don't believe that's so," said Gladden, of the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, who has been recognized for contributions to his group. The Ventura County Special Districts Assn., representing a group of independent, nonprofit, largely grass-roots and self-governing organizations, honored Gladden and three others recently.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 1993
The article, "Special District Ills Foretold by Two O.C. Juries" (April 16), paints with a broad, dirty brush an entire system of citizen governance. Far from being "insulated from public scrutiny," California's special districts provide for direct participation in the running of agencies by ordinary people instead of professional politicians. Voters can easily displace a special district board member who makes the wrong decisions about water, sewer or library policies. It is vastly more difficult to dislodge a county supervisor or city council member because of a single issue since these representatives deal with such a wide array of questions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 1993 | JONATHAN GAW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The head of the agency that oversees incorporations in Orange County was named Wednesday to lead the corresponding agency in Los Angeles County. James J. Colangelo, 34, will take over the reins of the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission at the beginning of 1994 when the current executive officer, Ruth Benell, retires. Colangelo, who has led the Orange County LAFCO since 1988, was one of nine people who responded to the Los Angeles agency's advertisement in mid-September.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 1993 | WILLIAM R. MITCHELL and MARK P. PETRACCA, William R. Mitchell is chairman of the Orange County chapter of Common Cause and Mark P. Petracca is an associate professor of political science at UC Irvine. and
Recent reports from the Santa Margarita Water District promote the impression that action is being taken to solve the various problems afflicting the district. The water district unveiled a code of ethics and Walter W. Knitz, general manager, and Michael P. Lord, assistant general manager, have resigned. The problem is that the district's approach to "reform" is guided by the belief that its chief problem is amenable to remedy by better public relations. Board Chairman Don B.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 1992 | TINA DAUNT
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors fired off a second letter of protest to Gov. Pete Wilson Tuesday urging him to abandon his plan to spare cities from cuts in property-tax revenue at the expense of county governments. "If cities are exempted . . . this could add another $300-400 million in cuts to counties which could permanently cripple counties' abilities to carry out functions on behalf of the state," Susan K. Lacey, vice chairwoman of the board, wrote in the letter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 1997
Regarding Assemblyman Curt Pringle's June 1 letter, "Special Districts Bill Misjudged": Pringle does not have the facts right about the important role of special districts. If the citizens of a city or a special district are satisfied, why is he forcing his bill down their throats? The Government Improvement Study referenced by Pringle suggested consolidation only for those districts paying for the study and when it was cost effective. If a special district is efficient why eliminate it?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 1996 | SHELBY GRAD
More than 20 cities have joined a group designed to give Orange County a unified voice in Southern California issues such as air quality, housing and state demographic mandates. The Council of Governments, sponsored by the League of California Cities, also will be a forum for elected officials to discuss ideas for making government more efficient.
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