County Restructuring Advances to the Forward Thinking Four


The County Restructuring idea has been advanced to the Forward Thinking Four stage of the Fix California Challenge. The idea would create “super counties” that would have more independence/authority over local and regional affairs, thereby removing/limiting the authority of the state Legislature over such affairs.  Special districts would be replaced or become under the control of counties directly.


The State of California has taken control over many issues and subjects that are more appropriately “local.” In addition, the state has virtually all of the power to collect and distribute revenue.  California currently has 58 counties of varying size (by population and by geography).  Yet, counties are required to deliver many of the services required by the state (health and welfare, courts, jails, etc).  In addition, the state has authorized dozens of special districts to deliver other services, including school districts, water districts, air pollution control districts, etc.  


The author of this idea, Stanley Kao of San Diego, was inspired by his childhood in Asia witnessing the growth and consolidation of cities.

Fix California Challenge community members are conversing about appropriate number and boundaries of the “super counties”. Commentor Thom Bryant notes that “France is organized administratively similar to California currently with 22 "Counties" but effective January 2016, they will merge regions and shrink the number of "County administrations" to 13.” View the original submission and join in the conversation here. Follow the conversation on Facebook & Twitter using #FixCal.

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