The Politics of Local Agency Formation Commissions in California

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California, politics, local agency formation commissions, public policy, local government, cities


Civic and Community Engagement | Political Science | Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Urban Studies and Planning


This paper examines California's unique Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCs). The LAFCs are five-member commissions created in each county to exercise control over the local government structure. They are an attempt to provide rational control over the local government structure through their power to veto or expedite annexations of special districts and cities, formation of districts, incorporation of cities, detachments from districts and cities, consolidation of districts, dissolution of districts, and complicated reorganizations involving two or more of the above. This paper considers the development of the LAFCs role and the factors shaping that role. The specific strong points and weakness of their operations are discussed, modifications and alternatives are considered and an overall evaluation of the commissions is made. Because of the continuing nationwide problems in the structure of local government, the success or failure of the LAFC concept has implications for the whole future of local government.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Political Science

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