As an elected county supervisor serving my 4th term, I fully agree with the concept that “local governance” is best able to provide services and respond to local needs over state and federal governments.
However, while financial constraints at the state level have resulted in some realignment of services to local government, the reality is a continuing push to consolidate power at higher levels of government.
Land use issues, transportation and housing as well as environmental regulations are moving in an opposite direction from California Forward’s stated purpose of bringing government closer to the people.
Local governance, more and more, is nothing more than an enforcement or regulatory tool of centralized governance at the state level.
What we need is more policy authority at local levels of government to go along with the implementation of those policies. If this can be accomplished then the costs of governance can be reduced.
Right now, the current system of state and federal bureaucracy consumes tremendous sums of tax and fees while often providing little actual benefit to the governed.
The California Forward Action Fund’s Government Performance and Accountability Act will go a long way toward giving local governments the authority and flexibility needed to successfully serve the community, while ensuring that the people in the community have a more transparent and accountable government to work with.
Steven Worthley is a Tulare County Supervisor