National and state headlines often take center stage in the media, but municipal or “local” government is what people see most. Local government touches everything in one’s community—public safety, infrastructure and transportation, business and economics, quality of life issues, etc. In California, local jurisdictions focus primarily on city and county governments. While laws, rules, and regulations traditionally stipulate how governments may operate, the act of governance is entirely different. Examining the city level specifically, this research endeavor presents a framework for good local governance, which suggests that the local political and public administrative processes maximize the public’s interest. Using a well-designed and in-depth qualitative interviewing technique, which captured the “lived experiences” of 41 elected policymakers (e.g., city council members and members of the board of supervisors [San Francisco]) and 32 chief appointed officials (e.g., city managers) across a uniformly representative sample based upon population of 38 California jurisdictions, an organic framework for effective and resilient local governance emerged. The framework’s four main building blocks and 16 subcomponents consider various levels of uniqueness inherent to the six population quantiles of 80 or 81 cities each used to represent the 482 incorporated jurisdictions in California. For reference and general comparison purposes, one elected policymaker from each of two out-of-state local jurisdictions also participated (one in Illinois and one in Ohio) bringing the total to 75 experts across 40 cities. The detailed analysis found substantial correlation among responses when grouped within the six population quantiles and when ungrouped. Deeper assessment examined similarities and differences among elected policymaker responses versus city manager responses. Included in the findings are summaries of responses and ideas and recommendations on how to leverage the results of this extensive evaluation of local governance.
|Advisor:||Zerunyan, Frank V.|
|Commitee:||Abbas, Ali E., Resh, William G.|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Public administration, Public policy, Political science|
|Keywords:||Framework, Good governance, Governance, Local governance, Local government resilience|
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