Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Govt. in Los Angeles County

The county of Los Angeles has a number of governments in it and nobody is really sure how many. It might be 324 governments. That's the number of governments in the 2012 federal Census of Governments count. It might be 754. That's the number of entries on file at the Los Angeles County Clerk. It might even be 996 which is the number of entries that are on at least one of those lists. Then again it could be 203 which is the number of entries that are on both lists.

The state list is especially dirty with a number of related entities like school districts and housing authorities entered but without the expected municipality. When all is said, done, and double checked with the real world, there may be over a thousand entries in the most expansive version of the list of governments. As the very nice lady at the county clerks office said, nobody checks these things.

If you are on the left or on the right this has to be somewhat disappointing and perhaps even disturbing. How can the people exercise democratic oversight if we don't even know the names of the governments we are supposed to be overseeing? At what point of managerial mismanagement is it time to admit that we are running a pretend republic?