The Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Government Reorganization Act of 2000

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Legislative Findings and Declarations

56001. The Legislature finds and declares that it is the policy of the state to encourage orderly growth and development which are essential to the social, fiscal, and economic well-being of the state.

The Legislature recognizes that the logical formation and determination of local agency boundaries is an important factor in promoting orderly development and in balancing that development with sometimes competing state interests of discouraging urban sprawl, preserving open-space and prime agricultural lands, and efficiently extending government services.

The Legislature also recognizes that providing housing for persons and families of all incomes is an important factor in promoting orderly development.

Therefore, the Legislature further finds and declares that this policy should be effected by the logical formation and modification of the boundaries of local agencies, with a preference granted to accommodating additional growth within, or through the expansion of, the boundaries of those local agencies which can best accommodate and provide necessary governmental services and housing for persons and families of all incomes in the most efficient manner feasible.

The Legislature recognizes that urban population densities and intensive residential, commercial, and industrial development necessitate a broad spectrum and high level of community services and controls. The Legislature also recognizes that when areas become urbanized to the extent that they need the full range of community services, priorities are required to be established regarding the type and levels of services that the residents of an urban community need and desire; that community service priorities be established by weighing the total community service needs against the total financial resources available for securing community services; and that those community service priorities are required to reflect local circumstances, conditions, and limited financial resources.

The Legislature finds and declares that a single multipurpose governmental agency is accountable for community service needs and financial resources and, therefore, may be the best mechanism for establishing community service priorities especially in urban areas.

Nonetheless, the Legislature recognizes the critical role of many limited purpose agencies, especially in rural communities. The Legislature also finds that, whether governmental services are proposed to be provided by a single-purpose agency, several agencies, or a multipurpose agency, responsibility should be given to the agency or agencies that can best provide government services.

56301. Among the purposes of a commission are discouraging urban sprawl, preserving open- space and prime agricultural lands, efficiently providing government services, and encouraging the orderly formation and development of local agencies based upon local conditions and circumstances. One of the objects of the commission is to make studies and to obtain and furnish information which will contribute to the logical and reasonable development of local agencies in each county and to shape the development of local agencies so as to advantageously provide for the present and future needs of each county and its communities.

When the formation of a new government entity is proposed, a commission shall make a determination as to whether existing agencies can feasibly provide the needed service or services in a more efficient and accountable manner. If a new single-purpose agency is deemed necessary, the commission shall consider reorganization with other single- purpose agencies that provide related services.

56325.1. While serving on the commission, all commission members shall exercise their independent judgment on behalf of the interests of residents, property owners, and the public as a whole in furthering the purposes of this division. Any member appointed on behalf of local governments shall represent the interests of the public as a whole and not solely the interests of the appointing authority. This section does not require the abstention of any member on any matter, nor does it create a right of action in any person.


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