We empower communities to make informed decisions regarding the current and future viability of small special districts. We provide low cost services to assist small districts diagnose any community, legal or operational problems and develop relevant improvement options to ensure the expected level of accountability and transparency. If communities decide that consolidation is an option, we provide strategies to ensure a smooth transition, with equitable impacts among all parties.
There are many pressures on special districts these days; and that pressure is building exponentially from the public, Grand Jury, other local government, from the impact of laws and permits. In many cases small districts spend all of their resources simply to keep the doors open, in compliance with the compounding impact of laws and regulations. Since we are in an environment of compliance first, services second, in many cases, no resources are left to deliver the level of service once provided.
There can also be pressures from the community or regulatory officials for small districts to consider consolidation. Our state legislature has taken up this issue in some manner every year over the last 20 years. From studies proposed to arbitrarily consolidate districts, mandatory consolidation in order to receive grant funds, to legislation that if adopted would immediately sink most very small districts; the push toward consolidation is occurring.
County Local Agency Formation Commissions are usually VERY MUCH disinclined to even mutter the “forced consolidation” in any report, action, municipal service review, etc. Grand Juries do not hesitate to make such recommendations, but related action is not required. Currently, any consolidation discussion or action is the responsibility of the individual districts or community leaders to initiate.