The case investigations are part of a three-year research project on local governments and “fiscal sustainability.” Last year, the National Civic League, the University of Southern California and the University of San Francisco entered into a partnership to conduct the research to explore the impact of leadership in designing strategy to address several long-term structural changes in the economic and institutional environments, including:
Slowing of the state’s economy;
Increased expectations for collective goods;
Skyrocketing costs, especially in employee salaries and benefits;
Greater limits on flexibility in collecting and spending state and local revenues; and
Growing public skepticism on whether government can spend tax dollars wisely.
The cases — Los Angeles County, the cities of Long Beach and Brea and the Whittier Union High School District — were selected through a process that involved, among other things, asking for recommendations from state–wide associations, including the League and California State Associations of Counties as well as and senior staff with 20 or more years of local government experience and researchers.
For questions, please contact Mike McGrath or visit the NLC website.