Supes Consider Reforms at Tuesday Morning Meeting, Including Increasing the Number of Their Colleagues


At the Tuesday, July 9, meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Supes are widely expected to move a measure to the fall ballot designed to reform and improve how the Supervisors works. The highlight of the reforms is a measure to increase the number of Supervisors from five to nine. Assuming it is approved at the meeting, a majority of voters would need to approve the measure in November.

“Los Angeles County’s government structure has remained the same since 1912, before women even had the right to vote! Now is the time to take on what has been necessary for decades: comprehensive governance reform for Los Angeles County,” said Board Chair Lindsey P. Horvath, who represents Santa Monica and co-authored the package with Janice Hahn. 

“Our communities deserve a more representative government with a foundation of transparency that brings them to the decision-making table. Los Angeles is ready for meaningful structural change to take on the significant challenges impacting Angelenos today. With the 2030 Census on the horizon, and a Board of women leaders looking to the future, this is a once in a generation opportunity to act.”

Additional reforms include establishing a commission to review the County Charter every ten years; creating a Director of Budget and Management and a County Legislative Analyst; requiring departments to present their annual budget in open hearings; creating a task force to oversee reform implementation; and that all changes come at no additional costs to or taxes imposed on taxpayers to implement.

The motion for directs County Counsel to draft an ordinance to amend the Los Angeles County Charter, which was adopted in 1912 when the population was 500,000. Today, the county is the most populous county in the nation with five supervisors serving over two million constituents each. The expanded Board would serve approximately one million constituents each – a number much more in line with county governments in other large metropolitan areas of the United States. This proposed change would also create distinct executive and legislative branches of the government through a directly elected County Executive.

“Our districts have been too big for too long, and I think there is finally an appetite among voters for change,” said Hahn. “In a county as large and as diverse as ours, we need more seats at the table. By expanding the Board of Supervisors, allowing voters to elect their County Executive, and putting common-sense ethics reforms in place, I hope we can strengthen LA County government as we take on some of the biggest challenges we face.”

Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

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