County Government

County Government

The League studied County Government in 1985 and 1986. The position was updated in 1991 to refine its position on the roles of the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrative Officer and management of countywide water resources. The position on the Local Agency Formation Commission was updated in 1994. The League position follows:

Support for and continuing evaluation of measures to promote the efficiency and accountability of County Government through:

  • Clear definition of policy making and administrative roles; reduction in the number of elected officials;
  • A rational financial management structure; a budget format highlighting county goals and priorities;
  • Land use planning procedures and decisions that take full account of the county's diverse interests and needs;
  • Elimination of overlapping jurisdictions or duplication functions among special districts and agencies, with special reference to those involved in water supply and sewage treatment.


1. Delegation to the County Administrative Officer of direct administrative authority over appointed department heads, including hiring and firing authority; delegation of greater decision-making authority to key staff + thus freeing the Board of Supervisors for its primary function of policy-making and long range planning.

2, Enactment by the Board of Supervisors of an ordinance delegating to the County Administrative Officer the authority to hire, evaluate, and dismiss non-elective department heads with the exception of County Counsel.

3. Specific delegation to the County Administrative Officer, by ordinance, of clear supervisory authority over the performance of all county departments headed by a non-elective officer, with the exception of County Counsel, and direction to such department heads that they report to the County Administrative Officer.

4. Greater decision-making authority to key staff, thus freeing the Board of Supervisors for its primary function of policy making and long range planning.

5. Action by the Board of Supervisors and voter referendum to separate the positions of Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder, and Treasurer-Tax Collector from elective to appointive, as these positions become vacant.

6. Action by the Board of Supervisors and voter referendum to separate the position of Auditor and Controller and to consolidate the position of Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector in a finance office within the County Administrative Office.

7. Gradual change of the County budget format from line-item only to a program format supported by a line-item budget.

8. Appointments to the Planning Commission that represent a balance of viewpoints and avoid conflict of interest; reasonably expeditious procedures for land use decisions; assurance of public access to information and participation in the planning process; action to insure that the County's growth management policy and General Plan goals and objectives are fully reflected in local area plans and land use decisions and that County land use ordinances and regulations are adequately monitored and enforced.

9. A study by LAFCO or AMBAG, at the request of the Board of Supervisors, of the relationships among the public agencies involved in water supply and sewage treatment with a view to coordinating the elimination of duplicating functions.

10. Action by the Board of Supervisors to appoint a Board of Directors to oversee water management for the Monterey county Resource Water Agency. This Board should be appointed from a combination of interest groups with strong public involvement and dedicated to the whole spectrum of water management. The Board of the Agency should be responsible for coordinating water management planning in all areas of the county, including the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, the Pajaro Valley Water Management District, and the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency. Funding is to be provided through a benefit assessment district.

11. Action by the County Water Resource Agency Board to create a technical advisory committee which may include any or all of the following: health, fire, Army Corps of Engineers, water purveyors, Fish and Game, planning departments, Agricultural Commissioner, Office of Economic Development, and recreation.

12. Efforts of the Local Agency Formation Commission to re-evaluate the possibilities of consolidation or dissolution of special districts or local agency.

13. Examination by the Local Agency Formation commission of the spheres of influence of cities and the County in reuse of Fort Ord.