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New Book: Becoming the City of Citrus Heights

There is a new book about the incorporation of Citrus Heights: Becoming the City of Citrus Heights - The history of a unique incorporation, by Miranda Culp.  It is highly recommended for anyone curious about why Arden Arcade is not a city and why creation of a new city in Sacramento County is difficult and expensive. When Citrus Heights was proposed to become a city - to achieve local control over use of its municipal finances - there was intense opposition from outside the community. But with perseverence and extraordinary patience, Citrus Height's incorporation proponents were able to get 62.4% of their community's voters to approve formation of the City of Citrus Heights on the Nov. 1996 ballot. Citrus Heights thus became a city in 1997 and by now -25 yewars later - become an ongoing success story. The new book tells the tale of how Citrus Heights overcame a barrage of antagonistic tactics from the region's "movers and shakers" (AKA the "Downtown Sacramento Power Elite"), including Sacramento County taking the issue to the US Supreme Court. You can download the book for free at

May contain: map, diagram, atlas, and plot
Interested in how a community becomes a city? Download this book and read it.

The new book is important because it details the process required to form a city, with plenty of lessons-to-be-learned about how such a process might play out in our own community. Seasoned veterans of Arden Arcade's Measure D of 2010 will likely tell you they've heard it all before - and they would be right, given the well-funded, misleading and very effective anti-cityhood campaign run by the self-appointed "Kings of the Mountain" back in the early years of this century. Sacramento County's all-out battle against local control for Citrus Heights produced quite a legacy of barriers to cityhood. It raised the costs for incorporation proponents, inserted excessive alimony payments into the process, and turned environmental protection into a weapon against governmental reorganization. Those barriers are now enshrined in state law.

There is a similar story about how the people who ran LA County used every trick in the book to fight the eventual formation of the City of Santa Clarita that voters there approved by a 2-1 margin in 1987 (documentation published in 2005 as: Santa Clarita, The Formation and Organization of the Largest Newly Incorporated City in the History of Mankind by Carl Boyer, 3rd). Santa Clarita was indeed the largest city ever formed in California at the time. In 1987 it had 110,000 residents and was LA County's 5th largest city. Being on the County's bleeding edge of growth, it has since more than doubled its population and is now the 3rd largest city in LA County.

Will Arden Arcade and/or its neighboring communities ever gain the kind of local control that residents of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Santa Clarita enjoy? Will local people and businesses here rise to the occasion as they did in those cities? Or will naysayers and dominant power players like the Downtown Sacramento Power Elite continue to belittle, condemn and resist our community's efforts at self-determination? We'll see.

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