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Local Governments

The pages below cover the array of local governments that directly serve Arden Arcade. Our community is just one of many unincorporated areas in Sacramento County for which typical municipal government services - that would normally be provided by cities - are the responsibility of Sacramento County.

Throughout the state, School Districts - not cities and not counties - run public schools at the local level. By law, counties have a coordinating role and are supposed to pick up the odd pieces (like schools for juvenile delinquents, say) that don't fit well in traditional learning situations.

Ordinarily, a highly developed, heavily-urbanized close-in suburb like Arden Arcade would have its own local government - its own Mayor and City Council - to focus on local priorities. But, no, not in Sacramento County, which has steadfastly clung to the notion that the Board of Supervisors, and only the Board of Supervisors, could possibly govern (AKA "control") the 100,000 residents of Arden Arcade and guide (AKA "derive tax revenues from") the area's significant local economic activity. Sadly, the reality is more like the Board of Supervisors have managed to keep unincorporated area residents at arms length while milking the blessings of the economic activity for all it is worth (media praise, campaign contributions, subsidies for areawide responsibilities imposed by the state, etc.). The status quo, then, is really about the County's retention of power, not about improving the quality of life for the citizens and about returning value to the power elite instead of the taxpayers. There are 482 cities in California, 2/3 of which have less people than we do. Yet they are empowered with democratic representation and local control. Our community, having less than 1/3 of our Supervisor's constituents and with a Supervisor who has but one vote on a governing body that requires 3 votes to do anything, has an undemocratic municipal government and lacks local control.

As a result, over the years the citizens of Arden Arcade have had to fend for themselves for services that the County either forgot about or did not care to provide. As allowed by state laws, they thus created several special districts to see to the provision of parks, water supply, fire protection and so on.  Outsiders, particularly those who live in - and expecially those who control - old, large cities (like Sacramento, for example) might wonder at the substantial array of special districts that serve our community. Those of us who live, work, and/or have businesses here know the districts are there because locals want and support them.


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