Public Administration (PADM) 5700 - 001
County Government
Fall Semester, 2001
Stockton Campus

Professor: Dr. Susan H. MacDonald
Class meetings: W: 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Room 1061, Acacia
Office: 132 A Classroom Building
Office hours: 5:00–5:30p Monday in Stockton and Wednesday in Turlock
10:00a--2:00p Tuesday in Turlock, and by appointment
Office phone: 667-3291 (direct line)
667-3388 (for appointments)
e-mail: SMacDONALD@stan.csustan.edu

Required texts
Menzel, Donald C. (1996) The American County: Frontiers of Knowledge, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.

Recommended texts
Kemp, Roger L. (1999) Forms of Local Government: A Handbook on City, County and Regional Options. Jefferson, NC: McFar-land & Company, Inc. (Also on Reserve in Library)

Course organization
The class will meet every Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Stockton. Because this is an advanced level course in the M.P.A. program, the class will be held largely as a seminar. Students will be expected to take an active role in class meetings by staying current with reading assignments, par-ticipating in class discussions as well as leading the dis-cussions from time to time, and pursuing independent research in the form of a case study and class presentation. Class attendance is expected. Students who miss more than one class without permission of the instructor will have their final grade lowered 5 points for each session missed.

Course content and objectives

The course will be divided into three discrete sections:
The first section will focus on county government in the United States as it has evolved since the nation’s founding. Emphasis will be placed on the constitutional origins of the county, the various forms of governance county governments have taken, and the functions performed by counties over the years. Changes in county government since devolution in the 1980s, the impact on counties of changes in municipal govern-ment, and the impact of the global economy in the 1990s will be given special attention. This part of the course will em-phasize readings in both Menzel’s and Kemp’s books and on Re-serve readings in the Library.

The second part of the course will focus on county government in California—especially as it has evolved in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. In addition to discussing some Reserve readings, students will have an opportunity to meet with various local government officials as well as policy analysts to discuss problems faced by local government and achieve-ments made to deal with these problems. The specific agen-cies emphasized will be determined after the class starts to reflect student interests and educational objectives.

The third part of the course will be devoted to student pres-entations. Each student will be asked to identify a particu-lar problem or issue facing California county government that he or she would like to pursue. Students will be expected to conduct research on this topic by examining literature in the library and meeting with people who work in the field of des-ignated interest. Each student will present her or his find-ings to the class during the final two or three weeks of class. This will be in addition to submitting a paper no later than the following week—the day scheduled for the final examination.

Assignments and grading

1. Class discussions
Each student will be expected to lead the discussion of two readings during the semester. Reading assignments are listed after each class session below. Sometimes the readings in-volve more than one chapter in a book or article. Often, however, there are two or more separate reading assignments for one class. While students are responsible for all of the reading assignments each week, they are expected to lead the discussion of only one of the assignments in a given evening.

Students should identify 3 or 4 reading assignments for which they would be willing to lead the discussion and give them to the professor no later than September 20. I will then com-pare the requests, eliminate duplicate requests, and return the assignments to you no later than September 27. (I may e-mail or call people who have requested readings for September 27.) You should asterisk any readings that you are particu-larly interested in and I will make every effort to assign those to you.

Leading class discussions will entail 1) presenting a summary of the reading and 2) raising 2-3 questions for the class to consider. In your summaries, you might want to highlight the most salient points raised by the author(s), identify innova-tive or unusual hypotheses, or identify concerns or possible limitations of the argument. What you choose to emphasize in your statements may well depend on the questions you present to the class for discussion. Whichever approach you select, I would like a written summary of your argument and any ques-tions you intend to raise before class begins.

Final Presentation and report

As noted above, each student will be expected to identify an issue facing county government that they would like to ex-plore in some detail. The findings will be presented in two forms: an oral presentation to the class, to take approxi-mately 30-45 minutes, and a written paper, approximately 15-20 pages in length.

In preparing a final report, you will be expected to inte-grate information from all parts of the course. This may in-clude adapting solutions used elsewhere in the country, ana-lyzing local situations in light of more general principles of governance, or otherwise demonstrating that you have de-veloped a firm grasp of both the general problems of local government administration as well as the particular aspects of the issue you are investigating.

Student presentations are scheduled for the last three weeks of class. You are expected to apprise me of your general topic and preferred date of presentation by October 11. While you should have at least a rough draft of your paper completed by the time of your presentation, you will be ex-pected to submit a final version of the paper within one week of the presentation. As an incentive to complete this work early, I will read and grade the final papers within one week of their being submitted to me. Students who would like to improve their paper grade may have another week to revise the papers. However, all papers must be submitted by December 13—the date set aside for the final exam.

Grades will be calculated as follows:

Leading class discussions: 30%
Class participation: 15%
Final presentation: 25%
Final paper: 30%


Representative areas of specialization:

Administration of justice
Criminal justice
Disaster relief and planning
Economic development
Environmental protection
Intergovernmental relations
Land use and planning
Library services
Mental health
Public finance
Public health
Probation
Recreation
Solid waste management
Social services
Transportation
Welfare reform
Zoning
Plagiarism

Intellectual honesty is central to any academic endeavor. However, in graduate work it is especially important—both for the student and the profession in which he or she is engaged. It is important for students to grapple honestly with the ma-terial so that they may find their place within the profes-sion. Developing careful habits of independent thinking as well as attribution of ideas is vital to the intellectual en-deavor. Intellectual honesty is equally important for the profession, which develops and evolves only through the work of its participants. The classroom, then, provides valuable space for the open exchange of ideas and the nurturing of habits that promote and sustain intellectual honesty.

Course Outline
September 13 Introduction; Course expectations
The United States context for county government; historical origins; public administration research agenda; case studies and other forms of research

Required reading:
Menzel, Donald C., ed., The American County: Fron-tiers of Knowledge. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. 1996. Chapter 1.

Kemp, Roger L., ed., Forms of Local Government: A Handbook on City, County and Regional Options. Jef-ferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999. Chap-ters 1 and 12 (Reserve)

September 20 County structure and functions

Required readings:
Menzel, Donald C., ed., The American County: Fron-tiers of Knowledge. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. 1996. Chapters 2-3, 5-6

Kemp, Roger L., ed., Forms of Local Government: A Handbook on City, County and Regional Options. Jef-ferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999. Chap-ters 2; 13-15 (Reserve)

Class presentation requests are due

September 27 County Challenges and Reforms

Required readings:
Menzel, Donald C., ed., The American County: Fron-tiers of Knowledge. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. 1996. Chapters 7-10

Kemp, Roger L. Forms of Local Government: A Hand-book on City, County and Regional Options. Jeffer-son, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999. chapters 30-33.

October 4 Counties, the Global Economy, and the Future

Required readings:
Menzel, Donald C., ed., The American County: Fron-tiers of Knowledge. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. 1996. Chapters 11-12

Kemp, Roger L. Forms of Local Government: A Hand-book on City, County and Regional Options. Jeffer-son, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999. chapters 35-36; 37 & 39; 43 (Reserve)

Peruse only:
Henton, Douglas, John Melville, and Kimberly Walesh. Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy: How Civic Entrepreneurs Are Building Prosperous Commu-nities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997. Chapters 1-2, 3-5 (Reserve)

October 11 Section II: Introduction to California Local Government

Required readings:
Albuquerque, Manuela. "California and Dillon: the times they are a-changing" Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 25 (2): 187-196 (1998). Cindy

Cain, Bruce E. and Roger G. Noll Constitutional Re-form in California Berkeley, CA: Institute of Gov-ernmental Studies Press. University of California, Berkeley. 1995. CSU-S owns: JK8716 .C65 1995

Jeffe, Sherry B. " A Question of Governance " Cali-fornia Journal 26 (11), no. November (1995): 22-27 Jose

Lazarovici, Laureen. "Counties in Crisis" Califor-nia Journal 26 (11), no. November (1995): 32-34 Lee

Lewis, Paul G. Deep Roots: Local Government Struc-ture in California. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California, 1998. Rosa

Schmid, Gregory. "Reviving Athenian Democracy in California." Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, & Public Policy VIII (2) (1994): 499-528. Vijay

Schrag, Peter. "Take the Initiative, Please. Ref-erendum Madness in California." The American Pros-pect 28, no. September 1 (1996): 61-65 Jose

Sokolow, Alvin D. and Peter M. Detwiler. "Home Rule in California" prepared for: Home Rule in America: A Fifty State Handbook …August, 1999. (Re-serve) in amazon.com as 2000 publication for $139 editors: Dale Krane, Platon Rigos, and Melvin Hill

Topics for paper/presentation are due

October 18 Demographic and financial change

Required readings:
Baldassare, Mark. PPIC Statewide Survey, January 1999: The Changing Political Landscape. San Fran-cisco: Public Policy Institute of California, 1999. (Reserve)

California. Legislature. Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Legislative Analyst. Why County Reve-nues Vary: State Laws and Local Conditions Affect-ing County Finance: an LAO report. Sacramento, CA.: Legislative Analyst's Office., 1998. (Reserve) also available on the web—I can send you the pdf file) Rosa

Lyon, David W. Representation Without Taxation: Proposition 13 and Local Government in California. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of Califor-nia, 1998. (Reserve) Vijay

Reed, Deborah, Melissa Glenn Haber, and Laura Ma-meesh. The Distribution of Income in California. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of Califor-nia, 1997. Jose

Shires, Michael A. Patterns in California Govern-ment Revenues since Proposition 13. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California, 1999. (Re-serve)

Shires, Michael A., John Ellwood, and Mary Sprague. Has Proposition 13 Delivered? The Changing Tax Bur-den in California. San Francisco: Public Policy In-stitute of California, 1998. (Reserve)

Shires, Michael A., and Melissa Glenn Haber. A Re-view of Local Government Revenue Data in Califor-nia. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California, 1997. (Reserve)

October 25 Review of Library Resources and continued discus-sion of assigned readings

November 1 Meet with Ms. Julia Greene, Executive Director, San Joaquin Council of Governments

November 8 Meet with Mr. David Baker, Chief Administrative Of-ficer, San Joaquin County

November 15 Meet with Mr. Manuel Lopez, Director of Pub-lic Works, San Joaquin County (see handouts)

De-brief afterwards and discuss:
Kirlin, John. "The Impact of Fiscal Limits on Gov-ernance." Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 25 (2), no. Winter (1998): 197-208.

November 22 Mr. Bruce Baracco, Executive Officer of LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission)

De-brief afterwards and discuss:
Kroes, Stephen. "California Spending: Comparing State and Local Government Spending to Other States." Cal-Tax Digest 2 (9), no. November (1998): 3-5.

November 29 Ms. Karry Sullivan , Deputy Director of Plan-ning

De-brief afterwards and discuss detailed out-lines of papers

December 6 Mr. Szalay, California State Association of Counties (CSAC)

De-brief afterwards and discuss:
California Institute for County Government. Effec-tive Fiscal Reform Requires Policy Analysis. (CICG Perspectives), June 2000.

California Institute for County Government. Impli-cations of the Current System of Incentives for County Property Tax Administration in California. (CICG Research Brief), June 2000.

December 13 Final Exam (none scheduled) Last day to submit pa-pers; all late papers will have their grade lowered 5 points for every day late or the student will be given an incomplete. No student presentations.
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