Metropolitan and Regional Governance



Local Public Administration in the Metropolitan Context

This paper examines administrative conjunction as a characteristic of local governmental administration. According to Frederickson, the practice of administrative conjunction is designed to ameliorate issues associated with the disarticulated city-the declining relationship between jurisdiction and public management. This paper develops the fundamental principles of administrative conjunction and examines, through survey research, the degree to which these principles are practiced. The Southern California region is metropolitan context from which the sample is drawn. Conclusions about local government administration are established.

This paper was originally presented by Jack W. Meek, Keith Schildt and Matt Witt at the Hansell Conference on “Management and the American City,” held at Kansas University on April 2002. The paper is published in The Future of Local Government Administration: The Hansell Symposium. Washington D.C.: The International City Management Association. (For further information contact Jack W. Meek)

Sub-regional Transportation Initiatives: Implications for Governance

This paper seeks to examine the role of selected institutional and formal initiatives (joint power authorities) as integrative functions among local governments of the metropolitan region. From a systems perspective, these networks act as integrative functions and are viewed as one of many behaviors that are more or less regional or region-like. This paper draws lessons from different examples of initiatives in the Greater Los Angeles area, examples particularly representative of one sub-region of the area, the San Gabriel Valley. One outcome of these associations may signal a shift to a governance paradigm where policy creation and implementation is less a product of top-down intentional design, such as regional planning requirements developed at the state and federal levels, as it is individual vision, initiative and leadership at the local levels.

Note: This paper has been accepted for publication with the International Journal for Public Administration (IJPA) in a 2006 symposium addressing the Transportation Policy and Administration, edited by Jeremy F. Plant.

This paper was originally presented by Paul Hubler and Jack W. Meek for the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Conference, “The Power of the Public Service,” Washington D.C., March 16-20, 2003. The panel was entitled “Metropolitan Regional Governance and the Challenges for Public Service.”
(For further information contact Jack W. Meek)

Emerging Forms of Metropolitan Governance

This paper examines the emergence of various forms of social and political interactions that are having a significant influence on the management of metropolitan areas. The paper reviews several different approaches to urban governance that have recently emerged on the metropolitan scene: administrative conjunction, neighborhood councils, business improvement districts, and sub-regional associations. Combined, these new forms of interaction are contributing to an enhanced involvement of citizens and administrators as they strive to improve the quality of live in their region. The paper concludes that these and other forms of governance are fulfilling a useful need in addressing problems and solutions that are not met by traditional, jurisdictionally based public administration and government.

Note: The paper will be published in a 2005 book entitled Public Management in the 21st Century.

This paper was originally presented by at the International Academic Symposium on “Public Management in 21st century: Opportunities and Challenges” Sponsored by the Center for Public Administration of Zhongshan University (CPAZU), Macau, China on 9-11 January 2004.
(For further information contact Jack W. Meek)

Complementary Government: Policy Management and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Southern California

The focus of the paper placed on recognizing emerging forms of partnerships within and among traditional local jurisdictional arrangements that are shaping the metropolitan landscape. One of these forms is examined in detail: the appearance of city-based Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). In addition to the rapid rise in the popularity of BIDs as a tool for secure and focused service provision, BIDs have also evolved into professionally run organizations that have both public and private characteristics. This unique feature makes them worthy of attention in the years to come. The state of California ranks first in hosting most of these entities (73 in 1999) among American States, which in total include some 404.

Viewed as a public-private partnership, BIDs are able to organize shared interests and influence that local governments have been unable to generate. As such, they represent a positive force in both economic development and in public service determination and delivery. This paper draws upon interviews from leadership of these new partnerships and examines how they are viewed as complimentary to local government and community interests and to local government service delivery. As these new partnerships emerge and grow, there are also several areas of concern that will need attention by traditional governmental authorities. Traditional public administration concerns of accountability, responsibility and equality are raised as these new partnerships gain in influence and presence.

Note: The paper will be published as part of a forthcoming book entitled The Challenges and the Opportunities for Public Administration in a Rapidly Changing World.

This paper was originally presented for the 2nd Sino-US International Conference for Public Administration in Beijing, P.R. China, from May 24-25, 2004.
The conference is at the Run Run Shaw Conference Center at Renmin University of China (RUC).
The conference theme is “The Challenges and the Opportunities for Public Administration in a Rapidly Changing World.”
(For further information contact Jack W. Meek)

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Southern California: Implications for Local Governance

This paper provides an assessment of the nature and functioning of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the metropolitan area of the Southern California region. While BIDs have a history dating back to the 1920s, the emergence of BIDs is a relatively new phenomenon [most existing BIDs were established in the 1980s and 1990s] in metropolitan governance that has jurisdictional implications.

This paper will present the results of five case studies in the Los Angeles area and conditions of their creation; their functions, budgets, and performance evaluation practices; and the political and economic opportunities and problems they create. Interviews were conducted with BID managers, and local government representatives. Contextual information was gathered from state laws, official documents, and websites.

The focus of the paper will be to examine the implications of BIDs for public governance in general and public administrators in metropolitan areas in particular. The result of this research will be to contribute to a comparative examination of BIDs in four regions in the United States, allowing theoretical interests in BIDs to be expanded, including the assessment of the multiple interpretation of BIDs that range from innovative solutions designed to finance special public needs to obtaining unfair access to the policy process through unduly limited representation.

Note: This paper has been accepted for publication with the International Journal for Public Administration (IJPA) in a 2005 symposium addressing the Business Improvement Districts, edited by Goktug Morcol.

This paper was orginally presented by Jack W. Meek and Paul Hubler for the ASPA Conference, “Transforming Governance In a World Without Borders,” Portland Oregon. March 27-30, 2004. The panel was entitled “Business Improvement Districts: Local Government and Interjurisdictional Implications.”
(For further information contact Jack W. Meek)