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A powerful defense of special districts at Little Hoover Commission hearing

Posted by Sloane Dell'Orto | August 31, 2016

And we’re not done yet!

Kyle Packham, Advocacy and Public Affairs Director at CSDA, testified on special districts at the Little Hoover Commission (LHC) last week. The Commission is following up on their 2000 report findings titled, Special Districts: Relics of the Past or Resources for the Future? 

According to their website:

While the strengths of special districts include their ability to provide specific, customized services and be responsive to local customers, their challenges include low civic visibility and limited oversight.

I was impressed with the many speakers who clearly explained why special districts are so important … but Kyle absolutely rocked it. Along with his legislative staff, they prepared well and delivered testimony that would have made any special district proud. It was hard for anyone to deliver negative testimony against special districts after he was done. 

You can watch the entire video online, especially if you have 3 hours to spend. :-)

  • If you don’t have that much time, please watch Kyle’s testimony – he is the first to speak, right around 5 minutes in. I promise it’s worth it.
  • I attended too, and shared some information about special districts from the perspective of someone from a very small town with very great districts. (And I harped on the state a bit, because I couldn’t help it.) That’s toward the very end, somewhere around 3 hours, 9 minutes 30 seconds. (Yawn!)

I’d like to give a huge shout out to CSDA – they have the backs of special districts in California, as evidenced by their written and verbal testimony and all the efforts they put into helping special districts to do the important work they do. Even if your district isn’t a CSDA member, they are working very hard for you.

Here’s why I’m writing about this:

It’s important that the LHC knows what districts are up to and hears it directly from the people doing the work. Based on the testimony received, the Commission intends to hold a second hearing on October 27 that will narrow its focus to specific issues it considers meritorious for further review. The focuses of the last hearing were consolidation, property taxes (especially for enterprise districts) and “excessive” reserves.

There are a few ways you can keep informed and take part:

  • Become a member of CSDA, if you aren’t already. They are doing amazing work for special districts, and will keep you informed of important events like this. (Plus they offer lots of great benefits, including discounts on our Web platform!)
  • Learn more about the Little Hoover Commission’s review of special districts (links below). Read the original report, August agenda, and written testimony, to determine if there’s a perspective you have to offer that might not have been presented yet.
  • Send a request to if you would like to be notified electronically of meetings, events, or when the review is complete. 

We are so proud of special districts, and of the way CSDA goes to bat for them! Thanks for reading (and engaging!)

– Sloane


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