Sunday, January 29, 2017

Efficiency Jurisdictional Sizing

A website exists for extolling the virtues of building the rest of the 710 Freeway in Southern California. The website bears the official seals of many cities in the area. The city that matters, though, South Pasadena, isn't among them.

South Pasadena has a population of 25,000 people. For nearly 60 years, they have blocked the construction of a road that would improve the lives of the Los Angeles area's millions of residents. Democracy is great, but it's not supposed to be an exercise in hostage-taking. As George Will has recently noted, and as Mark Steyn noted before him, we now celebrate those who block things instead of those who do things.

I'm all for local government, and I'm generally sympathetic to efforts to create new local government jurisdictions, such as the campaigns to form the City of San Fernando Valley or Mission County, but I'm not in favor of a minuscule minority hijacking the political process to enrich themselves (see Ventura County's SOAR ordinances) or protect their "quality of life" by forcing undesirable aspects of their circumstances onto their recourseless neighbors (as South Pasadena has done). Stronger regional government planning authority is needed.

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