Is it Time to Redraw California’s Counties?

California faces efforts to redefine what the state is all the time. Just look at the Six Californias initiative from 2014 or the State of Jefferson Movement swirling around NorCal these days.

Have you considered what it would mean to redo the counties?

Joe Matthews writing for USA Today did just that over the weekend and he has some worthwhile observations to consider.

25 of the 58 counties have populations below 140,000. A couple of the counties are so sprawling they take hours to drive through. The metropolitan areas in the state are carved up via counties rather than unified by them, save for San Diego County.

Matthews puts forth the idea that the county lines, drawn “haphazardly” over 100 years ago contributes to the divisions seen in California, socially, economically, and civically.

So what is the right number of Counties?

Matthews points to a book called California 2.0, written by Thom Bryant a retired Silicon Valley Executive, which says a more regional approach should be taken. These regions are already existing when you look at transit systems, local economies, housing markets, and the environment.

Using this approach, Bryant posits that a consolidation to just 19 counties would be the ideal for the state. It also mentions that going back to the 10 territorial districts that the Spanish military used would still benefit the state.

Matthews’ piece can be read here.


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