The freedom enjoyed by opinion writers often grants them the ability – and venue – to say what many others are thinking. Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee seemed to say that the often-strained relationship between local governments and the state may be coming to a head.

After the approval of Proposition 13, Walters asserts that the relationship between governments has devolved into a turf-war, power-grab scheme. Cities continue to exert their independence – especially those with established city charters – and the state that continues to take and dictate. Recently, that has played out with Redevelopment Agencies and their abrupt demise.

However, more fronts continue opening up. San Diego approved a ban on Project Labor Agreements, despite the state approving legislation that would cut off funding to cities with such policies. There were also rumors of the state overstepping local voters in San Diego and San Jose to tamper with pension reforms.

Often, these battles require costly and time consuming legal fights, and only then does the court intercede to (at least temporarily) re-establish some modicum of decorum between California’s plethora of governments.

From the Sacramento Bee:

The relationship between state and local governments has always been testy, but more so since voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978, reducing local property taxes.

One Proposition 13 effect was to shift more responsibility for financing schools and localgovernment services to the state, and with that shift, state politicians assumed they could dictate policy to locals.

Read the full article here.