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Santa Cruz Local Explores How Local Government Works

Reporter Stephen Baxter outlines Santa Cruz County’s power structure in “A Guide to Local Government.”

The campus where Santa Cruz County employees spend their workdays.
The campus where Santa Cruz County employees spend their workdays. California Local

It’s surprising how little the average person knows about how a county functions. Santa Cruz Local’s own Stephen Baxter outlines this county’s ins and outs in A Guide to Local Government. The best way to describe this glorious corner of the world is “small but dense.” Only minuscule Alpine County is smaller in area, but Santa Cruz has “four cities, more than nine water agencies, at least 11 fire departments, 10 school districts and six law enforcement agencies.”

Jurisdictional matters are bewildering for the citizen. One can live here a good long time and still not know where a city ends and a county line begins. “Who is in charge of what around here?” Baxter asks rhetorically and then provides the answer in “Who are my elected leaders in Santa Cruz County?” Baxter covers how to deal with matters involving roads, housing and other development, and offers direction on where concerned citizens can show up and make their problems known. And he explains what must be brought to the attention of the state or the feds.

Read more at “A Guide to Local Government


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