Role of the LAFCO Commissioner
The Commissioner's role cannot be separated from the role of the Commission itself.
Enabling statutes set forth Statewide purposes and policies for LAFCOs. Among these basic purposes are: The discouragement of urban sprawl and the encouragement of the orderly formation and development of local governmental agencies based upon local conditions and circumstances. . .
With regard to urban development patterns and the preservation of open space lands, the intent of the Legislature is that LAFCOs: Establish policies and exercise their powers pursuant to this chapter in such manner to encourage and provide planned, well-ordered, efficient urban development patterns with appropriate consideration of preserving open space lands within such patterns.
The Commission is also subject to CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act, the State's open meeting law.
Regional Decision Maker
The members of the Commission, by majority action, establish public policy in the areas of governmental boundaries, urban patterns, the provision of public services and jurisdictional relationships between local agencies.
This requires each LAFCO Commissioner to weigh evidence and render:
- Policy decisions regarding such matters as urban sprawl, agricultural preservation and orderly governmental boundaries; and
- Technical decisions based upon factors such as the need and adequacy of public services, compatibility of proposals with adopted plans and the effects of alternate actions.
The Legislature has established a balanced membership on LAFCO consisting of City, County, Public and Special District members.
Members are not, however, appointed to be representative of a particular ""city"", ""county"" or ""special district"" viewpoint. The mixed membership is to ensure that various backgrounds and appreciations are reflected on the Commission.
Commissioners should rely upon their expertise and experience while on LAFCO and exercise responsibility through a regional, LAFCO perspective in making decisions.
LAFCOs are established as independent commissions and are not a part of the County government. Each Commissioner is independent in weighing and reviewing information and making a determination based upon the particular matter under review and in consideration of LAFCO's underlying purposes.
The Commission is responsible for establishing policies and objectives and adopting an annual budget which is adequate and appropriate to achieve LAFCO's legal and programmatic responsibilities.
It is the responsibility of Commission to appoint an Executive Officer to fulfill LAFCO's managerial and staff needs and who will ensure required information is presented to support the decisions which are made and who will administer the LAFCO operation efficiently and effectively.