Skip to main content

Our View: Local control for 210 people, but not for 5 million people

Secret San Francisco is an online guide to news, events, and things to do in the Bay Area. Their website has an "Escapes" section that dives into day trips and weekend excursions to the many cool places close to the Bay Area. They recently published an article about Amador City, the smallest of California's 482 cities.

Amador City was incorporated 108 years ago. It currently has barely more than 200 residents. All of those people have something 5 million Californians who live in unincorporated communities do not have: local control. The people of Amador City run their own affairs. They also have equal standing with the other cities in Amador County on various Joint Powers Authorities within Amador County that handle fire protection, solid waste, wastewater, transit, and recreation.

May contain: neighborhood, countryside, nature, outdoors, city, road, street, urban, rural, person, architecture, building, housing, car, transportation, and vehicle
Amador City is a cool little town, a municipality run by the people who live there.

God bless the good people of Amador City - they have a Mayor and a City Council to focus on local priorities. We do not care that there are less residents there than there are in some of the smaller apartment complexes in several of our coalition's communities. What matters to us is that they are in charge of their community. And they have obviously done a good job at it.

Our concern is instead about why we Californians who live in urbanized unincorporated areas do not have the same rights and privileges as the citizens of Amador City (pop. 210). Or the residents of the other cities in Amador County: Ione (pop. 8772), Jackson (pop. 4938), Plymouth (pop.1062) and Sutter Creek (pop. 2590). Those places have democracy, something the state of California in its great wisdom continues to deny for our places. Amador City has 1 local elected official for every 42 residents. The citizens there have fabulous listening behavior from their municipal government - stuff gets done. Our unincorporated communities are relatively small parts of 1 County Supervisor's constituency. Our citizens are routinely ignored by their municipal government. Our communities often have to put up hissy fits to get any attention, with the usual result being ongoing disregard by the Powers That Be. Our citizens want an end to Taxation without Representation. Why does the state of California make it so hard, so tedious and so expensive for our communities to incorporate, to gain local control?

Join our mailing list