Supervisor Kuehl today issued the following statement regarding SCA 12 (Mendoza), a proposed constitutional amendment which would place a measure before voters in every county in California to solely require LA County to expand the current number of supervisors and establish an elected CEO:

“I strongly oppose SCA 12. It is inappropriate from any point of view to allow the voters from 57 other counties to dictate the governance structure of our county. No other local jurisdiction is so cynically singled out. It’s hard for me to believe that elected representatives in Kern, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Bernadino, San Diego and other counties would welcome the specter of Angelenos removing their right to local self-determination. Nor do I imagine that voters in Northern California should have the right to vote on a constitutional amendment to change the governance structure of a county hundreds of miles to the south. As someone who spent 14 years as a legislator in Sacramento, I know the magnitude a proposal to amend the California constitution should have. This kind of personal cherry-picking represents an extraordinary state overreach.

Voters in Los Angeles County already have the ability to expand the membership of their Board of Supervisors or establish an elected county Chief Executive Officer by amending the County Charter through a local ballot measure, which is the only appropriate way to do it. Since 1962, Los Angeles County voters have had four opportunities to expand the board and each time voters have overwhelmingly rejected such proposals.

The proposal also calls for an elected CEO which would deeply politicize the administrative and ministerial work of County government and would reverse a significant change recently made by this Board that is already improving accountability and transparency by County departments.

The idea that the Board of Supervisors could be expanded at no additional cost is absurd. To attempt to do so would require two entirely new offices, six district offices, and two full staffs in addition to expansion of the executive function to give it total control over the budget. Representation excels when it is attentive and personal, not when you add representatives.

Finally, it’s suspicious that centrists in the legislature want to water down a progressive board. Or perhaps there are just too many women? All the authors of this wrong-headed bill are men. I’m just saying.”