Question#2. Competency: to participate in and contribute to the public policy process
You are a legislative assistant to the Chief Administrator for a California County (you select which one). The CAO was tasked by the Board of Supervisors to initiate a new Water Management Policy for the County. The CAO has tasked you to write the initial brief for the process. In that brief, you need to
- a) identify the policy issues;
- b) identify the stakeholders- both public and private and what their concerns are;
- c) articulate the policy process and how you will seek to manage it
- d) Suggest what the biggest problem is and how you recommend addressing it.
- Identify the policy issues: (C.A.C)
United States Public Administration: participate in and contribute to the public policy process paper outline
- Clean water
- Water filtration system
- Safe water sources
- Infrastructure (PPP) – plants, pipes & pumps
- Affordable water
- Budget (for providers and users)
- Agricultural Return on investment (ROI)
- Ethically & Sustainibly sourced
- Environmentally friendly
- Best practices
- Identify the stakeholders-both public and private and what their concerns are:
Intergovernmental Relations – Compliance and communication among all levels of govt.
- In democracy there are many interest groups who are affected differently by public policy.
- Public managers/leaders have to navigate different stakeholder groups and be aware of their interests and perspectives.
- When policies are proposed to legislators—interest groups will lobby their positions. If we have not consulted and worked with all parties, they may block progress in the legislative arena.
- Stakeholders may or may not agree with the policy.
- Run the risk of stakeholders not agreeing w policy and in turn vote that elected official out of office.
- Articulate the policy process and how you will seek to manage it
- Explains how we are seeking to manage the process:
6 STEPS ( A.F.L.I.E.C)
1.Agenda Setting– define the problem
- Research current water mgmt issues
By: Collect data. Find out what is causing it? Are sources being wasted?FLUFF: Consider: Are resources being wasted? How many are being affected?
- Policy Formulation – Outline policy goals & strategies
- Gather experts (water & environmental) to discuss the problem & how it can be solved.
By: using tools such as cost benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis and brainstorming.
- Policy Legitimation – Get political support
- Propose the policy to legislatures
By: engaging with stakeholders to get political support.
- The County Board of Supervisors will vote to enact or not.
- Put the policy into effect.
By: awareness campaigns, staff training/development.
- Assessment & accountability
- Policy and Program Evaluation
- Assessment & accountability
By: Monitoring effectiveness
- FLUFF: We will analyze the effectiveness of our new policy to help manage water resources and how successful it is (evaluation).
- Policy Change / Termination
- Use evaluation to make changes or replace policy altogether.
If evaluation says this policy is not working, what can we do to make it work or does it need to be cancelled altogether? If our research shows the new policy is not working, what can we do?
- Suggest what the biggest problem is and how you recommend addressing it.
**Biggest Problem: Meeting the concerns of both internal and external stakeholders such as: Quality of water, cost and Equity
Quality of Water:
-Assess the conditions of water facilities, water sources
-Assess the conditions on how water is being delivered to the consumers.
-Water testing & contamination
- Work with county engineers & water specialists to suggest infrastructure & water improvements.
- Enforce regulations to meet standards set by health agencies so consumers have quality water.
- Plan B: Working w/ other water districts to have a plan in place in case of water scarcity.
-Contracting: Analyze the costs for San Bernardino County vs. privatization to implement the policy.
- Seek funding: federal/state grants
- consider possible partnerships
- Accessibility (Ensuring that everyone in our county has safe, reliable, and affordable water).
- Progressive water policy that is intersectional and seeks to eliminate disparities in access across different racial demographics and socio-economic areas.
- For ex: Human Rights to Water Act 2012 (Cali) or Compton
***when your water is F’d up Beverly Hills vs. SB
** Example of Compton
For example, currently the city of Compton area that is coming from the Sativa Water District is coming out discolored and residents do not want to use it. Los Angeles County Public Works took over management of the water district stating “as the Interim Administrator, the County will assess the condition of Sativa’s existing water facilities and identify improvements to deliver safe drinking water. Based on this assessment, the County will make critical operational changes and infrastructure improvements working closely with the State to ensure that water quality meets all regulatory standards” (Director Mark Pestrella Los Angeles County Public Works).
United States Public Administration: participate in and contribute to the public policy process assignment sample
Deanna’s Input for Question 2
As the legislative assistant to the Chief Administrator for Riverside County some of the key functions include monitoring pending legislation, conducting research, drafting legislation, giving advice and counsel, and making recommendations.
Identify the policy issues;
Riverside County has experienced negative propaganda on our water quality. However, Riverside County provides an annual drinking water quality report to ensure full transparency, clear communication, and information on how the county’s water met or surpassed all state and federal drinking water quality standards each year. Although Riverside County meets the quality standards each year, California’s booming population growth is impacting Riverside County drinking water quality sustainability. The following is a brief for a new water management policy to help sustain water quality in the County, which includes the development of a new drinking water treatment plant. The proposed drinking water treatment plant will also reduce the region’s dependence on imported water and eliminate as many contaminants in drinking water for public health. In addition, the county could potentially sell water to neighboring counties and the agricultural sector to help increase local revenue to the county.
Identify the stakeholders (public and private) and concerns
- Government agencies and agents – Local and state elected officials (e.g., mayors, county supervisors, etc.); local municipal water board; Western Municipal Water District; the State Water Resources Control Board, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Water Resources, Water Management Group, Public Health Officials, Water Utility Company in Riverside County, State water quality control board, and local land management and recreation agencies. Potential concerns may include the following: jurisdiction disputes; competing and conflicting existing public policies and regulations; differing political opinions regarding solutions to water crises; access to needed capital to develop and run proposed drinking water treatment plants; and unanticipated future operating expenses.
- Private sector – water study groups; local business and landowners; energy companies; and agricultural land groups; and legal counsel and experts. Potential concerns may include the following: land-right disputes; competing energy industries (traditional vs solar) and loss of revenue; operational constraints due to potential new regulations; and fear of increased operating costs due to added taxes to help offset costs of new drinking water treatment plant.
- Non-profit sector – environmental organizations, preservation and advocacy groups. Potential concerns may include the following: safety and water quality, and the capacity to support a three percent growth every year through 2045. Management of hazardous waste and environmental pollutants and impact on climate change due to large amounts of electrical energy needed to run the facility.
- Citizens – Potential concerns may include the following: input and feedback during planning and public comment periods; opposition to increase taxes to pay for facilities; and reduced access to existing beach and recreation locations.
Articulate the policy process and how to manage it
- Components of Public Policy
- Policy Statement
– Problem definition
– Policy goals
– Policy instruments
Policy Process 5 Steps
- Agenda setting – recognition that a problem is worthy of consideration for governmental action. Research current water management issues. When collecting data, one needs to find out what is causing it? Are sources being wasted? How many are being affected?
- Policy Formulation – identification of alternative approaches to addressing the problems placed on the government’s agenda. Gather experts (water & environmental) to discuss the problem & how it can be solved. Use tools such as cost benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis and brainstorming.
- Policy Adoption – Get political support, through formal selection of public policies through legislative, executive, judicial, and bureaucratic means. Engaging with stakeholders to get political support.
- Policy Implementation – Put the policy into effect. Provide awareness campaigns, staff training/development. The actual funding and administrative or application of public policies.
- Policy Evaluation – the determination of policy’s accomplishments, consequences, or shortcomings. Monitor effectiveness. An analysis of effectiveness of the new policy will need to take place to help manage water resources and how successful it is (evaluation).
- Policy Change/Termination – use evaluation to make changes or replace policy altogether. If evaluation says this policy is not working, what can we do to make it work or does it need to be cancelled altogether? If our research shows the new policy is not working, what can we do?
Suggest what the biggest problem is and recommend address it
- Price tag – similar project in Santa Barbara had a price tag of $72 million – this project would be much smaller with a price tag of $20M finance over 20 years with low percent interest rate loan; Grants from state and Department of Water Resources; Water Bond voted on by citizens; The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $187.3 million to California to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
- Use of Electricity – machines consume large amounts of electricity making production expensive – installation of solar powers to help reduce and sustain low power consumption; Grants; contracts with local cities for consumption.
- Wicked problem – water capture and preservation viewed differently through the lens of varying policy actors. Environmentalist will have one viewpoint and opinion regarding solutions
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