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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA March 7, 2000 Election
Measure A
Removal of Positions from Civil Service
Los Angeles County

Charter Amendment

693,674 / 50.55% Yes votes ...... 678,690 / 49.45% No votes

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Information shown below: Summary | Arguments |
Shall the positions of Chief Deputies, and of assistants or deputies next in line of authority to Chief Deputies, be removed from the County's Civil Service System and placed in the unclassified service?
Summary Prepared by League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County:
Background -- Under the Charter, County employment is divided into the classified and unclassified service. Persons employed in the unclassified service are covered by applicable federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination, but are not subject to the County's Civil Service Rules governing eligibility, appointments, disciplinary, and termination procedures. In 1976 Los Angeles County voters passed Measure B removing Department Heads from the classified service [civil service]. Ten years later, the Board of Supervisors placed on the June 1986 ballot a proposed County Charter Amendment [Measure A] that would have removed an additional limited number of management positions from the classified service, part of a proposal by Chief Administrative Officer James Hankla to create a Management Merit System. Voters defeated the June 1986 Measure A. In December 1986, the Board of Supervisors approved a performance-based pay plan for about 400 senior managers, but could not change the classification system without voter approval. Approval is now being sought to remove an additional two tiers of administration from the classified service.

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Arguments For Measure A Arguments Against Measure A
  • To see that tax dollars are wisely spent and services delivered efficiently, accountability is necessary.
  • Greater accountability and innovations resulted when Department Heads were exempted from the classified system. It is time to extend those benefits and empower our top bureaucrats with more authority and responsibility.
  • By exempting the two tiers of management directly under them from civil service protection, Department Heads would be able to exercise greater control over operations in their departments and would themselves be held more accountable for actions of their departments.

  • As the bureaucracy grows, civil service protection is increasingly important to dedicated civil servants.
  • Innovation and creativity thrive better in a climate of job safety and security than when suggestions for change and new ideas may put one at risk.
  • "Whistle blowers" have little protection as it is, and will have even less motivation to speak in the puboic interest if their jobs can be threatened if they do so. County workers in management positions should continue to have the assurance of job security that civil service provides.

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Created: April 13, 2000 12:22
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