I lean strongly to the notion of the closer and more local the government is able to meet the needs of local residents and voters, the better.
More Jeffersonian than Hamiltonian. Read the Federalist Papers.
Don't depend on the county, the state, or the DC folks to be the heroes. The further up the government food chain they are, the more they get into uncompromising ideology and dysfunction.
Palo Alto happens to be a complicated small city. Other such places include Cambridge, Boulder, Evanston, New Haven, Princeton: see a trend? Places with major universities joined at the hip with the city they adjoin.
I cite these cities as examples of how dysfunctional and polemically divided people are with town and gown.
The good news is that many, maybe most, cities and towns of our size do not face or have to deal with such complexities as we do in Palo Alto.
The bad news is that things in these parts take much more time and effort to get reviewed, approved, and completed than may take place in vicinities with less complexity.
The worse news is that our counties, our state, and our country are, to use a sailing phrase, in irons.
I personally had a legitimate gripe with the State of California, and had a face to face with the Assemblyman, it got nowhere. Similarly, I had a dispute with the IRS, ultimately settled to my favor, and the Congresswoman's staff were of no help getting the matter resolved. Go figure on constituent support. Government inaction (not in action.)
I am at the point where I don't care if it is President Obama, whom I admire (with misgivings,) or GOP Senate Leader McConnell of Kentucky (whose earthly mumbles must appeal to 'nuff folks to keep him re-elected.) And by the way, there is a country singer who is considering a senate race against Mitch.
I have displayed some of my political biases in this blog. The main point here is to push as much as possible to the local level. While I understand and value much of what the governments do at broader levels, and recognize that most cities, townships, et al are not the likes of Palo Alto or Evanston or Princeton…
Push it down! This sequestration thing going on right now in DC is a perfect example of why we need to adhere to the roots from which our country are based.