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LA County BOS

Why Topanga Voted on Nov. 8 for the County Supervisor and Not for the Mayor of Los Angeles
Published January 31, 2022, at 12:30 p.m.

By Annemarie Donkin, The Canyon Chronicle

Los Angeles County’s population is larger than all but eight states, has a budget of nearly $40 billion and is run entirely by a five-person Board of Supervisors.

Topanga is located in the County’s Third District and Lindsey P. Horvath is the newly-elected Supervisor. The Supervisor and her staff are the direct representatives for the community of about 13,000 residents known as “Unincorporated Topanga” and the Topanga Town Council (TTC) is the main liaison with the County.


There are 88 cities within the County, each with its own city council. All of the cities, in varying degrees, contract with the County to provide municipal services.

Additionally, more than 60 percent of the County—2,600 square miles—is unincorporated. For the one million people living in those unincorporated areas, including Topanga, the Board of Supervisors is their “city council” and County departments provide the municipal services.

According to the LA Forward Institute, “Los Angeles County makes the decisions about every aspect of our local public and mental health systems, social services and safety net programs, felony prosecution, local jails, child protective services and foster care, services for people who are living without shelter, property tax assessment, sales taxes, the operation of the Metro regional transportation agency, oversight of all public school districts, and even the policing, firefighting, parks, and libraries of approximately half the cities and all of the “unincorporated” areas of LA County. Its $36.1 billion budget is bigger than those of all but 15 states. Compare that to L.A. City, which has a budget of just over $10 billion for a population nearly half the size.”


Due to a lack of having an “official” local voice, the Topanga community (and other similar areas that constitute “communities” or “neighborhoods”) began forming local town councils as nonprofits but not governing bodies, to help organize and communicate local concerns to our County Supervisorial, State and Federal representatives.

“That’s what the Topanga Town Council does. We formed/incorporated as a nonprofit “civic body” to act as a local organizing body/clearinghouse for local community concerns that we distill into a message and share with our elected representatives at the County, State and Federal levels. We operate as a totally open/ accessible nonprofit that any member of the public can participate in (and whose meetings folks can attend) for free.

“We hold 10 public meetings per year at which residents can meet with our County/State/ Federal representatives and share their concerns. If we receive a critical mass of complaints about a particular issue or concern, we will issue a summary statement of the issue and the prevailing concerns, as well as some potential solutions that may be palatable to residents based on the feedback that we receive from them and local businesses and nonprofits.

There's much more to learn, so please head to The Canyon Chronicle to read the rest.

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