Water problems in the context of county government decision-making

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Water problems in the context of county government decision-making
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Abstract:
In this report, Florida county commissioners' perceptions of selected water problems were compared with their perceptions of a typical agenda of selected non-water problems to assess where water problems "fit" with other problems in terms of their priorities. This purpose was accomplished: (1) through a comparison of Florida county commissioners' perceptions of the severity of water problems with other problems; (2) by examining the relationship between water problems and the effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water problems; and (3) by examining the effects of population, residential and industrial growth on commissioners' attitudes about what type of water problems are most severe (e.g., those which stimulate growth and development such as drainage or those which come as a result of growth and development such as sewage treatment).

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Publication No. 32

Water Problems in the Context of County
Government Decision-Making


By
Robert D. Thomas

DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton















ERRATA: The mean rankings for problem severity in Table 3
(p.15), Figure 1 (p. 17), and Figure 2 (p. 21) range
from a low of 1.00 to a high of 4.00 as follows:
1.00=no problem; 2.00=not at all severe; 3.00 =not
very severe; and 4.00=severe.

The mean rankings for effectiveness of policy
measures in Table 4 (p. 19) and Figure 2 (p. 21)
range from a low of 1.00 to a high of 4.00 as
follows: 1.00=not at all effective; 2.00=not
very effective; 3.00=fairly effective; and 4.00=
very effective.


















WATER PROBLEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF COUNTY
GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKING



by



Robert D. Thomas


PUBLICATION NO. 32

FLORIDA WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH CENTER


RESEARCH PROJECT TECHNICAL COMPLETION REPORT


OWRT Project Number A-029-FLA


Report Submitted: October 1, 1975


The work upon which this report is based was supported by funds
provided by the United States Department of the
Interior, Office of Water Research and
Technology, as authorized under the
Water Resources Research Act of
1964, as amended.












ABSTRACT


WATER PROBLEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF COUNTY

GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKING



In this report, Florida county commissioners'
perceptions of selected water problems were compared
with their perceptions of a typical agenda of selected
non-water problems to assess where water problems "fit"
with other problems in terms of their priorities. This
purpose was accomplished: (1) through a comparison of
Florida county commissioners' perceptions of the sever-
ity of water problems with other problems; (2) by exa-
mining the relationship between water problems and the
effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water
problems; and (3) by examining the effects of popula-
tion, residential and industrial growth on commissioners'
attitudes about what type of water problems are most
severe (e.g., those which stimulate growth and develop-
ment such as drainage or those which come as a result
of growth and development such as sewage treatment).


Thomas, Robert D.
WATER PROBLEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT
DECISION-MAKING
Research Project Technical Completion Report, Office
of Water Research and Technology, Department of the
Interior, October, 1975
KEY WORDS: county commissioners' attitudes*/water
resource problems*/non-water problems*/decision-making*/
growth and development*/county government.












ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


In doing any research, debts are encumbered.
This project is no exception. Several individuals
have given me a great deal of assistance during vari-
ous phases of this study.


Dr. Vincent L. Marando of the Institute for
Urban Affairs, University of Maryland, has provided
helpful assistance throughout the study.


James Herb, who worked as a graduate assis-
tant on this project, provided not only yeoman service
in data coding but also innovative ideas about how
Florida commissioners' attitudes should be analyzed.


Finally, as is always the case, Dr. Willian
Morgan patiently answered my questions and lent the
support of the Florida Water Resources Research Center.


iii











TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page


T ITLE ..................................................
ABSTRACT ...............................................
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........................................
TABLE OF CONTENTS ......................................
LIST OF TABLES ........................................
LIST OF FIGURES ........................................


1.2
1.2
1.2


ii
iii
iv
v
v
V


INTRODUCTION ..............................
The Study .................. .............
Methods of Data Collection and Analysis ...


2. THE PROBLEM CONTEXT FOR COMMISSIONERS .....
2.1 Frequency of Functions Performed by
Counties .................................
2.2 Severity of Water Problems Versus Sixteen
Non-Water Problems .....................
2.3 Propensity of Commissioners to Deal with
Water Problems ..........................
2.4 Effectiveness of Policy Measures in
Dealing with Water Problems ...............


CHAPTER 3.


CHAPTER 4.


TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS PERCEIVED TO BE
MOST SEVERE ...............................

SUMMARY ...................................


NOTES ..................................................

REFERENCES ....... ......................................


QUESTIONNAIRE .............................


CHAPTER



CHAPTER


APPENDIX A









LIST OF TABLES


Page


TABLE 1 Selected Problems and Policy Measures .......

TABLE 2 Frequency of Functions Performed by 1,026
Counties with Percentage Differences between
Urban and Non-Urban Counties by Individual
Functions in Issue-Areas ...................


TABLE 3


Ranking of Problems by Severity .............


TABLE 4 Ranking of Policy Measures by Effectiveness..


TABLE 5



TABLE 6


Scale Types for Florida Commissioners'
Perceptions of the Severity of Water
Problems ..................................... 23

Relationship Between Demographic Growth
Characteristics of Florida Counties and
Commissioners' Attitudes About Most
Severe Type of Water Problem ................ 27


TABLE 7 Relationship Between Residential Growth
of Florida Counties and Commissioners'
Attitudes About Most Severe Type of Water
Problem .....................................

TABLE 8 Relationship Between Industrial Growth
of Florida Counties and Commissioners'
Attitudes about Most Severe Type of Water
Problem .....................................



LIST OF FIGURES


28




29




Page


FIGURE 1



FIGURE 2


Relationship Between the Severity of
Non-Water Problems and the Severity
of Water Problems ...........................

Relationship Between Severity of Water
Problems and Effectiveness of Policy
Measures to Deal with Water Problems ........


17



21












1. INTRODUCTION


County governments stand as symbols of tradi-
tional local government. For a large segment of the
American people, county governments establish a link
with the country's rural heritage. As Grant and Nixon
(1968:413) have argued:


Although many counties are sufficiently populated
to be classed as urban or semi-urban, a majority of
them are primarily rural or small-town in composition
and retain patterns of government that were created
by an agrarian society. Counties provide civic links
between rural citizens and the outside world. County-
government continues to reflect no little acceptance
of the idea of performance by laymen or amateurs
rather then by experts or professionals, unless pol-
iticians be classed as professionals.


County governments are also the most territori-
ally pervasive local governments in the United States.
With the exception of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and
Alaska, the authorities of county commissioners touch every
geographic section of the country. However, the authori-
ties of commissioners vary widely across geographic areas
of the United States. In the New England states, for
example, counties are especially weak because of localized
power being in the hands of town councils. On the other
hand, in the Southernstates, historically counties have
been and continue to be where the local policy action exists.
Counties either share local power with cities, or have greater
authorities than cities. For many issues, it is the county
courthouse, to a larger extent than city hall, where local
policy is largely affected in the South (Wager, 1950).


Regardless of the geographic dispersion of their
influence, decisions of county commissioners directly or
indirectly affect citizens throughout the country. County
commissioners have an authoritative hand in almost every
conceivable type of local governmental function: roads,
public health facilities and services, libraries, law
enforcement, solid waste management, schools and education,











recreation, planning, zoning, water supply and pollution
control, and so on and on. Moreover, unlike cities and
special districts, county functions include not only the
delivery of local services but also the administration
of state services such as elections, records, and courts.


The extent to which counties affect citizens
has undergone change throughout the history of the United
States. Before the Revolution, colonial counties had
characteristics of English parishes and served both eccles-
iastic and civil purposes. Immediately following the
Revolution, counties served mainly as administrative arms
of state governments. Their role in the capacity of state
administrative subdivisions expanded their organization
to include officers such as county treasurer, assessor,
surveyor, sheriff, and prosecuting attorney. The collec-
tion of taxes, the subdivision and platting of land, and
the enforcement of laws necessitated state mandated offi-
cials to provide these functions locally through the struc-
ture of county governments.


As urbanization began to increase after the Civil
War and has continued more intensely since World War I,
county services have been expanded. The most important
of these have been general governmental services. Coun-
ties, particularly those with urban characteristics, began
taking on corporate structures to provide functions demanded
by local populations. Thus, the principal state functions
that counties performed have been expanded with urbaniza-
tion to include an additional role: counties as corporate
entities (Duncombe, 1966: Chapter 2).


The evolution of the activities of counties points
to two important interrelated factors which influence how
county commissioners respond to public problems. The
first is state. Counties have always operated as adminis-
trative subdivisions of the state. Much of what counties
do is directly affected by what the state requires them
to do. More so than cities, counties have both a histor-
ical and substantive link to state governments. Counties
more than cities must look to the state for organizational,
policy, and administrative guidance.











Urbanization is a second factor influencing
how county commissioners respond to public problems,
and it has expanded counties' activities. Urbanization
brings more societial complexity, and citizens' demands
are intensified by the side effects of urbanization such
as increased population size and density; more industrial-
ization; and more resource needs. Not only does urbani-
zation bring additional demands for services, but it also
creates more problems of intergovernmental relations.
As a result, the traditional role of counties as state
administrative arms has been expanded to counties operating
as municipal governments, albeit in some cases with diffi-
culty.


The effects of state and urbanization on counties
take on different characteristics. In many cases, for
example, county commissioners must perform dual functions
in responding to public problems. They must respond not
only to problems arising out of the activities of govern-
ing, but also those which arise from the demographic and
socio-economic characteristics of their counties. Many
of the problems which arise from the activities of govern-
ing come through their role as administrators of state
services. Many of the demographic and socio-economic pro-
blems have only recently emerged, and require counties to
operate as corporate entities.


The two factors of state and urbanization may
also merge on some issues. For example, in growth manage-
ment, counties are taking on new importance because they
are the most optimal unit of local government below the
state level with geographic expansiveness and political
authority to deal with growth related issues. Thus,
growth management is becoming important in many counties
because of urbanization, and many states which have estab-
lished state laws in growth management (e.g., land use)
are relying on the counties to administer state programs.


1.1 The Study


Counties are thus an important unit of govern-
ment in the American political system. This report attempts
to put county governmental importance into perspective by










focusing on Florida county commissioners' activities on
public problems. Specifically, the study compares Florida
commissioners' perceptions of selected water problems with
their perceptions of a typical agenda of selected non-water
problems to assess where water problems "fit" with other
problems in terms of their priorities. This purpose is
accomplished through a comparison of county commissioners'
perceptions of the severity of water problems with other
problems which make up the typical agenda of non-water
problems commissioners face (see Table 1);1 by an examin-
ation of the relationship between water problems and the
effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water pro-
blems (see Table 1); and by an examination of the effects
of demographic and socio-economic characteristics of
counties on commissioners' perceptions about what type of
water problems are most severe (development problems such
as water supply and drainage or the results of development
such as water pollution and sewage treatment).


1.2 Methods of Data Collection and Analysis

The data for this study were derived mainly
from a mail questionnaire survey of Florida county com-
missioners. Thirty-five percent of the Florida commis-
sioners responded to the questionnaire. The technique
employed was to send questionnaires to all Florida county
commissioners. Thus, the interview responses examined
herein do not constitute a random sample; however, it is
contended that the responses obtained were representa-
tive of the universe of county commissioners in Florida.
Responses were obtained from commissioners in 43 of
Florida's 67 counties. The data set of the responses was
compared with the available biographical information
kept on record by the Association of Florida County Com-
missioners. Although the Association's records were not
completely current and contained some omissions, it was
felt that the sample was not unduly biased along any
theoretically important dimensions.


The unit of analysis in this study is the attitudes
of individual county commissioners. There is no attempt to
aggregate the respondents in such a way to analyze different
commissions across the state. This distinction is impor-
tant since the concern is with commissioners' attitudes
toward public problems, not county commissions' policy out-
puts. In other words, no conclusions are drawn as to the












TABLE 1


SELECTED PROBLEMS AND POLICY MEASURES"



I. Selected Agenda Problems


Roads
Solid Waste Management
Financing County Services
Planning and Zoning
Welfare
Housing
Law Enforcement
Lack of Business and
Industrial Development


9. Recreational Development
10. Preserving Open Spaces
11. Public Health Facilities
12. Busing
13. Education
14. Air Pollution
15. Administration of County
Government
16. City Annexation of County Land


II. Selected Water Problems

1. Water Supply for Domestic Purposes
2. Water Supply for Agriculture
3. Water Supply for Industry
4. Water Supply for Recreation
5. Water Supply for Fish/Wildlife
6. Water Supply for Salinity Control
7. Pollution from Domestic Sewage
8. Pollution from Industrial Waste
9. Pollution from Agricultural Waste
10. Flooding
11. Drainage
12. Beach Erosion
13. Salt Water Intrusion


III. Selected Policy Measures

1. Water Rationing
2. Flood Plain Zoning
3. Control Population Growth
4. Desalting
5. Land Use Planning
6. River Basin Planning
7. Regional Planning
8. Weather Modification (e.g., cloud seeding)
9. Interbasin Transfer of Water
10. Higher Water and Sewer Rates


*See Appendix A for the questions used to ascertain Florida county
commissioners' attitudes about the selected problems and policy
measures.










decision-making activities on public problems of collec-
tive county commissions (see Eulau, 1969 and Eulau and
Prewitt, 1973). Although individual commissioner's atti-
tudes are not aggregated into commission attitudes, it is
contended that what an individual commissioner's atti-
tude about a public problem is, is an important deter-
minant of a policy perspective on that public problem (see,
for example: Kelman, 1974 and Wilensky and Mayhew, 1973).
In effect, if differences in individual commissioner's
attitudes are found, then we might expect that these dif-
ferences would have an effect on what commissioners in fact
do with respect to those problems which confront them.











2. THE PROBLEM CONTEXT FOR COMMISSIONERS


County commissioners deal with an array of pro-
blems which cover a broad spectrum, Commissioners must
deal directly or indirectly with problems that arise
from general and specific functions. For example, in
performing general governmental functions, county offi-
cials assess and collect taxes, administer elections,
operate the lower courts, and record legal documents.
Commissioners also have responsibilities in providing
public utilities such as water supply, sewers, and solid
waste; social and remedial programs such as police pro-
tection, welfare, and health care; promoting economic
development through planning, zoning, and various types
of residential, commercial, and industrial development;
and regulating certain public and private activities
such as pollution control.


County commissioners in many respects face a
more diverse agenda of problems than do other local
governmental officials. They must deal not only with
problems that arise from the necessity to perform both
general and specific functions; but may also have to
deal with problems that arise from both urban and rural
settings. In an urbanizing county, for example, com-
missioners have to perform traditional county functions
(road construction and maintenance, tax collection, and
collecting vital statistics and records) as well as
confront demands for increased urban functions (pollu-
tion control, industrial development, welfare). These
split demands complicate commissioners' resolution of
problems. For example, they compound problems of inter-
governmental relations. The more urbanized a county,
it is generally more governmentally complex. Thus, some
problems may affect counties and require commissioners'
attention; yet these problems may not be exclusively
within county jurisdiction (e.g., flood control). Or,
some problems may arise for commissioners simply because
there are a diversity of governments within county boun-
daries (e.g., city-county annexation and city annexation
of unincorporated land). Split demands also compound
finding available resources. In an urbanizing county,
there are not only more diverse demands for scarce
resources but the resources must be shared with other
governments. Split demands either cause split loyal-
ties among commissioners or cause them to develop dual










perspectives on problems, or both. Either way, the more
diverse the agenda of problems, the more difficulty
encountered in consensus building among commissioners.


The scope of problems do vary from county to
county. While many problems are the same across coun-
ties, the scope of problems in rural counties are dif-
ferent from urban counties. The nature of what commis-
sioners do will largely depend on the intensity of pro-
blems confronting them. Rural commissioners probably do
not have to deal with people problems that arise from
such things as transportation needs, health care, welfare,
and public safety as intensely as do commissioners from
urban counties. On the other hand, rural commissioners
may be more inundated in natural resource problems that
arise from the need for flood control, drainage, and water
supply than their metropolitan counterparts.


The agenda of problems for officials of cities
and special districts, on the other hand, is usually
more uniform. While cities must perform a variety of
functions, they are not as diverse as those in counties
and they are usually more limited in scope. The budgetary
roles of counties, their historic evolution and citizens
constraints are among the reasons for counties having
more diverse agendas than cities. Officials from special
districts are even more specific in their functions than
either city or county officials. Special districts are
often local governments concerned with providing a
single or limited number of functions. For example,
under the rubric of water management, special purposed
water management districts are responsible for flood pro-
tection, supervising drainage, controlling water uses,
and providing recreational facilities. These inter-
related water functions are limited in scope when com-
pared with the broad array of county functions.


2.1 Frequency of Functions Performed by Counties


Most studies of counties discuss the agenda of
problems confronting commissioners by enumerating the ser-
vices performed by counties. Characteristic of these
studies is the one conducted by the U. S. Advisory Com-
mission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) (1971:23).









ACIR surveyed 1,026 counties to assess the frequency of
functions performed by these counties. As shown in
Table 2, in this survey county officials mentioned a
total of 58 problems which covered a broad spectrum.


ACIR revealed some interesting characteristics
about problems confronting county governments in the
United States, and it serves to place in perspective the
analysis of Florida commissioners' perceptions of public
problems. For purposes of the present study, ACIR's
survey data have been refined into five (5) problem
categories: social and remedial; services and utilities;
promotion and development; regulatory; and, governmental
and administrative. Also, percentage differences between
the frequency of functions performed by urban and non-
urban counties have been calculated.


Generally speaking, as a perusal of Table 2 will
show, urban counties perform more functions of all kinds
than do non-urban counties. Although the basic prin-
ciple applies that large governments perform more func-
tions than smaller governments, patterns existed in the
distribution of functions across counties. With the
exception of social and remedial problems, urban counties
more frequently than non-urban counties were found to
perform governmental and administrative, service and
utilities, promotion and development, and regulatory
functions. As the percentage differences between urban
and non-urban counties displayed in Table 2 show, this
was found to be especially the case for governmental
and administrative and regulatory functions.


For the governmental and administrative problem
area, a 17 percent difference was found between urban and
non-urban counties in the frequency of performing func-
tions in this issue-area. This finding suggests that
greater responsibilities are placed upon urban counties
in handling state activities in such areas as election
administration and recording legal documents. In turn,
this has required more bureaucratization and has increased
the need for performing administrative activities. For
example, in the individual functions included under the
governmental and administrative problem areas, very high
percentage differences were found between urban and non-
urban counties in data processing (36 percent difference),










central purchasing (26 percent difference ), and personnel
services (19 percent difference). Also, it would appear
that urban counties must administer with greater fre-
quency problems that arise from crime. Again, the data
for individual functions in the governmental and adminis-
trative problem area show a higher percentage difference
between urban and non-urban counties in having a public
defender (23 percent difference) and prosecutor (17 per-
cent difference).

For regulatory functions, as shown in Table 2, a
10.9 percent difference was found between urban and non-
urban counties. More intense demands are placed on urban
county commissioners to regulate private and public acti-
vities within their jurisdictional boundaries. In many
instances, urban commissioners become involved in func-
tions previously regulated by cities as problems associated
with these functions cut across city boundaries and as
they are intensified by urban growth (e.g., increased
population size and density). Also, urban counties have
become increasingly more involved in certain functions as
state governments and the national government have become
more involved in regulating these functions (i.e., county
regulatory activities are in response to state and national
laws). This would seem to explain the large differences
found between urban and non-urban counties in the fre-
quency of involvement in air pollution (27 percent dif-
ference) and water pollution (21 percent difference).

Several other interesting differences were found
between urban and non-urban counties. First, under the
social and remedial category, non-urban counties as shown
in Table 2 were found to be involved more frequently in
elementary and secondary education (-23 and -20 percent
difference, respectively). This is an indication that
in urban counties elementary and secondary education is
handled by school districts independent from commissioners'
control. In Florida, for example, school districts are
organized on a county-wide basis. Only in the more urban-
ized areas are cities large enough (50,000 or more) to
operate comprehensive college preparatory school programs
as thought necessary by professional associations of
school personnel. But, in higher education, urban coun-
ties were found to be more involved than non-urban coun-
ties (junior college 13.0 percent difference and 4-year
colleges 6.0 percent difference). Demands for education
beyond elementary and secondary schools are more intense
in urban counties, especially for junior colleges which
provide vocational and technical training.









TABLE 2


FREQUENCY OF FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY 1,026 COUNTIES WITH
PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN URBAN AND NON-URBAN
COUNTIES BY INDIVIDUAL FUNCTIONS IN ISSUE-AREAS


(a) (b) (a-b)
All o%
Counties Urban Non-Urban Difference



Regulatory 18 28 17 +11

1. Animal Control 33 51 30 +21
2. Code Enforcement 21 42 18 +24
3. Fish and Game 15 8 16 8
4. Air Pollution 14 37 10 +27
5. Water Pollution 12 30 9 +21
6. Power Supply 13 2 15 -13
7. Livestock Inspection 20 23 19 + 4

Governmental g Administrative 48 63 46 +17

8. Tax Assessor G Collection 83 83 83 0
9. Coroner's Office 80 87 78 + 9
10. Courts 76 87 74 +13
11. Prosecution 66 80 63 +17
12. Veterans' Affairs 49 57 47 +10
13. Personnel Service 19 35 16 +19
14. Central Purchasing 18 40 14 +26
15. Data Processing 13 43 7 +36
16. Public Defender 31 51 28 +23

Social and Remedial 52 52 52 0

17. Jails and Detention Homes 85 97 83 +14
18. General Assistance Public 79 76 79 3
Welfare
19. Public Health 75 80 74 + 6
20. Medical Assistance 68 70 67 + 3
21. Mental Health 60 60 58 + 2
22. Elementary Schools 57 37 60 -23
23. Secondary Schools 54 36 56 -20
24. Crippled Children 49 52 49 + 3
25. Special Education Program 40 38 41 3
26. Junior Colleges 16 27 14 +13
27. 4-Year Colleges 3 9 3 + 6
28. Hospitals 39 41 39 + 2









TABLE 2 (CONT'D)


(a) (b) (a-b)
All %
Counties Urban Non-Urban Difference


Promotion and Development


25 32


Roads and Highways
Planning
Zoning
Parks and Recreation
Subdivision Control
Industrial Development
Public Housing
Urban Renewal
Mass Transit
Cultural Affairs
Parking
Museums
Auditoriums


Service and Utilities


42. Police Protection
43. Agricultural Extension
Services
44. Probation and Parole
Services
45. Libraries
46. Fire Protection
47. Ambulance Services
48. Airport
49. Solid Waste
50. Sewers and Sewage
Disposal
51. Refuse and Garbage
52. Flood and Drainage
53. Cemeteries
54. Water Supply
55. Ports and Harbors
56. Irrigation
57. Soil Conservation
58. Mosquito Abatement


35 36


59 79


29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.


+ 2
+28
+14
+20
+25
+ 5
+ 7
+ 4
+ 4
+ 3
+ 2
+ 5
+ 1


- 4
+ 1

+23

+ 1
-15
-17
-10
+ 9
+ 9

- 2
+13
-7
+ 1
+ 6
- 4
- 3
+24


Source: Data for this table were derived from U.S. Advisory Commission on
Intergovernmental Relations, Profile of County Governments,
(Washington, D. C., 1971), p. 23.









Second, while promotion and development occurs in
both urban and non-urban counties with similar frequency,
a greater frequency of planning (28 percent difference),
subdivision control (25 percent difference), parks and
recreation (20 percent difference) and zoning (14 percent
difference) were found to occur in urban counties. This
would seem to be stimulated by such factors as increased
state and national requirements, more professionalization,
and increased demands brought on by increases in popula-
tion size and density.


Third, the frequency of service and utilities
functions, like social and remedial, generally were not
found to be influenced by urbanization. There was over-
all only a 1.5 percent difference between urban and non-
urban counties. These data do indicate, however, that
where functions have not gravitated to cities, then counties
provide them. For example, non-urban counties were
found to perform more frequently functions of fire pro-
tection (-15 percent difference), ambulance services (-17
percent difference), refuse and garbage (-2 percent dif-
ference), cemeteries (-7 percent difference), and police
protection (-4 percent difference). In urban counties
where there is more governmental complexity cities per-
form these functions. In addition, cities may provide
these functions on a contract basis for counties. That
is, a city might provide police protection and for an
agreed upon price a county buys this service from the
city, or vice versa. However, non-urban counties have
less governmental complexity and therefore must perform
these functions where cities are either unavailable or
unable to do so.


2.2 Severity of Water Problems Versus Sixteen
Non-Water Problems


An examination of the agenda of problems con-
fronting county commissioners must go farther than enumer-
ating the frequency of functions performed. Therefore,
in this report a framework for looking at problems through
the perceptual lens of county commissioners is presented.
A selected list of problems is characterized in terms of
how commissioners perceive the severity of these problems.
The questions of concern are: What problems do county
commissioners perceive as the most pressing? How do
water problems compare with other problems? To assess










the problem context of county commissioners and ascer-
tain where water problems "fit" within an agenda of
non-water problems, commissioners' perceptions of the
severity of a selected list of public problems is exa-
mined.


A major assumption directing this analysis is that
the context of problems confronting county commissioners
is influenced in large measure by the commissioners'
cognitive assessment of which problems are severe and which
are not severe. As a basic theoretical premise, percep-
tion of problem severity is an indicator not only of sub-
stantive concerns of commissioners (e.g., inadequate roads,
overcrowded schools, pollution, etc.) but also of political
considerations (e.g., interest group pressures, public
opinion, re-election, etc.). A commissioner, for example,
may feel two problems are equally severe from the stand-
point of substantive concerns, but one of the problems
may be elevated to a higher priority from the standpoint
of political considerations. Severity is, therefore, of
overriding importance in influencing commissioners'
responses to problems.


As shown in Table 3, Florida county commissioners
ranked water problems less severe overall than an agenda
of 16 selected non-water problems. The data in Table 1
show, for example, that only 15.4 percent (or 2 of the 13
selected water problems examined) were ranked in the high
severity category as compared to 75.0 percent (or 12 of
the 16) selected non-water problems.


Almost all of the problems in the high severity
category for both the 16 selected non-water problems and
the water problems are continuous agenda items for commis-
sioners or for other county officials which they must per-
form either as mandated by the state or as corporate enti-
ties. For example, counties have historically been
involved in road construction and maintenance, financing,
and providing health facilities and services. The impact
of urbanization has necessitated commissioners becoming
involved in providing more services that have arisen from
citizens' needs and demands, such as solid waste manage-
ment, planning and zoning, housing, recreational develop-
ment, lack of business and industrial development, and
preserving open spaces. It appears from these data that
commissioners are aware of not only their traditional func-
tions and rank them as important but also their newer cor-
porate functions.







TABLE 3


RANKING OF PROBLEMS BY SEVERITY*


Agenda of Problems


X Ranking


Roads
Solid Waste Management
Financing County
Services
Planning/Zoning
Welfare
*Water Pollution from
Domestic Sewage
Housing
*Drainage
Law Enforcement
Lack of Business &
Industrial Development
Recreational Development
Preserving Open Spaces
Public Health Facilities
Busing


Education
*Water Supply for Domestic
Purposes
*Beach Erosion
Air Pollution
*Water Pollution from
Industry
*Water Pollution from
Agriculture
*Flooding
*Water Supply for
Agriculture
Administration of County
Government
*Water Supply for Fish
and Wildlife
*Water Supply for
Industry
*Water Pollution from Salt
Water Intrusion
*Water Supply for
Recreation
*Water Supply for Salinity
Control
Annexation


TOTAL

GRAND X


3.351
3.339

3.144
3.090
3.028

3.000
2.982
2.892
2.860

2.805
2.781
2.770
2.759
2.714


2.664

2.598
2.584
2.541

2.540

2.539
2.504

2.500

2.482

2.360

2.351

2.304

2.300

2.238
2.071


78.091

2.693


High Severity


Low Severity


Water
Problems

% N

15.4 (2)


84.6 (11)


Total 100.0 (13)


Other
Problems

% N

75.0 (12)


25.0 (4)


100.0 (16)


*Mean Rankings for Problem Severity:
1.00=no problem; 2.00=not at all
severe; 3.00=not very severe; and
4.00=severe.


* Water Problems


_ I I









Although water problems are generally seen as
less severe, water pollution from domestic sewage and
drainage were found to be ranked in the high severity
category. It is somewhat par ..'-.ical that commissioners
see both of these -i-blems in the high severity category.
Drainage has been a major stimulus to growth and develop-
ment in Florida in that drainage laws of Florida have
been used not only to make land agriculturally productive
(their original intent) but also to make land available
for subdivision and residential devel.P.y,. -t. In other
words, d.ih. :-e has been a major stimulant for growth
and development in the high growth areas of the state.
By contrast, water pollution from domestic sewage is
the result of growth and develo:-.7.:-t. Domestic sewage
is generally considered to be the most severe water pro-
blem confronting the state. Commissioners see both the
stimulus .. j :i .th and devel: ..:..~t (e.g., drain .e) and
the result of growth and develop,.nt (e.g., domestic
sewage) as severe. (This seemingly paradoxical attitude
is examined in more detail below in Chapter 3.)


2.3 Propensit of Commissioners to Deal with
Water Problems


AltBi.. ..h water problems are not perceived to be
as severe as other problems, an important question to
ask is: When water problems are perceived to increase
in severity, do commissioners perceive they should take
action on them in the same way as they do on non-water
problems when non-water problems are perceived to increase
in severi.-' To ascertain whether water problems are
crowded o--: t :, :-.:. of problems for county commissioners
when commissioners deal with water problems, the relation-
ship between the severity of water problems and non-water
problems has been examined in a regression analysis. The
data in Figure 1 show a positive relationship between
water problem severity and the severity of other problems
(r = .608, r = .369, p< .01). More important is the posi-
tive slope of .780, which shows that commissioners per-
ceive water problem severity increasing at the same rate
as the severity of other problems. In essence, commissioners
would appear to have a propensity to deal with water pro-
blems in the same way as non-water problems as their
severity is perceived to increase and thus their priority.




















*0


a *


a *


* *0

* 00
S* 0
O *
@ @ @


0,


e
gO


e *


08


S 0


2.32


2.67


3,03


806







0


Regression: Intercept = 2.74,
Slope = .779
Correlation: r = .608, r2 = .369,
p< .01.
Mean Rankings for Problem Severity:
1.00=no problem; 2.00=not at all
severe; 3.00=not very severe;
and 4.00=severe.


3.38


X Rankings of Severity of Non-Water Problems


FIGURE 1 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SEVERITY OF NON-WATER PROBLEMS AND THE SEVERITY OF WATER
PROBLEMS


3.69-


X1 3.32-


2.95-





2.58-





2.22-


1.854


1.48-


25
1.25


1.60


1.96


- ~- -"









2.4 Effectiveness of Policy Measures in Dealing with
Water Problems


Another aspect of commissioners activities on water
problems is their perceptions of the effectiveness of policy
measures to deal with water problems. Table 4 shows how
the Florida county commissioners ranked the effectiveness
of 10 selected policy measures. The data in Table 4 indi-
cate the commissioners' perceptions of the importance of
various types of planning in solving water problems. For
example, the top three ranked policy measures were land
use plP..L:-iiL, regional planning, and river basin planning.
It would :..,ar that Florida county commissioners are
aware of the need to approach water .,:blems on more than
a local basis; that is, the Florida commissioners seem to
understand that water problems cut across artificially
constructed local political boundaries (incl-..i.. county
boundaries); therefore, to deal effectively with water
problems, regional and/or river basin approaches should
be taken along with blending water problem solutions to
land use patterns.


How do the commissioners'perceptions of water pro-
blem severity relate to their perceptions of the effective-
ness of policy measures to deal with water problems?
This question was examined by summing commissioners' re-
sponses to the severity of the 13 selected water problems
and, then, correlating these responses with the summated
responses of the commissioners to the perceived effective-
ness of the 10 policy measures.


By looking at the relationship between severity and
effectiveness in a regression equation, it is possible to
ascertain whether or not commissioners have a propensity
to take policy action on water problems. For example, if
a positive relationship is found between water problem
severity and the effectiveness of policy measures to deal
with water problems, then it may be concluded that commis-
sioners see these measures as leading to positive results
and thus would have a propensity to support them. On
the other hand, if a negative relationship is found a
paradoxical situation is occurring. Commissioners who
perceive water problems as less severe see more value
in available action, while commissioners who perceive
water problems as more severe see little value in avail-
able action. The implication of this result is that
action to i :.:.* water problems, from the perspective
of commissioners, is not likely to take place.













TABLE 4: RANKING OF POLICY MEASURES BY EFFECTIVENESS*


Policy Measure

Land Use Planning

Regional Planning

River Basin Planning

Flood Plain Zoning

Control Population Growth

Interbasin Transfer of Water

Water Rationing

Desalting

Higher Water and Sewer Rates

Weather Modification


X Ranking

3.437

3.267

3.175

2.794

2.686

2.449

2.388

2.271

2.143

2.051


*Mean Rankings for Effectiveness of Policy Measures:
1.00=not at all effective; 2.00=not very effective;
3.00=fairly effective; and 4.00=very effective.








As the data in Figure 2 show, there is a positive
relationship between water problem severity and the effec-
tiveness of water policy measures (r = .627, r2 = .393,
p< .01). The steep slope of the regression line (.849)
indicates that commissioners do perceive severity and effec-
tiveness as related, and related in such a way to indicate
that, as water problem severity increases, policy measures
to deal with water problems will bring about positive results.
















3.60 -


3.24 -


XI






0
CO




0
rt


- (D -
H'




0
0
g-
9T
)-*
)-'
0d


2,88






2,52






2.16 -


1.80


1.44 -



1.29


9 0


0


0*


*


3c 0
*
0
*9

S4 a
5 .


*9 0


*0 0


* 0


0 *


0 0 a


& 9


1.66


2,03


2.40


2.77


0 0 *


0 0 0


Regression: Intercept=.125, Slope=
* 0 .849.
Correlation: r=.627, r2=.393, p<.01.
Mean Rankings for Problem Severity:
1.00=no problem; 2.00=not at all
severe; 3.00=not very severe; 4.00=
severe.
Mean rankings for Effectiveness of
Policy measures: 1.00=not at all
* effective; 2.00=not very effective;
3.00=fairly effective; 4.00=very
effective.


3.14


3.51


X Ranking of Severity of Water Problems

FIGURE 2 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SEVERITY OF WATER PROBLEMS AND EFFECTIVENESS OF POLICY MEASURES
TO DEAL WITH WATER PROBLEMS


_ I


_111_ ~ ~~~l~r~









3. TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS PERCEIVED TO BE MOST SEVERE


It was indicated above (p.16 ) that commissioners'
attitudes about the severity of selected problems revealed
a paradoxical occurrence insofar as water problems located
in the high severity category were concerned. Both water
pollution from domestic sewage and drainage were found to
be ranked in the high severity category. This is somewhat
puzzling since water pollution from domestic sewage is
the result of growth and development and drainage stimu-
lates growth and development. Therefore, the question
arises: Which commissioners hold that water problems
which are the result of growth and development are most
severe and which commissioners hold that water problems
which stimulate growth and development are most severe?


To shed some light on this question as well as
to develop a more adequate profile of Florida commissioners'
attitudes about water problems, the analysis in this sec-
tion examines Florida commissioners' attitudes about which
type of water problems are thought to be most severe:
those which stimulate growth and development or those
which are the result of growth and development.


We can conceptually think of commissioners' con-
cern with water problems evolving in the following stages:


NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE.


DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE.


UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS
ARE MOST SEVERE.


ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE.


WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS A RESULT OF GROWTH
AND DEVELOPMENT ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE.












TABLE 5

SCALE TYPES FOR FLORIDA COMMISSIONERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE SEVERITY OF WATER PROBLEMS


I tem
Water Sewer Water
Supply Drainage Treatment Pollution Frequency Scale Type


7

15

3

12


ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS
ARE SEEN AS SEVERE




WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS
A RESULT OF GROWTH AND DEVELOP-
MENT SEEN AS MOST SEVERE




UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF
WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST SEVERE




DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE SEEN
AS MOST SEVERE





NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS
SEVERE








Initially, if a water supply is readily available
and a community is sparsely populated, then water pro-
blems do not concern commissioners; that is, water problems
become secondary to more immediate problems of growth
and development such as stimulating subdivision, residen-
tial, commercial, and industrial growth and development.
But, if water resources (either the overabundance or scar-
city) hinder growth and development, then we can reason
that commissioners will enter a second stage in their con-
cern about water problems. They will then see water pro-
blems which can be used either to stimulate or hinder
growth and development as the most severe ones confront-
ing their county. These would include problems such as
drainage and flood control. A third stage is when the
commissioner is undecided about which type of water pro-
blems are most severe. His county may be experiencing rapid
growth and development, and while he sees the necessity
of continued growth and development, he also is concur-
rently feeling its effects; therefore, he is undecided
about which type of water problems are most severe. If
the push and shove of both types of water problems inten-
sify, then the commissioner's attitudes about water pro-
blems will enter a fourth stage. He will see all types
of water problems as severe. Finally, if the effects
of growth and development override the necessity of
stimulating growth and development, it can be reasoned
that a commissioner will then see these problems which
come as a result of growth and development as most severe.

To analyze Florida county commissioners' attitudes
about which type of water problems were the most severe,
the respondents' attitudes about development issues (e.g.,
water supply and drainage) and issues which are the result
of development (e.g., sewage treatment and water pollution)
were scaled. Proximity or developmental scaling was used.3
In scaling Florida commissioners' attitudes about water
problem severity, commissioners were located in five cate-
gories which corresponded to the developmental states dis-
cussed above. The five scale types are shown in Table 5.


To ascertain how growth characteristics of a county
affect commissioners! attitudes about water problem severity,
three growth indicators -- population, residential, and indus-
trial -- were examined. To measure the influence of population
growth on commissioners' attitudes about water problem severity,
the effects of population size (1970), population density (1970),
and population change (1960-1970) were examined. To measure
the influence of residential growth on commissioners' atti-
tudes, the effects of total housing (1970) were examined.









Finally, to measure the influence of industrial growth
on commissioners' attitudes, the effects of manufactur-
ing plant starts and expansions between 1965-1969 were
examined.


From the data displayed in Tables 6, 7, and 8,
a profile of Florida county commissioners' attitudes
about water problem severity can be constructed. As the
data in Table 6 show, commissioners representing less
populated, less densely settled, and less rapidly grow-
ing counties hold that water problems generally associ-
ated with growth and development are more severe. More-
over, as the data in Tables 7 and 8 show, these commissioners'
counties do not have large residential areas, nor are their
counties heavily industrialized. While these are the pre-
dominant characteristics, the data displayed in Tables 6,
7, and 8 suggest that these commissioners are somewhat
aware of water problems which come as the result of
growth. For example, while the development of attitudes
toward water problem severity generally ran in the expected
direction (i.e., from no problems seen as severe to the
results seen as most severe) according to population,
residential, and industrial growth characteristics, com-
missioners from the smaller growth counties did indicate
a degree of awareness of the severity of water problems
which are the result of growth and development.


By contrast, as we might expect, Tables 6, 7,
and 8 show that commissioners representing larger (more
populated), more densely settled, and more rapidly grow-
ing counties hold that water problems associated with the
results of growth and development are more severe. Also,
these commissioners represent counties which have more
residential and industrial development. Thus, we can
conclude that the evolution of commissioners' attitudes
toward water problems associated with different types
of growth and development are influenced by the growth
characteristics of their counties.


What does this mean about where water problems
"fit" within the context of county government decision-
making? From the above analysis, it is apparent that those
commissioners whose counties are in low growth areas
view water problems as necessary to stimulate growth and
development. Thus, it would appear that for these
commissioners, water problems are only priority items








insofar as they adversely or positively affect the
growth and development of the county. However, the above
analysis indicates that when a commissioner's county
begins experiencing the effects of growth (e.g., pollu-
tion, sewering costs and associated problems), their
attitudes toward water problem severity indeed go through
an evolutionary process. Their attitudes change toward
the type of water problems seen as most severe. In
effect, their attitudes about the priority of water pro-
blems on the agenda of county government change. They
are more aware of those water problems associated with
the results of growth and development.














TABLE 6


RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEMOGRAPHIC GROWTH CHARACTERISTICS OF FLORIDA COUNTIES AND COMMISSIONERS' ATTITUDES
ABOUT MOST SEVERE TYPE OF WATER PROBLEM


Population Size Population Density Population Change 1960-1970
(1970) (1970)
<25,000 >25,000 <50 >50 Lost
Small Large Low High Population 0-24% 25% above


NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE
SEEN AS SEVERE


DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS
SEEN AS MOST SEVERE


UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE
OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST
SEVERE


ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS
ARE SEEN AS SEVERE


WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS
A RESULT OF GROWTH & DEVELOP-
MENT SEEN AS MOST SEVERE


46.9 (15)


11.8 (8)


12.5 (4) 16.2 (11)


18.8 (6) 13.2 (9)


0.0 (0) 14.7 (10)


21.9 (7) 44.1 (30)


38.6 (17)


13.6 (6)


10.7 (6)


16.1 (9)


15.9 (7) 14.3 (8)


4.5 (2) 14.3 (8)


27.3 (12)


44.6 (25)


57.1 (4)


0.0 (0)


30.0 (12)


20.0 (8)


0.0 (0) 17.5 (7)


13.2 (7)


13.2 (7)


15.1 (8)


0.0 (0) 2,5 (1) 17.0 (9)


42.9 (3)


30.0 (12)


41.5 (22)


100.1 (32) 100.0 (68) 99.9 (44) 100.0 (56)


- ---


100.0 (7) 100.0 (40) 100.0 (53)









TABLE 7


RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESIDENTIAL GROWTH OF FLORIDA
COUNTIES AND COMMISSIONERS' ATTITUDES ABOUT MOST
SEVERE TYPE OF WATER PROBLEM


Housing Units (1970)


<15,000


>15,000


NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE
SEEN AS SEVERE


DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE
SEEN AS MOST SEVERE


UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE
OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST
SEVERE


ALL TYPES OF WATER PRO-
BLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE


WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME
AS A RESULT OF GROWTH &
DEVELOPMENT ARE SEEN AS
MOST SEVERE


34.0 (18)



18.9 (10)



13.2 (7)




3.8 (2)



30.2 (16)


10.6 (5)



10.6 (5)



17.0 (8)




17.0 (8)



44.7 (21)


100.1 (53)


99. 9 (47)











TABLE 8


RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL GROWTH OF FLORIDA COUNTIES AND COMMISSIONERS'
ATTITUDES ABOUT MOST SEVERE TYPE OF WATER PROBLEM


Manufacturing Plant Starts and Expansion
(1965-1969)


<20


>20


NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN
AS SEVERE


DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE SEEN
AS MOST SEVERE


UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF
WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST SEVERE


ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS
ARE SEEN AS SEVERE


WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS A
RESULT OF GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE


29.0 (18)



17.7 (11)



16.1 (10)


4.8


32.3 (20)


100.0 (38)


13.2


10.5


13.2


(15)



(4)



(5)




(7)


(17)


18.4


44.7


- I-- I


99.9 (62)








4. SUMMARY


The preceding analysis may be summarized as
follows:


1. As indicated by Florida county commission-
ers' perceptions of a selected list of public problems,
water problems are generally not considered to be as
important as non-water problems which commissioners
face. Water pollution problems and drainage were
found to be considered by Florida county commissioners
to be as severe as non-water problems. Water pollution
and drainage represent two extreme of water problems.
On the one hand, drainage is thought to be a stimulant
of growth and development. On the other hand, water
pollution comes as a result of growth and development.
When this seemingly paradoxical view of water problem
severity was examined in a proximity scale analysis, it
was found that Florida commissioners' attitudes followed
a development sequence: from an attitude that no water
problems were severe to an attitude that pollution pro-
blems were more severe. The evolution of commissioners'
attitudes was found to be effected by the amount of popu-
lation, residential, and industrial growth within a
commissioner's county.


2. Although water problems are not of central
importance to Florida county commissioners, the above
analysis did show that Florida commissioners exhibit
a propensity to deal with water problems in the same
fashion as other problems when water problems increase in
severity. In other words, commissioners did indicate
that they see the necessity of positive action being
taken on water problems as they increase in severity.


3. Moreover, the Florida commissioners held
that policy measures (particularly various types of plan-
ing) could have positive effects on water problems.










NOTES


1. In selecting the water and non-water pro-
blems, the intent was to look at a broad section of
problems which, although not touching every conceiv-
able problem that confront county commissioners, broadly
touched on most of the typical water and non-water
problems of county governments and local governments
generally.


2. An urban county is defined in ACIR's survey
as one with a population of 100,000 and above. A non-
urban county is defined as one with a population below
100,000.


3. Proxitity or, as it is sometimes referred
to, developmental scaling, unlike the more commonly
used Guttman's scaling, allows for the ordering of
commissioners' attitudinal responses on type of water
problems in sequential stages. This ordering of sequen-
tial stages does not imply that one stage causes another.
As Leik and Matthews (1968:62-63) argue:


Inherent in some uses of a developmental conceptual-
ization is an assumption that a particular sequence
of stages is a functional necessity. In its most
stringent interpretation, this usage would imply that
stage k cannot occur unless stage j has occurred,
assuming that j precedes k in the sequence. A less
stringent functional interpretation is that stage j
should precede stage k if certain favorable outcomes
are to be realized, although it is possible but not
very probable for k to occur without j having been
present. Regardless of the question of a functional
ordering, it may be that a sequence is hypothesized
as the norm, implying that it is modal in the statis-
tical sense. As with the less stringent functional
form, this usage would imply that stage k would more
frequently follow stage j than the reverse ordering.













4. Six items, which represent both ends of the
growth and development continuum,were used in the scale
analysis. These six items were: water supply, drainage,
flooding, droughts, sewage treatment, and water pollution.
Using the appropriate method for item deletion (see Leik
and Matthews: 1968), four items were ordered in the final
scale. The coefficient of scalability for the scale pre-
sented in Table 5 is .675 (p < .01). (The accepted statis-
tical cut-off for scalability is .60,) A coefficient of
reproducibility may also be calculated for a proximity
scale. The coefficient of reproducibility for the scale
presented in Table 5 is .910. (The accepted statistical
cut-off for reproducibility is .90.)













REFERENCES


DUNCOMBE, H.S. (1966). County Government in America.
Washington, D. C.: National Association of Counties
Research Foundation.

EULAU, H. and K. PREWITT (1973). Labyrinths of Democracy:
Adaptations, Linkages, Representation and Policies
in Urban Politics. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Co.

EULAU, H. (1969). Micro-Macro Political Analysis: Accents
of Inquiry. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co.

GRANT, D.R. and H. C. NIXON (1968). State and Local Govern
ment in America. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

KELMAN, H. C. (1974). "Attitudes Are Alive and Well and
Gainfully Employed in the Sphere of Action," American
Psychologist, Vol. 29, No. 5 (May).

LEIK, R.K. and M. MATTHEWS (1968), "A Scale for Develop-
mental Processes," American Sociological Review,
Vol. 33, No. 1 (February).

U. S. ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOV:-i"-.N~rNTAL RELATIONS
(1971). Profile of County Governments. Washington,
D. C.

WAGER, P. (editor) (1950). County Government Across the
Nation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press.

WILENSKY, H. L. and L. MAYHEW (1973), "Why Do They Say
One Thing, Do Another?" Morristown, N. J.: General
Learning Press.













APPENDIX A: QUESTIONNAIRE


1. Here is a list of problems that your county may now face.
Would you please indicate to what degree these are now
problems for your county? (If one does not apply, check
"not applicable.")


Not
Not Very At All Not
Severe Severe Severe Applicable
Financing County Services
Lack of Business & Industrial Development
Planning & Zoning
Welfare
City Annexation of County Land
Housing
Roads
Public Health Facilities
Law Enforcement
Solid Waste Management
Air Pollution
Recreational Development
Administration of County Government
Education
Busing
Preserving Open Spaces


2. Here is a list of water problems your county may now face.
Would you please indicate to what degree these are not pro-
blems for your county? (If one does not apply to your county,
check "not applicable.")


Not
Not Very At All Not
Severe Severe Severe Applicable
Water Supply for Agriculture
Water Supply for Domestic Purposes
Water Supply for Industry
Water Supply for Recreation
Water Supply for Fish & Wildlife
Water Supply for Salinity Control
Pollution from Domestic Sewage
Pollution from Industrial Waste
Pollution from Agricultural Waste
Flooding
Drainage
Beach Erosion
Salt Water Intrusion














3. How effective do you think each of the following measures
might be in dealing with any water use problems your coun-
ty might face?


Very Fairly Not Very Not at All
Effective Effective Effective Effective

Water Rationing
Flood Plain Zoning
Control Population Growth
Desalting
Land Use Planning
River Basin Planning
Regional Planning
'Weather Modification
(e.g., Cloud Seeding)
Interbasin Transfer of Water
S..gI-' Water & Sewer Rates




Full Text

PAGE 1

WATER IiRESOURCES researc center Publication No. 32 Water Problems in the Context of County Government Decision-Making By Robert D. Thomas DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton .,' UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

PAGE 2

ERRATA: The mean rankings for problem severity in Table 3 (p.lS), Figure 1 (p. 17), and Figure 2 (p. 21) range from a low of 1.00 to a high of 4.00 as follows: 1.00=no problem; 2.00=not at all severe; 3.00 =not very severe; and 4.00=severe. The mean rankings for effectiveness of policy measures in Table 4 (p. 19) and Figure 2 (p. 21) range from a low of 1.00 to a high of 4.00 as follows: 1.00=not at all effective; 2.00=not very effective; 3.00=fairly effective; and 4.00= very effective.

PAGE 3

WATER PROBLEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKING by Robert D. Thomas PUBLICATION NO. 32 FLORIDA WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH CENTER RESEARCH PROJECT TECHNICAL COMPLETION REPORT OWRT Project Number A-029-FLA Report Submitted: October 1, 1975 The work upon which this report is was supported by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior, of Water Research and Technology, as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, as amended.

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ABSTRACT WATER PROBLEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKING In this report, Florida county commissioners' perceptions of selected water problems were compared with their perceptions of a typical agenda of selected non-water problems to assess where water problems "fit" with other problems in terms of their priorities. This purpose was accomplished: (1) through a comparison of Florida county commissioners' perceptions of the severity of water problems with other problems; (2) by exa mining the relationship between water problems and the effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water problems; and (3) by examining the effects of population, residential and industrial growth on commissioners' attitudes about what type of water problems are most severe those which stimulate growth and development such as drainage or those which come as a result of growth and development such as sewage treatment), Thomas, Robert D. WATER PROBLEMS IN THE CONTEXT OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKING Research Project Technical Completion Report, Office of Water Research and Technology, Department of the Interior, October, 1975 KEY WORDS: county commissioners' attitudes*/water resource problems*/non-water problems*/decision-making*/ growth and development*/county government. ii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS In doing any research, debts are encumbered. This project is no exception. Several individuals have given me a great deal of assistance during various phases of this study. Dr. Vincent L. Marando of the Institute for Urban Affairs, University of Maryland, has provided helpful assistance throughout the study. James Herb, who worked as a graduate assis tant on this project, provided not only yeoman service in data coding but also innovative ideas about how Florida commissioners' attitudes should be analyzed. as is always the case, Dr. Willian Morgan patiently answered my questions and lent the support of the Florida Water Resources Research Center. iii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS TITLE 1\1 1\1 .. co .. IV IE> co co Il> (j II 6 e I:> e III 10 1;1 .1\1. I;j 11 ..... CO 111 III ........ It CO III i AB S T RAe T 1\1 .", CO CO .. tI CO e 110 .. iii III CO e .. 1\1 iii 1\1 .... e III iii II 0 3 Methods of Data Collection and Analysis ... 4 THE PROBLEM CONTEXT FOR COMMISSIONERS .... 0 7 Frequency of Functions Performed by Co un tie 5 e .. 'ill g .. (II III co fil .. CI .. .. II 1\1 III .. co II lIP II <10 It .' co. 8 Severity of Water Problems Versus Sixteen Non-Water Problems ........................ 13 Propensity of Commissioners to Deal with Water Problems ............................ 16 Effectiveness of Policy Measures in Dealing with Water Problems ............... 18 TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS PERCEIVED TO BE MOST SEVERE ............................... 22 SUMMARY Q"
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TABLE 1 TABLE 2 TABLE 3 TABLE 4 TABLE 5 TABLE 6 TABLE 7 TABLE 8 LIST OF TABLES Page Selected Problems and Policy Measures ....... 5 Frequency of Functions Performed by 1,026 Counties with Percentage Differences between Urban and Non-Urban Counties by Individual Functions in Issue-Areas .......... .. ...... 11 Ranking of Problems by Severity ............. 15 Ranking of Policy Measures by Effectiveness .. 19 Scale Types for Florida Commissioners' Perceptions of the Severity of Water Problems ............ t' ........................ 23 Relationship Between Demographic Growth Characteristics of Florida Counties and Commissioners' Attitudes About Most Severe Type of Water Problem ................ 27 Relationship Between Residential Growth of Florida Counties and Commissioners' Attitudes About Most Severe Type of Water Problem ..................................... 28 Relationship Between Industrial Growth of Florida Counties and Commissioners' Attitudes about Most Severe Type of Water -Problem ...................................... 29 LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 Relationship Between the Severity of Non-Water Problems and the Severity of Water Problems ..................... 0...... 1"7. FIGURE 2 Relationship Between Severity of Water Problems and Effectiveness of Policy Measures to Deal with Water Problems ........ 21 v

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1. INTRODUCTION County governments stand as symbols of traditional local government. For a large segment of the American people, county governments establish a link with the country's rural heritage. As Grant and Nixon (1968:413) have argued: Although many counties are sufficiently populated to be classed as urban or semi-urban, a majority of them are primarily rural or small-town in composition and retain patterns of government that were created by an agrarian society. Counties provide civic links between rural citizens and the outside world. Countygovernment continues to reflect no little acceptance of the idea of performance by laymen or amateurs rather then by experts or professionals, unless politicians be classed as professionals. County governments are also the most territorially pervasive local governments in the United States. With the exception of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Alaska, the authorities of county commissioners touch every geographic section of the country. However, the authorities of commissioners vary widely across geographic areas of the United States. In the New England states, for example, counties are especially weak because of localized power being in the hands of town councils. On the other hand, in the Southemstates, historically counties have been and continue to be where the local policy action exists. Counties either share local power with cities, or have greater authorities than cities. For many issues, it is the county courthouse, to a larger extent than city hall, where local policy is largely affected in the South (Wager, 1950). Regardless of the geographic dispersion of their influence, decisions of county commissioners directly or indirectly affect citizens throughout the country. County commissioners have an authoritative hand in almost every conceivable type of local governmental function: roads, public health facilities and services, libraries, law enforcement, solid waste management, schools and education, 1

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recreation, planning, zoning, water supply and pollution control, and so on and on. Moreover unlike cities and districts, county functions include not only the dellvery of local services but also the administration of state services such as elections, records, and courts. The extent to which counties affect citizens has undergone change throughout the history of the United States. Before the Revolution, colonial counties had characteristics of English parishes and served both ecclesiastic civil Immediately following the Revolutlon, countles served mainly as administrative arms of go!ernments. Their role in the capacity of state admlnlstratlve subdivisions expanded their organization to include such as county treasurer, assessor, sherlff, and prosecuting attorney. The collec tl0n of taxes, the subdivision and platting of land, and the enforcement of laws necessitated state mandated officials to provide these functions locally through the structure of county governments. As urbanization began to increase after the Civil War and has continued more intensely since World War I, county services have been expanded. The most important of these have been general governmental services. Counties, particularly those with urban characteristics, began taking on corporate structures to provide functions demanded by local populations. Thus, the principal state functions that counties performed have been expanded with urbanization to include an additional roJe: counties as corporate entities (Duncombe, 1966: Chapter 2). The evolution of the activities of counties points to two important interrelated factors which influence how county commissioners respond to public problems. The first is state. Counties have always operated as administrative subdivisions of the state. Much of what counties do is directly affected by what the state requires them to do. More so than cities, counties have both a historical and substantive link to state governments. Counties more than cities must look to the state for organizational, policy, and administrative guidance. 2

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Urbanization is a second factor influencing how county commissioners respond to public problems, and it has expanded counties' activities. Urbanization brings more societial complexity, and citizens' demands are intensified by the side effects of urbanization such as increased popuiation size and density; more industrialization; and more resource needs. Not only does urbanization bring additional demands for services, but it also creates more problems of intergovernmental relations. As a result, the traditional role of counties as state administrative arms has been expanded to counties operating as municipal governments, albeit in some cases with difficulty. The effects of state and urbanization on counties take on different characteristics. In many cases, for example, county commissioners must perform dual functions in responding to public problems. They must respond not only to problems arising out of the activities of governing, but also those which arise from the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of their counties. Many of the problems which arise from the activities of governing come through their role as administrators of state services. Many of the demographic and socio-economic problems have only recently emerged, and require counties to operate as corporate entities. The two factors of state and urbanization may also merge on some issues. For example, in growth management, counties are taking on new importance because they are the most optimal unit of local government below the state level with geographic expansiveness and political authority to deal with growth related issues. Thus, growth management is becoming important in many counties because of urbanization, and many states which have established state laws in growth management (e.g., land use) are relying on the counties to administer state programs. 1.1 The Study Counties are thus an important unit of government in the American political system. This report attempts to put county governmental importance into perspective by 3

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focusing on Florida county commissioners' activities on public problems. Specifically, the study compares commissioners' perceptions of selected water problems wlth their perceptions of a typical agenda of selected non-water problems to assess where water problems "fit" with other problems in terms of their priorities. This purpose is accomplished through a comparison of county commissioners' perceptions of the severity of water problems with other problems which make up the typical agenda of non-water problems commissioners face (see Table 1);1 by an examln ation of the relationship between water problems and the effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water problems (see Table 1); and by an examination of the effects of demographic and socio-economic charactertistics of counties on commissioners' perceptions about what type of water problems are most severe (development problems such as water supply and drainage or the results of development such as water pollution and sewage treatment). 1.2 Methods of Data Gollection and AnaTys'is The data for this study were derived mainly from a mail questionnaire survey of Florida county commissioners. Thirty-five percent of the Florida commissioners responded to the questionnaire. The technique employed was to send questionnaires to all Florida county commissioners. Thus, the interview responses examined herein do not constitute a random sample; however, it is contended that the responses obtained were representative of the universe of county commissioners in Florida. Responses were obtained from commissioners in 43 of Florida's 67 counties. The data set of the responses was compared with the available biographical information kept on record by the Association of Florida County Com-missioners. Although the Association's records were not completely current and contained some omissions, it was felt that the sample was not unduly biased along any theoretically important dimensions. The unit of analysis in this study is the attitudes of individual county commissioners. There is no attempt to aggregate the respondents in such a way to analyze different commissions across the state. This distinction is important since the concern is with commissioners' attitudes toward public problems, not county commissions' policy outputs. In other words, no conclusions are drawn as to the 4

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TABLE 1 SELECTED PROBLEMS AND POLICY MEASURES* 1. Selected Agenda Problems 1. Roads 9. Recreational Development 2. Solid Waste Management 10. Preserving Open Spaces 3. Financing County Services 11. Public Health Facilities 4. Planning and Zoning 12. Busing 5. Welfare 13. Education 6, Housing 14. Air Pollution 7. Law Enforcement 15. Administration of County 8. Lack of Business and Government Industrial Development 16. City Annexation of County II. Selected Water Problems 1. Water Supply for Domestic Purposes 2. Water Supply for Agriculture 3. Water Supply for Industry 4. Water Supply for Recreation 5. Water Supply for Fish/Wildlife 6. Water Supply for Salinity Control 7. Pollution from Domestic Sewage 8. Pollution from Industrial Waste 9. Pollution from Agricultural Waste 10. Flooding 11. Drainage 12. Beach Erosion 13. Salt Water Intrusion III. Selected Policy Measures 1. Hater Rationing 2. Flood Plain Zoning 3. Control Population Growth 4. Desalting 5. Land Use Planning 6. River Basin Planning 7. Regional Planning 8. Weather Modification (e.g., cloud seeding) 9. Interbasin Transfer of Water 10. Higher Water and Sewer Rates See Appendix A for the questions used to ascertain Florida county commissioners' attitudes about the selected problems and policy measures. 5 Land

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decision-making activities on public problems o collective county commissions (see Eulau, 1969 and Eulau and Prewitt, 1973). Although individual commissioner's attitudes are not aggregated into commission attitudes, it is contended that what an individual commissioner's tude about a public problem is, is an important deter minant of a policy perspective on that public problem (see1 for example: Kelman, 1974 and Wilensky and Mayhew, 1973), In effect, if differences in individual attitudes are found, then we might expect that these differences would have an effect on what commissioners in fact do with respect to those problems which confront them, 6

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2. THE PROBLEM CONTEXT FOR COMMISSlONERS County commissioners deal with an array of problems which cover a broad spectrum. Commissioners must deal directly or indirectly with problems that arise from general and specific functioIlS. For example, in performing general governmental functiops, county officials assess and collect taxes, administer elections, operate the lower courts, and record legal documents. Commissioners also have responsibilities in providing public utilities such as water supply, sewers, and solid waste; social and remedial programs such as police pro.tection, welfare, and health care; promoting economic development through planning, zoning, and various types of residential, commercial, and industrial development; and regulating certain public and private activities such as pollution control. County commissioners in many respects face a more diverse agenda of problems than do other local governmental officials. They must deal not only with problems that arise from the necessity to perform both general and specific functions; bvt may also have to deal with that arise from both urban and rural settings. In an urbanizing county, for example, commissioners have to perform traditional county functions (road construction and maintenance, tax collection, and collecting vital statistics and records) as well as confront demands for increased urban functions (pollution control, industrial development, welfare). These split demands complicate commissioners' resolution of problems. For example, they compound problems of intergovernmental relations. The more urbanized a county, it is generally more governmentally complex. Thus, some problems may affect counties and require commissioners' attention; yet these problems may not be exclusively within county jurisdiction (e.g., flood control). Or, some problems may arise for commissioners simply because there are a diversity of governments within county boundaries (e.g., city-county annexation and city annexation of unincorporated land). Split demands also compound finding available resources. In an urbanizing county, there are not only more diverse demands for scarce resources but the resources must be shared with other governments. Split demands either cause split loyalties among commissioners or cause them to develop dual 7

PAGE 15

perspectives on problems, or both. Either waY1 the more diverse the agenda of problems, the more difficulty encountered in consensus building among .commissioners. The scope of problems do vary from county to county. While many problems are the same across counties, the scope of problems in rural counties are different from urban counties. The nature of what commissioners do will largely depend on the intensity of problems confr,onting them. Rural commissioners probably do not have to deal with people problems that arise from such things as transportation needs, health care, welfare, and public safety as intensely as do commissioners from urban counties. On the other hand, rural commissioners may be more inundated in natural resource problems that arise from the need for flood control, drainage, and water ... supply than their metropolitan counterparts. The agenda of problems for officials of cities and special districts, on the other hand, is usually more uniform. While cities must perform a yariety of functions, they are not as diverse as those in counties and they are usually more limited in scope. The budgetary roles of counties, their historic evolution and citizens constraints are among the reasons for counties having more diverse than cities. Officials from special districts are even more specific in their functions than either city or county officials. Special districts often local governments concerned with providing a single or limited number of functions. For example, under the rubric of water management,special purposed water management districts are responsible for flood protection, supervising drainage, controlling water uses, and providing recreational facilities. These water functions are limited in scope when pared with the broad array of county functions. 2.1 Frequency of Functions Performed by Counties Most studies of counties discuss the agenda of problems confronting commissioners by enumerating the services performed by counties. Characteristic of these studies is the one conducted by the U. S. Advisory Com mission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) (1971:23). 8

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ACIR surveyed 1,026 counties to assess the frequency of functions performed by these counties. As shown in Table 2, in this survey county officials mentioned a total of 58 problems which covered a broad spectrum. ACIR revealed some interesting characteristics about problems confronting county governments in the United States, and it serves to place in perspective the analysis of Florida commissioners' perceptions of public problems. For purposes of the present study, ACIRts survey data have been refined into five (5) problem categories: social and remedial; services and utilities; promotion and development; regulatory; and, governmental and administrative. Also, percentage differences between the frequency of functions performed by urban and nonurban counties have been' calculated. 2 Generally speaking, as a perusal of Table 2 will show, urban counties perform more functions of all kinds than do non-urban counties. Although the basic principle applies that large governments perform more functions than smaller governments, patterns existed in the distribution of functions across counties. With the exception of social and remedial problems, urban counties more frequently than non-urban counties were found to perform governmental and administrative, service and utilities, promotion and development, and regulatory functions. As the percentage differences between urban and non-urban counties displayed in Table 2 show, this was found to be especially the case for governmental and administrative and regulatory functions. For the governmental and administrative problem area, a 17 percent difference was found between urban and non-urban counties in the frequency cf performing functions in this issue-area. This finding suggests that greater responsibilities are placed upon urban counties in handling state activities in such areas as election administration and recording legal documents. In turn, this has required more bureaucratization and has increased the need for performing administrative activities. For example, in the individual functions included under the governmental and administrative problem areas, very high percentage differences were found between urban and nonurban counties in data processing (36 percent difference), 9

PAGE 17

central purchasing (26 percent difference ), and personnel services (19 percent difference). Also, it would appear that urban counties must administer with greater frequency problems that arise from crime. Again, the for individual functions in the governmental and adm1n1strative problem area show a higher percentage between urban and non-urban counties in having a pub11c defender (23 percent difference) and prosecutor (17 percent difference). For regulatory functions, as shown in Table 2, a 10.9 percent difference was found between urban and nonurban counties. More intense demands are placed on urban county commissioners to regulate private and public activities within their jurisdictional boundaries. In many instances, urban commissioners become involved in functions pieviously regulated by cities as problems associated with these functions cut across city boundaries and as they are intensified by urban growth (e.g., increased population size and density). Also, urban counties have become increasingly more involved in certain functions as state governments and the national government have become more involved in regulating these functions (i.e., county regulatory activities are in response to state and national laws). This would seem to explain the large differences found between urban and non-urban counties in the fre quency of involvement in air pollution (27 percent difference) and water pollution (21 percent difference). Several other interesting differences were found between urban and non-urban counties. First, under the social and remedial category, non-urban counties as shown in Table 2 were found to be involved more frequently in elementary and secopdary education (-23 and -20 percent difference, respectively). This is an indication that in urban counties elementary and secondary education is handled by school districts independent from commissioners' control. In Florida, for example, school districts are organized on a county-wide Only in the more urbanized areas are cities large enough (50,000 or more) to operate comprehensive college preparatory school programs as thought necessary by professional associations of school personnel. But, in higher education, urban ties were found to be more involved than non-urban counties (junior college 13.0 percent difference and 4-year colleges 6.0 percent difference). Demands for education beyond elementary and secondary schools are more intense in urban counties, especially for junior colleges which provide vocational and technical training. 10

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TABLE 2 FREQUENCY OF FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY 1,026 COUNTIES WITH PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN URBAN AND NON-URBAN COUNTIES BY INDIVIDUAL FUNCTIONS IN ISSUE-AREAS Regulatory I. Animal Control 2. Code Enforcement 3. Fish and Game 4. Air Pollution 5. Water Pollution 6. Power Supply 7. Livestock Inspection Governmental & Administrative 8. Tax Assessor & Collection 9. Coroner's Office 10. Courts II. Prosecution 12. Veterans' Affairs 13. Personnel Service 14-, Central Purchasing 15. Data Processing 16. Public Defender Social and Remedial 17. Jails and Detention Homes 18. General Assistance -Public Welfare 19. Public Health 20. Medical Assistance 2I. Mental Health 22. Elementary Schools 23. Secondary Schools 24. Crippled Children 25. Special Education Program 26. Junior Colleges 27. 4--Year Colleges 28. Hospitals All Counties 18 33 21 15 1412 13 20 4-8 83 80 76 66 4-9 19 18 13 31 52 85 79 75 68 60 57 54-4-9 40 16 3 39 11 (a) (b) (a-b) 9.: Urban Non-Urban Difference 28 17 +11 51 30 +21 4-2 18 +248 16 -8 37 10 +27 30 9 +21 2 15 -13 23 19 + 463 4-6 +17 83 83 0 87 78 + 9 87 74+13 80 63 +17 57 4-7 +10 35 16 +19 4-0 14+26 43 7 +36 51 28 +23 52 52 0 97 83 +1476 79 -3 80 74+ 6 70 67 ... 3 60 58 + 2 37 60 -23 36 56 -20 52 4-9 + 3 38 4-1 -3 27 14+13 9 3 + 6 4-1 39 + 2

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TABLE 2 (CONT'D) (a) (b) (a-b) All % Counties Urban Non-Urban Difference Promotion and Development 25 32 23 + 9 29. Roads and Highways 76 78 76 + 2 30. Planning 52 76 48 +28 3l. Zoning 43 55 41 +14 32. Parks and Recreation 38 55 35 +20 33. Subdivision Control 30 51 26 +25 34. Industrial Development 17 21 16 + 5 35. Public Housing 13 19 12 + 7 36. Urban Renewal 5 9 5 + If 37. Mass Transit 1 5 1 + 4 38. Cultural Affairs 4 7 4 + 3 39. Parking 9 11 9 + 2 40. Museums 13 17 12 + 5 4l. Auditoriums 17 17 16 + 1 Service and Utilities 35 36 35 + 1 42. Police Protection 82 78 82 -4 43. Agricultural Extension 75 75 74 + 1 Services 44. Probation and Parole 59 79 56 +23 Services 45. Libraries 56 57 56 + 1 46. Fire Protection 44 31 46 ...;.15 47. Ambulance Services 38 23 40 -17 48. Airport 32 24 34 -10 49. Solid Waste 29 37 28 + 9 50. Sewers and Sewage 26 33 24-+ 9 Disposal 5l. Refuse and Garbage 23 21 23 -2 52. Flood and Drainage 23 34 21 +13 53. Cemeteries 21 15 22 -7 54. Water Supply 20 21 20 + 1 55. Ports and Harbors 4 9 3 + 6 56. Irrigation 6 3 7 457. Soil Conservation 41 39 41 -3 58. Mosquito Abatement 16 37 13 +24 Source: Data for this table were derived from U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Profile of County Governments, (Washington, D. C., 1971), p. 23. 12

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Second, while promotion and development occurs in both urban and non-urban counties with similar frequency, a greater frequency of planning (28 percent difference), subdivision control (25 percent difference), parks and recreation (20 percent difference) and zoning (14 percent difference) were found to occur in urban counties. This would seem to be stimulated by such factors as increased state and national requirements, more professionalization, and increased demands brought on by increases in population size and density. Third, the frequency of service and utilities functions, like social and remedial, generally were not found to be influenced by urbanization. There was overall only a 1.S percent difference between urban and nonurban counties. These data do indicate, however, that where functions have not gravitated to cities, then counties provide them. For example, non-urban counties were found to perform more frequently functions of fire pro tection (-15 percent difference), ambulance services (-17 percent difference), refuse and garbage (-2 percent difference), cemeteries (-7 percent difference), and police protection (-4 percent difference). In urban counties where there is more governmental complexity cities per-form these functions. In addition, cities may provide these functions on a contract basis for counties. That is, a city might provide police protection and for an agreed upon price a county buys this service from the city, or vice versa. However, non-urban counties have less governmental complexity and therefore must perform these functions where cities are either unavailable or unable to do so. 2.2 Severity of Water Problems Versus Sixteen Non-Water Problems An examination of the agenda of problems confronting county commissioners must go farther than enumerating the frequency of functions performed. Therefore, in this report a framework for looking at problems through the perceptual lens of county commissioners is presented. A selected list of problems is characterized in terms of how commissioners perceive the severity of these problems. The questions of concern are: What problems do county commissioners perceive as the most pressing? How do water problems compare with other problems? To assess 13

PAGE 21

the problem context of county commissioners and ascertain where water problems "fit" within an agenda of non-water problems, commissioners' perceptions of the severity of a selected list of public problems is examined. A major assumption directing this analysis is that the context of problems confronting county commissioners is influenced in large measure by the commissioners' cognitive assessment of which problems are severe and which are not severe. As a basic theoretical premise, perception of problem severity is an indicator not only of substantive concerns of commissioneTs (e.g., inadequate roads, overcrowded schools, pollution, etc.) but also of political considerations (e.g., interest group pressures, public opinion, re-election, etc.). A commissioner, for example, may feel two problems are equally severe from the standpoint of substantive concerns, but one of the problems may be elevated to a higher priority from the standpoint of political considerations, Severity is, therefore, of overriding importance in influencing commissioners' responses to problems. As shown in Table 3, Florida county commissioners ranked water problems less severe overall than an agenda of 16 selected non-water problems. The data in Table 1 show, for example, that only 15.4 percent (or 2 of the 13 selected water problems examined) were ranked in the high severity category as compared to 75.0 percent (or 12 of the 16) selected non-water problems. Almost all of the problems in the high severity category for both the 16 selected non-water problems and the water problems are continuous agenda items for commissioners or for other county officials which they must perform either as mandated by the state or as corporate entities. For example, counties have historically been involved in road construction and maintenance, financing, and providing health facilities and services. The impact of urbanization has necessitated commissioners becoming involved in providing more services that have arisen from citizens' needs and demands, such as solid waste management, planning and zoning, housing, recreational development, lack of business and industrial development, and preserving open spaces. It appears from these data that commissioners are aware of not only their traditional functions and rank them as important but also their newer corporate functions. 14

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TABLE 3 RANKING OF PROBLEMS BY SEVERITY* Agenda of Problems Roads Solid Waste Management Financing County Services Planning/Zoning Welfare *Water Pollution from Domestic Sewage Housing "'Drainage Law Enforcement Lack of Business & Industrial Development Recreational Development Preserving Open Spaoes Public Health Facilities Busing Education *Water Supply for Domestic Purposes "'Beach Erosion Air Pollution *Water Pollution from Industry *Water Pollution from Agriculture *Water Supply for Agriculture Administration of County Government *Water Supply for Fish and Wildlife *Water Supply for Industry *Water Pollution from Salt Water Intrusion *Water Supply for Recreation *Water Supply for Salinity Control Annexation TOTAL GRAND X ;', Water Problems X Ranking 3.351 3.339 3.144 3.090 3.028 3.000 2.982 2.892 2.860 2.805 2.781 2.770 2.759 2.714 2.664 2.598 2.584 2.541 2.540 2.539 2.504 2.500 2.482 2.360 2.351 2.304 2.300 2.238 2.071 78.091 2.693 15 Water Problems % N High Severity 15.4 (2) Low Severity 84.6 (ll) Total 100.0 (13) Other Problems % N 75.0 (12) 25.0 (4) 100.0 (16) *Mean Rankings for Problem Severity: 1.OO=no problem; 2.00=not at all severe; 3.00=not very severe; and 4.00=severe.

PAGE 23

Although water problems are generally seen as less severe, water pollution from domestic sewage and drainage we.re found to be ranked in the high severity category. It is somewhat paradoxical that commissioners see both of these problems in the high severity category. Drainage has been a major stimulus to growth and development in Florida in that drainage laws of Florida have been used not only to make land agriculturally productive (their original intent) but also to make land available for subdivision and residential development. In other words, drainage has been a major stimulant for growth and development in the high growth areas of the state. By contrast, water pollution from domestic sewage is the result of growth and development. Domestic sewage is generally considered to be the most severe water problem confronting the state. Commissioners see both the stimulus for growth and development (e.g., drainage) and the result of growth and development (e.g., domestic sewage) as severe. (This seemingly paradoxical attitude is examined in more detail below in Chapter 3.) 2.3 propensitb of Commissioners to Deal with Water Pro lems Although water problems are not perceived to be as severe as other problems, an important question to ask is: When water problems are perceived to increase in severity, do commissioners perceive they should take action on them in the same way as they do on non-water problems when non-water problems are perceived to increase in severity? To ascertain whether water problems are crowded off the agenda of problems for county commissioners when commissioners deal with water problems, the relationship between the severity of water problems and non-water problems has been examined in a regression analysis. The data in Figure 1 show a positive relationship between water problem severity and the severity of other problems (r = .608, rl = .369, P< .01). More important is the posi-tive slope of .780, which shows that commissioners perceive water problem severity increasing at the same rate as the severity of other problems. In essence, commissioners would appear to have a propensity to deal with water problems in the same way as non-water problems as their severity is to increase and thus their priority. 16

PAGE 24

3.691 lID 48 .. -:><1 3.32 -.. iii' .. .. ;' ., .- .. \-'. lID lID OQ lID til 2.95 .. lID .. .. .. .. 0 lID .-l-h .. lID .. (f) .. CD .. < .. CD .. It .. .. .. Ij \-'. rt .. 0 .. .. l-h III :;: .. Cit III .. .. rt lID lID Regression: CD 2.22 lID Intercept = 2.74, Ij lID I Slope = .779 '"d Correlation: r = .608, r2 = Ij .. .369, 0 lID t7' p< .01. I-' Mean Rankings for Problem Severity: .. til 1.85 ., 1.OO=no problem; 2.00=not at all severe; 3.00=not very severe; and 4.00=severe 1.48 I I I 1. 25 1. 60 1.96 2.32 2.67 3.03 3.38 X Rankings of Severity of Non-Water Problems FIGURE 1 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SEVERITY OF NON-WATER PROBLEMS AND THE SEVERITY OF WATER PROBLEMS

PAGE 25

2.4 Effectiveness of Policy Measures iri Water Problems Another aspect of commissioners activities on water problems is their perceptions of the effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water problems. Table 4 shows how the Florida county commissioners ranked the effectiveness of 10 selected policy measures. The data in Table 4 indicate the commissioners' perceptions of the importance of various types of planning in solving water problems. For example, the top three ranked policy measures were land use planning, regional and river basin planning. It would appear that Florida county commissioners are aware of the need to approach water problems on more than a local basis; that the Florida commissioners seem to understand that water problems cut across artificially constructed local political boundaries (including county boundaries); therefore, to deal effectively with water problems, regional and/or river basin approaches should be taken along with blending water problem solutions to land use patterns. How do the commissioners' perceptions of water problem severity relate to their perceptions of the effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water problems? This question was examined by summing commissioners' re sponses to the severity of the 13 selected water problems then, correlating these responses with the summated responses of the commissioners to the perceived effectiveness of the 10 policy measures. By looking at the relationship between severity and effectiveness in a regression equation, it is possible to ascertain whether or not commissioners have a propensity to take policy action on water problems. For example, if a positive relationship is found between water problem severity and the effectiveness of policy measures to deal with water problems, then it may be concluded that commis sioners see these measures as leading to positive results and thus would have a propensity to support them. On the other hand, if a negative relationship is found a paradoxical situation is occurring. Commissioners who perceive water problems as less severe see more value in available action, while commissioners who perceive water problems as more severe see little value in available action. The implication of this result is that action to improve water problems, from the perspective of commissioners, is not likely to take place. 18

PAGE 26

TABLE 4: RANKING OF POLICY MEASURES BY EFFECTIVENESS* Policy Measure Land Use planning Regional Planning River Basin Planning Flood Plain Zoning Control Population Growth Interbasin Transfer of Water Water Rationing Desalting Higher Water and Sewer Rates Weather Modification *Mean Rankings for Effectiveness of Policy Measures: 1.OO=not at all effective; 2.00=not very effective; 3.00=fairly effective; and 4.00=very effective. 19 X Ranking 3.437 3.267 3.175 2.794 2.686 2.449 2.388 2.271 2.143 2.051

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As the data in Figure 2 show, there is a positive relationship between water problem severity and the effectiveness of water policy measures (r = .627, r2 = .393, p< .01). The steep slope of the regression line (.849) indicates that commissioners do perceive severity and effectiveness as related, and related in such a way to indicate that, as water problem severity increases, policy measures to deal with water problems will bring about positive results. 20 \ \

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3.60 3.24 >::1 :;:d III ::1 2,88 ;.;"' ..... ::1 ()q (/) 0 '1l N !3:trl 2.52 I-' (1)111 1lI'1l (/) (I) n Ijrt (I) ..... (/) < (I) (I) 2.16 (/) (/) 0 111 '
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3. TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS PERCEIVED TO BE MOST SEVERE It was indicated above (p.16 ) that commissioners' attitudes about the severity of selected problems revealed a paradoxical occurrence insofar as water problems located in the high severity category were concerned. Both water pollution from domestic sewage and drainage were found to be ranked in the high severity category. This is somewhat puzzling since water pollution from domestic sewage is the result of growth and development and drainage stimulates growth and development. Therefore, the question arises: Which commissioners hold that water problems which are the result of growth and development are most severe and which commissioners hold that water problems which stimulate growth and development are most severe? To shed some light on this question as well as to develop a more adequate profile of Florida commissioners' attitudes about water problems, the analysis in this section examines Florida commissioners' attitudes about which type of water problems are thought to be most severe: those which stimulate growth and development or those which are the result of growth and development. We can conceptually think of commissioners' concern with water problems evolving in the following stages: NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE. DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE. UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST SEVERE. ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE. WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS A RESULT OF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE. 22

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N VI TABLE 5 SCALE TYPES FOR FLORIDA COMMISSIONERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE SEVERITY OF WATER PROBLEMS Item Water Sewer Water Drainage Treatment Frequency x o o o o o x X X o o x x o o o x X X o X o x x X o x x X o o o o x x X X o o o o o o o 10 7 15 3 12 15 4 1 1 9 23 Scale Type ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS A RESULT OF GROWTH AND DEVELOP MENT SEEN AS MOST SEVERE UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST SEVERE DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE

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Initially, if a water supply is readily available and a community is sparsely populated, then water pro-blems do not concern commissioners; that is, water problems become secondary to more immediate problems of growth and development such as stimulating subdivision, residential, commercial, and industrial growth and development. But, if water resources (either the overabundance or scarcity) hinder and development, then we can reason that commissioners will enter a second stage in their concern problems. They will then see water problems which can be used either to stimulate or hinder growth development as the most severe ones confront-ing their county. These would include problems such as drainage and flood control. A third stage is when the commissioner is undecided about which type of water problems are most severe. His county may be experiencing rapid growth and development, and while he sees the necessity of continued growth and development, he also is concurrently feeling its effects; therefore, he is undecided about which type of water problems are most severe. If the push and shove of both types of water problems intensify, then the commissioner's attitudes about water problems will enter a fourth stage. He will see all types of water problems as severe. Finally, if the effects of growth and development override the necessity of stimulating growth and development, it can be reasoned that a commissioner will then see these problems which come as a result of growth and development as most severe. To analyze Florida county commissioners' attitudes about which type of water problems were the most severe, the respondents' attitudes about development issues (e.g., water supply and drainage) and issues which are the result of development (e.g., sewage treatment and water pollution! were scaled. Proximity or developmental scaling was used. In scaling Florida commissioners' attitudes about water problem severity, commissioners were located in fivecate gories which to the developmental states discussed above. The five scale types are shown in TableS. To how rowthcharacteiistics of a county affect commls:a0l!ersl attltudes ab?ut problem severity, three growth lndlcators -populatlon, resldential and industrial --were To the influence population growth on about water problem severity; the effects.of populatlon Slze (1970), population density (1970), and popu1atlon change (1960-1970) were examined. To measure the influence of residential growth on commissioners' attitudes, the of total housing (1970) were 24

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Finally, to measure the influence of industrial growth on commissioners' attitudes, the effects of manufacturing plant starts and expansions between 1965-1969 were examined. From the data displayed in Tables 6, 7, and 8, a profile of Florida county commissioners' attitudes about water problem severity can be constructed. As the data in Table 6 show, commissioners representing less populated, less densely settled, and less rapidly growing counties hold that water problems generally associated with growth and development are more severe. Moreover, as the data in Tables 7 and 8 show, these commissioners' counties do not have large residential areas, nor are their counties heavily industrialized. While these are the predominant characteristics, the data displayed in Tables 6, 7, and 8 suggest that these commissioners are somewhat aware of water problems which come as the result of growth. For example, while the development of attitudes toward water problem severity generally ran in the expected direction (i.e., from no problems seen as severe to the results seen as most severe) according to population, residential, and industrial growth characteristics, commissioners from the smaller growth counties did indicate a degree of awareness of the severity of water problems which are the result of growth and development. By contrast, as we might expect, Tables 6, 7, and 8 show that commissioners representing larger (more populated), more densely settled, and more rapidly growing counties hold that water problems associated with the results of growth and development are more severe. Also, these commissioners represent counties which have more residential and industrial development. Thus, we can conclude that the evolution of commissioners' attitudes toward water problems associated with different types of growth and development are influenced by the growth characteristics of their counties. What does this mean about where water problems "fit" within the context of county government decisionmaking? Fromfue above analysis, it is apparent that those commissioners whose counties are in low growth areas view water problems as necessary to stimulate growth and development. Thus, it would appear that for these commissioners, water problems are only priority items 25

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insofar as they adversely or positively affect the growth and development of the county. However, the above analysis indicates that when a commissioner's county begins experiencing the effects of growth (e.g., pollution, sewering costs and associated problems), their attitudes toward water problem severity indeed go through an evolutionary process. Their attitudes change toward the type of water problems seen as most severe. In effect, their attitudes about the priority of water problems on the agenda of county government change. They are more aware of those water problems associated with the results of growth and development. 26

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TABLE 6 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEMOGRAPHIC GROWTH CHARACTERISTICS OF FLORIDA COUNTIES AND COMMISSIONERS' ATTITUDES ABOUT MOST SEVERE TYPE OF WATER PROBLEM NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS SEEN AS MOST SEVERE Population Size Population Density Population Change 1960-1970 (1970) (1970) <25,000 >25,000 <50 >50 Lost Small -Large Low High Population 0-24% 25% above 46.9 (15) 11.8 (8) 38.6 (17) 10.7' (6) 57.1 (4) 30.0 (12) 13.2 (7) 12.5 (4) (11) 13.6 (6) 16.1 (9) o 0 ( 0) 20. 0 ( 8 ) 13 2 ( 7 ) N -...:J UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST SEVERE ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE 18.8(6) 13.2 (9) 0.0 (0) 14.7 (10) WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS 21. 9 (7) 44.1 (30) A RESULT OF GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT SEEN AS MOST SEVERE 100.1 (32) 100.0 (68) 15.9 (7) 14.3 (8) 0.0 (0) 17.5 (7) 15.1 (8) 4.5 (2Y 14.3 (8) 0.0 (0) 2.5 (1) 17.0 (9) 27.3 (12) 44.6 (25) 42.9 (3) 30.0 (12) 41.5 (22) 99.9 (44) 100.0 (56) 100.0 (7) 100.0(40) 100.0 (53)

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TABLE 7 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESIDENTIAL GROWTH OF FLORIDA COUNTIES AND COMMISSIONERS' ATTITUDES ABOUT MOST SEVERE TYPE OF WATER PROBLEM NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST SEVERE ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS A RESULT OF GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE 28 Housing Units (1970) <15,000 000 34.0 (18) 10.6 (5) 18.9 (10) 10.6 (5) 13.2 (7) 17.0 (8) 3.8 (2) 17.0 (8) 30.2 (16) 44.7 (21) 100.1 (53) 99.9 (47)

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N \.0 TABLE 8 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL GROWTH OF FLORIDA COUNTIES AND COMMISSIONERS' ATTITUDES ABOUT MOST SEVERE TYPE OF WATER PROBLEM NO WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE UNDECIDED ABOUT WHICH TYPE OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE MOST SEVERE ALL TYPES OF WATER PROBLEMS ARE SEEN AS SEVERE WATER PROBLEMS WHICH COME AS A RESULT OF GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT ARE SEEN AS MOST SEVERE Manufacturing Plant Starts and Expansion (1965-1969) <20 2:.20 29.0 (18) 13.2 (15 ) 17.7 (11) 10.5 (4) 16.1 (10) 13.2 (5) 4.8 (3) 18.4 (7) 32.3 (20) 44.7 (17) 99.9 (62) 100.0 (38)

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4. SUMMARY The preceding analysis may be summarized as follows: 1. As indicated by Florida county commissioners' perceptions of a selected list of public problems, water problems are generally not considered to be as important as non-water problems which commissioners face. Water pollution problems and drainage were found to be considered by Florida county commissioners to be as severe as non-water problems. Water pollution and drainage represent two extreme of water problems. On the one hand, drainage is thought to be a stimulant of growth and development. On the other hand, water pollution comes as a result of growth and development. When this seemingly paradoxical view of water problem severity was examined in a proximity scale analysis, it was found that Florida commissioners' attitudes followed a development sequence: from an attitude that no water problems were severe to an attitude that pollution problems were more severe. The evolution of commissioners' attitudes was found to be effected by the amount of popu lation, residential, and industrial growth within a commissioner's county. 2. Although water problems are not of central importance to Florida county commissioners, the above analysis did show that Florida commissioners exhibit a propensity to deal with water problems in the same fashion as other problems when water problems increase in severity. In other words, commissioners did indicate that they see the necessity of positive action being taken on water problems as they increase in severity. 3. Moreover, the Florida commissioners held that policy measures (particularly various types of planing) could have positive effects on water problems. 30

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NOTES 1. In selecting the water and non-water problems, the intent was to look at a broad section of problems which, although not touching every conceivable problem that confront county commissioners, broadly touched on most of the typical water and non-water problems of county governments and local governments generally. 2. An urban county is defined in ACIR's survey as one with a population of 100,000 and above. A nonurban county is defined as one with a population below 100,000. 3. Proxitity or, as it is sometimes referred to, developmental scaling, unlike the more commonly used Guttman's scaling, allows for the ordering of commissioners' attitudinal responses on type of water problems in sequential stages. This ordering of sequential stages does not imply that one stage causes another. As Leik and Matthews (1968:62-63) argue: Inherent in some uses of a developmental conceptualization is an assumption that a particular sequence of stages is a functional necessity. In its most stringent interpretation, this usage would imply that stage k cannot occur unless stage j has occurred, assuming that j precedes k in the sequence. A less stringent functional interpretation is that stage j should precede stage k if certain favorable outcomes are to be realized, although it is possible but not very probable for k to occur without j having been present. Regardless of the question of a functional ordering, it may be that a sequence is hypothesized as the norm, implying that it is modal in the statistical sense. As with the less stringent functional form, this usage would imply that stage k would more frequently follow stage j than the reverse ordering. 31

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\ 4. Six items, which represent both ends of the growth and development continuum,were used in the scale analysis. These six items were: water supply, drainage, flooding, droughts, sewage treatment, and water pollution. Using the appropriate method for item deletion (see Leik and Matthews: 1968), four items were ordered in the final scale. The coefficient of scalability for the scale presented in Table 5 is .675 (p < .Ol). (The accepted statistical cut-off for scalability is .60.) A coefficient of reproducibility may also be calculated for a proximity scale. The coefficient of reproducibility for the scale presented in Table 5 is .910. (The accepted statistical cut-off for reproducibility is .90.) 32

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REFERENCES DUNCOMBE, H.S. (1966). County Government in America. Washington, D. C.: National Association of Counties Research Foundation. EULAU, H. and K. PREWITT (1973). Labyrinths of Democracy: Adaptations, Linkages, Representation and Policies in Urban Politics. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Co. EULAU, H. (1969). of Inquiry. Micro-Macro Political Analysis: Accents Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co. GRANT, D.R. and H. C. NIXON (1968). State and Local Government in America. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. KELMAN, H. C. (1974). "Attitudes Are Alive and Well and Gainfully Employed in the Sphere of Action,1I American Psychologist, Vol. 29, No.5 (May). LEIK, R.K. and M. MATTHEWS (1968), "A Scale for Developmental Processes," American Sociological Review, Vol. 33, No.1 (February). U. S. ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (1971). Profile of County Governments. Washington, D. C. WAGER, P. (editor) (1950). Nation. Chapel Hill: Press. County Government Across the University of North Carolina WILENSKY, H. L. and L. MAYHEW (1973), "Why Do They Say One Thing, Do Another?" Morristown, N. J.: General Learning Press. 33

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APPENDIX A: QUESTIONNAIRE 1. Here is a list of problems that your county may now face. Would you please indicate to what degree these are now problems for your county? (If one does not apply, check "not applicable.") Financing County Services Lack of Business 6, Industrial Development Planning 6, Zoning Welfare City Annexation of County Land Housing Roads Public Health Facilities Law Enforcement Solid Waste Management Air Pollution Recreational Development Administration of County Government Eaucation Busing Preserving Open. Spaces Severe Not Very Severe Not At All Not Severe Applicable 2. Here is a list of water problems your county may now face. Would you please indicate to what degree these are not problems for your county? (If one does not apply to your county, check "not applicable.") Water Supply for Agriculture Water Supply for Domestic Purposes Water Supply for Industry Water Supply for Recreation Water Supply for Fish 6, Wildlife Water Supply for Salinity Control Pollution from Domestic Sewage Pollution from Industrial Waste Pollution from Agricultural Waste Flooding Drainage Beach Erosion Salt Water Intrusion Not Not Very At All Severe Severe Severe Not Applicable

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3. How effective do you think each of the following measures might be in dealing with any water use problems your county might face? Water Rationing Flood Plain Zoning Control Population Growth Land Use Planning RIver Basin Planning Regional Planning Modification (e.g., Cloud Seeding) Interbasin Transfer of Water Water & Sewer Rates Very Effective 35 Fairly Effective Not Very Not at All Effective Effective