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Decision making in Broward County : a political economy approach

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Decision making in Broward County : a political economy approach
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Vogel, Ronald K
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Academic communities ( jstor )
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Community power ( jstor )
Community structure ( jstor )
Counties ( jstor )
County governments ( jstor )
Pluralist school ( jstor )
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Power structures ( jstor )
Voting ( jstor )
Community power -- Decision making ( fast )
Dissertations, Academic -- Political Science -- UF
Group decision making ( fast )
Political Science thesis Ph. D
Florida -- Broward County ( fast )
City of Fort Lauderdale ( local )
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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1986.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 191-198).
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Also available online.
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Typescript.
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Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ronald Kenneth Vogel.

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Full Text







DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH




BY

RONALD KENNETH VOGEL


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1986










ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Many people have contributed to the completion of this

dissertation. First, I would like to thank my parents. They provided

financial resources to pursue my education and a refuge to recoup from

the rigors of graduate school. Their faith in me never wavered.

I would like to thank those individuals who provided guidance and

encouragement throughout my graduate education. My greatest debt is

owed to Professor Bert E. Swanson, chairman of my supervisory

committee. He was generous with his time and patient beyond belief. I

consider him a teacher, a colleague, and a friend. I would also like

to thank Professor William Kelso who first encouraged me to attend

graduate school. His friendship and counsel were greatly appreciated

during this time. The other members of my committee, Professors

Deborah Baumgold, James Button, and Anthony LaGreca were also extremely

helpful. Gus Jones deserves special mention. While not serving on my

committee, he offered helpful advice and friendship throughout this

long process.

I would also like to express my gratitude to the Political Science

department at Valdosta State College. Dr. James Betka was particularly

supportive, both as a friend and colleague, providing me with good

teaching schedules and making department resources available.

Professor Roy Copeland generously allowed me to use his copy machine at

no charge, as well as his home, dinner table, and liquor, when I needed

a respite from teaching and writing. Dr. James Peterson allowed me

exclusive use of the department's only Apple computer, which greatly

facilitated the typing and editing of the final draft of this work.










I would be remiss if I did not thank my friends who graciously put

up with late night telephone calls. Included in this list are my

brother Robert and his wife Barbara, and my brothers Richard and Randy.

Others who deserve special thanks are Margy DeMar, Geeta Chowdhry, and

Karin Moore.

Professor Grady Lacy in Modern Foreign Languages at Valdosta State

College provided invaluable assistance in teaching me the intracacies

of "Applewriter." Mike Lekich proved an extremely reliable, if

underpaid, typist/printer. He willingly worked 24 hours straight to

help get the first submission of this paper to the editorial office

before the deadline. I have no doubt that my graduation would have

been delayed by at least three months without his assistance.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to the leaders of

Broward County. Without their cooperation, this project could never

have been started.










TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . .. ii

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . .. vi

CHAPTERS

I COMMUNITY POWER: AN ASSESSMENT . . . . . . 1

Community Power . . . . . . . . . 6
Contemporary Power Research . . . . . . . 9
Power as an Independent Variable . . . . .. 11
The Permanent Community Sample . . . . . .. 13
Critique of the Community Power Field . . . .. 15
What Do We Know? . ..... .................. 22
Where Do We Go From Here? .................. 26
Notes . . . . . . . . . . . .. 28

II ELITE AND PLURALIST THEORY . . . . . . .. 29

Elite Theory and Its Critics . . . . . .. 29
Pluralist Theory . . . . . . . . .. 39
Classifying Communities Using the Theories . . .. 41

III THE POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH . . . . . .. 46

The Political Economy Approach . . . . . .. 46
Case Study and Theory Development . . . . .. 55
A Research Site . . . . . . . . .. 59
Identification of Community Leaders . . . . .. 60

IV DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
A LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . .... 68

Elite or Pluralist? . . . . . . . . .. 69
Classifying the Community . . . . . . .. 76
Factors Associated With Pluralism . . . . .. 78
Consequences of Pluralism . . . . . . .. 82
Leadership in a Pluralist System . . . . . .. 86
Notes . . . . . . . . . . . .. 92

V CENTRALIZING DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
THE AUTHORITY STRUCTURE . . . . . . .. 93

Growth and Development in Broward County . . . .. 93
Efforts to Unify Government Decision Making . . .. 96
Centralizing Leadership: A Strong Mayor . . . .... 113
Centralizing the Authority Structure:
Deliberate Action . . . . . . . . .. .117










VI TOWARDS A MORE UNIFIED POWER STRUCTURE:
THE BROWARD WORKSHOP . . . . . . . ... 120

Past Studies of Growth in Broward County . . .. .121
Growth and the Business Community . . . . ... 126
The Broward Workshop . . . . . . . . .. .130
Leadership Broward . . . . . . . . .. .142

VII DYNAMICS OF BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS . . .... 145

The Relationship Between Public and Private Leaders. . 146
An Application of Lindblom's Privileged
Position of Busines Thesis . . . . . ... 151
Government Leaders Versus Business Leaders . . .. .169
Can Business Privilege Be Overcome?
Molotch's Growth Machine . . . . . . .. 172

VIII CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . .. 176

Towards a Typology of Business-Government
Relationships . . . . . . . . . .. 176
Summary . . . . . . . . ............. 187
Future Research . . . . . . . . . .. . 188

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . .. 191

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . . .. .199










Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY: A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH

By

Ronald Kenneth Vogel

May 1986

Chairman: Bert E. Swanson
Major Department: Political Science

Studies of community decision making abound, yet the classic

elite-pluralist debate has remained unresolved. Without answering the

question "who governs?" researchers shifted focus to "where, when, and

with what effects?" Researchers using an inadequate conceptualization

of community decision making combined with their ideological

predispositions produced largely uninteresting and insignificant

results of the relationship between power and local policy outputs.

Worse, researchers managed to take politics out of the study of

community decision making. The community power field, a once thriving

and exciting field of study, was abandoned by many as a result.

To overcome these problems, a political economy orientation is

adopted, the focus being how do the public and private decision making

systems relate to each other. Community decision making consists of

two separate but intertwined processes, one based in the private sector

commonly called the power structure and the other in government or the

authority structure. This orientation allows us to reconsider elite

and pluralist theory and how, as used by researchers, they explain

different aspects of community decision making. The emphasis is not to

prove one theory over another but to attempt to synthesize the










theories. Many differences in their explanations are traced to

incomplete conceptualizations of community decision making.

In a case study of Broward County, Florida, the dynamics of

business-government relations are examined. This study reveals that

the structure of decision making does matter, affecting the quantity

and quality of policy outputs in the community. Leaders have attempted

to centralize the governmental authority structure and private power

structure in an effort to overcome what they believe are severe

deficiencies in operating in a pluralist system. A typology of

community decision making is introduced based on the research findings

depending on the degree of centralization of the power structure and

the authority structure. Decentralized decision making structures are

seen to disadvantage communities competing in an era of mobile capital.

A trend towards increased government-business cooperation based on

mutual dependence is identified.
















CHAPTER I
COMMUNITY POWER: AN ASSESSMENT


Community power structure studies have evolved into a general

field of research since the early part of this century. Communities

were first studied, and still are today, because they are thought to

represent a microcosm of the larger political system. It is believed

that in the locality, one can most readily observe the dynamics of

decision making. Community power structure studies, it was hoped,

would increase our awareness of the political processes which take

place in the political system. This field of research seeks to

describe and explain community decision making and how it affects local

policy outputs. These studies aid us in assessing the relative health

of our democracy by allowing us to compare our ideals to reality. In

this way we are able to guage the workings of democracy and adjust our

system, our values and beliefs, or our behavior accordingly. Finally,

community power structure studies could, potentially, enable us to

better design and implement programs aimed at the many urban problems

which confront us by providing planners with a more complete

understanding of the urban processes.

The community power field is also the source of one of the larger

controversies in the social sciences, which pits two rival theories of

political power and their alternative explanations of politics and

public policy against each other. In the classical elite-pluralist

debate, scholars have clashed over conceptualizations of power, the

existence of an elite, methodologies to locate community leaders, and










the scientific objectivity of research. The debate has pitted

sociologists against political scientists, the left against the right,

and normative democratic theorists against empirical democratic

theorists. While this debate has raged for more than thirty years, it

is marked by the relative lack of progress in building an accumulated

body of knowledge expected of a discipline which uses the label

"science." Questions have been raised about the reception of ideas in

political science as a result (Ricci, 1980).

There have been two major responses to the disarray found in the

community power field. The first response has been to change the focus

of study from, in Terry Clark's words, "who governs?" to "where, when,

and with what effects?" (Clark, 1975, p. 271). On the surface, this

shift would seem to be a natural step and enhance our understanding of

power structures. However, it was accompanied by a reformulation of

the problem. To avoid getting bogged down in the elite-pluralist

debate of the early sixties, and to facilitate large scale aggregate

analysis, elite and pluralist theory were operationalized as a

centralization-decentralization index. Researchers attempted to

isolate the factors associated with variation in policy outputs in

different communities using the centralization index in place of power

structure. Instead of focusing on power structure, the new focus

became policy outputs. The problem is, the elite-pluralist questions

still remain unanswered. If we do not really understand the difference

between elite and pluralist communities, how can we understand what

difference it will make in terms of policy outputs? We need to better

understand "who governs?" before we can adequately answer the questions

"where, when, and with what effects?"










A second response to the community power impasse was to abandon

the field of inquiry all together. Polsby (1980) has questioned the

utility of further research in this vein, given the inability to say

anything more than we could when the elite-pluralist debate was at its

height in the early sixties. Yates (1977, pp. 86-90) argues that

community power structures are misleading because they suggest that

power is structured in the community. Instead, he argues that we

should study issue networks which transcend community boundaries. He

states that every policy has its own power structure, taking in

communities, states, and the national government, as well as other

actors in society.

To abandon community power studies because of the difficulties

encountered in research and the lack of a cohesive body of knowledge in

favor of a policy approach devoid of a community framework is

premature. As Ricci (1980) points out, all of the problems encountered

in the community power research are also present in policy studies.

People live and work and act in communities. This does not mean that

vertical linkages should be ignored, only that we should not lose sight

that power is still structured in the community. If in recent years,

power has shifted more toward Washington, Reagan's New Federalism

ensures that the community leadership will have greater control over

local policy for many more years.

The rest of this chapter traces the development of the community

power field over the years. The major controversies are identified and

the two major theories of political power, elite and pluralist, are

introduced. The movement away from case studies to large-scale

aggregate analysis is examined. Also, the policy outputs approach of

Terry Clark and others is described. The chapter addresses the










questions of what do we know and where do we go from here. While the

response of some to the confusion and contradictions found in the

literature is to abandon this field of inquiry all together, a case is

made that much of the present impasse results from the lack of

theoretical focus of much of the research. An additional problem has

been the reliance on large scale aggregate analysis, particularly the

Permanent Community Sample of 51 communities, which has displaced

original case study research to a great extent.

In Chapter II, elite and pluralist theory are examined in greater

detail. The problem of how to classify a community is also considered.

The research strategy and methodology are outlined in Chapter III.

Here the political economy framework is introduced which emphasizes

that community decision making really consists of two separate but

intertwined decision processes, one based in the private sector and

commonly called the power structure, and the other in government or the

authority structure. This improved conceptualization of community

decision making offers a way out of the elite-pluralist dichotomy that

has dominated the field and prevented significant progress toward a

theory of community power.

The major research premise is that theories of political power

ought to be operational in the community. To overcome several of the

problems in community power research, this study uses the case method

to reexamine leadership and decision making in the community. Eckstein

(1975) describes how the case method can be used for theory building.

The case study enables us to specify the process by which power

structure may shape policy, something that large scale aggregate

analysis can only speculate about. By adopting the "heuristic case"

approach, we may generate theory by examining phenomena and seeing










where the present theories are applicable and where they need to be

filled out (Eckstein, 1975, p. 104). Rather than interpret theories of

political power in the community, we can allow the findings in the

community to help shape the theory.

After describing the research approach, the choice of a research

site, Broward County, and the method of identifying community leaders

are discussed. A variant of the reputational method was chosen to

identify community leaders. The method was corrected for pluralist

criticisms by (1) using a two-step approach, where a panel of community

knowlegdeables selects community influentials; (2) including several

elected officials in the original panel of community knowledgeable to

overcome any bias towards private sector leaders; (3) asking leaders

identified by the first panel to name the ten most influential leaders

in the community instead of the top five leaders (as many reputational

studies do); and (4) asking open-ended questions about community

decision making and issues.

Chapter IV presents the results of the reputational survey. More

importantly, the chapter describes Broward County's decision making

system from the leadership's perspective. Broward's leaders described

Broward as a very pluralistic community, but then went on to decry this

state of affairs. This runs contrary to conventional wisdom that

pluralism is a desirable way to run the community.

In Chapters V and VI, efforts by Broward leaders to centralize

community decision making are examined. Leaders in Broward have

attempted to centralize the authority structure (government) and the

power structure (economic sector) in order to overcome the limitations

of pluralist decision making (described in Chapter IV). Efforts to










unify the power structure were centered in the creation of the Broward

Workshop, an organization of the top private sector leaders.

In Chapter VII, we examine the underlying systemic biases that

affect policy making. The structure of community decision making has

important consequences for policy making. A typology of the patterns

of relationship between political and economic leaders at the local

level is presented in the final chapter. Our purpose is not to test

elite or pluralist theory, but to gain a better understanding of

community decision making. In this effort, the newer political economy

approach will be helpful. The focus then will be what is the

relationship between the political and economic leaders in the

community and how should we characterize this relationship.



Community Power



The first major work in this area was the Lynds' study of

Middletown (1929 and 1937) which found an elite structure dominated by

the economic sector and based on family ties. Hunter (1953) in Atlanta

confirmed the existence of an elite by using the reputational approach.

Mills (1956) at the national level, employing the positional approach,

suggested American politics was dominated by a "power elite." Though

Hunter's elite was qualitatively different from Mills, in both cases an

elite was found to exercise a disproportionate share of power in the

community. These two works served as the basis for the elite theory

that guided subsequent studies.

Then Dahl (1961) and Polsby (1963), his student, set the basis for

the pluralist school to challenge the elite paradigm of American

politics. Dahl, in a case study of New Haven, using the decisional










approach, found different leaders active in different issue areas, with

the mayor as the predominant figure in an executive-centered coalition.

Polsby attacked Hunter and other elite studies as fallacious. He

embarked on a crusade against the positional and reputational

approaches to the study of power, arguing that one must look to actual

behavior in the community, an approach that came to be labelled the

"decisional" approach.

Bachratz and Baratz (1962) raised the nondecision problem and

argued the decisional method missed the agenda-setting stage where

alternative policies are originally shaped. They attacked the logic of

studying government decisions alone, as researchers would miss efforts

to limit the agenda of government. This criticism went to the heart of

the pluralist school and shed doubt on the decisional approach. The

stage was thus set for the ensuing elite-pluralist debate, much of

which was conducted in an unscholarly vein. Presthus (1964) using the

reputational and decisional approaches found much overlap between the

two methods. More importantly, he found little empirical difference

between the elite and pluralist schools of thought. He states:



To some extent, where sociologists found monopoly and called it
elitism, political scientists found oligopoly but defined it in
more honorific terms as pluralism. (Presthus, 1964, p. 430)


Thus, much of the debate revolved not around the objective reality in

our communities, but the interpretation of the findings.

Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) introduced a typology of power

structures and regimes. They emphasized the role of leadership

ideology as an independent variable on the community structure and

subsequent policy outputs. Their conceptualization improved the










elite-pluralist debate by providing a more complete and realistic

portrayal of the urban decision making process than the simple

elite-pluralist dichotomy. While ideology is difficult to measure,

researchers must be sensitive to possible differences in power

structure ideology and avoid sweeping generalizations about the

attitudes and preferences of an elite or pluralist power structure.

As researchers began to recognize that some of the differences

between pluralist and elite power structures were semantical in nature,

a shift in focus from "who governs?" to "where, when, and with what

effects?" took place (Clark 1975). Though researchers began to abandon

the elite-pluralist debate all together, most of the issues remained

unresolved. Secondary analysis of case studies and large scale

comparative studies followed. Questions of disciplinary field as a

major source of variation in the findings of researchers were raised.

Sociologists tended to find that communities were elite run, while

political scientists usually found communities were pluralistic. New

questions about approach (position, reputational, or decisional) were

raised as well. Walton (1966) found the discipline of researchers

influenced the method of study of the community and subsequently the

type of power structure arrived at. Gilbert (1968) in a larger study

(166 case studies were examined) found discipline to be unrelated to

the type of power structure found.

In the early 1970s, a number of researchers attempted to assess

the field of community power (Clark, 1975). This is evidenced by the

appearance of several anthologies: Clark, Community Structure and

Decision-making: Comparative Analyses (1968); Aiken and Mott, The

Structure of Community Power (1970); and Hawley and Wirt, The Search

for Community Power (1974).












Contemporary Power Research



Kasarda and Lineberry (1980) see three directions in contemporary

community power research. The first is research in the original

elite-pluralist tradition of the early 1960s, focusing on the question

of who governs. This is typified by Domhoff (1978) in his

reexamination of New Haven (Dahl, 1961). Domhoff concludes that New

Haven was elite run all along. Hunter's (1980) revisit to Atlanta, in

which he traced the durability of the power structure, and Polsby's

(1980) revised and expanded version of his earlier work, which contains

additional critiques of elite studies, also fall into this category.

More recent examples of research in this vein are Trounstine and

Christensen's (1982) study of San Jose, and Whitt's (1982) study of the

transportation issue in California. Trounstine and Christensen using

the reputational approach, find, as the literature would suggest, that

growth leads to a more pluralistic structure, but they question how

much decision making is left to the cities given the changing economy

and broader forces in society beyond the reach of the community. They

draw a clear distinction between sunbelt and frostbelt communities.

Whitt studies a statewide issue, transportation, in California, over

time. He assesses how well pluralist, elitist, and ruling class

theories of political power fit the decision to build the Bay Area

Rapid Transit (BART) system and changes in the state allocation of

highway monies over a twelve-year period. He concludes that while each

theory contributes to an understanding of the issue and its resolution,

the class-dialectic (ruling class) model of political power is the most

explanatory.










A second direction in community power research identified by

Kasarda and Lineberry (1980) is that of network analysis characterized

by Imershein and Liebert (1977). Their emphasis is on organizational

linkages and their findings have a



distinctively political theme that tends to find the greatest
efficacy of power, and indeed the most universal structure of
power, to lie in a certain organized diversity, a pluralist set of
subsystems with an integrated system of elites. (Imershein and
Leibert, 1977, p. 16)


The way to understand the community according to these researchers is

to study the organizations in the community which are the major locus

of power.

According to Kasarda and Lineberry (1980), the third direction of

research in community power is the policy output field. This has

coincided with a shift in focus from such questions as "who governs?"

to "where, when, and with what effects?" (Clark, 1975). Researchers

attempt to isolate the factors associated with variation in policy

output in different communities. In particular, Clark (1971), Aiken

and Alford (1970), Lyon and Bonjean (1981) and others have attempted to

use power structure to explain variation in policy outputs among

communities. To date, researchers have been largely unsuccessful in

linking the power structure type, whether elite or pluralistic, to the

type of policy output in the community (Lyon, 1977). This is also true

for the later centralized-decentralized conceptualization which has

replaced the more traditional elite-pluralist conceptualization.

Utilizing the Permanent Community Sample (PCS), a sample of

fify-one communities ranging in population from 50,000 to 750,000

persons, Clark finds evidence that centralized power structures cause










separable goods such as poverty programs, housing, and model cities

programs (Clark, 1975). Lyon and Bonjean (1981) test Clark's

separability model and Aiken's (1970) mobilization model to explain

variations in policy outputs. Aiken suggests that the level of

participation and organization in a community should increase policy

outputs. He looked at several federal programs which parallel Clark's

separability dimension. The test revealed that neither model could

explain variation in outputs even half of the time.

Lyon and Bonjean then formulated a new hypothesis using the

distinction between routine and nonroutine decisions measured against

the centralization-decentralization dimension. They find that

specification of decisions as routine or nonroutine improves the

linkage to the type of power structure. Thus, model cities which Clark

is led to predict would have higher outputs in decentralized cities was

really more closely tied to centralized cities, as the program required

much coordination in the planning stages to be successful.

Decentralized structures were at a disadvantage as competition and

fragmentation reduced coordination necessary to receive federal funds.

More recently, Lyon, Felice, Perryman, and Parker (1981) have found

"business power" to be related to growth, using the PCS. While they

define business power somewhat differently from Clark's

decentralization index, they do incorporate Clark's variable into

theirs.



Power as an Independent Variable



The results of using power as an independent variable to explain

policy outputs are inconclusive. Some researchers have found








12

environmental conditions such as urbanization, wealth, and education to

be the major determinants of public policy to the exclusion of

political variables at all (Sharkansky, 1970; Dye, 1966, 1976).

In fact, Lyon (1977) examined three prominent power policy models

in the literature, Clark's fragility model, Clark's separability model,

and Aiken and Alford's Community Mobilization Model. Clark's fragility

model says that "fragile" policies or new conflictual policies like

fluoridation are likely to be associated with centralized power

structures. "Nonfragile" or non-conflictual policies like police

expenditures are likely to be associated with decentralized power

structures. The separability model and mobilization model are

discussed above. Lyon concludes:



Quite simply, the power-policy models of Clark and Aiken and
Alford do not account for a majority of the associations found
between political decentralization and policy outputs. (Lyon,
1977, p. 475)


Lyon then tests demographic-ecological variables including "(I)

urbanism, (2) racial composition, (3) maturity/growth and (4)

socioeconomic status," to account for the relationship between power

and policy (Lyon, 1977, p. 475). He operationalizes the variables as

"(I) population size, (2) percent Negro, (3) percent of housing

constructed before 1950, and (4) median family income." He argues:



These demographic-ecological variables are more than twice as
powerful in explaining the total variation in the policy outputs
considered in this paper. This leaves those of us interested in
community power with a most difficult question to answer: If the
easier-to-measure demographic-ecological variables can produce
larger correlations with policy outputs, why bother with measures
of community power? (Lyon, 1977, p. 475)












Lyon discusses Aiken's (1970) similar findings:



Some recent analysts have come close to suggesting not bothering
at all. Consider for example Aiken's conclusion after surveying
the small statistical correlations he found between his secondary
classification of community power and participation in federal
programs. "It seems apparent from the results here that the
community power perspective as it now exists, is simply not the
most appropriate model to use (Aiken 1970: 517)." (Lyon, 1970, p.
475)


Many of the problems encountered in attempting to link the structure of

community decision making to policy outputs are related to more general

problems found in the community power field (see next section).

However, many of the difficulties are the result of the way the PCS was

collected and operationalized, as well as the way researchers have

attempted to analyze these data.



The Permanent Community Sample



The Permanent Community Sample (PCS) was collected in 1967. At

the time, the sample was hailed as a major advancement for urban

researchers, as now a large sample (fifty-one cities) was available for

comparative analysis (Clark, 1975). Data were available on numerous

variables, including informal power structure, operationalized as a

"decentralization index." However, there are serious questions about

the reliability of Clark's index. The index is constructed by

tabulating the results of a reputational survey conducted in each of

the communities with informants identifying the number of actors active

in four issue areas. The answer of each respondent was tallied with

the other respondents in a twenty cell matrix. Clark then reasons that










the major features of pluralism are (1) the number of actors who

participate in an issue area; and (2) the overlap of actors from one

issue area to another. Using these criteria, he collapses the twenty

cell matrix into a single index of decentralization.

Clark is somewhat vague in his publications (Clark, 1968, 1975) as

to the exact procedures used to create the index. According to Clark,

an actor may be defined as a single individual or a group of

individuals with similar status. Thus, two businessmen active in the

same issue would be counted as one actor. But if the same individual

was identified by two informants with a different status given by each

(e.g., corporate president and democratic party chairman), he would be

treated as two actors. The intent of this conceptualization was to

weight the index by involvement of community institutions rather than

by individual participants. This could seriously distort the index and

make it very difficult to interpret results. There is also the problem

of how to replicate the index in other studies.

In addition to the above problems, this reformulation of pluralism

lacks a theoretical orientation. An index of decentralization can

hardly capture the complexity of the pluralist model. Pluralism is

concerned with more than just the number of actors and amount of

overlap among issue areas, as important as these elements may be. By

the same token, how are we to interpret centralized decision making?

What guides the behavior of actors in a centralized structure as

opposed to an elite structure? Clark does not tell us, though he

regards the abandonment of the elite-pluralist field as a step forward

for the field. This lack of theoretical orientation seriously reduces

the explanatory power of policy output research. Walton (1976), Warren

(1977), and Lyon (1977) all point out the limitations of a focus on










structural and demographic characteristics. It leaves too little room

for political explanations and is overly deterministic.

In part the comparative studies using the PCS data suffer from the

same difficulties encountered in any large scale data analysis. That

is, while numerous variables are available for study, they are not

always the variables which operationalize our concepts. Often, they

are simply the only ones available, so we must make do. While it makes

sense to collect aggregate budget expenditures for cities, this

information does not allow the researcher to qualitatively

differentiate resource allocation of cities. Lyon and Bonjean (1981)

point out how this lack of specificity regarding the outputs being

compared hinders researchers who attempt to link policy outputs to

community structure.

Other measurement errors may result from Clark's use of membership

in the League of Women Voters to indicate civic group involvement in

the community. While there are logical reasons for this choice, as

Clark points out, it nevertheless detracts from our confidence in

research conclusions based on these variables. The point is not that

Terry Clark and other researchers in this vein do not realize the

problems inherent in their research methods and data but that all of

these factors have inhibited the development of a concrete body of

knowledge with wide application in the social sciences.



Critique of Community Power Field



Polsby (1963, 1980) suggests that there is little in the

conceptual, theoretical, or methodological debates which characterize

the community power field to interest any but a select few scholars in










sociology and political science. He finds the field irrelevant to the

concerns and needs of the serious urban analyst or planner. In the

second edition of his book, Polsby states:



The literature on community power, no exemplar of clarity or
intelligence when I first wrote the book [1963], has since its
publication become even more dense with misunderstandings of all
kinds, while burgeoning in nearly every direction--every
direction, that is, except toward the resolution of empirical
problems about the shape and scope of power in American
communities. (Polsby, 1980, pp. IX-XII)


He continues:



To the recent upsurge of interest in problems of the local
community, in urban political activity--legal and illegal, mass
and elite--and in the impact of demography and policy upon the
lives of city dwellers, the study of community power has
contributed little or nothing in the way of knowledge. It should
have been plain enough a decade ago, but at any rate it bears
repeating, that the academic study of community power is not much
about urban politics. (Polsby, 1980, pp. IX-XII)


This is pretty severe criticism to make of a field of study with

so much research. In fact, according to Curtis and Petras:



The published social science literature bearing on this topic now
includes well over six hundred items written primarily by
political scientists and sociologists. There have been over
eighty systematic attempts to present an overall, composite
description of the structure of power in particular communities.
. These studies are accompanied in the literature by hundreds
of critiques of methodological approaches, attempts at conceptual
refinement, studies of narrower facets of community political
processes, and reviews and commentaries on particular studies.
(Curtis and Petras, 1977, p. 369)


Let us examine the various criticisms that have been made.

The community power field has been criticized for lacking many of

the attributes considered desirable in a science. Science requires










theory, yet the community power field often times appears theoretical.

While science does not always require researchers to proceed with a

theoretical orientation, descriptive study must be placed in a broader

perspective. One cannot explain a phenomenon by the phenomenon itself.

It seems that many researchers explain the community decision making

structure without reference to a previous theoretical orientation or

offering a new one themselves. An example of this is Clark's

reformulation of the elite-pluralist debate to one of centralization

versus decentralization (as discussed earlier).

A second criticism of the field is that researchers often fail to

take account of their slightly different agendas, which may cause them

to talk past one another. Walton (1976) points out that there have

been at least three different substantive concerns of researchers.

Hunter (1953) was concerned with the origins of policy and the issue of

democracy. Dahl (1961) was concerned with patterns of political

participation, as well as the distribution of resources in the

community and their effect on participation and decision making. He

also was concerned with the issue of democracy. Clark and the newer

researchers are concerned with structural characteristics of cities and

their relation to outputs. What many observers have bemoaned as an

unscholarly debate about methods of inquiry in the classic

elite-pluralist debate of the early 1960s might better be understood as

a normative debate about the nature of democratic decision making

argued at the community level. Read this way, there is little cause

for celebration in the abandonment of a field of research dealing with

such important questions.

A third criticism of the community power field is the lack of

agreement on concepts, definitions of terms, and measurement.








18

Researchers in this field often do not tell you how they conceive power

or operationalize it. Curtis and Petras (1977, p. 386) point out that

most researchers do not define what power structures are, though they

use the term freely in their writing. Polsby (1980) takes to task

those researchers, like Long (1958), who employ metaphors in place of

rigorous and scientific inquiry. On a hopeful note, it does seem that

researchers are much readier to recognize the strengths and weaknesses

of each of three major approaches to identify community leadership: the

reputational, positional, and decisional methods (see Chapter II).

Many of the criticisms of the community power field revolve around

the unscholarly behavior of many of the researchers, some of them the

most respected in the discipline. Reasonable disagreements over

methods and conceptualizations become ideological debates with little

rational discussion. While some of this can be attributed to the

different agendas that researchers were addressing, as discussed above,

the venomous attacks by one side or the other rarely met the

expectations of how scientists ought to behave towards one another.

Rather than test their own theories and the theories of others,

researchers tend to interpret their data selectively. Polsby (1980)

effectively critiques much of the elite work, but then, with blinders

on, he defies anyone to find fault with pluralist studies, seemingly

viewing himself as a crusading white knight out to destroy the elite

theory. Domhoff (1978) argues persuasively that pluralist theory fails

to account for much of the inequality he finds pervasive in American

society, but he asks the student of power to accept on faith what he

cannot document. For example, Domhoff is unable to document that










individuals in positions of power act in their own class or

self-interest, yet this does not prevent him from asserting this is the

case.

An additional criticism, mentioned earlier, is that much of the

research and writing in the field avoids political questions (Walton,

1976). This is particularly true of the quantitative research using

the PCS. A focus on structural and demographic characteristics leaves

little room for political explanations. Polsby (1980) points out that

those who are primarily interested in the "stuff" of local politics

will be disappointed looking for it in the community power field.

It is difficult to tell whether contradictory findings in the

field are due to differences in (1) conceptualizations, (2)

methodology, (3) theoretical orientations, (4) discipline, (5)

interpretation of data, or (6) real differences in communities. This

has led many to consider the field as a Kuhnian paradigm. David Ricci

(1980), in a perceptive article, finds the field readily fits a Kuhn

paradigm (see also Curtis and Petras, 1977; and Walton, 1966). He

states:



On a great many key questions of proof and disproof for new ideas
in the field, those who argued for a particular idea employed
exactly the same logic which they identified in their opponent's
work and which caused them to argue against his idea. (Ricci,
1980, pp. 463-64)


Areas identified by Ricci where parallel arguments are employed by

adherents to the positional and reputational methods on the one hand

and the followers of the decisional method on the other, in stating

their own case and attacking their opponent's will be discussed

briefly.








20

First of all, Ricci points out that both sides accuse the other of

research methods which predetermine study results. In discussing the

reputational and positional methods favored by elite researchers, he

states, "the concept of power as a potential force led logically to the

conclusion that a few lead, and all others must follow." The parallel

argument is that the decisional method preferred by pluralist

researchers leads them to focus on actual decisions, overlooking the

nondecisionn" problem, and biasing results to pluralist conclusions

(Ricci, 1980, p. 464).

Ricci also points out that pluralist researchers criticized Hunter

(1953) and other elite researchers for reliance on the reputational

approach, since the information provided was subjective and not subject

to independent verification. Yet, as Ricci points out, pluralist

researchers were dependent on interviews with community actors,

newspaper articles, and other historical documents which were no more

objective or reliable than the information provided by reputational

interviews (Ricci, 1980, p. 466).

Pluralists charged that elite researchers could not show that

other actors were not involved in community decision making, besides

those identified in the reputational survey. However, pluralist

studies, the counter-argument goes, also prematurely limit the

identification of community leaders to those who are actually active,

leaving open the possibility of overlooking other participants

before or after the study, or those whose participation is simply not

overt (Ricci, 1980, pp. 466-67).

Ricci also points out that though elite researchers charged that

community leaders identified by the positional and reputational methods

represented their class- or self-interests, rather than the community's










interests, they were unable to prove this cohesion. He states:



In short, scholars who used the reputational and positional
techniques could not prove the lack of cohesion they said existed,
but scholars who studied decision-making also could not prove the
lack of cohesion they said exists. (Ricci, 1980, p. 467)


While elite theory, according to Polsby (1963) suffers from the

problem of "infinite regress" wherein it is always argued that even if

an elite is not revealed, it is simply because the elite is hidden,

pluralist theory has a similar excuse. Ricci tells us that pluralist

theory rests on the idea that "indirect influence" provides a check on

government and ensures responsiveness to the public. Yet indirect

influence is an untestable concept, and therefore no less a fallacy

than that of infinite regress (Ricci, 1980, p. 468).

Another parallel argument is that of "anticipated reactions" on

the one hand and the nondecisionn" on the other. Elite theorists

criticized pluralists for ignoring the role of elites in setting the

agenda and shaping the alternatives. Pluralists responded by pointing

to the problems of researching the nondecision while employing the

concept of anticipated reactions in their own theory. If as the

pluralists say, it is not possible to study the nondecision, and

therefore it is not a very useful concept, Ricci questions why it is

justified to speak of anticipated reactions, which are also not

observable (Ricci, 1980, p. 465).

The last point Ricci raises to demonstrate the similarities

between the elite and pluralist arguments for their positions, and the

weaknesses of their opponents, is the "ubiquity of underlying

interests." Ricci points out that elite researchers can safely

conclude elitism, even if they fail to demonstrate elite cohesion,










because of the shared experiences which will cause elites to support

the same policies. The pluralist version of this is that all groups

are potentially organizable and therefore exert indirect influence on

decision makers [1]. Neither of these arguments has been proven,

though both make sense theoretically. If it is incorrect to accept one

notion, then how can it be all right to accept the other in the absence

of any clear evidence (Ricci, 1980, p. 470). Ricci concludes:



In the field of community power, as we have just seen, the
acceptance of ideas was far less a matter of applying objective
rules than of applying subjective values, whatever these might
have been. For that field, at least, it is best to speak of
"conversion experiences," "acts of faith," and "gestalt switches,"
as Kuhn did. (Ricci, 1980, p. 470)


Ricci is unsure whether this problem is limited to the community power

field or has wider application to the political science discipline. He

does, however, point out that the problems faced by the community power

field are present in any are of social science research including the

policy sciences.



What Do We Know?



After more than fifty years of study, one would expect that we

know quite a bit about the structure of urban decision making and the

role of power in the community [2]. This, unfortunately, is not the

case. While we have many theories, hypotheses, ideas, suspicions, and

hunches, our actual understanding of the community processes is slight.

We can say very little with certainty.

In answer to the first question, "who governs?" the evidence is

still far from clear. About all we do know is that some communities










are more elitist than others; but in all communities, a relatively few

actors are responsible for community decisions. Curtis and Petras

(1977) sum it up this way:



The student who carefully reads the literature will not obtain a
clear perspective on the nature of American community power. At
present, he may only conclude that the conflicting findings tend
to give some support to either a "pluralist" or a
"stratificationist" theoretical perspective on community political
life. (Curtis and Petras, 1977, p. 418)


Lyon (1977) responds similarly:



Answers to the first question, "who governs?", have constituted
the major bulk of community power studies (e.g., Hunter, 1953;
Dahl, 1961). The general conclusion that emerged from this
research was that different communities do indeed possess
significantly different power structures. However, few
generalizations beyond this single finding can be made without
comparative research. (Lyon, 1977, p. 418)


Once researchers concluded that communities varied along an

elite-pluralist scale, the focus of research shifted to examining power

structure as a dependent variable. We have made some inroads

identifying the factors associated with different types of power

structures. The findings are listed below. These statements are

synthesized from Clark (1973), Gilbert (1968), and Walton (1970).



1. Communities which are more autonomous are more likely to have
centralized power structures. Vertical linkages decentralize the
power structure. Horizontal and vertical differentiation
introduce competitive decision making structures and increase the
available base resources in the community.

2. Demography is important in that structural differentiation
which is related to size leads to power dispersion. The greater
the social diversity, the more decentralized the power structure.
(Population size is only related, however, to the degree that it
represents heterogeneity.)











3. Economic diversity is associated with dispersed power
structures. As the economic structure becomes more diversified
(differentiated), the transaction costs are increased between
horizontal sectors reducing the probability of activation outside
one's own sector. When vertical linkages are increased, where
previously weak, decentralization will result.

4. Political structure of the community contributes to the type of
power structure, in that reform governments are related to more
centralized power structures.

5. Civic organizations and political parties help to explain the
existing power structure, in that the greater the number of
organizations present and the more competitive the party system,
the more decentralized the power structure.

6. Values of the community are found to set the parameters of
government activity. This is related to leadership style and
ideology. (Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson, 1964)


The state of our knowledge of power as a dependent variable is not

very great. Though we seem able to specify the variables which affect

the community power structure, there is little evidence of which

factors are most important and to what degree. Lyon (1977) puts it

this way:



In order to determine "Who governs and Why?", . it became
necessary to go beyond case studies and employ a large number of
communities in the research effort. This type of research has
usually focused upon demographic-ecological predictors of
community power, with typically weak and mixed results. (Lyon,
1977, p. 416)


In terms of looking at power structure as an independent variable

to explain policy outputs, the results are not much better. Though

three power-policy models have been developed (see earlier discussion),

the fragility model, the separability model, and the community

mobilization model, the evidence suggests none of the models are

statistically significant in their attempts to account for policy


differences among communities (Lyon, 1977).










Lyon and Bonjean (1981) have been able to make some progress in

this area recently. Using the PCS, they find that non-routine

decisions are more likely to be linked to the type of power structure

with centralized structures (elite) more likely to produce policies

which require coordination. Decentralized structures (pluralist) are

more likely to generate separable policies (distributive). Routine

decisions are more likely to be linked to the bureaucracy (rather than

the power structure) unless they become controversial. One final

conclusion which is readily accepted in the community power field, is

that a changing economy and broader forces in society are reducing

local autonomy. Some decisions are no longer exclusively local issues.

Thus, policy outputs in the community may be related to factors other

than community characteristics and the type of power structure (Walton,

1970; Trounstine and Christensen, 1982).

One needs to be careful not to overstate this conclusion, however.

Though outside forces may be increasingly important, communities still

retain control over a great deal of issues. In fact, one of the

difficulties that power-policy models may have encountered in

attempting to link power structure to policy outputs is that they

focused on policies that were clearly national in orientation and

design (such as model cities and public housing). One would not expect

local power structures to have a great effect on national policy

initiatives. National agencies structure programs which usually

allocate resources based on ecological and demographic variables.

Therefore, Lyon's (1977) findings that ecological and demographic

variables better account for the level of policy outputs should not be

all that surprising. In addition, if local autonomy was on the










decline, the effect of recent Reagan budget policies, particularly the

slowdown of federal monies, would be expected to reverse this trend.



Where Do We Go From Here?



It is too soon to abandon community power as a field of study.

While there is much to criticize in some of the directions the field

has taken, community power has made great contributions to specific

areas. It has allowed researchers to invent and test a wide variety of

techniques which have applications in other areas of study in social

science. For instance, the reputational method was born in the work of

Hunter and has been of use to researchers looking for an inexpensive

method to identify and survey community (or any other) leaders

regardless of their particular emphasis. Community power has been

concerned with the most important variable in political science,

namely, "power." No other part of the discipline has devoted so much

attention to this concept. Community power has served as the training

ground for many political scientists. Among those who began their

research in this area are Lowi, Polsby, and Wolfinger. Community power

has given birth to several important theoretical developments including

pluralism, and conceptual issues such as the nondecisionn" or

"mobilization of bias." Community power has also been used

prescriptively in policy making. Areas where community power has been

used include the community control debates and poverty programs.

Finally, community power has been concerned with the nature of

democracy in mass society and has been instrumental in raising

questions about the quality of democratic life in our communities.










Yet, with all of the contributions the field has made to the

social sciences, gaps remain. Perhaps most glaring, is the need to

make the connection between community structure and policy outputs.

Much remains to be learned about the relationship of specific types of

policy to specific community characteristics and types of power

structures. While the large scale comparative study can be useful in

suggesting relationships, it is not capable of specifying in sufficient

detail the actual processes which translate community structure into

policy, i.e., power and its exercise. As Walton (1976) points out,

aggregate analysis does not always lend itself to the study of

politics. In the course of collecting indicators to serve as surrogate

measures for political phenomena, politics loses its dynamic quality.

It loses the context and complexity that give it meaning.

In this chapter, an overview of the community power field was

presented. While community power showed some promise that it could

help make the connection between urban structure and policy outputs,

this promise has not been realized. In fact, Lyon (1977) has found

that demographic variables can account for twice as much of the

varience in policy outputs as power structure. In part, the difficulty

in relating power structure to policy outputs stems from problems in

the PCS and aggregate analysis. More importantly, however, Lyon (1977)

attributes much of the difficulty to inadequate conceptualization of

power structure in most studies. The real problem seems to be that too

many questions still remain to be answered about power structure before

linkages can be made to variation in policy outputs in communities.







28

Notes


1. Interestingly enough, Dahl (1982, p. 207) denies that this notion
was ever part of pluralist theory, implicitly or explicitly.

2. For works which appraise the overall community power field, see
Aiken and Alford (1970), Clark (1975), Curtis and Petras (1977), Lief
and Clark (1973), Lyon (1977), Polsby (1980), Ricci (1980), and Walton
(1976).















CHAPTER II
ELITE and PLURALIST THEORY


How have researchers approached the questions of the existence of

an elite and whether the community should be classified as elite or

pluralistic? How have they operationalized elite and pluralist theory

in specific studies? The term "elite" has been the source of many

disagreements among social scientists. Following the publications of

Hunter (1953) and Mills (1956), several political scientists challenged

the way the concept "elite" was used and the evidence used to support

conclusions that there was an elite in America, whether at the national

level or the local one. In particular, Dahl (1958) and Polsby (1963)

attacked both Hunter and Mills, challenging the definition and test of

an elite used by each. Wolfinger (1960) joined Dahl and Polsby in

attacking the reputationall method" used by Hunter. Ironically, the

understanding we have today of elite theory is largely shaped by its

pluralist critics--Dahl, Wolfinger, and Polsby. For this reason, it

makes sense to start our discussion of elite theory with the critics of

elite theory.



Elite Theory and Its Critics



Dahl (1958) criticizes researchers who would prove a ruling elite

system, e.g., Hunter (1953) and Mills (1956):



Now it is a remarkable and indeed astounding fact that neither
Professor Mills nor Professor Hunter has seriously attempted to

29









examine an array of specific cases to test his major hypothesis.
Yet I suppose these two works more than any others in the social
sciences of the last few years have sought to interpret complex
political systems essentially as instances of a ruling elite.
(Dahl, 1958, p. 466)


He goes on to lay out what he considers to be an acceptable test of a

ruling elite.



To sum up: The hypothesis of the existence of a ruling elite can
be strictly tested only if: 1. The hypothetical ruling elite is a
well-defined group. 2. There is a fair sample of cases involving
key political decisions in which the preferences of the
hypothetical ruling elite run counter to those of any other likely
group that might be suggested. 3. In such cases, the preferences
of the elite regularly prevail. (Dahl, 1958, p. 466)


In a similar vein, Polsby (1963) summarizes the work of elite theorists

under the heading of stratification studies, and extrapolates five

propositions of stratification studies which he says they fail to

prove. He argues that to establish the existence of an elite each of
- - ..
the conditions of his test must be met. These conditions are as

follows:



1. The upper class rules in local community life.
2. Political and civic leaders are subordinate to the upper class.
3. A single "power elite" rules in the community.
4. The upper-class power elite rules in its own interests.
5. Social conflict takes place between the upper and lower
classes. (Polsby, 1980, pp. 8-10)


While the conception of elite theory espoused by Dahl and Polsby

is consistent with elite theory as found in the works of Mosca, Pareto,

and Michaels, it is nevertheless misleading. Dahl and Polsby lay out a

single conception of elite theory and deny the legitimacy of any other

conception. The researcher who accepts their very narrow definition of









an elite is usually left little choice but to reject the existence of

an elite.

There is nothing in the work of Mills and Hunter to suggest that

there cannot be many variants of elite theory. Thus, Dahl and Polsby

identify one variant of elite theory and find it false. They have not,

however, disproved elite theory, only a single variant of elite theory,

and one which many would argue was a straw man to begin with. In fact,

neither Hunter nor Mills claimed the elite was all powerful or even

necessarily always cohesive. Hunter never even used the term "elite"

in his famous work. He was also very careful to point out that there

was not a single hierarchy in Atlanta.

In fact, one passage of Hunter's work could just as easily been

written in a pluralist account of the community. He states:



Actually the discussion here is primarily concerned with the
structuring of power on a policy-making level. Only a rudimentary
"power pyramid" of Regional City will be presented. One may be
content to do this because I doubt that power forms a single
pyramid with any nicety in a community the size of Regional City.
There are pyramids of power in this community which seem more
important to the present discussion than a pyramid. (Hunter,
1953, p.62)


While Polsby would point to this statement as contradicting Hunter's

elite arguments, it really suggests that Hunter had a much more

sophisticated view of elite theory than he has been given credit for.

Most of the criticism of Hunter's work centers on the reputational

method and not his conception of an elite. The point, however, is not

to defend Hunter's work, but to suggest that the view of elite theory

propagated by Dahl and Polsby is very narrow and not always consistent

with the views of other researchers, particularly within the elite

orientation.









To underline this point, the reader is directed to the fourth

proposition Polsby says elite researchers assert: "The upper-class

'power elite' rules in its own interests." This proposition denies the

possibility of an elite that rules in the public interest due to its

sense of noblese oblige. Would Polsby accept the reverse proposition

that elected officials act only for self-interests, as a tenet of

pluralist theory? Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) identify the

importance of ideology as a determinant of elite behavior.

There are problems with the other propositions of stratification

theory provided by Polsby, as well. For instance, if the elite has to

be a "single power elite," then one cannot talk about factions within

the elite, as this denies elite cohesion. The notion of a

counter-elite also is not possible, as this suggests power may be held

outside of the elite and that the elite may not always win. Finally,

the idea that if elite theory is to be given credence, it must be shown

that political leaders are subordinate to economic leaders means that

we may not conceive of the political leaders as part of the elite. In

fact, did not Mills claim that the "power elite" was composed of three

parts, the military elite, political elite, and industrial elite.

The version of elite theory advanced by Dahl and Polsby is found

lacking on several counts. First of all, it overly simplifies the

major premises of elite theory. Secondly, it is a straw man, in that

once the crude version of elite theory was discredited, all elite

theory was discredited. However, there is no reason to believe that

the propositions of Dahl and Polsby are the only acceptable version of

elite theory. Only their version was disproved. Finally, and just as

important, the work of elite theory researchers, as well as others,

does not logically lead to Dahl's and Polsby's propositions. That is,









the elite theory disproved by Dahl and Poslby is not the only or even

the major variant of elite theory advocated by elite researchers.

What then is elite theory and how should it be operationalized in

a specific study? Prewitt and Stone (1973) summarize elite theory with

two principles:



First, no matter what the dominant political ideology of
organizing the State, every society can be divided into the small
number who rule and the larger number who are ruled.
Second, the character of society and the direction it is
taking can be understood in terms of the composition, structure,
and conflicts of the ruling group. (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p.
5)


For elite theory, it makes no difference whether the economy is

capitalist, socialist, or communist, whether the government is

democratically elected and subject to a written constitution, or a

small band of revolutionary guerillas who have seized power in a bloody

coup. Elites run the Soviet Union and they run the United States. The

only difference is in the composition and ideology of the elites.

Elites make decisions and shape history, not masses.

There are differences of opinion within elite theory about (1) the

"relationship that exists between the rulers and the ruled" (Prewitt

and Stone, 1973, p. 6); (2) whether change can be accomplished by

changing the composition of the elite or if it is necessary to change

the structure of rule (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 14-15); and (3)

whether the elite can be held accountable by the voting public in

democracies (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 23-26).

The first issue concerns the motives of the elite. How should the

"power and privileges" of the elite be viewed?-as the result of

exploitation of the masses, or "rewards for the special skills they









bring to the task of governing" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p. 6). Do

the elites rule in their own self-interest or are they more public

regarding? For Hunter and Mills, and other elite researchers, the

answer was simple: elites rule in their own self-interest. However,

Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) rejected this simple view and

proposed that greater attention be paid to the ideology of elites in

the community. Some elites were self-interested while others were

public-regarding.

A second difference of opinion among elite researchers concerns

the possibility of change. If the elite rule and are responsible for

the major decisions in society, then it would seem that change could

come about in either of two ways. First, if the elite were to change

their minds about an issue or their ideology, or secondly, if the

composition of the elite were to change (e.g., a different elite were

to replace them or the size of factions within the elite were

altered-a realignment within the elite).

Some scholars, however, do not believe that change would result

from a change in the makeup or views of the elite. They believe that

certain arrangements in society, particularly the economic

arrangements, cause a certain kind of elite to emerge, regardless of

the particular personalities of that elite. In other words, in a

capitalist society, economic actors will predominate, and the dominant

ideology will reflect this predominence. Particular leaders (members

of the elite) will come and go, but they will behave in similar ways.

Even if a dramatic shift were to occur in the elite, if the economic

arrangements remain unchanged, the new elite will not be different from

the old except in minor ways.









Hunter (1953), Mills (1956), and Domhoff (1978, 1979, 1983) all

saw the possibility of change as very slim. They emphasized that the

elite acted to maintain itself and limit the movement of nonelites to

elite positions. In addition, they saw the structure of rule as a

significant factor in limiting the chance of change. Pluralists have

often pointed to the circulation of elites to counter claims of the

existence of an elite. Often, however, they have failed to pay

attention to the structure of rule. Thus, even if new elites take

over, little will change if this proposition is correct.

Pluralists have contended that it makes little sense to refer to

the rulers of the United States and other democracies as an elite,

because they are democratically elected. Even if the term elite is

properly used to refer to elected officials, it is misleading in that

it implies an unaccountable elite. The elite are accountable because

they may be voted out of office at every election. To use Prewitt and

Stone's phrasing, the "rulers are on probation" (Prewitt and Stone,

1973. p. 23). The composition of the elite is dependent on the public

through elections and so the masses and the leaders are not so unequal

in power. The problem with this argument is that there is a question

of whether elections are really devices to select the public officials,

or do the elected officials themselves control the selection process?

The democratic theorists, according to Prewitt and Stone, respond to

this charge by pointing out that "there are internal power struggles

within the ruling groups. A minority out of power will turn to the

electorate, and thus deliberately involve the citizenry in deciding who

should rule" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p. 25). Also, they point out,

". . American politics has been organized with a view to the inherent

tendencies of ruling classes" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, 25). This is







36

the notion that checks and balances built into the American system will

prevent leaders from exercising unlimited powers and keep them

dependent upon the public.

Elite researchers like Hunter, Mills, and Domhoff have emphasized

the lack of accountability of the elected officials and the ability of

public officials to manipulate the voters. Mills, more readily than

Hunter or Domhoff, acknowledges the possibility that pluralism exists

at the midlevels of American politics, such as the Congress. However,

none of these three accord much significance to the fact that some

leaders in this country are elected. In fact, they point out, rightly

so, that a major portion of the leadership in this country is

unelected-economic leaders-and that these leaders are unaccountable

and that elected officials are often subordinate to them. Hunter came

to this conclusion in Atlanta, and Domhoff in his reexamination of New

Haven came to a similar conclusion.

There are many variants of elite theory other than the view

propogated by Dahl and Polsby. Even Hunter and Mills had different

views on elite theory. As pointed out earlier, Hunter did not even use

the term elite in his classic study of Atlanta. Mills conceived the

elite as a power elite.



The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to
transcend the ordinary environment of ordinary men and women; they
are in positions to make decisions having major consequences.
Whether they do or do not make such decisions is less important
than the fact that they do occupy such pivotal positions: their
failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act
that is often of greater consequence than the decisions they do
make. For they are in command of the major hierarchies and
organizations of modern society. They rule the big corporations.
They run the machinery of the state and claim its perogatives.
They direct the military establishment. They occupy the strategic
command posts of the social structure, in which are now centered









the effective means of power and the wealth and the celebrity
which they enjoy. (Mills, 1956, pp. 3-4)


Thus the power elite was made up of the captains of industry, the heads

of the military, and the top political leader including the president

and his cabinet, but not the Congress, which Mills saw as being in the

"mid-levels of power."

The power elite was not considered all powerful, but was

sufficiently powerful to get its way on the most important decisions in

society such as war and peace and the economy. Where others have

influence, it is only because the elite was not concerned enough to get

directly involved. They were able to be so powerful because they held

the greatest amounts of the most valued resources in society--wealth,

status, and power. For Mills, power, to be exercised required command

of the organizations and institutions in society, something the masses

lacked. The power elite, while not totally cohesive, nevertheless,

formed a self-perpetuating, interconnecting group through commonalities

in social background such as prep schools, upper class clubs, and

intermarriages. Mills, however, is clear that the three groupings that

form the power elite do have differences with each other and that the

relative importance of any of the three blocs can change over time.

Mills also identifies an inner core in the power elite that consists of

those individuals who move in and out of the three groupings. A

Secretary of Defense who was a former corporation president would be an

example of this type of person.

Where Mills saw a power elite containing three parts, the

political, economic, and military leaders at the national level, Hunter

(1953) describes a very different type of elite at the local level.

Hunter talks about "men of power" and "top leaders" instead of an









elite. Policy, he finds, is made not by elected officials, but by

businessmen. He describes these leaders as follows:



Most of the leaders are persons of power status. In some cases
they control large industries in which they reign supreme in
matters of decision affecting large numbers of the citizenry.
They are persons of dominance, prestige, and influence. They are,
in part, the decision makers for the total community. They are
able to enforce their decisions by persuasion, intimidation,
coercion, and if necessary, force. Because of these elements of
compulsion, power weilding is often a hidden process. (Hunter,
1953, p. 24)


Hunter finds these leaders are drawn disproportionately from the

business community, and that among the forty or so top leaders, four or

five are at the center. Hunter thinks it is often not possible to

separate government decisions from private sector decisions.



Where do public politics end and private politics begin? There is
a very thin line between the two categories as they were observed
in the study of power relations in Regional City. In the normal
course of events the actions of the private citizen, at least on a
policy-making level of power, are almost indistinguishable from
those of formally designated officials. The dual relationship
between government and economic operations tends to blur into one
process. Yet many community activities which affect the total
citizenry cannot be properly called processes of government.
(Hunter, 1953, p. 171)


This is an important section of Hunter's analysis, for he makes a

distinction between government decision making proper, and policy

making in the community. Hunter's emphasis is on policy making for the

overall community, not the formal outputs of government. This point is


often missed by his pluralist critics.







39

Pluralist Theory



Pluralist theory is not very much clearer than elite theory.

Polsby (1980), in evaluating the criticism of pluralist theory made by

elite theorists, says they fail to distinguish between Pluralism 1,

Pluralism 2, and Pluralism 3. He says:



I propose a distinction among three uses of the term "pluralism"
that seem to correspond to three different senses in which it is
employed in the community power literature, though of course these
are not the only uses to which it is put, in community power
studies or elsewhere. (Polsby, 1980, p. 154)


According to Polsby, Pluralism 1 "refers to eclectic methods of

gathering data" (Polsby, 1980, p. 154). Pluralism 2, he says, is what

we commonly think of as pluralism in the community power field.



The Pluralist 2 state of affairs so described usually has one or
more characteristics that will by now be familiar to readers:
dispersion of power among many rather than a few participants in
decision-making; competition or conflict among political leaders;
specialization of leaders to relatively restricted sets of issue
areas; bargaining rather than hierarchical decision making;
elections in which the suffrage is relatively widespread as a
major determinant of participation in key decisions; bases of
influence over decisions relatively dispersed rather than closely
held; and so on. The list is illustrative, not exhaustive.
(Polsby, 1980, p. 154)


Pluralism 3, he says,



refers to an intellectual tradition that has had some strength in
American political theory. . It has seemed to me helpful to
group under this general heading works showing some indebtedness
to writers as varied in their views as Madison, Tocqueville,
Montesquieu, and Locke. (Polsby, 1980, p. 154)









Thus, Pluralism 1 is a method to study power in the local

community--the decisional approach. Pluralism 2 is a set of

propositions about how decisions are made at the local level--pluralism

as an explanatory model of local decision making. Pluralism 3 is a

political philosophy or theory that is largely normative in nature.

This categorization devised by Polsby is helpful in distinguishing

among the different types of pluralism, though it suffers because

Polsby is the only one who uses it, and it is suspect because he never

made the distinctions until 1980 and may have been motivated to fend

off criticism of pluralism. The first edition of his work was largely

a Pluralism 1 critique of elite studies.

Prewitt and Stone (1973) talk about Pluralism I and Pluralism II.

Pluralism I is essentially group theory.



To summarize, then, the arguments of group theory, the prevailing
trend in pluralism: Power is widely dispersed among various groups
which represent diverse interests. Those interests that are
unrepresented in groups are represented by the State, which
ordinarily is an umpire, one of whose functions is to oversee the
struggle between groups and set the rules for conflict among them.
Finally, the groups tend to be in equalibrium in the sense that
none continually dominate governmental decision-making and all are
subject to veto by other groups. (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p.
119)


Pluralism II, which they label the "multiple-elite hypothesis,

combines group theory, in finding power to be very diffusely held, and

elitism, in finding that each area is dominated by a narrow elite"

(Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 124-45). Thus, elites operate within

specific policy areas, but there is very little overlap from area to

area.

This last view of pluralism, the "multiple-elite hypothesis,"

comes closest to illustrating the difficulty of distinguishing









pluralist theory from elite theory, let alone from other variants of

pluralist theory. To some extent, both theories differ only in their

emphasis. The elite theorist emphasizes the concentration of power and

the locus of decision making at the top of organizations and

institutions. There may be bargaining among the participants, but the

relevant factor is who has control of the decision (not necessarily

individuals, but institutions). This is where researchers should focus

their attention according to elite researchers. On the other hand,

pluralists emphasize the way or process by which decisions are reached.

Thus the focus is on what resources were used in what way to effectuate

what result. Bargaining among participants becomes the major defining

characteristic of pluralism. Both orientations may be consistent with

each other, but stress different aspects of the same question. This

may explain in part why it is so difficult to test the models against

one another.



Classifying Communities Using the Theories



A problem related to the difficulty of distinguishing the theories

from each other let alone the numerous variants of each is

classification of communities based upon the theories. Investigators

wishing to make use of the operational concepts of researchers like

Mills and Hunter or Dahl and Polsby find that though it is fairly easy

to distill out of their works the essence of their views on how the

system operates and whether it is elite or not, they do not make clear

how to classify a system. In other words, after reading Hunter, we

know Atlanta is run by economic elites, and we even know how to

identify the elites or power structure (i.e., a reputational analysis),









but we do not know how to classify the power structure based on the

information provided to us by Hunter. What was the determining factor

in calling this community an elite? Was it the number of leaders

identified in the study? Was it the composition of the power structure

and the fact that very few of the top leaders could be characterized as

political rather than economic leaders? Was it the way the system

operated, that is the agreement on basic values and the absence of

major conflict within the power structure itself? Hunter might argue

that in the case of Atlanta it was all of these things. But surely it

is possible, empirically, to have inconsistent findings.

In short, is the identification of a power structure equivalent to

the identification of an elite? Is the existence of an elite in the

community the same as an elite classification? It would seem that Dahl

and other pluralists do not find much utility in the term "elite" or

"power structure." In fact, a major reason why pluralists are so

negative about the reputational method is that they use the terms elite

and power structure interchangeably. Since in their minds, a power

structure is the same as an elite, a method like the reputational

approach which purports to identify a community's power structure by

definition is unsound. This is so because their conception of an elite

is a group that is cohesive, always wins, and is all powerful. Thus

the reputational method identified an elite automatically classifying

the community as elite.

For other researchers, "elite" means nothing more than those who

are in positions to make important decisions in society. The elite may

be subdivided into several components, a political elite, an economic

elite, etc.. Thus, different methods may be used to identify this

elite and some methods may be better suited to identify different types









of elites. For example, the decisional method might best identify

political elites while the reputational method might better identify

economic elites. While some like Hunter viewed the economic elite as

the dominant element, the particular structure of the elite and its

scope of power, as well as its ideology and cohesiveness might vary

from community to community. With this conception, pluralism is not

greatly at odds with elite theory, but merely a variant, i.e., the

hypothesis of competitive elites.

In terms of classification of a community as elite or pluralistic,

the literature is unclear about what the criterion is. For some, it is

simply the number of actors or participants identified as the most

influential or controlling in a decision. Thus one may say a community

is elite if less than a certain specified percentage of the population

regularly participates in important decisions, say one percent. For

others, it is not the absolute number of participants in a decision

which matters, nor their percentage of the total population, but

whether there was competition between groups in the community (or

factions within the elite) over the issue. Still others say it is not

numbers, nor competition itself, but whether there is much overlap

among participants from one decision or issue to another. That is,

even if a small number of actors in the community make decisions and

there is little competition among these participants within an issue

area, as long as different decision makers decide decision "A" than

decision "B," the community is not elite, but pluralistic. This is

particularly true if it is elected officials who make up the majority

of overlappers on issues. Even if one were to call the actors in A and

B an elite, the community would be classified as pluralistic using this

criterion. Again, it needs to be emphasized that though a researcher









may define an elite as those who make decisions, it is not the same

thing as characterizing the community as elitist. Further

investigation would be necessary before concluding this. We see then

that a semantical difference in language can become paramount in

classifying the community.

Finally, some look to the distribution of resources in society and

the extent of social diversity to classify a community. Are resources

to effectuate policy broadly or narrowly dispersed? Is the community

heterogeneous or homogeneous? For the pluralist, it is the

distribution of the vote which compensates for the great inequality in

the distribution of other resources. Also, the pluralist distinguishes

a potential for influence from actual influence, which is not to be

assumed from the former. This corresponds with Terry Clark's

distinction between a power structure and a decision making structure.

While the power structure may be elite, the decision making structure

may be pluralistic.

And so we come full circle, right back where we started. The

biggest problem confronting those who enter the community power field

is making sense of the contradictory findings in the literature. Why

do so many studies find one thing only to be contradicted by other

studies? The student of community power is left to determine for

himself which of any five possible explanations offered to account for

contradictory findings is most plausible: (1) the two theories are

fairly similar but result in different labels being applied to the

community; (2) the methods are the determining factor, particularly the

research discipline which influences the method chosen; (3) there are

real differences among communities and the conflicting evidence simply

reflects this reality; (4) ideology predisposes researchers to one







45

result or another and causes them to discount evidence contrary to

their original views; and (5) the particular way researchers

operationalize the two theories can structure the results. It is

possible to find scholarly studies which support each of these

conclusions. In the next chapter, the political economy approach is

introduced and offered as a possible route out the community power

maze. Just how much help this approach will be in synthesizing the

elite and pluralist theories is then explored in later chapters by way

of a case study of a community.















CHAPTER III
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH


In this chapter, the political economy approach is introduced as a

method which can bring some order to the disarray found in the

community power field. Also discussed are the proper research design,

approach to identify community leaders, and specific research site.

Eckstein (1975) identifies a number of research designs which may

contribute to theory building. The "heuristic case" study is chosen

because it is designed to generate theory. It allows the researcher to

explore the usefulness of ideas, instead of concentrating on testing

theories already developed, which are more properly studied by means of

the comparative case study or large-scale comparative analysis

(Eckstein 1975; see also Glaser and Strauss, 1967). The heuristic case

is most compatible with the political economy approach.



The Political Economy Approach



Pluralists contend that government dominates the community's

decision making processes. Economic decisions are seen as either

subordinate to government decision making or else considered outside

the scope of local government and so, unimportant for classification

purposes. Elite theory, on the other hand, emphasizes the informal

structure of power based in the economic sector where the real locus of

community decision making is said to take place and then transmitted to

the elected officials. Pluralists view business as just another group










in the community, while elite theorists see businessmen as the dominant

group. The result is an impasse between the two theories which has

stalled progress towards a theory of community power.

As the last chapter illustrated, competing conceptualizations over

key terms such as "elite" and "power structure" have led to a situation

in which testing is impossible. Elite and pluralist theorists are

focusing on different aspects of community decision making. The

political economy approach is offered as a way out of the conceptual

impasse of the elite-pluralist debate because it synthesizes the two

theories. It does so by emphasizing the importance of leaders in both

the governmental authority structure and the informal business power

structure. As David Garson has written:



American politics are neither the marketplace of group theory nor
the conspiracy of simple elite theories. If America is elitist,
it is elitist in a pluralistic way, or if pluralist, then
pluralist in a way that benefits an elite. Political scientists
would benefit from shedding these terms entirely in favor of a
concept of political economy as a system of power that integrates
production, culture, and power. This concept has been latent in
the writings of the more sophisticated authors in both camps for
some time now. Perhaps some convergence can be derived from
rendering this viewpoint explicit. It is misleading to speak of
elite domination when governing policies are consensual in the
main. Equally pluralist theorists obscure the manner in which
government policies systematically favor a business-based elite.
America is neither a participatory democracy, nor is it dominated
by a political-economic elite. It is, nonetheless, an elitist
political economy. By emphasizing this point, political economy
can be the basis of critical social theory that transcends the
now-sterile debate between group theorists and their critics.
(Garson, 1978, p. 207)


Just what is the political economy approach and how can it help

synthesize elite and pluralist theories? According to Martin Staniland









(1985), political economy "refers to a basic issue in social theory:

the relationship between politics and economics. This issue has both

explanatory and normative facets: it gives rise to statements of how

the two processes are related and about how they should be related"

(Staniland, 1985, p. 1). However, Staniland cautions us that there are

several different perspectives on political economy. First, there are

researchers "concerned with the economics of public policy" (Staniland,

1985, p. 3). Then, there is the "'new political economy' school, which

wants to apply the assumptions, language, and logic of neoclassical

economics to political behavior itself, and indeed to the entire range

of public and private decision-making" (Staniland, 1985, p. 3). A

third school, the opposite of the second, is "socialist political

economy." For many, Staniland says this is "synonomous with Marxism"

(Staniland, 1985, p. 3).

Staniland is concerned, however, that many who employ political

economy in their work, confuse a method with a theory. He states:



The trouble is that much writing on political economy implicitly
assumes that the term has unequivocal theoretical meaning, while
other writing mistakes an agenda for theory. Writers attached to
the two main schools [new political economy neoconservatismm) and
socialist political economy (radical)] typically make the
assumption of theoretical monopoly. This leaves a large number of
other writers who content themselves with denouncing the sins of
the existing social sciences and calling for (indeed, often
claiming to have adopted) a political economy approach. Such an
approach is said to be a "methodology" because it recognizes the
connection between politics and economics and thus transcends the
narrow assumptions of economics and political science.
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3)


This study proceeds with Staniland's formulation of political economy

as a method of study which emphasizes the importance of both the public

and private power systems, rather than a theory in itself. Staniland










warns, however, that recognition of a connection between politics and

economics is not enough.



This position is like that of a man who thinks he knows how to win
at poker because he has noticed a connection between playing cards
and getting money. The existence of a connection is not
problematic: the problem is to understand what the connection is
and how it works. In this respect, political economy may be a
victim both of its modishness and of its ideological appeal.
Fashion has lent it the status of a theory when it deserves only
that of a field-a rather broadly defined field, at that, and one
over which control is disputed between opposing theoretical
schools. The members of these schools, as well as all the others
who favor some sort of "interdisciplinary approach," contribute to
creating the impression that the desirability of a political
economy approach makes its actual specification a technical
detail. In this way, ambition is mistaken for achievement, and
the identification of a problem is confused with its solution.
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3)


The political economy approach sensitizes us to the need to put

economics and politics back together. But as Staniland points out, it

is not enough to assert that there is a connection between the two. We

must explain the dynamics of that relationship. The real test of the

political economy approach is whether it contributes to "empirical

understanding" (Staniland, 1985, p 6). To help achieve this end, a

number of research questions are offered which will be addressed

throughout this work.

First, what is the structure of community decision making? Are

both the political and economic sectors equally important? The

political economy approach allows us to examine community decision

making without having to commit to one of the theories of political

power in advance. The emphasis is on what do each of the theories

contribute to our understanding of community decision making.

Second, we wish to know how the structure of community decision

making affects policy outputs. Does the structure of community










decision making affect the capacity of a community to deal with its

problems in an effective manner? Chapter I identifies some of the

difficulties encountered by researchers attempting to account for

variations in policy outputs at the local level. Terry Clark and other

researchers who switched their focus from "who governs?" to "where,

when, and with what effects?" avoided the conceptual disagreements

between elite and pluralist theorists by simply characterizing

communities as centralized or decentralized (see Chapter I). While

this enabled them to move beyond the elite-pluralist controversies,

their approach lacked theoretical focus contributing to their inability

to obtain significant results. They failed to distinguish between

centralization in government and centralization in the private sector

which we would expect to effect the kinds of policy outputs found in

the community. The political economy approach should help clarify this

relationship by suggesting what policies might be related to

centralization in one or both sectors.

Third, we must ask, what is the relationship between business and

government leaders, if as the political economy approach suggests, this

is the most important set of leaders in the community? If both

government and private sector leaders are equally important, how do

they interact? Are their relations characterized by conflict,

cooperation, or indifference? Under what conditions will

public/private sector leaders dominate community decision making?

A fourth research question concerns the capacity of public

officials and business leaders to alter the decision making structure

in which they act. Many studies of community power treat the structure

of decision making as a permanent attribute of the community. Yet,

leaders can and do act in deliberate ways to change the structure of










decision making to suit their needs or desires. Clark et al (see

Chapter I) have been criticized for ignoring political explanations in

favor of a focus on structural and demographic variables. By examining

leaders' efforts to shape the decision making structure we may put

politics back in the equation.

Finally, are there limits to what community leaders can

accomplish, whether public or private, due to underlying systemic

biases? Recent works by Stone (1980) and Lindblom (1977) suggest that

the political-economic system biases outputs and outcomes, regardless

of the individual actors or structure of decision making, in fact, in

spite of them. Stone describes what he calls "systemic power," which

causes public officials to favor upper status interests. Lindblom

discusses the "privileged position of business" vis-a-vis other groups

in society. While it may be difficult to document the existence of

privileged groups in the community, we must remain sensitive to their

presence. An advantage of the heuristic method chosen is that it does

not impose overly restrictive rules of evidence on the researcher,

designed as it is for theory building.

We turn then to the political economy approach to help us escape

the pluralist-elite dichotomy. Let us see how this approach can assist

us in this effort. Most studies of community decision making have

simply characterized the community decision making structure as

centralized or decentralized (elite or pluralistic). However, it is

really necessary to break out the two separate dimensions of

centralization highlighted by a political economy approach. One aspect

is centralization of government. This refers to the fragmentation of

government which reduces the ability of government to coordinate








52

community decisions and policy. Another way to refer to government in

this context is as the authority structure of the community.

In considering the authority structure of the community, we are

interested in the administrative structure of government and its

capacity to deal with problems confronting the community. This

involves the government's ability to identify problems, formulate

policy, and implement programs to address those problems. An important

element then is whether government is in a position to coordinate

community action and whether it can mobilize the community behind its

agenda. It is particularly important in a pluralist community to have

a strong leadership position with the ability to perform this

mobilization function and even to get agreement on the community

agenda.

The second dimension of community centralization is the extent to

which the economic sector is cohesive. In the community power

literature, this has usually been equated with the informal power

structure of the community. If business leaders are cohesive, they can

provide direction and coordination to community decision making which

may be lacking in the governmental sector. While most studies of

community power have treated the informal power structure as a given,

whether elite or pluralist, we shall examine whether organization of

the business community can be the result of very specific steps by

private sector leaders.

To consider decision making in the community without looking at

the two separate elements can result in a distorted view of the degree

to which decision making is centralized. This may have been the source

of some of the difficulty experienced by Terry Clark when he

characterized reform government with centralization. What he should










have said was that reform government was a step in the direction of

centralizing the authority structure of the community. This is not

necessarily equivalent to an elite decision making structure, as the

business community can still be disorganized. In reality, the degree

of centralization in community decision making hinges on the structure

of both economic and political authority. Figure 3-1 below illustrates

this point. For instance, if a community were to have a very

fragmented government structure, it might be located at a point "A" on

the Authority Structure line. This would correspond with a community

that was functionally and geographically split (i.e., many special

authorities and municipalities), with little formal coordination

between them. If the business community were located at point "U" we

would say that it was very disorganized and lacked cohesion. We can

well imagine a community experiencing growth so rapid that business

leaders do not know each other and are not organized into a central

business organization such as the Chamber of Commerce.



Authority Structure

Centralized Decentralized


R T A


Power Structure

Centralized Decentralized


X W U


Figure 3-1: COMMUNITY CENTRALIZATION










If the government structure is very fragmented (Point A) and

business leaders are very unorganized (Point U), then we might have a

situation akin to what Frederick Wirt (1976, p. 350) has called

"hyperpluralism." In this case, the community is so pluralistic that

it is almost impossible to accomplish any community goals and there is

no common direction or any mechanism to provide coordination. In

reality, most communities fall somewhere more towards the middle of the

lines. These should be viewed as continuums. A completely

consolidated community, like a Jacksonville, might fall at point R in

its authority structure. Most community authority structures would

fall somewhere between Point T and Point A. Much would also depend on

the particular definition of community used by the researcher. A

county would be expected to have a more decentralized authority

structure than a city given the presence of independent cities and its

traditionally more narrow scope.

Seen in this light, the findings of Hunter (1953) and Dahl (1961)

are not necessarily contradictory. The above discussion raises the

possibility that each work is correct as far as it goes. Dahl's

interest was government decision making. He focused on urban renewal,

local elections, and public school policy. Because a different set of

leaders was found to be influential in each area, with only the mayor

exercising power across issue areas, the community was said to be

pluralistic. However, we see that Dahl was really only studying the

authority structure. In similar fashion, Hunter (1953) studied the

informal power structure, saying very little about the authority

structure. He found the private sector leaders to be very cohesive and

organized. While the tone of his work makes it clear that he believed

the authority structure was subordinate to the power structure, he







55

actually said rather little about the authority structure. His concern

was with the power structure and how it acted in the community. Dahl

uses a very narrow definition of community decision making, concerning

himself with the actions of government. Hunter emphasizes private

decision making. Neither gives sufficient credit to the other because

his particular conceptualization of community decision making rejects

the other's viewpoint (see Ricci, 1980).



Case Study and Theory Development



There seems to be a common perception among some researchers that

the case study is to be avoided and that reliance upon it by the

discipline is a hindrance to theory building. For example, Bonjean,

Clark, and Lineberry state:



While the case study can highlight research problems and
illustrate the infinite variety of urban systems, comparative
studies alone are able to test hypotheses and build theories.
(Bonjean, Clark, and Lineberry, 1971, p. 265)


Polsby (1980, pp. 122-23n) states that case studies are a substitute

for theory and suggests that they are on a par with metaphors in that

researchers rely upon them as alternatives to theory. These statements

imply that the case study is inconsistent with theory building, the

goal of social science research.

Few people would argue, however, that Robert Dahl's (1961) study

of New Haven, or Floyd Hunter's (1953) study of Atlanta was

theoretical. Yet both of these authors used the case study method to

build theories. Even Clark, one of the strongest advocates of

large-scale comparative study and an originator of the Permanent










Community Sample, recognizes the role of case study in theory

development. Commenting on the failure of his model to significantly

predict the level of policy outputs, he stated, "at this point we may

turn to the highly detailed case study which can perform an

indispensable function" (Clark, 1971, p. 312). That function is to

help specify the relationship between power structure and policy

outputs.

A strong argument can be made for the case study when used

properly, following the guidelines played down by Eckstein (1975).

Eckstein identifies five types of case studies and their utility in

theory development. First, he discusses the

"configurative-idiographic" study which is useful in providing an

overall interpretive description of a particular case but is not

oriented toward theory building. He states:



In configurative-idiographic study the interpreter simply
considers a body of observations that are not self-explanatory,
and without hard rules of interpretation, may discern in them any
number of patterns that are more or less equally plausible.
(Eckstein, 1975, p. 97)


The second type of case study which he identifies is the

"disciplined-configurative" study which views the case as an object of

interpretation by reference to some theory in the field. Eckstein

says:



Case study thus is tied into theoretical inquiry--but only
partially, where theories apply or can be envisioned; passively,
in the main, as a receptacle for putting theories to work;
fortuitously, as a catalytic element in the unfolding of
theoretical knowledge. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 100)










Thus general theory is used to interpret the case. At the same time,

the case may identify areas which require new theory or areas where

current theory does not fit well.

A third type of case study is the "heuristic case" where the aim

is to create theory. According to Eckstein:



Case study [is] deliberately used to stimulate the imagination
toward discerning important general problems and possible
theoretical solutions. That is the essence of heuristic case
studies (heuristic meaning "serving to find out"). Such studies,
unlike configurative-idiographic ones, tie directly into theory
building, and therefore are less concerned with overall concrete
configurations than with potentially generalizable relations
between aspects of them. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 104)


Thus the heuristic case study is used to generate theory by examining

cases which spur the researcher to explain phenomena for which no

theory or well developed theory exists. By looking at the particular

case, the researcher may discern patterns which may lead him to theory

which may be tested in other cases later on. This type of study may be

superior to comparative study because it allows the researcher to

examine many more variables than can be considered in comparative

research.

The fourth case study which Eckstein discusses is the

"plausibility probe" which is just what it says, a preliminary probe to

determine if one's theories are worth investigating. Probes at one

level may be used "to establish that a theoretical construct is worth

considering . ., i.e., that an apparent empirical instance of it can

be found" (Eckstein, 1975, p. 109). Dahl's (1961) study of New Haven

fits this description, as Eckstein points out. Plausibility probes are

guided much more directly by theory than are heuristic case studies.

Eckstein states:












As empirical plausibility probes, case studies are often as
serviceable as, or more so than, comparative ones--and nearly
always a great deal cheaper (a prime consideration in probing
plausibility). The economic case for them is strongest where
required information is not readily available in aggregate data or
good secondary sources and is intrinsically hard to get. Case
studies can certainly serve the purpose well if well selected,
that is, if they are such that a result, for or against a theory,
cannot be readily shrugged off. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 112)


The final case study identified by Eckstein is the "crucial case

study." This is the study of a case which seems to fit a theory very

closely, or which seems to not fit a particular theory at all. Thus if

the case still contradicts the theory or the converse, if a case which

should not fit the theory does fit, then the theory is disproved.

Eckstein sees "most-likely" or "least-likely" cases as falling into

this category, in addition to "must fit" cases.

With the exception of the "configurative-idiographic" study, all

of the studies discussed above contribute to theory building, though

some more than others. From the standpoint of community power

research, the crucial case study, plausibility probe, and heuristic

case study are the most useful for advancement in the field. The

configurative idiographic and the disciplined configurative studies

already abound in the literature. New community power studies which

are merely descriptive or interpretive would not contribute appreciably

to the development of a more general body of knowledge which all

sciences strive for. Given the cost of the large-scale comparative

study and the limitations of aggregate analysis previously discussed,

by default, progress in the field will depend on the crucial case

study, the plausibility probe, or the heuristic case study. As










Eckstein points out, there is nothing to prevent researchers from

combining case study strategies.

The present study is a heuristic case, as the political economy

approach offers some new directions and understandings for both elite

and pluralist theory. Since the aggregate comparative study is

inappropriate for this task, there was little choice but to rely on the

case study. While a plausibility probe or crucial case would be the

most desired approach, at this stage of research it was felt unwise to

overly structure thinking or expectations as to what would be found in

the community. In the community power field, with all of its studies,

the greatest limitation has seemed to be researchers' inability to keep

open minds.



A Research Site



Broward County, the second largest county in Florida, was chosen

as the research site precisely because its power structure and

governmental authority structure were evolving. The structure of

community decision making was unclear. According to one newspaper

study (Lovely, 1983), it was not even possible to identify community

leaders. At the same time, leaders in the private sector had managed

to organize and conduct a community retreat to identify and discuss

community problems and set the stage for later action. Broward County

had many of the qualities desirable in a research site, given the type

of study (heuristic case) and the purpose of the study (to apply the

political economy approach to community decision making in order to

synthesize elite and pluralist theory). There was evidence that the









community was pluralistic, yet private sector leaders were acting to

create a more unified power structure.

While government appeared fragmented (29 municipalities and a

county government), several steps had and were being taken to

centralize government authority. In 1974, Broward adopted a "home rule

charter," allowing the county to make many of the decisions for itself,

that had previously been made in Tallahassee. The charter also marked

an increase in the scope of county government, in that it provided for

the assumption of final land use authority by the county over

individual cities' land use plans. The charter was followed in 1978

with a major bond issue to upgrade services across the board in the

county. More recently, a Government Efficiency Committee was set up to

study local government and make recommendations to improve its

organization an operation.

An additional reason for choosing Broward County as a research

site was its accessibility. Broward was most accessible in terms of

proximity, costs, personal knowledge of the community, and personal

contacts who could serve as valuable sources.



Identification of Community Leaders



Once deciding on the case method, a particular approach to

identify community leaders had to be selected. The purpose of

identifying community leaders is two-fold. First, obviously, it is

necessary to identify who the leaders are in a community and how they

interact. Second, and just as important, however, is the need to

identify a bank of very knowledgeable sources if one is to try to

understand local political dynamics. Community leaders are experts on









their politics and decision making. If we are to attempt to improve

our explanations of local decision making, it is necessary to root our

analysis in the realities of the community. These sources are

invaluable in accomplishing this task.



Decisional Approach



Most readers are familiar with the methodological debate between

the positional, reputational, and decisional approaches to identify

community leaders. The decisional approach, advanced by Dahl (1961),

Polsby (1980), and Wolfinger (1960), involves studying several issues

or decisions in detail noting the participants, their resources, and

most importantly, their actual behavior. Dahl's (1961) study of New

Haven is the classic example of the decisional approach to study a

community.

The major criticism of the decisional approach is that it

overlooks the nondecision problem described by Bachrach and Baratz

(1962). Other criticisms are that (1) the choice of decisions to study

is subjective and can bias the study; (2) by focusing only on actual

behavior one may overlook "anticipated reactions" on the part of some

actors; (3) the role of government officials tends to be overstated;

and (4) that it tends to devalue the role of private sector leaders in

community decisions. Perhaps most damning of the criticisms is the

point made by Ricci (1980) that if the reason for adopting the

decisional approach is the inadequacy of the reputational method (as

stated by Dahl and others) because of its reliance on subjective

interviews rather than objective evidence, then nothing is gained.

This is because the researcher who uses the decisional method must also










rely on the interviewee's subjective account of events and assessments

as to who exercised the most influence over the outcome of decisions.



Positional Approach



The positional method was popularized by C. Wright Mills (1956).

It involves identifying major institutions and leadership roles which

exercise political power. Once these have been identified, what

remains is to trace the interconnections among these positions and

relationships (sometimes referred to as network analysis). The

positional approach may be used as the sole method of identifying a

decision making structure, or may be combined part with the decisional

and reputational approaches. Critics of the positional method point

out that leaders, whether elected or not, may be figureheads and not

truly the exercisers of power. Pluralists object to the positional

approach because one is not studying actual behavior, which they claim

is necessary to demonstrate that the holder of a position actually

participates in decisions or exercises power in some way.



Reputational Approach



Finally, there is the reputational approach, used by Hunter (1953)

in his study of Atlanta. It involves identifying knowledgeable sources

in the community (usually by the positional method) and asking them who

the most powerful individuals in the community are. The greatest

drawback to the reputational approach is its reliance on the

interviewee's subjective assessment as to who is powerful, as pointed

out above.









In criticizing the ruling elite model, Dahl (1958) implicitly

criticizes the reputational and positional approaches to identifying

decision making structures. Essentially, he is critical of three

aspects of these two approaches. First of all he says that each

"confuses a ruling elite with a group that has a high potential for

control." What he means is that while those identified as members of

the "power structure" may have the capability to control the community,

this is quite different from saying they actually control the

community. Which is to say that the reputational and positional

methods ignore the possibility that an elite group may actually have a

"low potential for unity" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). In his view, actual

decisions must be studied as it is possible that a "group with a

relatively low potential for control but a high potential for unity may

be more politically effective than a group with a high potential for

control but a low potential for unity" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465).

Furthermore, Dahl believes that using these two approaches leads

the researcher to mislabel a group found "to have more influence than

any others in the system" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). In other words, just

because a group may have more influence over some decisions than others

does not prove the existence of an elite. Ultimately, this is because

the vote is so widely dispersed, that the masses retain enough power to

thwart an elite group's influence in the long run. Also, other groups

may change the balance of power at any point in time.

Finally, Dahl most vehemently objects to methods which "generalize

from a single scope of influence" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). He states:



Neither logically nor empirically does it follow that a group with
a high degree of influence over one scope [of influence] will
necessarily have a high degree of influence over another scope









within the same system. This is a matter to be determined
empirically. Any investigation that does not take into account
the possibility that different elite groups have different scopes
is suspect. (Dahl, 1958, p. 465)


Wolfinger (1960) similarly criticizes the reputational approach.

His major objection to this method is that it assumes reputation and

reality are the same thing. In addition, he is concerned that the

reputational method assumes leadership is general, while studies like

Dahl's suggest that leadership is specialized. By just asking who are

the top leaders in the community, one may overlook the possibility that

there is little overlap among leaders in different issue areas.

The decision was made to use a variant of the reputational method

in this study. While there are some problems with the reputational

approach, the decisional approach does not offer any significant

advantage over the reputational method. Both methods rely on the

interviewees' subjective assessment of empirical reality as pointed out

by Ricci (1980). In addition, there are several steps which can be

taken to improve the reputational approach. First of all, as pointed

out, it is important to distinguish the two elements of decision making

from each other. Dahl and Wolfinger mistakenly conclude that the

reputational method identifies only the power structure and not the

authority structure. If used properly, the reputational method

identifies both sets of leaders. Wolfinger and Dahl's criticisms of

the reputational approach center on the conclusions about power that a

researcher using the method is likely to make. Viewed as a method to

generate a set of community knowledgeable, the reputational method can

be quite effective. In fact Wolfinger is not critical of this view.

He states:









It can be argued that the reputational method should be regarded
as merely a systematic first step in studying a city's political
system rather than a comprehensive technique for discovering the
distribution of power. Under this modest construction the
researcher would not rely on the method to identify and rank all
of decision makers but would use it as a guide to knowledgeable
ersons who would in turn give him leads to other informants until
e had a complete picture of the political system under study.
Viewed in this unambitious light, the reputational technique is
little more than an elaborate variant of the older procedure of
asking political insiders--city hall reporters, politicians, and
so on--for a quick rundown on the local big shots in order to
identify potentially useful interviewees. (Wolfinger, 1960, p.
637)


His objection is that



reputational researchers do not make such modest claims for their
method, nor do their critics take such a limited view. While I am
not aware of any explicit published statement to this effect, the
reputational studies give the impression that the technique is
regarded as considerably more than a ritualized introduction. The
putative validation of findings yielded by this method, the
assumption that a 'power structure' consists of those persons most
often given high rankings by panels of judges, and a tendency to
limit descriptions of decision making to the activities of the
top ranked leaders all point to a belief that this method is a
sufficient tool to study the distribution of power in community.
(Wolfinger, 1960, pp. 637-38)


Certainly the reputational method is effective as a technique to

identify knowledgeable persons in the community and solicit their views

about community decision making, though care must be taken that one

does not have a biased sample of sources which would give an incomplete

view of the system. However, Wolfinger overstates the case against the

reputational method as a means to identify community decision makers.

It is true that a decisional approach would be complementary and help

to refine and delineate the decision making structure. However, if

time and resources are limited the reputational method can give a much

better overview of community decision making. The danger is if one

attempts to classify the community with reference only to the









reputational survey results without regard to the detailed interviews

that accompany the survey of leaders.

The reputational method utilized in this study will be modified in

three ways to correct for pluralist criticism of the approach. First,

several elected officials are built into the first panel of community

knowledgeable that actually nominate the "community influentials."

Half of the first panel will be made up of elected officials in order

to make sure that the final list is not biased in any one direction,

especially towards business leaders. Second, respondents are asked to

name ten, instead of just five of the most influential members of the

community. In this way, we can try to get a larger sample of leaders

and prevent an arbitrarily low number of leaders from being identified

by this method. Then, if a small number of leaders is found, it will

not be an artifact of the question. Third, respondents will be given a

set of index cards with the names of community actors on them to refer

to as they respond to the question of who the most influential persons

in the community are. These names were culled from newspaper articles

and a positional analysis. This ensures that respondents consider

persons from a wide variety of groups and that political leaders are

included in the sample to be considered. The intent is to make sure

that respondents think in broader terms than just their own circle of

relationships. Respondents will also be encouraged to add names of

individuals not included in the index cards. (For more on this method

and how it is applied in the study see the next chapter.)

Classification of the community will be based not on the reputational

results themselves, but on the basis of descriptions provided by

leaders identified in the reputational survey. This should meet

Wolfinger's objections and overcome the problems of classification







67

discussed in Chapter II. This approach has been used by Wirt (1974) in

San Francisco.















CHAPTER IV
DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY: A LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE


In keeping with our research premise that theories of political

power ought to be operational in the community, if they are to be given

credence, let us see who Broward County's leaders are, and how they

describe their political structure. Then we may see how this fits in

with the two major theories of political power, elite and pluralist

theory.

Leaders in Broward County were identified by a two-step

reputational analysis. First, ten individuals were selected to serve

as a panel of knowledgeable to identify community influentials. An

attempt was made to secure a broad-based group of individuals to serve

on the first panel. The positions they occupied were as follows:



1. Banker 6. Port Commissioner
2. County Commissioner 7. Condominium Leader
3. Political Party Official 8. Large Employer
4. State Legislator 9. Media Representative
5. Minority Leader 10. Labor Leader


By including several elected officials in the first panel, an attempt

was made to overcome the pluralist objection that the reputational

method is biased towards finding a small economic elite.

Each person on the panel was asked the following question:


Communities throughout the country typically contain certain
persons who influence community actions greatly. In your opinion,
who are the ten most influential persons in your community and
why?









Respondents were then given a set of approximately fifty index cards

containing the names of community actors. The cards were arranged in

alphabetical order, the names having been drawn from a positional

analysis. Respondents were encouraged to add names of individuals who

they considered influential, even if there were no card on them. Names

were added and deleted to the set of cards in order to keep the total

number of cards manageable.

The second step of the reputational approach consisted of

interviewing as many individuals as possible who got two or more

nominations from the panel of knowledgeable. A snowball technique was

used, in that anyone who received two or more nominations was added to

the pool to be interviewed. In all, thirty-six individuals received

two or more nominations. Thirty-one of these individuals were

interviewed about Broward County decision making, leaders, and issues

in the community. In addition to the open-ended reputational study,

approximately twenty other knowledgeable were interviewed in their

areas of expertise. Seven of the original panel of knowledgeable were

later found to have two or more nominations. There were, however,

significant differences in the rankings between the two steps. Table

4-1 lists the results of the two-step reputational analysis.



Elite or Pluralist?



Who are Broward's leaders? How many community influentials are

there? In response to the question posed above, we get a picture of

Broward's leadership structure. First of all, the respondents differed

amongst themselves about the number of influential persons in the









community. One respondent, a banker, said there were more than 200

leaders in Broward, and one could not single out just ten as the most

influential. An elected official said there were over 1000 leaders in

Broward, again saying ten was too few to talk about. He then proceeded

to name so called "stars." A third respondent, also an elected

official, cautioned that just because he identified ten as the most

influential in Broward, it did not mean that there really were ten

leaders in Broward who got together and decided things (reminiscent of

Polsby's criticism of the the reputational method). A fourth leader,

also an elected official, said he did not think he could name just ten

leaders, but then said I had the leaderships' names in my set of index

cards.

This was in contrast to the views of several other Broward

leaders. A banker said there were between 30 and 50 leaders in

Broward, closer to 30, who were really influential. An executive of a

large company in Broward said there were only about 20 to 25 leaders

who were involved on a regular basis. Another said there were between

10 to 15 individuals who were very active. This was complicated by the

tendency of businessmen to consider only private sector individuals as

leaders. Several respondents failed to name any public or elected

officials as among the most influential persons in Broward County.

Nevertheless, a picture does emerge from the respondents' answers.

Regardless of the protestations of a few of Broward's leaders that over

100 or even a 1000 persons were very influential in the county, the

two-step reputational method in fact identified just 36 leaders. The

great majority of Broward's community influentials, as found in

interviews, identified only a relatively few number of leaders in

response to the question asked above.









While some pluralist critics might argue that the question asked

limited the number of influentials identified, the question asked

leaders to identify "ten" influentials instead of the normal "five"

posed in most reputational studies. Thus, starting with panel 1, the

knowledgeable, a potential 100 different names could have been

identified as community influentials, if there were no overlap in

responses. From here, the number of leaders named as influentials

could have gone into several hundred or thousand.

Table 4-1 identifies the top leaders in Broward County as found in

the reputational survey. Table 4-2 compares these leaders with the

rest of the residents of the county. An examination of this table

quickly reveals that Broward County leaders are not representative of

the community as a whole. No blacks and only four women were

identified as top leaders. While this does not necessarily mean that

women and blacks are without influence in the community, it does

suggest that despite progress that women and blacks have made in

securing equal rights and opportunities in society, they have not yet

achieved parity with white males.

These leaders are by no means homogeneous. The religious

background of the top leaders is shown in the table below. If this

group is an elite, it is not a white Anglo Saxon Protestant elite.

Over one-third of Broward's top leaders are Jewish, and one-fifth are

Catholic. These leaders are alike in several other ways, however. In

addition to being all white, and predominantly male, they are

overwhelmingly democratic and college educated. Only four of Broward's

leaders have never been to college. More than half of them have

graduate degrees, mostly law. Almost three-fourths of them have a

bachelors degree or higher. This is even more notable when we see that










TABLE 4-1
BROWARD COUNTY COMMUNITY LEADERS


POSITION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Houston
Farber
Rush
Whiddon
Forman [Ham]
McTigue
Jenne
Gustafson
Josias
Lippman
Lochrie
Shaw
Grossman
Perez
Adams
Chambers
Campbell
Sullivan
Smith
Leonard
Stahl
Horvitz
Forman [How]
Scott
Rosenkrantz


Fischler
Beach
Brescher
Hall
Lomelo

Platt
Thompson
Cowan
Fried
Millsaps
Young


Barnett Bank South
Leonard Farber Inc.
ACR Electronics
Causeway Lumber
United Federal S & L
M.R. McTigue & Co.
State Senator/Attorney
State Legislator/Attorney
Attorney
State Legislator/Pharmacist
Sun Bank South
Congressman
County Commissioner
AFL-CIO
Broward Community College
Gulfstream Development
Ft. Lauderdale News
Florida Power & Light
Congressman
Attorney/Board of Regents
Broward Federal S & L
Hollywood Inc.
County Commissioner
State Senator/Attorney
Condominim Leader Lauder-
dale Lakes Councilman
Nova University
County Commissioner
Sheriff
Arvida Corporation
Mayor, City of Sunrise/
Democratic Party Chair
Attorney
County Commissioner
County Commissioner
County Commissioner
Retired [Landmark Bank]
Fort Lauderdale City
Commission


14 17 7 1 1 3 1


NOMIN-
ATIONS


LEADER


x x
x x
x
x x









Table 4-1 continued

KEY: BUSINESS
2=PUBLIC OFFICIAL [Public or Private]
3=PROFESSIONAL [Lawyer (only practicing lawyers were put in this
category), Pharmacist]
4=LABOR
5=MEDIA [also treated as business]
6=EDUCATION
7 =CONDOMINIUM


NOTE:
Several leaders' positions changed during the course of the study which
could have affected their rankings. Houston left his position at Barnett
Bank, though most respondents felt this would not affect his position in the
community. He and Farber are now collaborating on a bank.
Campbell was promoted to the Los Angeles Times in the middle of the
study. Therefore, people stopped selecting him as a community leader and his
overall rank is probably substantially lower than it otherwise would have
been. His replacement was not yet known to respondents.
Lomelo was ousted as chairman of the Democratic Party and replaced by
George Platt shortly after field work was completed. Platt would probably
rise in the rankings as a result and Lomelo would drop. (Actually, Lomelo is
probably no longer a factor in Broward politics. He was indicted and
convicted of extortion, and is presently serving time in prison.)


SOURCE:
The data presented here were collected between June and December of
1983. Thirty of the 36 leaders who received two or more nominations were
interviewed. Two did not respond to the question of who the most influential
persons in the community were. Three of the 28 who answered the question
said there were too many influential leaders in the community to talk of just
ten. These results are based on 25 respondents who answered the question.
Twelve individuals received one vote each.









TABLE 4-2
CHARACTERISTICS OF LEADERS

COMMUNITY INFLUENTIALS


AND CITIZENS

RESIDENTS


RELIGION
Catholic
Protestant
Jewish
None


n=35


SOURCE:


Interviews


RACE
White
Black and other
n=36


SOURCE:


SEX
Male
Female


Fort Lauderdale News (1980),
p. 9.


100% (36)
0% (0)


Interviews


69% (25)
11% (4)


88% (897,670)
12% (120,530)


Florida Statistical Abstract
(1983) Table 1.42, p. 24.


47% (483,557)
53% (534,643)


n=36


SOURCE:


Interviews


Florida Statistical Abstract
(1983) Table 1.35, p. 18.


PARTY IDENTIFICATION
Democrat
Republican
Independent
n=35


SOURCE:


77% (27)
17% (6)
6% (2)


Interviews


POLITICAL ATTITUDES
Extremely Liberal
Liberal
Slightly Liberal
Moderate
Slightly Conservative
Conservative
Extremely Conservative
n=27


SOURCE:


60% (346,800)
32% (184,399)
8% (43,205)


Broward County Supervisor
of Elections Office


15% (4)
52% (14)
7% (2)
22% (6)
4% (1)


Interviews


Fort Lauderdale News, (1980),
p. 9.


(7)
(13)
(12)
(3)









Table 4-2 Continued


EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
Below High School
4 Years of High School
1-3 Years of College
4 Years of College
5 or more years
n=29


14%
17%
17%
55%


Interviews, news
articles and resumes.


1980 Census Handbook
Florida Counties, Table
4.06, p. 162, 165.


(4)
(5)
(5)
(16)


SOURCE:


30%
37%
18%
9%
6%


(207,702)
(263,549)
(125,179)
(63,.095)
(43,295)










only 15 percent of the residents of Broward County have a college

degree. Finally, Broward's community leaders tend to be moderate, many

fewer at the political extremes than in the public at large. About half

of the leaders interviewed identified themselves as moderate.

Twenty-eight percent of the residents called themselves liberal and 46

percent conservative.



Classifying the Community



The fact that there was substantial overlap among the leaders

identified as community influentials strongly suggests that power is

not widely dispersed in the community. However, as pointed earlier,

the number of leaders found through the reputational method alone is

not sufficient to classify a community as elite or pluralistic. More

important is the relationship among the leaders.

How then are we to classify the community? If we accept the

notion that whatever else these persons identified by the reputational

analysis are, they are experts on their community politics, then we may

begin here. Community leaders, as found in the reputational survey,

were asked to characterize Broward County's political structure.

Twenty-six of the leaders interviewed described a community which we

would commonly label pluralist [1].

The majority of respondents used phrasings which parallel

pluralist descriptions of communities such as

-changing coalitions depending on the issue

-no cohesion

-no small group of individuals

-vested interests










-diverse population with differing interests

-lots of entry points

-no ongoing structure

-very fragmented



It will be helpful to look at some of the statements made by

leaders in characterizing the community's decision making structure

[2]. A developer put it this way:


There is no structure in Broward like elsewhere. People do not
trust each other here--jealous of control, suspicious. There are
tiny empires, vested interests. Ineffective and inefficient as a
result. Broward is about as uncontrolled a situation as you would
find. As the city gets bigger, it's out of control.


A banker described Broward's decision making in a similar fashion:



It's very fragmented. Everybody has his own interests. Sometimes
they overlap. Sometimes they ask help of each other. I do not
always know what the others are up to, nor them, me. . .In most
instances, there is a different mixture of groups in each issue.
In the county commission, interplay, conflict, debate, and the
answer to solve the problem comes out.


Another businessman summed it up this way:



People come together for only short term durations on issues.
There is no ongoing continuous power structure. These people come
together, work on projects and disassemble. Some give time to the
community because they want to live and work in a stable
community, any benefits are secondary. While for others, the
benefits are more direct. Power in Broward is dispersed. That is
not a problem if there is good leadership. . In Broward there
is no cohesiveness. In Broward you can accomplish something that
is pretty obvious. The issue itself has to be one that will
attract a favorable response. It borders on the least common
denominator. For example, the bond issue to provide capital
improvements was structured to include something for everyone,
blatant.










An attorney characterized Broward as follows:



There was a book on Florida power structure in 1973 [Butcher,
1973] which found in Broward there was no distinct leadership
elite, power was fragmented. No single individual. So many
factions, at war with itself. This just precisely described the
situation today. Some names have changed. It's very fragmented,
complicated, complex. Broward is at war with itself. [3]


Factors Associated With Pluralism



Why did leaders believe Broward was so pluralistic? Leaders

identified a number of reasons for this including the newness of the

area, rapid growth, geographic divisions and social diversity, the

different orientations of the young and the old, fragmented government,

and the lack of county-wide structures. A major business leader said

there is




a failure of unity in Broward for two reasons. First, there are
28 to 29 cities in Broward with provincialism so we are left with
an inefficient government structure with duplication. Second--the
young and the old. Older people are not as concerned with
education. Generally, the older people came from some other city.
Younger people feel 180 degrees opposite from their positions. As
there are more older people, there will occasionally be more
political problems.


This view was echoed by other leaders in the community. A developer,

after describing Broward as pluralistic, was asked why this was so. He

explained that the community was pluralistic "because no individual or

group is strong enough to bring together the community. No group is

able to say get together. .. Time and money keeps people apart." He


continued:










Broward is relatively new, about 20 years. Players don't know
each other. Areas don't talk. Old people want a voice but also
want to be left alone. It is not their home. They paid taxes and
identify with where they last came from.


It was not just the elderly, however, as "business leaders are not

always sure who others are in Broward." He compared the situation to

that of Jacksonville.



In Jacksonville, they are more cohesive. They have not had the
dramatic growth. There is a structure created and people know it,
though it is permeable. People can come and go. Players there
are established and known powers. If an issue comes up, you know
who to get together.


But this still does not tell us why Broward has not developed an

effective cohesive power structure. Certainly rapid growth is a

factor, as pointed out by the developer above. Trounstine and

Christensen (1982) found rapid growth was very much a factor in the

pluralist power structure found in San Jose, California:



While virtually every change broadens participation, nearly every
one is related to growth, which may be the single strongest
summarizing factor in alterring a city's power structure. The
irony is that although it is usually old-guard elites that force
growth on a community, as they bring growth they sow the seeds of
their own destruction. And what happens when growth stops?
Presumably, the community power structure freezes, or if the
decline of the community is sufficient to produce changes in any
of the characteristics listed the trend reverses itself.
(Trounstine and Christensen, 1982, pp. 46-47)


In Broward, it would appear that rapid growth brought a different

population increasing the social diversity of the community, a major

cause of pluralism, according to Dahl. The new migrants were elderly

and in large part, Jewish. These new residents were mostly Democratic,










locating in the western and southern parts of the county resulting in

geographic splits and generational conflict.

But other areas have also experienced rapid growth without it

seeming to affect the power structure in the same way. Bert Swanson is

currently researching Houston and characterizes it as having a business

elite power structure which dominates community decision making.

Sylvia Thompson has been studying Dade County, Florida, which has also

experienced rapid growth and a changing ethnic and racial population.

Her preliminary findings indicated that an elite dominates community

decision making there. Why then did Broward County develop such a

pluralistic community decision making structure? From interviews, a

possible answer emerged [4].

It is not just rapid growth which causes pluralism, but whether

the community can integrate the new population and either absorb new

power centers into the existing structure or prevent the emergence of

new power centers which can challenge the existing order. In Broward,

this capacity did not exist according to several leaders. The social,

political, and economic mechanisms that integrate the community and

create a small unified group with similar interests are absent. As an

elected official put it:



There is no cadre of leadership that can make decisions.
Geographically, the county is divided into the north, central, and
south. Leaders in the south are unknown in the north. Little
economic interests span the county. With the 29 cities,
fragmentation. The major city [Fort Lauderdale] has 10 to 12
percent of the population. There are park, hospital and water
districts. There is divided influence without central authority.








81

A banker pointed out that Broward did not have a single paper read

by everyone in the county as is the case Miami. In South Broward, they

either read the Miami Herald or the Hollywood Sun Tattler. In Central

and North Broward, they read the Fort Lauderdale News. Broward does

not have a major television station so people must rely on stations

from Palm Beach or Miami with Broward bureaus for their news. This

means Broward usually gets secondary treatment. This, the banker said,

hinders the development of a community identity. The banker said you



need county-wide structures, whether organizations are civic or
otherwise. A chance to get together. Not just because it's a
county cultural center, convention center or downtown. The
physical presence gives identity to the community. That's why
they are important.


An elected official emphasized the clash between the old and the

new residents in terms of party membership.



Broward will not get a small group of leaders like Dade. Dade was
organized before labor or condos came. Everything was
concentrated in the downtown. Broward was Republican, the new
people were Democrats. Power was diffused. Broward is a more
open community than Dade. People can get into politics without
anyone's support. A self-starter can make it.


In other communities, there may be social diversity and government

fragmentation, yet the business community, often centered in the

Chamber of Commerce, provides the focus for a cohesive elite. In

Broward, however, the business community is as split as the political.

A developer compared the situation in Broward to that of Dade County.



There is one Chamber of Commerce in Dade. The Greater Miami
Chamber is the business power. Its consolidated in Dade and they
have the support of banks and utilities. Broward is diffuse. We
have brought the West Broward Chamber in with the Fort Lauderdale










Chamber. We should bring in Pompano and Hollywood. It won't
happen because of staff. Business in Dade did it. There is more
big industry in Dade. In Broward, shopkeepers and local banks do
not want it either.


Consequences of Pluralism



Though the majority of respondents reported a highly pluralistic

community, they were somewhat critical of this decision making system.

This is ironic given the common view that pluralism is as close to

democracy as we can practically attain. The leaders identified a

number of problems associated with pluralist decision making. Among

them were



-an inability to get big deals (large projects for the
community)

-difficulty getting an effective program from the
legislature

-discouraging trade and industry from locating in the
county (hindered efforts to attract)

-makes it difficult if not impossible to accomplish
anything

-prevents the emergence of leaders


The following excerpts should clarify these community leaders'

objections to pluralist decision making. After describing Broward as a

pluralist community, a developer was asked whether it would be better

to have a well integrated, more unified power structure. Yes, he

replied:



It would be good. The Broward Workshop [an organization of top
private sector leaders] is the latest effort. Miami has a group.
When they speak, they are listened to. In Miami they move
projects, and get good legislative candidates. They are able to











get legislation. They are able to get transportation facilities,
bond issues, revitalization. Trade and industry come.

Here in Broward we don't have these things. If the XYZ company
wants to move its plant to Broward, is there any one guy to call
and get it done? No. If you needed 50,000 dollars for a campaign
for a bond issue, there are probably not a couple of leaders who
could get it.


An attorney also talked about the difficulty in getting things from the

legislature because of Broward's pluralism.



Broward is short-changed because it can't mount a unified approach
in Washington or Tallahassee. There is no consensus amongst
themselves.


This was echoed by another developer.



We do not have an effective organized program for the legislature
related to state issues and even advanced to the national.


Elected officials also see Broward's pluralism as a problem. An

elected official was asked whether it mattered that leadership was

splintered in Broward, as he had described. He said that if you do

"not have strong support, you are not successful. You must get

everyone together." This is very difficult in Broward. He drew this

analogy to development: "little deals are like little developments," in

that you are left with alot of "spaces to fill in. It won't be as big

or as well planned as a large development." He said in Broward, no

"big deals" could be accomplished due to its pluralistic system of

decision making. He said little deals do not take many people to

complete. An example he gave was the Performing Arts Center planned

for downtown Broward County. It required a commitment from the City of

Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, the State of Florida, and the Downtown










Development Authority. Only a few people are involved in an effort

like this. Each committed to support the Performing Arts Center to the

tune of 5 million dollars.

To many of us this might seem like a "big deal," but in this day

and age, 20 million dollars is really not that much money, especially

when four government entities are providing support. When pressed for

an example of a "big deal," the official was hard pressed for an

answer. After some prodding, he thought perhaps the Charter adopted in

1974, which changed the structure of county government might be an

example of a big deal, though he had no first-hand knowledge of this.

Another source in the community described how the lack of a more

unified power structure may have prevented or at least delayed a

Broward legislator from becoming Speaker of the Florida House of

Representatives. According to this source, in running for Speaker,

"solid backing from the hometown is crucial." He said, "the most

influential and top leader in Broward was not for Tom Gustafson in his

race against Jon Mills for the 1986 Speaker position. As a result, we

lost two of the Broward delegation to the Gainesville man [Jon Mills]."

He was referring to J. Edward Houston, president of Barnett Bank South.

According to this leader, "if Barnett Bank said we want a politician

from another part of the state to be Speaker, Houston would follow."

Barnett Bank, the head office of which is in Jacksonville, was

supporting Jon Mills of Gainesville and Houston "will do what is good

for Barnett Bank first."

Another banker shed some light on problems resulting from a

pluralistic decision making structure.










It is really difficult to do something. You must start from
scratch each time. If there was an ongoing group, a sounding
board to develop different things, it would help. There isn't, we
don't do that in Broward.


Statements like these suggest that we take another look at the

way we have approached the linkage between power structure and policy

outputs. In Chapter I, it was pointed out that a number of hypotheses

about power structure and policy outputs have been formulated and

tested, with very inconclusive results. Most of the studies trying to

make a connection between power and policy have looked at the level of

policy outputs in the community, usually in terms of expenditures or

participation in federal grant programs. However, interviews with

community influentials in Broward County suggest that perhaps

researchers are looking at the wrong level. Most federal programs

instituted in the 1960s were based on communities meeting certain

criteria. Whether a community participated in Model Cities or poverty

programs may have more to do with community characteristics that

community politics, in that many of these programs are formula driven.

In short, according to leaders in Broward County, their

pluralistic decision making structure has undesirable

consequences--less success in economic development than more

centralized communities, difficulty in getting good legislative

candidates, fewer leadership positions in state government, fewer

resources from the state and difficulty putting together "big deals."

Lastly, and this may be the most severe problem with a decentralized

decision making structure, individuals tend to drift into and out of

leadership positions. Consider this leader's frustration:










There is no leadership in Broward. There are smart successful
people, not leaders, that can take charge and go for it . .
People would follow, if there were a leader. There is leadership
on specific causes. The 1978 bond issue--Ed Houston did a good
job on that cause. Afterwards, he was not effective, too busy in
other areas. Chuck Cobb put together the South Florida
Coordinating Council made up of 100 corporations doing business in
three counties [Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach]. They played a
leadership role with a good executive director. After he left, it
went down hill because they did not have leadership. Roger Hall
put together the Broward Legislative Fly-In [state legislators
were brought to the county and given an overview of Broward's
problems and needs, as well as wined and dined]. He raised funds
from the private sector and it came off well. It was a good job
but it took alot of energy. This is not something these people
would want to do every day.


Asked why there is not permanent leadership, only leaders for specific

causes, he replied:



There are so many forces that go against it. It's wearing and
difficult. People shoot at you all the time. It's difficult to
get people to move in one direction. Look at the history of the
airport improvement plan since 1972. Consultants, money, ten
years--crazy lack of leadership. The forces against prevent
permanent leadership. We are provincial from municipality,
council, mayor, to chamber.


He was asked why no one has stayed as a leader after their specific

activity.



I am not sure it is worth it for anyone because of the degree of
difficulty. Maybe a guy like Lomelo [mayor of the City of Sunrise
and chairman of the Democratic Party--currently serving time in
federal prison for fraud] persistent and energetic in Sunrise, but
most people would go against it though.


Leadership in a Pluralist System



In the preceding section, we saw that leaders in Broward described

a system of decision making consistent with pluralist theory. They do

not see a small group of leaders who run things, and they decried the










lack of a permanent on-going leadership, identifying a number of

specific problems associated with pluralist decision making in which

they operated. In spite of these problems, leaders do act and

decisions do get made. Exactly how do leaders operate in a pluralist

system? This question was put to a number of community leaders

identified in the reputational analysis.

In interpreting their answers, one sees that the clarity of the

two separate theories breaks down. While Broward County is not

necessarily an average community, there is little reason to expect that

Broward is atypical in this respect. Whatever differences exist

theoretically between the two schools of thought, elite and pluralist,

seem to be blurred in the community. Almost every description of

leadership behavior can be interpreted equally well by either theory

without distorting the leaders' responses. Without ideological

predispositions to interpret the findings, it becomes difficult if not

impossible to say one is correct and the other false.



How Do They Operate?



A banker explained that "there is a nucleus of individuals who are

involved, but they must expand beyond that to go anywhere if they want

county-wide support." This phrasing is important if we are to make any

sense of the conflict between elite and pluralist theory. For the

elite theorist, this suggests that there is an inner core, while the

pluralist emphasizes that this "nucleus" must "expand beyond" that to

gain "county-wide support." Obviously, the pluralist would say, there

is little sense in talking about an elite that is not powerful enough

to act on its own. Other groups and the people must be brought in to









accomplish projects or move ahead with agendas. The following account

of how leaders act in the community illustrates the ambiguity of these

findings.

According to a prominent businessman, the head of a major employer

in the county, "who is involved depends on the issues. These ten

leaders stand out. There are maybe 20 to 25 people in Broward who are

involved, take time and put money in to get things accomplished." He

explained further:



These leaders, particularly the top ten, form coalitions to
orchestrate what needs to be done before it ever gets to the
county commission. The county commission is the organization that
passes upon issues. For example, on the convention center, these
leaders did the legwork and research and then took it to the
county commission. The leaders do not see alot of each other.


The businessman pointed out, however, that the leaders could not do it

all on their own. They-had their limits. He said:



On a long term project such as the convention center, these ten
cannot convince the whole community. They must go out and build a
broad coalition-go to the cities, county, private business,
tourism, and the elderly. They must explain why it is beneficial
to them and then get the financing. These 20 to 30 leaders have
vested interests. It is difficult to get agreement within the
group of leaders itself. In addition, each city wants the
convention center. For instance, Plantation wants the convention
center even though it has no hotels.


The use of the term "orchestrate" to describe what the leaders do,

as well as his characterization of the top leaders as a "nucleus of

individuals," would suggest more structure and organization than one

would normally associate with a pluralist system of decision making.

It recalls Hunter's Atlanta, a community with a hidden elite deciding

things out of the public's view. In describing how a small group of









leaders helped quash a tax revolt and a recall petition against county

commissioners that threatened a major bond issue (see Chapter VI), this

businessman sounded even more conspiratorial.



There was a small group who met and worked on the tax revolt. We
prefer that people just know that there is some force that does
something quietly, unknown. It was a handful of people who got
together and discussed it. If they wanted to help, fine.
Otherwise, can go, but keep mouth shut. We wanted to remain
anonymous and out of view. To identify the participants would
violate confidences.


He was asked whether leaders ever get together on other things besides

the tax revolt issue. He said:



It depends on what surfaces. Nothing else that visible, but the
ongoing future development of the county. Every community is
different. No one group. There is a core of people perceived as
movers and shakers, a nucleus. Start a convention center, go
here, do that, over a long period of time. The names that appear
on everyone's list are the one's I'm talking about. Not those who
get five votes, but those with 10 or 15. It's not cliques, more
dynamic than that. There are different varied interests. In
business area, not as cliquish. There are few leaders and many
followers. All want to be associated with someone perceived as a
leader. A few idea people--here's how to do it and the time
frame. Others are good at implementing, followers. Everybody is
moving at a different pace but a common goal--the improvement of
the community at all levels.


Asked whether public officials are ever part of this group, he offered

the tax revolt issue as an illustration:



Public officials are brought in later. When the commissions about
to be deposed, they are brought in and told, we will help you but
you must be more responsive in the future, but we want a,b,c, and
d. Now we will fight this by saying this is not the time or way
to object. We need unity. Give and take. If the commissioners
said no, then the group would not assist them. We would pull back
and say roast. The commissioners don't come directly to the
group. They come through an intermediary. The group asks what do
they want. Cut deal. Still politics, but now in the front room
and not the back. A tax revolt is only once every five years.









But he does not think there is an organized elite: it is a "very

unstructured system. Issue by issue. Not only deal with detrimental

things. We work more on how to do something beneficial for the

community. It goes on quietly."

His answers could be discounted were he the only leader to have so

described Broward County. However, several other community

influentials gave similar opinions. Another business leader talked of

a small group of leaders which resembles the elite described by Hunter,

but acts in a pluralist system. His description could fit either

Hunter's Atlanta or Dahl's New Haven. He started out by explaining

"Broward is fragmented, but still 20 names should stand out." He

continued, "each person creates an orbit that e moves in, those he

sees. Some of the circles overlap. Everyone's is different. No two

people with certain circles completely identical."

Asked whether news articles about Broward's dispersed power

centers were misleading (Lovely, 1983), he replied:



I do not like the term fragmented. All of the leaders are in
different orbits. A certain number at a meeting will do things.
Not all of them have to get together. If you took all the names
in your card file, a group like that, or even the top 10 or 20 of
them, if they ever were totally committed to anything, any needs
in Broward, it could not miss with all the talent and power that
is represented there. The Workshop is bringing together such a
group. A nucleus of leaders get together and say have got to do
something. If it is a worthwhile deal, the others can't say no.
The same people finance, provide leadership, and motivation.


Dahl would not have any great problem with the above statement

arguing that this businessman only points out that the group identified

has a high potential for control; a criticism he makes of the ruling

elite theorists is that they do not distinguish between potential power

and actual power (Dahl, 1958). This is the same distinction Clark







91


(1975) makes when he defines a "power structure" as the distribution of

potential power in the community, and a "decision making structure" as

the distribution of actual exercised influence. However, leadership

behavior in Broward cannot be explained away so easily.

We will see in the next two chapters that Broward leaders have

acted to change a decision making structure which they perceive as

flawed. To overcome the problems of pluralism, they have attempted to

centralize community decision making, first, by changing the

governmental authority structure and second, by organizing and

formalizing leadership in the private sector. In the language of

community power, they have sought to create a more unified power

structure. Both of these efforts are examined in the following

chapters.










Notes


1. Initially, respondents were presented with a series of four types
of communities. Type 1 was a community in which there was controversy
over community issues, but it was always the same groups and
individuals versus each other no matter what issue was under
consideration. In Type 2, there was also controversy, but it was
different individuals and groups pitted against each other depending
upon the issue under consideration. Type 3 was a community in which
there was little controversy over issues and a high degree of consensus
about what should be done among leaders. Type 4 was a community where
the bureaucracy pretty much kept things running and addressed problems
regardless of what was going on in the leadership.

This approach to determine the type of community Broward County most
approximated was discontinued after a few interviews because it took a
great deal of time to list the different types of communities to
respondents and tended to cut off discussion. In place of this
question, a more open ended approach was utilized, asking respondents
to describe in their own words how community issues were addressed and
whether the community resembled either an elite or pluralist decision
making structure. For instance, respondents were told that in some
communities a relatively few leaders got together and decided community
issues. They were then asked whether this pattern was descriptive of
Broward County. This method was found to be very effective and
resulted in more thought out answers with examples. It also lended
itself to further probing.

2. Quotes of community leaders are reconstructed quotes based on
extensive notes taken during interviews. While a tape recording would
have guaranteed accurate quotation, it was felt leaders would be
reluctant to speak openly with a tape running. In some instances, to
ensure the confidentiality of respondents, quotes have been altered.
The substance of the quotes, however, was never changed. If passages
were deleted from quotes, it is indicated by ". .". Regardless of
the gender of a source, the person was always referred to as "he."

3. I was surprised at how far the community power jargon had
penetrated the community. This respondent was not the only one
interviewed to be familiar with such terms.

4. Bert Swanson is presently working on a study of Houston's power
structure. Sylvia Thompson was interviewed in December of 1983 at the
University of Miami.















CHAPTER V
CENTRALIZING DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
THE AUTHORITY STRUCTURE


Leaders in Broward County discussed a number of movements towards

centralizing community decision making. It seems that Broward's

leaders do not merely voice discontent with pluralist decision making,

they have taken concrete steps to centralize decision making. This

will force us to reconsider our views not only about the desirability

of pluralism as a way to make decisions, but also the extent to which

community leaders may shape the system within which they operate. It

has already been pointed out that leaders feel the present structure

does not allow them to deal with the problems of their community in an

effective manner. This chapter discusses what has and is being done to

overcome these limitations in the area of political reforms. The next

chapter considers efforts to centralize the informal power structure in

the business community. The structure of government and the informal

power structure are not simply givens; rather the degree of

centralization in community decision making is to a great extent

dependent on the deliberate actions of community leaders, working to

shape these structures to suit their needs.



Growth and Development in Broward County



In the last chapter leaders identified a number of factors

associated with pluralism in the community and how these further

fragmented community decision making. Chief among these was growth and

93




Full Text
95
development cities were by and large completed before citizens had
sufficient power to challenge or request changes in the types of
development to occur. Many cities are still dominated by developers
today. Table 5-2 lists municipalities in Broward and their year of
incorporation.
While this pattern of development served the developers' needs
rather nicely, it resulted in Broward having a very fragmented
structure of government29 municipalities and a weak county government
that has a rural mindset. The municipalities were very independent and
competitive. Development regulations were very lax, often written by
the developers themselves, and the infrastructure was very limited.
Residents newly arriving from the northeast had a difficult time
identifying with any community other than their particular development.
Many of the cities faced common problems including a deficient revenue
base and economic base. There was insufficient land set aside for
industry, as developers built residential retirement communities in
many ins t anc es.
TABLE 5-1
BROWARD COUNTY POPULATION, 1920-1980
YEAR
POPULATION
CHANGE
PERCENT
1920
5,135
1930
20,094
+ 14,959
291%
1940
39,794
+ 19,700
98%
1950
83,933
+ 44,139
111%
1960
333,946
+ 250,013
298%
1970
620,100
+ 286,154
86%
1980
1,018,200
+ 398.100
64%
SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce, 1983, p.
3-2, Table 3-1.


109
clearly identified as municipal were fire protection, neighborhood
parks and recreation, and police road patrol. Movement towards a
two-tiered system of service provision in Broward County should
significantly centralize decision making at the county level. While
the Committee left open, in some instances, the question of who should
provide areawide services, in all likelihood the county government
would be the service provider.
The second major recommendation of the Committee concerned
governmental structure, and in particular a proposal for an elected
county mayor. The Committee stated:
In its attempt to formulate a better service delivery system for
Broward County, the Committee came to the realization that the
County's governmental structure merited review. Reasons for the
review were two-fold. First, the Board of County Commissioners
requested that the Committee review the issue of an elected mayor.
Second, pervading the discussion of service provision was the
issue of poor and often hostile communications between county and
municipal governments. These communication problems give rise to
a lack of trust between the levels of government, hampering
efficient and cost-effective compromises. (Broward County
Government Efficiency Study Committee, 1984, p. 16)
Yet the Committee did not recommend the adoption of a strong-mayor form
of government. What they intended was that the county retain the
council (commission)-manager form of government, with an appointed
county administrator remaining "head of county government." However,
instead of following the current practice of selecting a commission
chairperson every year from among the commission's ranks, the Committee
wanted to have someone run for the position of mayor. The Committee's
intent was to provide for "clear discernible leadership to bargain and
speak for Broward with other governmental leaders." The Committee was
quite clear about wanting to retain the county administrator.


27
Yet, with all of the contributions the field has made to the
social sciences, gaps remain. Perhaps most glaring, is the need to
make the connection between community structure and policy outputs.
Much remains to be learned about the relationship of specific types of
policy to specific community characteristics and types of power
structures. While the large scale comparative study can be useful in
suggesting relationships, it is not capable of specifying in sufficient
detail the actual processes which translate community structure into
policy, i.e., power and its exercise. As Walton (1976) points out,
aggregate analysis does not always lend itself to the study of
politics. In the course of collecting indicators to serve as surrogate
measures for political phenomena, politics loses its dynamic quality.
It loses the context and complexity that give it meaning.
In this chapter, an overview of the community power field was
presented. While community power showed some promise that it could
help make the connection between urban structure and policy outputs,
this promise has not been realized. In fact, Lyon (1977) has found
that demographic variables can account for twice as much of the
varience in policy outputs as power structure. In part, the difficulty
in relating power structure to policy outputs stems from problems in
the PCS and aggregate analysis. More importantly, however, Lyon (1977)
attributes much of the difficulty to inadequate conceptualization of
power structure in most studies. The real problem seems to be that too
many questions still remain to be answered about power structure before
linkages can be made to variation in policy outputs in communities.


92
Notes
1. Initially, respondents were presented with a series of four types
of communities. Type 1 was a community in which there was controversy
over community issues, but it was always the same groups and
individuals versus each other no matter what issue was under
consideration. In Type 2, there was also controversy, but it was
different individuals and groups pitted against each other depending
upon the issue under consideration. Type 3 was a community in which
there was little controversy over issues and a high degree of consensus
about what should be done among leaders. Type 4 was a community where
the bureaucracy pretty much kept things running and addressed problems
regardless of what was going on in the leadership.
This approach to determine the type of community Broward County most
approximated was discontinued after a few interviews because it took a
great deal of time to list the different types of communities to
respondents and tended to cut off discussion. In place of this
question, a more open ended approach was utilized, asking respondents
to describe in their own words how community issues were addressed and
whether the community resembled either an elite or pluralist decision
making structure. For instance, respondents were told that in some
communities a relatively few leaders got together and decided community
issues. They were then asked whether this pattern was descriptive of
Broward County. This method was found to be very effective and
resulted in more thought out answers with examples. It also lended
itself to further probing.
2. Quotes of community leaders are reconstructed quotes based on
extensive notes taken during interviews. While a tape recording would
have guaranteed accurate quotation, it was felt leaders would be
reluctant to speak openly with a tape running. In some instances, to
ensure the confidentiality of respondents, quotes have been alterred.
The substance of the quotes, however, was never changed. If passages
were deleted from quotes, it is indicated by ". .". Regardless of
the gender of a source, the person was always referred to as "he.
3. I was surprised at how far the community power jargon had
penetrated the community. This respondent was not the only one
interviewed to be familiar with such terms.
4. Bert Swanson is presently working on a study of Houston's power
structure. Sylvia Thompson was interviewed in December of 1983 at the
University of Miami.


15
structural and demographic characteristics. It leaves too little room
for political explanations and is overly deterministic.
In part the comparative studies using the PCS data suffer from the
same difficulties encountered in any large scale data analysis. That
is, while numerous variables are available for study, they are not
always the variables which operationalize our concepts. Often, they
are simply the only ones available, so we must make do. While it makes
sense to collect aggregate budget expenditures for cities, this
information does not allow the researcher to qualitatively
differentiate resource allocation of cities. Lyon and Bonjean (1981)
point out how this lack of specificity regarding the outputs being
compared hinders researchers who attempt to link policy outputs to
community structure.
Other measurement errors may result from Clark's use of membership
in the League of Women Voters to indicate civic group involvement in
the community. While there are logical reasons for this choice, as
Clark points out, it nevertheless detracts from our confidence in
research conclusions based on these variables. The point is not that
Terry Clark and other researchers in this vein do not realize the
problems inherent in their research methods and data but that all of
these factors have inhibited the development of a concrete body of
knowledge with wide application in the social sciences.
Critique of Community Power Field
Polsby (1963, 1980) suggests that there is little in the
conceptual, theoretical, or methodological debates which characterize
the community power field to interest any but a select few scholars in


166
it their organization which provides an ongoing structure to discuss
and consider many local issues. According to Lindblom, business also
has greater access to government officials and government decision
making, once they decide on a course of action. Lindblom argues that
government often delegates much of its authority outright to business
to make decisions on its behalf. There are several examples of this in
Broward County. All seven members of the Downtown Development
Authority (DDA) appointed by the Fort Lauderdale City Commission are
businessmen. Of the 18 members of the Broward Economic Development
Authority, only two are county commissioners. The other 16 members are
representatives of the several chambers.
There is really nothing unusual about this, if we accept
Lindblom's premise that government leaders defer to business on matters
of the economy. Other interest groups such as labor, retirees, or
neighborhood associations are frozen out of the early stages of
decision making. While they may still be able to affect policy by
going directly to the city or county commission to voice their
concerns, it may be too late if a policy becomes entrenched early on.
The major economic policy making boards in Broward County are dominated
by business. Business interests can be advanced in these boards
without the representation of other groups' interests and the boards
have the full weight of governmental authority behind them.
It is not only on economic boards that business interests are
advanced. While business dominates the membership of the two boards
just discussed, business has representatives on most important
government appointed boards in the county. This gives business the
ability to readily place issues on the agenda of government and to


174
business. To end business privilege the predispositions of local
government leaders must change so that they no longer favor
upper-strata interests. For this to occur, however, requires the
concerted action of "volunteer labor to supplant political powers
institutionalized through a system of vested economic interest. ..."
Therefore, he says, "antigrowth movements are probably more likely to
succeed in those places where volunteer movements have a realistic
constituencya leisured and sophisticated middle class with a
tradition of broad based activism, free from an entrenched machine"
(Molotch, 1976, p. 327).
We are left then with a bit of a dilemma. Stone (1980) and
Lindblom (1977) suggest that in the United States, no matter how
pluralistic decision making is, some sectors will be advantaged,
regardless of what we call this. Molotch, on the other hand, is saying
that local citizens can politically mobilize to overcome this bias in
the system. While Molotch is not overly optimistic about this
possibility, he thinks it exists and even identifies some communities
where it has happened.
The dilemma is, to some extent, moderated when we recognize that
Molotch's anti-growth coalition will not occur unless citizens in the
community are free of employment in enterprises dependent on growth for
their profits. Also, Stone points out that the middle and lower strata
may organize, but they suffer from the "collective action problem,"
when they try to "mobilize their membership" as well as encountering
"the 'law of oligarchy' problem." The top strata does not suffer this
difficulty, as their numbers are few (Stone, 1980, pp. 982-83). It is
not, however, possible to completely resolve this problem. Time and
further research are necessary to see whether the gains of the


159
most part irrelevant to the interests of business. Business donations
can be counted on election after election. Doctors and lawyers are in
and out. In addition, doctors and lawyers' donations were heavily
concentrated in state legislative races. Business donations, while
also going to state legislative candidates, go to local government
candidates as well.
The question arises as to what a campaign contribution buys.
Business is not interested in outright buying of candidates but in
ensuring access and a "fair hearing" as one business leader put it. An
elected official concurred saying "people like Arvida (a large
development company) do not believe money buys votes of public
officials. Fairness, not favoritism is what they want." However,
business makes clear that its support is contingent upon a record of
pro-business decisions. While business contributions are important to
a candidate, elected officials recognize that there is a difference
between failing to get business contributions and business
contributions being made available to potentioal opponents.
A major factor influencing a candidate's decision to run for
office is the availability of money to run a campaign. While and
incumbent may not be strongly backed or even liked by business, he will
want to refrain from alienating them to the extent that they make it a
major goal to replace him. For if business is sufficiently
dissatisfied with a public official, it may make money available to
challengers who would otherwise not run. This is a subtle form of
influence, but it nevertheless affects a public official who desires to
stay in office. Business holds the monetary resources to make an
incumbent official's life easy or difficult. For the candidate who
gets elected on a shoestring, it is tempting to accept the seduction of


88
accomplish projects or move ahead with agendas. The following account
of how leaders act in the community illustrates the ambiguity of these
findings.
According to a prominent businessman, the head of a major employer
in the county, "who is involved depends on the issues. These ten
leaders stand out. There are maybe 20 to 25 people in Broward who are
involved, take time and put money in to get things accomplished." He
explained further:
These leaders, particularly the top ten, form coalitions to
orchestrate what needs to be done before it ever gets to the
county commission. The county commission is the organization that
passes upon issues. For example, on the convention center, these
leaders did the legwork and research and then took it to the
county commission. The leaders do not see alot of each other.
The businessman pointed out, however, that the leaders could not do it
all on their own. They had their limits. He said:
On a long term project such as the convention center, these ten
cannot convince the whole community. They must go out and build a
broad coalitiongo to the cities, county, private business,
tourism, and the elderly. They must explain why it is beneficial
to them and then get the financing. These 20 to 30 leaders have
vested interests. It is difficult to get agreement within the
group of leaders itself. In addition, each city wants the
convention center. For instance. Plantation wants the convention
center even though it has no hotels.
The use of the term "orchestrate" to describe what the leaders do,
as well as his characterization of the top leaders as a "nucleus of
individuals," would suggest more structure and organization than one
would normally associate with a pluralist system of decision making.
It recalls Hunter's Atlanta, a community with a hidden elite deciding
things out of the public's view. In describing how a small group of
*


48
(1985), political economy "refers to a basic issue in social theory:
the relationship between politics and economics. This issue has both
explanatory and normative facets: it gives rise to statements of how
the two processes are related and about how they should be related"
(Staniland, 1985, p. 1). However, Staniland cautions us that there are
several different perspectives on political economy. First, there are
researchers "concerned with the economics of public policy" (Staniland,
1985, p. 3). Then, there is the '"new political economy' school, which
wants to apply the assumptions, language, and logic of neoclassical
economics to political behavior itself, and indeed to the entire range
of public and private decision-making" (Staniland, 1985, p. 3). A
third school, the opposite of the second, is "socialist political
economy." For many, Staniland says this is "synonomous with Marxism"
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3).
Staniland is concerned, however, that many who employ political
economy in their work, confuse a method with a theory. He states:
The trouble is that much writing on political economy implicitly
assumes that the term has unequivocal theoretical meaning, while
other writing mistakes an agenda for theory. Writers attached to
the two main schools [new political economy (neoconservatism) and
socialist political economy (radical)] typically make the
assumption of theoretical monopoly. This leaves a large number of
other writers who content themselves with denouncing the sins of
the existing social sciences and calling for (indeed, often
claiming to have adopted) a political economy approach. Such an
approach is said to be a "methodology" because it recognizes the
connection between politics and economics and thus transcends the
narrow assumptions of economics and political science.
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3)
This study proceeds with Staniland's formulation of political economy
as a method of study which emphasizes the importance of both the public
and private power systems, rather than a theory in itself. Staniland


187
Summary
We started this paper by reviewing the community power research.
Studies of community decision making abound, yet the classic
elite-pluralist debate has still been unresolved. This meant that when
researchers shifted their focus to where, when, and with what effects
in the 1960s, they had difficulty showing that power mattered. The
problem was traced to several sources including an inadequate
operationalization of concepts and predispositions of researchers.
To overcome these problems, a political economy orientation was
adopted, the focus being how do the public and private decision making
systems relate to each other. This orientation allowed us to
reconsider elite and pluralist theory and how, as used by researchers
they each explain different aspects of community decision making.
Rather than viewing the theories as opposites, we saw that they are not
incompatible with each other. Differences in their explanations can be
traced to incomplete conceptualizations of community decision making
and an obsession with a tautological concern, the definition of an
elite.
By undertaking a case study of Broward County, we saw how the two
decision making systems relate to each other. We find that the
structure of community decision making, whether centralized or
decentralized, is indeed important. Leaders may act to shape the
structure in which they operate. We saw, however, that the structure
of decision making, while affecting the quantity and quality of policy
outputs in the community, alone cannot account for community policy.
Embedded within the private and public decision making systems are
forces which bias outcomes to favor the private sector. No amount of


190
selecting policy outputs for study. This study suggests that the
degree of centralization in community decision making is linked more
closely to state legislative outputs rather than national outputs.
Also, the primary effect of a decentralized decision making structure
may be to impede leadership activity. Distinguishing between
centralization in government as opposed to centralization in the
private sector should assist us in making the connection between power
and policy outputs in the community.
Most important of all, this study has shown us that the structure
of community decision making has a significant impact on the ability of
leaders to govern the community, whether public sector leaders or
private. Leaders are increasingly aware of the constraints structure
imposes on decision making, particularly in their attempts to formulate
and implement coherent policy. As communities struggle to plan for the
future, leaders have come to recognize that the institutions they work
in may hinder their efforts. Thus they are led to examine the way
decisions are made. A centralized decision making structure is seen as
the key to success, whether centralized in government, the private
sector, or both. We see then that power does matter, and that the
structure of community decision making is important, contrary to those
who would argue that the community power field is irrelevant.


197
RICCI, DAVID (1980)
"Receiving Ideas in Political Analysis: The Case of Community
Power Studies, 1950-1970," Western Political Science
Quarterly, 33: 451-75.
RICH, RICHARD C. (1980)
"The Complex Web of Urban Governance: Gossamer or Iron,"
American Behavioral Scientist, 24: 277-298.
SCHULTZE, WILLIAM A. (1985)
Urban Politics: A Political Economy Approach. Englewood
Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
SHARKANSKY, IRA (1970)
Policy Analysis in Political Science. Chicago: Markham.
STANILAND, MARTIN (1985)
What is Political Economy? A Study of Social Theory
and Underdevelopment. New Haven: Yale University Press.
STONE, CLARENCE N. (1980)
"Systemic Power in Community Decision Making: A Restatement of
Stratification Theory," American Political Science Review,
74: 978-90.
SWANSON, BERT E. (1984)
"Exploring Varying Interpretations of Big City Power Systems,"
unpublished manuscript.
SWANSON, BERT E., RICHARD A. COHEN, and EDITH P. SWANSON (1979)
Small Towns and Small Towners: A Framework For Survival and
Growth. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.
SWANSTROM. TODD (1985)
The Crisis of Growth Politics: Cleveland, Kucinich, and the
Challenge of Urban Populism. Philadelphia: Temple
University Press.
"SYNOPSIS of the DIFFERENCES BETWEEN the BRCWARD COUNTY
CONSTITUTION and the DADE COUNTY 'METRO' CHARTER" (1983)
Author unknown. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: N.P.
TROUNSTINE, PHILIP J., and TERRY CHRISTENSEN (1982)
Movers and Shakers: The Study of Community Power. New York:
St. Martin's Press.
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"Substance and Artifact: The Current Status of Research on
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71: 430-38.


79
Broward is relatively new, about 20 years. Players don't know
each other. Areas don't talk. Old people want a voice but also
want to be left alone. It is not their home. They paid taxes and
identify with where they last came from.
It was not just the elderly, however, as "business leaders are not
always sure who others are in Broward." He compared the situation to
that of Jacksonville.
In Jacksonville, they are more cohesive. They have not had the
dramatic growth. There is a structure created and people know it,
though it is permeable. People can come and go. Players there
are established and known powers. If an issue comes up, you know
who to get together.
But this still does not tell us why Broward has not developed an
effective cohesive power structure. Certainly rapid growth is a
factor, as pointed out by the developer above. Trounstine and
Christensen (1982) found rapid growth was very much a factor in the
pluralist power structure found in San Jose, California:
While virtually every change broadens participation, nearly every
one is related to growth, which may be the single strongest
summarizing factor in alterring a city's power structure. The
irony is that although it is usually old-guard elites that force
growth on a community, as they bring growth they sow the seeds of
their own destruction. And what happens when growth stops?
Presumably, the community power structure freezes, or if the
decline of the community is sufficient to produce changes in any
of the characteristics listed the trend reverses itself.
(Trounstine and Christensen, 1982, pp. 46-47)
In Broward, it would appear that rapid growth brought a different
population increasing the social diversity of the community, a major
cause of pluralism, according to Dahl. The new migrants were elderly
and in large part, Jewish. These new residents were mostly Democratic,


TABLE 7-2
ELECTION 82 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
158
CONTRIBUTOR
AMOUNT
PERCENTAGE
Lawyers
$285,000
11.4%
Real Estate and Construction
220,000
8.8
Doctors and Health Related
200,000
8.1
Unions and Labor
140,000
5.6
Banks and Savings & Loans
63,000
2.5
Republican Party
54,000
2.2
Democratic Party and House
Speaker Lee Moffitt
30,000
1.2
TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS
(all sources)
2.500,000
Source: Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel (November 28, 1982).
business having much greater wealth to influence election. Other
groups, such as doctors and lawyers also give large contributions to
candidates. The above listed contributions may be atypical, in that
there was a fierce battle being waged by doctors and lawyers in an
effort to influence the course of medical malpractice legislation.
Nevertheless, this only goes to show that some groups, when interested,
can and do match business spending in campaign fincance. Even labor,
usually pointed to as an example of a group that is unable to compete
with business spending, came up with a respectable $140,000 in
contributions.
We should not be too hasty, however, to underestimate the ability
of business to influence policy through campaign finance. While other
groups may have resources available to them, i.e. doctors and lawyers,
they are rarely employed. In those instances when these groups do get
active, they are issue specific. Business, on the other hand, is
continuously active across a broader spectrum of issues. While medical
malpractice legislation concerns doctors and lawyers, it is for the


185
government is so fragmented. As government centralizes, its capacity
to govern increases. It actually becomes more autonomous. In the
short run, conflict between business and government may actually
increase. However, in the long run there will be pressures to
collaborate. The major force behind collaboration is the need to
compete with other communities for the supposed benefits of growth. In
an era of neo-conservative politics stemming from the national level,
we should expect communities to pursue strategies that will centralize
decision making and politics of collaboration rather than conflict.
Broward County Today
Broward County is a community in transformation. While
hyperpluralism resulted from the tremendous growth experienced in
Broward from the 1950s through the 1970s, leaders have attempted to
centralize both the authority structure and the power structure. It is
not clear exactly where Broward falls at the present time. Continued
efforts to centralize government decision making include efforts to
adopt a strong mayor and some consolidation of cities. Whether these
efforts will be successful are not clear. The power structure has
attempted to forge consensus and organization within the business
community. It has suffered many setbacks and several of its proposals
have been turned down by the voters in referendums including an effort
to build a stadium in conjunction with Dade County.
There is evidence, however, that increasing collaboration between
the two sectors is occurring. In the past year, Project Horizon has
been instituted. The Broward County Commission has raised fees for
occupational licenses paid by businesses. The increased revenue is to


13
Lyon discusses Aiken's (1970) similar findings:
Some recent analysts have come close to suggesting not bothering
at all. Consider for example Aiken's conclusion after surveying
the small statistical correlations he found between his secondary
classification of community power and participation in federal
programs. "It seems apparent from the results here that the
community power perspective as it now exists, is simply not the
most appropriate model to use (Aiken 1970: 517)." (Lyon, 1970, p.
475)
Many of the problems encountered in attempting to link the structure of
community decision making to policy outputs are related to more general
problems found in the community power field (see next section).
However, many of the difficulties are the result of the way the PCS was
collected and operationalized, as well as the way researchers have
attempted to analyze these data.
The Permanent Community Sample
The Permanent Community Sample (PCS) was collected in 1967. At
the time, the sample was hailed as a major advancement for urban
researchers, as now a large sample (fifty-one cities) was available for
comparative analysis (Clark, 1975) Data were available on numerous
variables, includings informal power structure, operationalized as a
"decentralization index." However, there are serious questions about
the reliability of Clark's index. The index is constructed by
tabulating the results of a reputational survey conducted in each of
the communities with informants identifying the number of actors active
in four issue areas. The answer of each respondent was tallied with
the other respondents in a twenty cell matrix. Clark then reasons that


84
Development Authority. Only a few people are involved in an effort
like this. Each committed to support the Performing Arts Center to the
tune of 5 million dollars.
To many of us this might seem like a "big deal," but in this day
and age, 20 million dollars is really not that much money, especially
when four government entities are providing support. When pressed for
an example of a "big deal," the official was hard pressed for an
answer. After some prodding, he thought perhaps the Charter adopted in
1974, which changed the structure of county government might be an
example of a big deal, though he had no first-hand knowledge of this.
Another source in the community described how the lack of a more
unified power structure may have prevented or at least delayed a
Broward legislator from becoming Speaker of the Florida House of
Representatives. According to this source, in running for Speaker,
"solid backing from the hometown is crucial." He said, "the most
influential and top leader in Broward was not for Tom Gustafson in his
race against Jon Mills for the 1986 Speaker position. As a result, we
lost two of the Broward delegation to the Gainesville man [Jon Mills]."
He was referring to J. Edward Houston, president of Barnett Bank South.
According to this leader, "if Barnett Bank said we want a politician
from another part of the state to be Speaker, Houston would follow."
Barnett Bank, the head office of which is in Jacksonville, was
supporting Jon Mills of Gainesville and Houston "will do what is good
for Barnett Bank first."
Another banker shed some light on problems resulting from a
pluralistic decision making structure.


91
(1975) makes when he defines a "power structure" as the distribution of
potential power in the community, and a "decision making structure" as
the distribution of actual exercised influence. However, leadership
behavior in Broward cannot be explained away so easily.
We will see in the next two chapters that Broward leaders have
acted to change a decision making structure which they perceive as
flawed. To overcome the problems of pluralism, they have attempted to
centralize community decision making, first, by changing the
governmental authority structure and second, by organizing and
formalizing leadership in the private sector. In the language of
community power, they have sought to create a more unified power
structure. Both of these efforts are examined in the following
chapters.


25
Lyon and Bonjean (1981) have been able to make some progress in
this area recently. Using the PCS, they find that non-routine
decisions are more likely to be linked to the type of power structure
with centralized structures (elite) more likely to produce policies
which require coordination. Decentralized structures (pluralist) are
more likely to generate separable policies (distributive). Routine
decisions are more likely to be linked to the bureaucracy (rather than
the power structure) unless they become controversial. One final
conclusion which is readily accepted in the community power field, is
that a changing economy and broader forces in society are reducing
local autonomy. Some decisions are no longer exclusively local issues.
Thus, policy outputs in the community may be related to factors other
than community characteristics and the type of power structure (Walton,
1970; Trounstine and Christensen, 1982).
One needs to be careful not to overstate this conclusion, however.
Though outside forces may be increasingly important, communities still
retain control over a great deal of issues. In fact, one of the
difficulties that power-policy models may have encountered in
attempting to link power structure to policy outputs is that they
focused on policies that were clearly national in orientation and
design (such as model cities and public housing). One would not expect
local power structures to have a great effect on national policy
initiatives. National agencies structure programs which usually
allocate resources based on ecological and demographic variables.
Therefore, Lyon's (1977) findings that ecological and demographic
variables better account for the level of policy outputs should not be
all that surprising. In addition, if local autonomy was on the


141
We filed a lawsuit to seek an injunction against any recall
election. Raising taxes to pay for a bond approved by the voters
is not grounds for a recall. Major portions of the 1978 bond
issue [a 230 million dollar bond to pay for roads, parks, and
other services] were becoming due. We won the lawsuit. . .
Houston worked hard for the 1978 bond issue. He was cognizant of
the orchestrated effort against the commission. People of common
sense know you must pay bonds off. . .Ed genuinely believed the
county was moving in the right direction. Houston was the leader
of that effort.
This view was echoed by another leader.
We went out and explained to the people, do you want the community
to move ahead. What are we paying versus what other communities
do. Also, there was a complex financial bonding situation. It
was no time to go to the bond market. If the community was
unstable, we would not be able to sell bonds. We went out and
said to groups, if you are unhappy then use the political process,
not vigilante type thing. You can't threaten politicians. Do it
at elections, that way, not with the recall.
These leaders were instrumental in preventing the developers in Broward
County from jumping on the recall bandwagon. There had been some talk
among developers of joining those attacking the county commission
because of dissatisfaction with the county land use plan which they
percieved as anti-growth. The Workshop leaders pointed out to
developers that nobody would gain if the Broward County bond issue was
impaired and suggested they wait until the next general election to
show their displeasure with the sitting county commissioners.
So we see that Broward's business leaders have attempted to
institutionalize and formalize their separate individual influence in
the form of the Broward Workshop. They have to some extent centralized
the informal power structure of the community and they have had some
significant successes, though their record is by no means unblemished.
Their handling of the tax revolt issue shows what they are capable of.
There have been some other steps leaders have taken in Broward County


26
decline, the effect of recent Reagan budget policies, particularly the
slowdown of federal monies, would be expected to reverse this trend.
Where Do We Go From Here?
It is too soon to abandon community power as a field of study.
While there is much to criticize in some of the directions the field
has taken, community power has made great contributions to specific
areas. It has allowed researchers to invent and test a wide variety of
techniques which have applications in other areas of study in social
science. For instance, the reputational method was born in the work of
Hunter and has been of use to researchers looking for an inexpensive
method to identify and survey community (or any other) leaders
regardless of their particular emphasis. Community power has been
concerned with the most important variable in political science,
namely, "power." No other part of the discipline has devoted so much
attention to this concept. Community power has served as the training
ground for many political scientists. Among those who began their
research in this area are Lowi, Polsby, and Wolfinger. Community power
has given birth to several important theoretical developments including
pluralism, and conceptual issues such as the "nondecision" or
"mobilization of bias." Community power has also been used
prescriptively in policy making. Areas where community power has been
used include the community control debates and poverty programs.
Finally, community power has been concerned with the nature of
democracy in mass society and has been instrumental in raising
questions about the quality of democratic life in our communities.


14
the major features of pluralism are (1) the number of actors who
participate in an issue area; and (2) the overlap of actors from one
issue area to another. Using these criteria, he collapses the twenty
cell matrix into a single index of decentralization.
Clark is somewhat vague in his publications (Clark, 1968, 1975) as
to the exact procedures used to create the index. According to Clark,
an actor may be defined as a single individual or a group of
individuals with similar status. Thus, two businessmen active in the
same issue would be counted as one actor. But if the same individual
was identified by two informants with a different status given by each
(e.g., corporate president and democratic party chairman), he would be
treated as two actors. The intent of this conceptualization was to
weight the index by involvement of community institutions rather than
by individual participants. This could seriously distort the index and
make it very difficult to interpret results. There is also the problem
of how to replicate the index in other studies.
In addition to the above problems, this reformulation of pluralism
lacks a theoretical orientation. An index of decentralization can
hardly capture the complexity of the pluralist model. Pluralism is
concerned with more than just the number of actors and amount of
overlap among issue areas, as important as these elements may be. By
the same token, how are we to interpret centralized decision making?
What guides the behavior of actors in a centralized structure as
opposed to an elite structure? Clark does not tell us, though he
regards the abandonment of the elite-pluralist field as a step forward
for the field. This lack of theoretical orientation seriously reduces
the explanatory power of policy output research. Walton (1976), Warren
(1977), and Lyon (1977) all point out the limitations of a focus on


152
GOVERNMENT
Kenneth Jenne (12)
State Senator
Thomas Gustafson (9)
State Representative
Fred Lippman (8)
State Representative
E. Clay Shaw (7)
Congressman
Nicki Grossman (7)
County Commissioner
Howard Forman (5)
County Commissioner
Larry Smith (5)
Congressman
James Scott (4)
State Senator
Harry Rosenkrantz (4)
City Council,
Lauderdale Lakes
Marcia Beach (3)
County Commissioner
George Brescher (3)
Sheriff
John Lomelo (3)
Mayor, Sunrise
Democratic Party
Gerald Thompson (3)
County Commissioner
Scott Cowan (3)
County Commission
Jack Fried (2)
County Commission
Virginia Young
City Commissioner,
Fort Lauderdale
TABLE 7-1
BROWARD COMMUNITY LEADERS
ECONOMIC
*J. Edward Houston (23)
Barnett Bank South
Leonard Farber (18)
Leonard Farber Inc.
*David Rush (14)
ACR Electronics
*Gene Whiddon (13)
Causeway Lumber
Hamilton Forman (13)
United Federal S & L
*R. Emmet McTigue (12)
M.R. McTigue & Co.
Robert Lochrie (8)
Sun Bank South
Jack Chambers (6)
Gulfstream Development
Byron Campbell (6)
Fort Lauderdale News
George Sullivan (5)
Florida Power & Light
Angelique Stahl (5)
Broward Federal S & L
William Horvitz (5)
Hollywood Inc.
Roger Hall (3)
Arvida Corporation
Fred Millsaps (2)
Retired-Landmark Bank
OTHER
Steven Josias (9)
Attorney
Charles Perez (7)
AFL-CIO
Hugh Adams (6)
Broward
Community
College
William Leonard (5)
Regent/Attorney
Abraham Fischler (4)
Nova University
George Platt (3)
Attorney
NOTE: An asterisk next to a name indicates an original sponsor of the Broward
Workshop. Ten of the 14 names listed under economic leaders were involved in
this effort.
SOURCE: Field interviews, June 1983 to December 1983.


189
broken down into their components. Patterns of leadership interaction
are, in part, dependent on the structures they act in.
Hyperpluralism disadvantages communities in their efforts to
attract growth and capital. In part, ideology shapes the type of
structures leaders seek to create and act in. Swanstrom (1985) points
out that leaders are shifting from a conservative to a liberal growth
orientation. In the conservative era, leaders sought to let the market
reign supreme and keep government intervention to a minimum. In a
liberal growth ideology, leaders seek to use government to enhance
growth opportunities and maintain a good business climate.
Neoconservative politics at the national level which facilitate capital
movement require cities to compete with each other for the supposed
benefits of growth including higher revenues, jobs, and a better
quality of life. This means we must pay greater attention to local
leadership ideologies concerning the appropriate scope of government
activity. While Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (196A) first pointed to
the importance of local ideologies for community decision making,
little research has been done in this area.
We need to undertake further research to see whether cooperative
pattern will indeed be the dominant pattern of community decision
making. While Broward is certainly heading in that direction, it is
unclear whether this trend toward centralization and collaboration is
the norm. Certainly the resurgence of consolidation efforts would
indicate that reformers are again focusing on fragmentation in
government structure. Reductions in the federal grants-in-aid system
and revenue sharing should accelerate the trend toward consolidation.
In terms of the connection between the type of community decision
making and policy outputs, researchers must take greater care in


I would be remiss if I did not thank my friends who graciously put
up with late night telephone calls. Included in this list are my
brother Robert and his wife Barbara, and my brothers Richard and Randy.
Others who deserve special thanks are Margy DeMar, Geeta Chowdhry, and
Karin Moore.
Professor Grady Lacy in Modern Foreign Languages at Valdosta State
College provided invaluable assistance in teaching me the intracacies
of "Applewriter." Mike Lekich proved an extremely reliable, if
underpaid, typist/printer. He willingly worked 24 hours straight to
help get the first submission of this paper to the editorial office
before the deadline. I have no doubt that my graduation would have
been delayed by at least three months without his assistance.
Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to the leaders of
Broward County. Without their cooperation, this project could never
have been started.
1X1


157
threatened commission. By cutting off support for recall efforts and
making supportive statements in the press, these leaders helped to calm
the situation.
Business, Not Just Another Interest Group
So far we have seen some examples of business privilege by showing
that there are indeed two sets of local leaders, and that collaboration
is the order of the day between these leadership groups. Now let us
see if business has disproportionate resources to effectuate government
policy as claimed by Lindblom. The resources Lindblom speaks of are
wealth, access to decision makiers, and organization.
Wealth. In terms of wealth, Lindblom argues that business has
greater resources to devote to campaign finance and therefore to
influence the selection of candidates. Is this the case in Broward
County? The Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel examined all
campaign contributions of $100 or more for all local races in 1982.
This included county commission, state legislative, and judicial races.
Their results are shown below.
If we combine the categories of banking and real estate, and label
this business, business contributions would total $238,000 or 11.3
percent of all contributions. We see that this figure still falls
$2000 shy of the amount contributed by attorneys. This suggests that
Lindblom has overstated the case of business privilege, in so far as


177
8). In the second pattern, "interdependence," the two systems interact
on a much more regular basis. He describes their relationship as one
of mutual dependence. However, the two sectors are still relatively
distinct from each other. Thus, decision making results from "mutual
adjustment" over time. This category, he likens to what is commonly
understood as pluralism (Swanson, 1984, p. 10). The third pattern is
domination. This occurs when interaction between the two systems is
selective and the degree of integration is high. Here, one or the
other system dominates. For example, the business community may
dominate the city government (Swanson, 1984, p. 11). The fourth
pattern is what Swanson calls "permeation." Here, he says, "the values
and beliefs of the economic elites have so penetrated the interstices
of society and most of its institutions that it would be more
appropriate to refer to the relationship as one of 'permeation'"
(Swanson, 1984, p. 14). In this pattern, though the organizations
retain their identity, it becomes difficult to see where the one leaves
off and the other begins.
In discussing how the political and economic systems develop
economic policy, Alt and Chrystal (1983) focus more directly on the
factors which may affect the relationship between these two sectors.
They state:
The way in which preferences are articulated, aggregated, and
eventually transformed into the selection of targets and
instruments of economic policy depends on:
1.The internal structure, unity, and power of the political and
economic institutions, and
2.The interrelationships among the institutions, in particular,
whether these interrelationships are predominantly cooperative or
adversarial. (Lindberg and Maier, 1983) (Alt and Chrystal, 1983,
p. 38)


DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY
A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH
BY
RONALD KENNETH VOGEL
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1986


12
environmental conditions such as urbanization, wealth, and education to
be the major determinants of public policy to the exclusion of
political variables at all (Sharkansky, 1970; Dye, 1966, 1976).
In fact, Lyon (1977) examined three prominent power policy models
in the literature, Clark's fragility model, Clark's separability model,
and Aiken and Alford's Community Mobilization Model. Clark's fragility
model says that "fragile" policies or new conflictual policies like
fluoridation are likely to be associated with centralized power
structures. "Nonfragile" or non-conflictual policies like police
expenditures are likely to be associated with decentralized power
structures. The separability model and mobilization model are
discussed above. Lyon concludes:
Quite simply, the power-policy models of Clark and Aiken and
Alford do not account for a majority of the associations found
between political decentralization and policy outputs. (Lyon,
1977, p. 475)
Lyon then tests demographic-ecological variables including "(1)
urbanism, (2) racial composition, (3) maturity/growth and (4)
socioeconomic status," to account for the relationship between power
and policy (Lyon, 1977, p. 475). He operationalizes the variables as
"(1) population size, (2) percent Negro, (3) percent of housing
constructed before 1950, and (4) median family income." He argues:
These demographic-ecological variables are more than twice as
powerful in explaining the total variation in the policy outputs
considered in this paper. This leaves those of us interested in
community power with a most difficult question to answer: If the
easier-to-measure demographic-ecological variables can produce
larger correlations with policy outputs, why bother with measures
of community power? (Lyon, 1977, p. 475)


119
helps. Anyone reading the above headlines cannot help but think the
government is in serious trouble and warrants immediate attention.
The same is true of the two Governmental Efficiency Study
Committees. They did not just appear out of thin air. Members of the
state legislative delegation had to take specific action to create
these committees. Thus, leaders in Broward have acted deliberately to
alter the structure of government. We see that each effort has been
concerned with centralizing government authority to provide a greater
degree of coordination and coherence in policy making as well as to
improve the administrative organization and functioning of government.
In the next chapter we shall see how leaders have attempted to
strengthen the informal power structure as well as formalize it in the
Broward Workshop. To some extent this effort was undertaken to get the
community moving and provide the direction found lacking in the
authority structure. This is the second component of community
decision making, which may complement or conflict with the first, the
authority structure.


134
bought from the Gore family by the Chicago Tribune. In earlier
chapters, it was pointed out that a major factor in Broward's pluralism
was said to be the lack of integrative structures including newspapers.
The Fort Lauderdale News has an interest in unifying its market to
increase sales. As long as people in south Broward, for instance,
identify more closely with Dade County and read the Miami Herald, the
Fort Lauderdale News is losing revenue, not just in circulation, but
more importantly, in advertising. An examination of Table 6-4 reveals
that the president and editorial director of the Fort Lauderdale News
were part of the original group which sponsored the Broward Workshop.
They helped underwrite the Workshop's retreat and organization and also
provided copies of their series in booklet form to members attending
the retreat in Vero.
The Purpose of the Broward Workshop
Few concrete proposals came out of the retreat. However, a
permanent ongoing organization, The Broward Workshop, was set up to
continue the work begun in Vero. Elected officials were excluded from
membership and dues were set at $2000 annually. Membership was by
invitation only. There was little doubt as to the purpose of the
Broward Workshop. According to Workshop literature:
The goal of the Workshop is to coordinate the private sector and,
where government is involved, work closely with it to gain
community support to get something done; or, if necessary, to try
to effect a change in the position taken by that governmental
unity. (Broward Workshop Brochure)
Since Broward lacked a county-wide chamber of commerce, the Workshop


150
by pluralist theories of community power and it comes about in
ways requiring no ruling elite. (Stone, 1980, p. 979)
Stone can be viewed as an elaboration on Lindblom. Stone treats
Lindblom's "privileged position of business" thesis as one dimension of
"systemic power," the economic strata. He then goes on to say that a
similar process is at work in the area of associations and in social
status. Lindblom probably subsumed these other two strata in
"economics," given that most business enterprises are organized into
associations and interest groups, and that executives of large
companies enjoy high status. This notion is embodied in Lindblom's
references to business leaders as "public officials" in their own
right. Also, Stone is much more interested in government decision
making and business influence, while Lindblom is interested in
considering decisions left entirely to the private sector, as well as
how business and government interact.
What is clear is that both men believe that the relationship
between the authority structure and the economic structure results in
predictable systemic biases in community decisions unaccounted for by
pluralist or elite theory. Pluralist theory obscures the biases by
focusing on immediate policy outputs and treating all decisions as
equally important. Elite theory finds villains where none may exist.
In addition, elite theory draws attention away from systemic processes
which result in the biases in the first place. Let us see whether the
"privileged position of business" thesis can be applied in our case
study of Broward County.


140
At this point the business and legal community stepped forward to
help the county commissioners. Initially, the commission had planned
to fire the county administrator. However, the commission was
persuaded to let the administrator stay on after suspending him for two
weeks. Eventually, after the controversy died down the commission
fired the county administrator. The group successfully raised money to
fight the recall petition in court, hiring Chesterfield Smith, the
noted Tampa attorney, arguing that "raising taxes was not grounds for a
recall [particularly to pay for a bond approved by the voters a few
years earlier]." The lawyers and businessmen who were involved in
putting down the tax revolt and coming to the aid of the county
commissioners under fire were by and large members of the Broward
Workshop. Among those involved in putting down the tax revolt were: J.
Edward Houston, David Rush, George Platt, Steven Josias, George
Sullivan, and Robert Huebner. Of these, only Josias is not part of the
Broward Workshop. All of these men were identified in the reputational
analysis as community influentials except Huebner, who got just one
nomination. Two were former county commissioners.
In their own words, let us see what they did. According to one
participant,
We were six people who met in a restaurant to discuss the recall.
First, we needed to raise money for lawyers. Second, we had to
generate a positive feeling to make the effort fail. We hired two
lawyers, Chesterfield Smith, president of the American Bar
Association who represented the county commissioners and David
Cardwell, an election law expert to represent individual
commissioners. Then we assigned other responsibility to others to
get things done.
Another member of the Workshop explained,


61
their politics and decision making. If we are to attempt to improve
our explanations of local decision making, it is necessary to root our
analysis in the realities of the community. These sources are
invaluable in accomplishing this task.
Decisional Approach
Most readers are familiar with the methodological debate between
the positional, reputational, and decisional approaches to identify
community leaders. The decisional approach, advanced by Dahl (1961),
Polsby (1980), and Wolfinger (1960), involves studying several issues
or decisions in detail noting the participants, their resources, and
most importantly, their actual behavior. Dahl's (1961) study of New
Haven is the classic example of the decisional approach to study a
community.
The major criticism of the decisional approach is that it
overlooks the nondecision problem described by Bachrach and Baratz
(1962). Other criticisms are that (1) the choice of decisions to study
is subjective and can bias the study; (2) by focusing only on actual
behavior one may overlook "anticipated reactions" on the part of some
actors; (3) the role of government officials tends to be overstated;
and (4) that it tends to devalue the role of private sector leaders in
community decisions. Perhaps most damning of the criticisms is the
point made by Ricci (1980) that if the reason for adopting the
decisional approach is the inadequacy of the reputational method (as
stated by Dahl and others) because of its reliance on subjective
interviews rather than objective evidence, then nothing is gained.
This is because the researcher who uses the decisional method must also


66
reputational survey results without regard to the detailed interviews
that accompany the survey of leaders.
The reputational method utilized in this study will be modified in
three ways to correct for pluralist criticism of the approach. First,
several elected officials are built into the first panel of community
knowledgeables that actually nominate the "community influentials."
Half of the first panel will be made up of elected officials in order
to make sure that the final list is not biased in any one direction,
especially towards business leaders. Second, respondents are asked to
name ten, instead of just five of the most influential members of the
community. In this way, we can try to get a larger sample of leaders
and prevent an arbitrarily low number of leaders from being identified
by this method. Then, if a small number of leaders is found, it will
not be an artifact of the question. Third, respondents will be given a
set of index cards with the names of community actors on them to refer
to as they respond to the question of who the most influential persons
in the community are. These names were culled from newspaper articles
and a positional analysis. This ensures that respondents consider
persons from a wide variety of groups and that political leaders are
included in the sample to be considered. The intent is to make sure
that respondents think in broader terms than just their own circle of
relationships. Respondents will also be encouraged to add names of
individuals not included in the index cards. (For more on this method
and how it is applied in the study see the next chapter.)
Classification of the community will be based not on the reputational
results themselves, but on the basis of descriptions provided by
leaders identified in the reputational survey. This should meet
Wolfinger's objections and overcome the problems of classification


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Anthony LeGra
Associate Professor of Sociology
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy.
May 1986
Dean, Graduate School


80
locating in the western and southern parts of the county resulting in
geographic splits and generational conflict.
But other areas have also experienced rapid growth without it
seeming to affect the power structure in the same way. Bert Swanson is
currently researching Houston and characterizes it as having a business
elite power structure which dominates community decision making.
Sylvia Thompson has been studying Dade County, Florida, which has also
experienced rapid growth and a changing ethnic and racial population.
Her preliminary findings indicated that an elite dominates community
decision making there. Why then did Broward County develop such a
pluralistic community decision making structure? From interviews, a
possible answer emerged [4].
It is not just rapid growth which causes pluralism, but whether
the community can integrate the new population and either absorb new
power centers into the existing structure or prevent the emergence of
new power centers which can challenge the existing order. In Broward,
this capacity did not exist according to several leaders. The social,
political, and economic mechanisms that integrate the community and
create a small unified group with similar interests are absent. As an
elected official put it:
There is no cadre of leadership that can make decisions.
Geographically, the county is divided into the north, central, and
south. Leaders in the south are unknown in the north. Little
economic interests span the county. With the 29 cities,
fragmentation. The major city [Fort Lauderdale] has 10 to 12
percent of the population. There are park, hospital and water
districts. There is divided influence without central authority.


TABLE 6-1
PAST STUDIES OF POWER IN BROWARD COUNTY
123
Old Guard/New Guard
(1973)
Old Guard:
R.H. Gore
James S. Hunt, Sr.
George English
L.C. Judd
E. Thomas Wilburn
Steve Calder
New Guard:
Fred Millsaps
Thomas J. Walker
Gene Whiddon
Jack Gore
Edward Stack
Robert Elmore
A. Gray Boylston
Hamilton Forman
Philip N. Cheaney
Robert B. Lochrie Jr.
Joseph P. Taravella
E. Clay Shaw
The Powerful 10
(1979)
Gene Whiddon
Edward Stack
Hamilton Forman
Philip N. Cheaney
Emerson Allsworth
J. Edward Houston
Milton Kelly
Anne Kolb
Bert Lichtenstein
R. Emmet McTigue
In Search of Powers
(1983)
Gene Whiddon
J. Edward Houston
R. Emmet McTigue
William Leonard
Steve Josias


195
LIEF, I.P., and TERRY N. CLARK (1973)
Community Power and Decision-Making: A Trend Report and
Bibliography. The Hague: Mouton.
LINDBLOM. CHARLES E. (1977)
Politics and Markets. New York: Basic Books.
LINDBLOM, CHARLES E. (1982)
"The Market as Prison," Journal of Politics, 44: 324-336.
LINEBERRY, ROBERT L. (1980)
"From Political Sociology to Political Economy," American
Behavioral Scientist, 24: 157-176.
LONG, NORTON (1958)
"The Local Community as an Ecology of Games," American
Political Science Review, 64: 251-61.
LONG, NORTON (1962)
The Polity. Chicago: Rand McNally.
LOVELY, DAN (1983)
"Broward in Search of Powers That Be," Fort Lauderdale
News/Sun Sentinel. (January 2, 1983), 1-2A.
LYND, ROBERT S., and HELEN M. LYND (1929)
Middletown. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
LYND, ROBERT S., and HELEN MERRELL LYND (1937)
Middletown in Transition. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
LYON, LARRY (1977)
"Community Power and Policy Outputs: A Question of Relevance?"
in Roland Warren, ed. (1977), New Perspectives on American
Communities. Chicago: Rand McNally.
LYON, LARRY, and CHARLES BONJEAN (1981)
"Community Power and Policy Outputs," Urban Affairs Quarterly,
17: 3-21.
LYON, LARRY, LAWRENCE FELICE, M. RAY
PERRYMAN, and E. STEPHEN PARKER (1981)
"Community Power and Population Increase: An Empirical Test of
the Growth Machine Model," American Journal of Sociology, 86:
1387-1400.
MACNOW, GLEN (1979)
"The 'Powerful 10'They're Broward's Influential Elite,"
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel (Feb. 19, 1979), 1-3B.
MACNOW, GLEN (1980)
"Leadership Shortage Keeps County From Running Smoothly,"
in Fort Lauderdale News (1983), "Broward in the 80s," Fort
Lauderdale, Fla.: Author.


2
the scientific objectivity of research. The debate has pitted
sociologists against political scientists, the left against the right,
and normative democratic theorists against empirical democratic
theorists. While this debate has raged for more than thirty years, it
is marked by the relative lack of progress in building an accumulated
body of knowledge expected of a discipline which uses the label
"science." Questions have been raised about the reception of ideas in
political science as a result (Ricci, 1980).
There have been two major responses to the disarray found in the
community power field. The first response has been to change the focus
of study from, in Terry Clark's words, "who governs?" to "where, when,
and with what effects?" (Clark, 1975, p. 271). On the surface, this
shift would seem to be a natural step and enhance our understanding of
power structures. However, it was accompanied by a reformulation of
the problem. To avoid getting bogged down in the elite-pluralist
debate of the early sixties, and to facilitate large scale aggregate
analysis, elite and pluralist theory were operationalized as a
centralization-decentralization index. Researchers attempted to
isolate the factors associated with variation in policy outputs in
different communities using the centralization index in place of power
structure. Instead of focusing on power structure, the new focus
became policy outputs. The problem is, the elitepluralist questions
still remain unanswered. If we do not really understand the difference
between elite and pluralist communities, how can we understand what
difference it will make in terms of policy outputs? We need to better
understand "who governs?" before we can adequately answer the questions
"where, when, and with what effects?"


5
where the present theories are applicable and where they need to be
filled out (Eckstein, 1975, p. 104). Rather than interpret theories of
political power in the community, we can allow the findings in the
community to help shape the theory.
After describing the research approach, the choice of a research
site, Broward County, and the method of identifying community leaders
are discussed. A variant of the reputational method was chosen to
identify community leaders. The method was corrected for pluralist
criticisms by (1) using a two-step approach, where a panel of community
knowlegdeables selects community influentials; (2) including several
elected officials in the original panel of community kncwledgeables to
overcome any bias towards private sector leaders; (3) asking leaders
identified by the first panel to name the ten most influential leaders
in the community instead of the top five leaders (as many reputational
studies do); and (4) asking open-ended questions about community
decision making and issues.
Chapter IV presents the results of the reputational survey. More
importantly, the chapter describes Broward County's decision making
system from the leadership's perspective. Broward's leaders described
Broward as a very pluralistic community, but then went on to decry this
state of affairs. This runs contrary to conventional wisdom that
pluralism is a desirable way to run the community.
In Chapters V and VI, efforts by Broward leaders to centralize
community decision making are examined. Leaders in Broward have
attempted to centralize the authority structure (government) and the
power structure (economic sector) in order to overcome the limitations
of pluralist decision making (described in Chapter IV). Efforts to


148
"inequalities are likely to be cumulative rather than dispersed [among
the three strata]" (Stone, 1980, p. 982).
Lindblom (1977) analyzes the connection between politics and
economics, rejecting his previous conception of pluralism because it
failed to take account of the "privileged position of business."
According to Lindblom, business is privileged in several ways. First,
business holds a quasi-public status, on a par with that of the state.
Businessmen are considered public officials because they make many of
the most important decisions in society in a market system such as
ours. They decide what to produce, as well as where and when to
produce it. While these are private decisions, they have a profound
impact on society and government policies. Lindblom believes that
government must induce business to perform because:
in the eyes of government officials . businessmen do not
appear simply as the representatives of special interest, as
representatives of interest groups do. They appear as
functionaries performing functions that government officials
regard as indispensable. (Lindblom, 1977, p. 175)
He explains:
Any government official who understands the requirements of his
position and the responsibilities that market-oriented systems
throw on businessmen will therefore grant them a privileged
position. He does not have to be bribed, duped, or pressured to
do so. Nor does he have to be an uncritical admirer of
businessmen to do so. He simply understands, as is plain to see,
that public affairs in market-oriented systems are in the hands of
two groups of leaders, government and business, who must
collaborate and that to make the system work government leadership
must often defer to business leadership. Collaboration and
deference between the two are at the heart of politics in such
systems. (Lindblom, 1977, p. 175)
According to Lindblom, if government does not induce business to be
productive, or inhibits through regulation business productivity, then


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Ronald Kenneth Vogel was born in Valley Stream, New York. He has
three brothers. He is 27 years old. His family moved to Fort
Lauderdale when he was 13. He attended Broward Community College and
earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of
Florida.
His major areas of study are urban politics and policy, public
administration, and American government. He is presently working as an
Assistant Professor of Political Science at Valdosta State College.
His research is concerned with the capacity of communities and in
particular local governments to take control of their agendas and act
for the community.
199


168
unlikely that another interest group, such as environmentalists would
have come up with similar recommendations.
In a one day period, business was able to meet most of the
government officials responsible for county policy. Business was able
to learn what the major problems these officials deal with are and
offer their views and opinions as to what the departments ought to be
doing and how. All of this was without the expression of other groups'
views. That is not to say that the county officials will do business'
bidding, only that they will seriously consider it. Business leaders
now know who the government officials are. They were encouraged to
call and offer their ideas, as well as their complaints. This is what
we mean by access* While access does not mean everything business
wants it gets, it does mean that business is in a unique position to
influence county policy. What other groups in the community could
command the kind of attention that business did, attracting every major
department head and most of the elected county officials to explain
their jobs and listen to the views of the group? The opportunity for
later dialogue was established. Again, this is not to say that
government does not benefit from this type of interaction as much as
business. At the end of the walk-in, the Chamber spokesman, Edward
Kennedy, had this to say:
I want to commend the county for its expertise and
professionalism. I want to thank them for coming to the meeting.
I want to thank the business community for coming. This is a
"love-in." Two years ago, this probably would have been a
different type of meeting. Meetings like this are what is in the
best interest of Broward, as our home.
Thus it seems that the county government may have coopted the business
leadership. Or perhaps both sets of leaders, county government and


113
of their proposal, they will launch a petition drive to place the
measure on the ballot.
The proposal will have the backing of the Chambers of Commerce,
the League of Women Voters, the Broward Workshop, the Economic
Development Council, and others in the community. Opponents of the
proposal are expected to include some sitting county commissioners, the
county administrator, as well as western condominium leaders because
the selection of a strong mayor will probably be coupled with the
imposition of single member districts. Single member districts would
undercut the influence of the condominium vote county-wide, as their
vote will only affect the selection of one commissioner, their own (or
a few), but not the entire commission.
Centralizing Leadership: A Strong Mayor
Why would the adoption of a strong mayor form of government lead
to greater centralization of the authority structure? Usually we
associate strong-mayor government with pluralism and a city manager
with centralization and elite government. However, the reason we
associate a council-manager form of government with centralization may
have more to do with the informal power structure than the authority
structure. The adoption of reform government centralizes
administration to the extent that government was organized with many
independent departments acting on their own. Usually, a city manager
lacks the capacity to mobilize the community behind an agenda or forge
broadbased coalitions. This capacity is precisely what is required in
a pluralist community. Strong leadership before the public is actually


CHAPTER II
ELITE and PLURALIST THEORY
How have researchers approached the questions of the existence of
an elite and whether the community should be classified as elite or
pluralistic? How have they operationalized elite and pluralist theory
in specific studies? The term "elite" has been the source of many
disagreements among social scientists. Following the publications of
Hunter (1953) and Mills (1956), several political scientists challenged
the way the concept "elite" was used and the evidence used to support
conclusions that there was an elite in America, whether at the national
level or the local one. In particular, Dahl (1958) and Polsby (1963)
attacked both Hunter and Mills, challenging the definition and test of
an elite used by each. Wolfinger (1960) joined Dahl and Polsby in
attacking the "reputational method" used by Hunter. Ironically, the
understanding we have today of elite theory is largely shaped by its
pluralist criticsDahl, Wolfinger, and Polsby. For this reason, it
makes sense to start our discussion of elite theory with the critics of
elite theory.
Elite Theory and Its Critics
Dahl (1958) criticizes researchers who would prove a ruling elite
system, e.g., Hunter (1953) and Mills (1956):
Now it is a remarkable and indeed astounding fact that neither
Professor Mills nor Professor Hunter has seriously attempted to
29


82
Chamber. We should bring in Pompano and Hollywood. It won't
happen because of staff. Business in Dade did it. There is more
big industry in Dade. In Broward, shopkeepers and local banks do
not want it either.
Consequences of Pluralism
Though the majority of respondents reported a highly pluralistic
community, they were somewhat critical of this decision making system.
This is ironic given the common view that pluralism is as close to
democracy as we can practically attain. The leaders identified a
number of problems associated with pluralist decision making. Among
them were
-an inability to get big deals (large projects for the
community)
-difficulty getting an effective program from the
legislature
-discouraging trade and industry from locating in the
county (hindered efforts to attract)
-makes it difficult if not impossible to accomplish
anything
-prevents the emergence of leaders
The following excerpts should clarify these community leaders'
objections to pluralist decision making. After describing Broward as a
pluralist community, a developer was asked whether it would be better
to have a well integrated, more unified power structure. Yes, he
replied:
It would be good. The Broward Workshop [an organization of top
private sector leaders] is the latest effort. Miami has a group.
When they speak, they are listened to. In Miami they move
projects, and get good legislative candidates. They are able to


171
A: The county commission, yes. They pass laws etc. . .Influence
without the political process, no.
The businessman acknowledged the importance of the authority structure
(government), but in his mind the question of who were the most
important persons in the community somehow did not include elected
officials (even though he was given a set of index cards including
elected officials' names when the question was asked).
Government leaders were not always charitable to business leaders
either. After flipping through the index cards listing names of
elected and business leaders in Broward County, a county commissioner
remarked, "many of these are private interest people out for their own
interest." A major point of disagreement among respondents in the
governmental sector versus those in the private sector was where
direction for the community could come from. Invariably, county
commissioners saw it coming from the commission itself, while business
leaders saw it coming from the Broward Workshop, particularly if they
were members of the Workshop.
Regardless of their feelings toward each other, or which sector
views itself as better able to lead the community, the political
economy approach emphasizes that neither sector can effectively operate
for long, completely independent of the other. This view was best
summarized by an elected official who said.
There is more agreement than disagreement between elected
officials and business leaders because of the calibre of elected
officials and the intelligence of the business community. To
fight on each issue is not beneficial to the community. Business
wants profit and eventually gets it. The county wants orderly
sustained growth with orderly development.


CHAPTER III
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH
In this chapter, the political economy approach is introduced as a
method which can bring some order to the disarray found in the
community power field. Also discussed are the proper research design,
approach to identify community leaders, and specific research site.
Eckstein (1975) identifies a number of research designs which may
contribute to theory building. The "heuristic case" study is chosen
because it is designed to generate theory. It allows the researcher to
explore the usefulness of ideas, instead of concentrating on testing
theories already developed, which are more properly studied by means of
the comparative case study or large-scale comparative analysis
(Eckstein 1975; see also Glaser and Strauss, 1967) The heuristic case
is most compatible with the political economy approach.
The Political Economy Approach
Pluralists contend that government dominates the community's
decision making processes. Economic decisions are seen as either
subordinate to government decision making or else considered outside
the scope of local government and so, unimportant for classification
purposes. Elite theory, on the other hand, emphasizes the informal
structure of power based in the economic sector where the real locus of
community decision making is said to take place and then transmitted to
the elected officials. Pluralists view business as just another group
46


161
of the business community that if he voted no, he would be shut
off from money to campaign again.
In his last campaign for the county commission. Craft received very
little business support. Most of that went to his opponent. Craft
voted for the four cent tax, and received business backing for his
reelection. It would seem that the message got across.
This raises the question of whether votes (numbers) are more
important to a candidate, or if money is the better resource. The
answer to this question has important consequences for democratic
government. Pluralist theory tells us that number or votes more than
outweigh money as a resource to effect policy. One observer shed some
light on the question. He said,
A politician cares about two things. First, who raises
moneythose effective at raising or withholding it. Second, who
gets them votesgrass roots support. If you have one or the
other, your strategy revolves around what you have.
From time to time, however, the two conflict. He explained,
When it is money versus grass roots, watch the politicians scream.
It's entertaining to watch. The greed of the few comes into
direct conflict with the many. It's happening more and more.
Issues are more complicated. There is more potential for
conflict.
Speaking more directly to the four cents gas tax, one participant said:
People who give the finances say yes and those with the votes say
no on the issue. In terms of campaign support, Ann Kolb [deceased
county commissioner known for her grass roots support] was able to
deliver at 14 cents per vote. Most politicians don't have that
luxury. Forman's cost is 40 cents a vote. If you are someone it
costs 80 cents to one dollar per vote, money is very important.
For someone like Kolb, 14 cents a vote, money means very little.


CHAPTER IV
DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY: A LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE
In keeping with our research premise that theories of political
power ought to be operational in the community, if they are to be given
credence, let us see who Broward County's leaders are, and how they
describe their political structure. Then we may see how this fits in
with the two major theories of political power, elite and pluralist
theory.
Leaders in Broward County were identified by a two-step
reputational analysis. First, ten individuals were selected to serve
as a panel of knowledgeables to identify community influentials. An
attempt was made to secure a broad-based group of individuals to serve
on the first panel. The positions they occupied were as follows:
1. Banker
2. County Commissioner
3. Political Party Official
A. State Legislator
5.Minority Leader
6. Port Commissioner
7. Condominium Leader
8. Large Employer
9. Media Representative
10.Labor Leader
By including several elected officials in the first panel, an attempt
was made to overcome the pluralist objection that the reputational
method is biased towards finding a small economic elite.
Each person on the panel was asked the following question:
Communities throughout the country typically contain certain
persons who influence community actions greatly. In your opinion,
who are the ten most influential persons in your community and
why?
68


9
Contemporary Power Research
Kasarda and Lineberry (1980) see three directions in contemporary
community power research. The first is research in the original
elite-pluralist tradition of the early 1960s, focusing on the question
of who governs. This is typified by Domhoff (1978) in his
reexamination of New Haven (Dahl, 1961) Domhoff concludes that New
Haven was elite run all along. Hunter's (1980) revisit to Atlanta, in
which he traced the durability of the power structure, and Polsby's
(1980) revised and expanded version of his earlier work, which contains
additional critiques of elite studies, also fall into this category.
More recent examples of research in this vein are Trounstine and
Christensen's (1982) study of San Jose, and Whitt's (1982) study of the
transportation issue in California. Trounstine and Christensen using
the reputational approach, find, as the literature would suggest, that
growth leads to a more pluralistic structure, but they question how
much decision making is left to the cities given the changing economy
and broader forces in society beyond the reach of the community. They
draw a clear distinction between sunbelt and frostbelt communities.
Whitt studies a statewide issue, transportation, in California, over
time. He assesses how well pluralist, elitist, and ruling class
theories of political power fit the decision to build the Bay Area
Rapid Transit (BART) system and changes in the state allocation of
highway monies over a twelve-year period. He concludes that while each
theory contributes to an understanding of the issue and its resolution,
the classdialectic (ruling class) model of political power is the most
explanatory.


101
address issues in a more coordinated fashion than the previous
government structure was capable of. As Jenne put it, "there was no
coordination of these services (senior citizens, troubled youth,
criminal offenders, frustrated consumers, etc.) prior to the charter"
(Jenne, 1977, p. 8).
The charter reforms focused on more than setting the county's
administrative house in order. The power of county government over
individual cities in the area of land use planning and pollution was
greatly increased. For the first time in Broward, the county was in a
position to unilaterally coordinate growth management policies, not
only in the unincorporated areas, but in the cities themselves. Indeed
the county government now has the power to override individual cities'
growth policies. Not only did the reform reduce municipalities'
autonomy, it also eroded some of the functional fragmentation that had
been part of the policy making environment. This is a major first step
towards voluntary functional consolidation of services. Giving the
county responsibility for growth-managment began a movement towards
regional delivery of certain services, an issue which had first been
raised in the Government Efficiency Study in 1970 and would be picked
up in future reform efforts.
John Degrove and Carolyn Lawrence have pointed out, that, in
general, "county governments, metropolitan as well as non-metropolitan,
have greatly expanded their role in providing services to their
residents" (DeGrove and Lawrence, 1976, p. 9). More specifically, they
state:
The one [function] that surely will increase the influence of
county government in the federal systemgrowth managmentis only
now beginning to be used by counties as a tool to determine


Table 4-2 Continued
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
Below High School
-
4 Years of High School
14%
1-3 Years of College
17%
4 Years of College
17%
5 or more years
55%
n=29
-
30%
(207,702)
(4)
37%
(263,549)
(5)
18%
(125,179)
(5)
9%
(63,095)
(16)
6%
(43,295)
1980 Census Handbook
Florida Counties, Table
4.06, p. 162, 165.
SOURCE:
Interviews, news
articles and resumes.


105
major selling point for the charter. A paper was published emphasizing
the limits to centralization as compared to the centralization of
authority in Dade County ("Synopsis of the Differences Between the
BROWARD COUNTY CONSTITUTION and the DADE COUNTY 'METRO' CHARTER"). The
opening paragraphs speak for themselves:
It is important to realize that the intention behind the
creation of the BROWARD COUNTY CHARTER was to form a streamlined
County Government, which could more readily perform necessary
services to the unincorporated areas and bring about more
efficiency in the structure of County Government which has existed
since 1885.
The Dade County "Metro" Charter was created for the purposes
of creating a Central Metropolitan Government for all of Dade
County.
The Rough Draft of the Broward Charter reflects the basic
premise of reformation of an antiquated system, while, on the
other hand, the Dade Charter specifically authorizes the Dade
County Commissioners to be a government with immense override
power of the municipalities. (Synopsis, 1973, p. 1)
The paper goes on to list specific differences between the Broward
County Charter and that of Dade County, pointing out that the
government reforms proposed in the charter are nowhere near as
centralizing as those put into effect in Dade. First, the Dade charter
established a "Metropolitan Government" with the power to redraw city
boundaries and determine the "functions and powers of the Cities."
Second, the Dade charter provides for a much greater degree of
functional consolidation of services under the county government.
Third, Dade's charter provides a broader grant of powers to the county
commission to act "in the common interest of the people of the County."
The report points out, in comparison, that Broward County's charter
provides for a limited county government lacking authority over
municipalities except in the area of land use.


56
Community Sample, recognizes the role of case study in theory
development. Commenting on the failure of his model to significantly
predict the level of policy outputs, he stated, "at this point we may
turn to the highly detailed case study which can perform an
indispensable function" (Clark, 1971, p. 312). That function is to
help specify the relationship between power structure and policy
outputs.
A strong argument can be made for the case study when used
properly, following the guidelines layed down by Eckstein (1975) .
Eckstein identifies five types of case studies and their utility in
theory development. First, he discusses the
"configurative-idiographic" study which is useful in providing an
overall interpretive description of a particular case but is not
oriented toward theory building. He states:
In configurative-idiographic study the interpreter simply
considers a body of observations that are not self-explanatory,
and without hard rules of interpretation, may discern in them any
number of patterns that are more or less equally plausible.
(Eckstein, 1975, p. 97)
The second type of case study which he identifies is the
"disciplined-configurative" study which views the case as an object of
interpretation by reference to some theory in the field. Eckstein
says:
Case study thus is tied into theoretical inquirybut only
partially, where theories apply or can be envisioned; passively,
in the main, as a receptacle for putting theories to work;
fortuitously, as a catalytic element in the unfolding of
theoretical knowledge. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 100)


169
business, have simply realized that they do indeed share responsibility
for governing society.
Government Leaders Versus Business Leaders
So far we have identified the major elements of business privilege
and established that they are present in Broward County. At this
point, it is useful to examine the relationship between government
leaders and business leaders. Then we will want to address the
question of whether political mobilization can overcome business
privilege. Government leaders represent the authority structure, while
business leaders represent the economic structure, the visible
manifestation of the economic structure being what we commonly refer to
as the power structure. Taken together, these two sets of leaders
constitute the decision making structure of the community. Table 7-1
lists the two sets of leaders.
An important facet of the relationship between political and
economic leaders is how they view each other. While no in-depth
attitude survey was undertaken of how these two sets of leaders view
each other, certain attitudes became clear during the interviews.
There was a marked tendency for business leaders to view elected
officials with a certain disdain. This is illustrated in the following
exchange with one of Broward's top business leaders.
Q: Why didn't you select any county commissioners in your answer
[to the question: Who are the 10 most influential persons in your
community?]?
A: County Commissioners are passing scenes. Once they are out of
office, they have little power or strength. This is true on any
level of government. Some stay for several terms, but they are


115
assistance. While the activist-executive mayors may be similar to
managers of local systemsas some ceremonial mayors might
beexecutives are more active in the process by which things get
done (Kotter and Lawrence 1974). Activist mayors are more
involved in the local networks that set agendas, as well as in
local staff-bureaucratic mechanisms for carrying agendas out,
including finding nonlocal assistance. Thus, activists may
perform a central coordinative role in a manner which is not found
in any other mayoral type, or in any other community position.
(Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 42)
Activist mayors, according to Eberts and Kelly, are more innovative and
aggressive in pursuing their agendas than any of the other types of
mayors:
Apparently, greater local and cosmopolitan networks sensitize
activist mayors both to citizens' concerns and to sources of state
and federal aid for responding to "optional" issues. If a mayor
has the resources to respond to a particular community problem,
then he or she will be more likely to consider the problem
important. (Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 45)
In sum:
The core principle is that mayors who have larger local and
extralocal networks have larger agendas. Consequently, activist
mayors have the largest agendas, and ceremonials the smallest.
(Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 46)
Further, Eberts and Kelly examine the factors associated with the
presence of activist mayors in communities. Surprisingly, given the
skepticism of a number of scholars about the utility of power structure
as a variable to account for differences in community outputs (see
Chapter I), Ebert and Kelly find pluralism is "the largest variable
affecting mayoral activism." They find that pluralism "is itself
affected only to a small extent by economic and demographic variables,
being influenced mainly by citizen participation and electoral
competition" (Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 53).


137
may have tried to do it, but it hasn't. I attended the Vero
caucus. It was too encompassing. A group of people with diverse
ideas.
The question arose as to just why the Workshop had not had the
success rate that some had hoped for. A developer attributed the
Workshop's problems to the perception that it was part of the old Fort
Lauderdale downtown group.
The Broward Workshop, even though it tried to get a broad base,
fell apart. Some said it was downtown Fort Lauderdale. Some
complained that it met out of Broward.
Another community leader traced the Workshop's difficulties to a lack
of commitment on the part of leaders in the community.
At the second meeting I attended, I expressed the belief that they
must give their time, not just their money. You cannot meet once
a month and expect the executive director to do it all. The
Workshop has largely failed. It is being restructured to a
smaller group with Sullivan [vice-president of Southeast Division,
Florida Power & Light] as the president. It needs to take stands
on issues which it has avoided in the past and it needs some
successes if it is to work. The Workshop offers the best hope and
potential because it is the only thing of its type that all are
involved in.
One member of the Workshop related his experiences. He said,
The Workshop tries to do the work that should be done by political
leaders. It cuts across political entities. It was conceived
with good intentions. There was some negative publicity when it
got started. We got going about a year ago. I served on the
education task force. We interfaced with engineering technology,
had directors of training and personnel, vocational education
colleges, etc. Everyone worked and then it just stopped. The
executive director must constantly raise money to pay his own
salary.
He discussed his frustration about the one cent sales tax referendum


106
Even in the area of land use, there are important constraints
which limit the centralizing effect of the charter. Though cities are
required to bring their land use plan and density levels into
conformance with the county plan, the county plan is written by the
Broward County Planning Council, an entity created by the Charter. The
Council is composed of 15 members appointed by the county commission.
However, of the two appointments given each of the seven commissioners,
one must be a municipal official. This accounts for 14 of the council
members. The fifteenth member is a county commissioner selected by the
full commission. In other words, seven of the 15 members of the
planning council are municipal officials. This gives the cities quite
a bit of input into the county plan that they must conform to. In
essence, municipalities have been given an institutional role in
writing the comprehensive plan which restricts the centralizing effect
of this reform. Still, the fact that the county commission retains
final authority over the plan and must approve it and any future
changes is a centralizing force and should not be downplayed.
Centralization of government authority varies from the most
centralized form, full consolidation (Jacksonville), to metropolitan
government (Metro Dade), to charter government (Broward), to
unchartered government. It should be pointed out that the exact degree
of centralization embodied in a charter is an open-ended question. It
is not the charter itself which determines the degree of
centralization, but the specific structure and powers granted to
government under the charter. At a minimum, adopting a charter
government frees county government from much state involvement in local
affairs.


164
Thus, business supports the four cent gas tax, not because they
get an identifiable direct benefit, though some undoubtedly do. They
support the four cent gas tax because it will build more roads,
improving the flow of traffic, making it easier to get to the downtcwn,
and boosting the local economy. Business knows it will benefit
indirectly, if not directly. So we see that in Broward County,
business effectively used its financial resources to secure the
adoption of the four cent gas tax. Other groups opposed to the tax
lacked the financial resources to counter business donations. While
votes are important, they are sometimes less so than money. Votes are
important at election time. Then for several years, the elected
official is scrutinized not by the voter, but by business. Since the
voter is only attentive at election time, and the businessman is always
attentive, known, sitting on boards, making his views known, and
becoming a friend, business is often able to coopt the elected
official.
Organization. Business is more highly organized than other groups
in the community. With this organization, business has the resources
and staff to study, independent of government, important issues in the
community. In Broward County there are 15 chambers of commerce. Each
has a staff and various committees which study community problems and
take stands or make recommendations on policy. This allows business to
shape the content of policy before it gets on the agenda of government,
without public comment or media scrutiny. In the previous chapter, the
institution of the Leadership Broward program by the Fort
Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce and the development of
the Broward Workshop were discussed. These organizations are, in some
instances, able to devote more time to issues of county importance than


107
Government Efficiency Study II
The charter reforms adopted in 1974, which took effect in January
of 1975, were not the end of government reform efforts in Broward
County. There have been additional attempts to centralize the delivery
of services and leadership of the county government. In 1982, a state
legislator from Broward pushed a bill through the state legislature
creating a study commission to examine Broward County's government.
Not only did this bypass Broward's charter review process (by giving
the study commission the power to place proposals directly on the
ballot, without the county commission's approval), the bill also
required the county to foot the bill for the study's work! The county
commission balked at the study being rammed down its throat and at
being forced to provide as much $100,000 for the study group. As far
as the county was concerned, the state delegation was not playing by
the rules.
Also, there were suspicions that the study group was instigated
out of jealousy over salaries. At the time the local bill passed the
state legislature, Broward County Commissioners earned $37,000 a year
compared with $12,000 for state legislators. Eventually, a compromise
was struck between the legislative delegation and the county commission
which resulted in the county setting up the Government Efficiency
Committee through a county ordinance and the state repealing the law.
The Committee was composed of 21 members, seven appointed by the county
commission, state delegation, and League of Cities (an organization of
Broward's municipalities) respectively. They were given a free reign
to study just about anything they wanted. A former state legislator's
aide was selected to serve as the executive director. After a slow


35
Hunter (1953), Mills (1956), and Domhoff (1978, 1979, 1983) all
saw the possibility of change as very slim. They emphasized that the
elite acted to maintain itself and limit the movement of nonelites to
elite positions. In addition, they saw the structure of rule as a
significant factor in limiting the chance of change. Pluralists have
often pointed to the circulation of elites to counter claims of the
existence of an elite. Often, however, they have failed to pay
attention to the structure of rule. Thus, even if new elites take
over, little will change if this proposition is correct.
Pluralists have contended that it makes little sense to refer to
the rulers of the United States and other democracies as an elite,
because they are democratically elected. Even if the term elite is
properly used to refer to elected officials, it is misleading in that
it implies an unaccountable elite. The elite are accountable because
they may be voted out of office at every election. To use Prewitt and
Stone's phrasing, the "rulers are on probation" (Prewitt and Stone,
1973, p. 23). The composition of the elite is dependent on the public
through elections and so the masses and the leaders are not so unequal
in power. The problem with this argument is that there is a question
of whether elections are really devices to select the public officials,
or do the elected officials themselves control the selection process?
The democratic theorists, according to Prewitt and Stone, respond to
this charge by pointing out that "there are internal power struggles
within the ruling groups. A minority out of power will turn to the
electorate, and thus deliberately involve the citizenry in deciding who
should rule" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p. 25). Also, they point out,
". . American politics has been organized with a view to the inherent
tendencies of ruling classes" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, 25). This is


153
call this an elite or pluralist community, it is clear that business is
almost as well represented in community decision making as government.
These results would tend to confirm Lindblom's privileged position of
business thesis. It would seem that business leaders are indeed on an
equal footing with government leaders in Broward County, Florida.
Lindblom's business privilege offers a new way to interpret the
reputational method popularized by Hunter (1953). If business leaders
are equivalent to public officials because they are responsible for a
great deal of society's decisions, then it should come as no surprise
that community knowledgeables and influentials should recognize this
reality in answering the survey. It should then come as no surprise
that a decisional technique, which looks at how government decisions
are made, might come up with a different set of community leaders.
Both methods are valid, it is just that only those directly involved in
the government decisions will be found in a decisional analysis.
On the other hand, the reputational method, which does not limit
itself to government activity, finds that major economic decision
makiers are influential as well as government leaders. The
reputational method captures the private sphere as well as the
governmental one, in so far as some elected officials are included
among the original set of knowledgeables to correct for bias on the
panel towards the private sector (see Chapter III) In any event, in
Broward County, business leaders are equally well represented in the
decision making structure. Lindblom appears justified in calling them
public officials and not just another interest group. After all, labor
has only one representative in the leadership results.


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Political Economics. Berkeley: University of California
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"The Political Economy of Charles E. Lindblom," American
Political Science Review, 72: 1012-1016.
BACHRACH, P., and M. BARATZ (1962)
"Two Faces of Power," American Political Science Review,
51: 947-52.
BANFIELD, EDWARD C. (1961)
Political Influence. New York: Free Press.
BONJEAN, CHARLES M., TERRY N. CLARK,
and ROBERT L. LINEBERRY, eds. (1971)
Community Politics: A Behavioral Approach.
New York: Free Press.
BROWARD COUNTY GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY STUDY COMMITTEE (1983)
"Preliminary Report," Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Author.
191


45
result or another and causes them to discount evidence contrary to
their original views; and (5) the particular way researchers
operationalize the two theories can structure the results. It is
possible to find scholarly studies which support each of these
conclusions. In the next chapter, the political economy approach is
introduced and offered as a possible route out the community power
maze. Just how much help this approach will be in synthesizing the
elite and pluralist theories is then explored in later chapters by way
of a case study of a community.


83
get legislation. They are able to get transportation facilities,
bond issues, revitalization. Trade and industry come.
Here in Broward we don't have these things. If the XYZ company
wants to move its plant to Broward, is there any one guy to call
and get it done? No. If you needed 50,000 dollars for a campaign
for a bond issue, there are probably not a couple of leaders who
could get it.
An attorney also talked about the difficulty in getting things from the
legislature because of Broward's pluralism.
Broward is short-changed because it can't mount a unified approach
in Washington or Tallahassee. There is no consensus amongst
themselves.
This was echoed by another developer.
We do not have an effective organized program for the legislature
related to state issues and even advanced to the national.
Elected officials also see Broward's pluralism as a problem. An
elected official was asked whether it mattered that leadership was
splintered in Broward, as he had described. He said that if you do
"not have strong support, you are not successful. You must get
everyone together." This is very difficult in Broward. He drew this
analogy to development: "little deals are like little developments," in
that you are left with alot of "spaces to fill in. It won't be as big
or as well planned as a large development." He said in Broward, no
"big deals" could be accomplished due to its pluralistic system of
decision making. He said little deals do not take many people to
complete. An example he gave was the Performing Arts Center planned
for downtown Broward County. It required a commitment from the City of
Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, the State of Florida, and the Downtown


104
revamped administrative structure would be able to implement commission
policy efficiently and effectively. Second, county government was
given authority over land use and pollution policies in the entire
countyi.e., the cities as well as unincorporated areas. In other
words, the county would now have responsibility for growth management
even in the cities reducing functional fragmentation.
Third, chartered counties, under Florida's Constitution, have
special privileges. Specifically, charter governments are given a much
greater degree of freedom from state interference in running their day
to day affairs. In Florida, unchartered governments must frequently
request state legislative approval for even the most basic of
activities. Since Broward established a charter government, authority
is more centralized in the county commission which no longer must rely
on the state delegation to steer local bills through the assembly.
Greater autonomy in decision making enhances centralization of decision
making and policy making. The state delegation has essentially been
removed as a central actor in local decision making.
In spite of these centralizing effects found in the charter, the
authority structure in Broward is not as centralized as it might have
been. In fact, leaders of the reform effort were quite cognizant of
the fact that much greater centralization could have been proposed, but
felt that the charter went as far as was practicable at the time. No
attempt was made to consolidate local government. This was not even
seriously contemplated. Other than in the area of growth and land use,
admittedly an important service, no attempt was made to subject cities
to county authority.
Indeed, the fact that the charter did not go as far as some
advocated in centralizing decision making authority was turned into a


51
decision making to suit their needs or desires. Clark et al (see
Chapter I) have been criticized for ignoring political explanations in
favor of a focus on structural and demographic variables. By examining
leaders' efforts to shape the decision making structure we may put
politics back in the equation.
Finally, are there limits to what community leaders can
accomplish, whether public or private, due to underlying systemic
biases? Recent works by Stone (1980) and Lindblom (1977) suggest that
the political-economic system biases outputs and outcomes, regardless
of the individual actors or structure of decision making, in fact, in
spite of them. Stone describes what he calls "systemic power," which
causes public officials to favor upper status interests. Lindblom
discusses the "privileged position of business" vis-a-vis other groups
in society. While it may be difficult to document the existence of
privileged groups in the community, we must remain sensitive to their
presence. An advantage of the heuristic method chosen is that it does
not impose overly restrictive rules of evidence on the researcher,
designed as it is for theory building.
We turn then to the political economy approach to help us escape
the pluralist-elite dichotomy. Let us see how this approach can assist
us in this effort. Most studies of community decision making have
simply characterized the community decision making structure as
centralized or decentralized (elite or pluralistic). However, it is
really necessary to break out the two separate dimensions of
centralization highlighted by a political economy approach. One aspect
is centralization of government. This refers to the fragmentation of
government which reduces the ability of government to coordinate


165
the county government itself. By creating a bank of skilled
knowledgeable businessmen, business is able to challenge government
policies and propose new policies in an atmosphere devoid of the usual
give and take of government chambers.
Another important organization of business in Broward, is the
Economic Development Council (EDC). Its name is often mistaken to be
that of a government agency. It is an organization of the 13 largest
developers in the county. They are particularly influential on land
use matters. The EDC hired James Nicholas, a Florida Atlantic
University professor, to do a study on the future of Broward's economy.
This report has been widely circulated and forms the basis of the
county's own economic element of the comprehensive plan of the
community. A major emphasis of the study is the increasing presence of
the elderly in Broward, a factor which worries many of the developers.
They fear this will have a negative influence on their efforts to sell
Broward as a vibrant young community where people will want to raise
children and industry will want to relocate to. It is not a question
of whether the study is biased because it originated in the development
lobby, it merely reflects Lindblom's privileged position of business
thesis. Namely, that business has superior resources to affect
government policy. The EDC was concerned about economic development in
the future and what policies were necessary to further it. Because
they had financial resources, they were able to frame the issue and get
it on the agenda. Other groups would find this prohibitively
expensive.
Access to Decision Making. It is not just their superior
financial resources which allows business to impact on government
policy to a greater extent than other groups in the community. Nor is


78
An attorney characterized Broward as follows:
There was a book on Florida power structure in 1973 [Butcher,
1973] which found in Broward there was no distinct leadership
elite, power was fragmented. No single individual. So many
factions, at war with itself. This just precisely described the
situation today. Some names have changed. It's very fragmented,
complicated, complex. Broward is at war with itself. [3]
Factors Associated With Pluralism
Why did leaders believe Broward was so pluralistic? Leaders
identified a number of reasons for this including the newness of the
area, rapid growth, geographic divisions and social diversity, the
different orientations of the young and the old, fragmented government,
and the lack of county-wide structures. A major business leader said
there is
a failure of unity in Broward for two reasons. First, there are
28 to 29 cities in Broward with provincialism so we are left with
an inefficient government structure with duplication. Secondthe
young and the old. Older people are not as concerned with
education. Generally, the older people came from some other city.
Younger people feel 180 degrees opposite from their positions. As
there are more older people, there will occasionally be more
political problems.
This view was echoed by other leaders in the community. A developer,
after describing Broward as pluralistic, was asked why this was so. He
explained that the community was pluralistic "because no individual or
group is strong enough to bring together the community. No group is
able to say get together. . .Time and money keeps people apart." He
continued:


59
Eckstein points out, there is nothing to prevent researchers from
combining case study strategies.
The present study is a heuristic case, as the political economy
approach offers some new directions and understandings for both elite
and pluralist theory. Since the aggregate comparative study is
inappropriate for this task, there was little choice but to rely on the
case study. While a plausibility probe or crucial case would be the
most desired approach, at this stage of research it was felt unwise to
overly structure thinking or expectations as to what would be found in
the community. In the community power field, with all of its studies,
the greatest limitation has seemed to be researchers' inability to keep
open minds.
A Research Site
Broward County, the second largest county in Florida, was chosen
as the research site precisely because its power structure and
governmental authority structure were evolving. The structure of
community decision making was unclear. According to one newspaper
study (Lovely, 1983), it was not even possible to identify community
leaders. At the same time, leaders in the private sector had managed
to organize and conduct a community retreat to identify and discuss
community problems and set the stage for later action. Broward County
had many of the qualities desirable in a research site, given the type
of study (heuristic case) and the purpose of the study (to apply the
political economy approach to community decision making in order to
synthesize elite and pluralist theory). There was evidence that the


129
themselves to be involved." Related to the problem of time and
participation in community decision making is that leaders of business
are not always sure who other business leaders are, as one developer
pointed out (see Chapter IV). Growth, particularly rapid growth, as
experienced in Broward County, breaks down existing power structures
that depend upon common networks and experiences. New businessmen do
not know who the established leaders are and find little reward in
jumping into the middle of a very pluralistic political system filled
with dangers at every corner.
TABLE 6-3
CITIES WITH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Coral Springs
Dania
Davie
Deerfield Beach
Fort Lauderdale
Hallandale
Hollywood
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Margate
Mirimar/Pembroke Pines
Oakland Park
Wilton Manors
Plantation
Pompano Beach
Sunrise
Tamarac
In many communities, the Chamber of Commerce serves to orient new
businesses to the community and integrate them into the community
decision making processes. This leads us to the second effect of
growth and development experienced in Broward. That is, the
multiplication of Chambers of Commerce in the county. Table 6-3 lists
the municipalities which have a chamber. As discussed in Chapter IV,


192
BROWARD COUNTY GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY STUDY COMMITTEE (1984)
"Report of Subcommittee on Elected Mayor," Fort Lauderdale,
Florida: Author.
BROWARD COUNTY GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY STUDY COMMITTEE (1984)
"Final Report," Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Author.
BROWARD WORKSHOP (1981)
"Broward Workshop For the '80's Executive Summary" (Feb.),
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Author.
BUTCHER, LEE (1976)
Florida's Power Structure: Who's Part of It and Why. Tampa,
Fla.: Trend Publishers.
CLARK, TERRY N., ed. (1968)
Community Structure and Decision-Making: Comparative
Analyses. Scranton, Penn.: Chandler Publishing.
CLARK, TERRY N. (1971)
"Community Structure and Decision Making, Budget Expenditures,
and Urban Renewal in 51 American Communities," in Charles
Bonjean, Terry Clark, and Robert Lineberry, eds. (1971),
Community Politics: A Behavioral Approach. New York: The Free
Press.
CLARK, TERRY N. (1975)
"Community Power," Annual Review of Sociology, 1: 271-95.
CLARK, TERRY N., ed. (1985)
Research in Urban Policy, Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press.
CURTIS, JAMES E., and JOHN W. PETRAS (1977)
"Community Power, Power Studies, and the Sociology of
Knowledge," in Roland L. Warren, ed. (1977), New Perspectives
on American Communities. Chicago: Rand McNally.
DAHL, ROBERT A. (1957)
"The Concept of Power," Behavioral Science, 2: 201-15.
DAHL, ROBERT A. (1958)
"A Critique of the Ruling Elite Model," American Political
Science Review, 52: 463-69.
DAHL, ROBERT A (1961)
Who Governs? New Haven: Yale University Press.
DAHL, ROBERT A. (1982)
Dilemmas of a Pluralist Democracy: Autonomy vs Control.
New Haven: Yale University Press.
DEGROVE, JOHN, and CAROLYN B. LAWRENCE (1976)
"Changing Patterns in County Service Delivery," Florida
Environmental and Urban Issues, 4: 1-3, 9.


167
become cognizant of what other groups and government place on the
agenda.
Business access to governmental decision making in Broward County
is not limited to membership on formally appointed boards, whether
advisory or autonomous. Business has access to government decision
making that other groups lack. This is illustrated by the "Broward
County Government Walk-In" sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale/Broward
County Chamber of Commerce held on August 26, 1983. County
administrators and department heads took half the day off to meet with
business leaders. The purpose of the meeting was to educate business
leaders on the workings of major county offices, identify major
problems which the county departments deal with, and gain the input of
business to help solve these problems.
The planning discussion group leader was Skeet Jernigan, executive
director of the EDC. The consensus of the group, primarily a few
developers, businessmen, and the director of the Broward County
Planning Office, was that there was a negative image among developers
about the ability to develop in the county. Skeet Jernigan put it this
way.
The perception of developers is that Broward is a bad county to
develop in. It does not have a good reputation. This is
detrimental to the county. The processing of government approvals
is not that onerous. We must put out the word. . .The business
perception is that it is difficult to operate or develop in
Broward County. That is a misperception, at least on the county
level. . .It is a misconception within the business community..
Other discussions concerned the organization of the county planning
office and the need to update the county plan to permit more growth and
development. Other discussion groups were similarly structured. It is


90
But he does not think there is an organized elite: it is a "very
unstructured system. Issue by issue. Not only deal with detrimental
things. We work more on how to do something beneficial for the
community. It goes on quietly."
His answers could be discounted were he the only leader to have so
described Broward County. However, several other community
influentials gave similar opinions. Another business leader talked of
a small group of leaders which resembles the elite described by Hunter,
but acts in a pluralist system. His description could fit either
Hunter's Atlanta or Dahl's New Haven. He started out by explaining
"Broward is fragmented, but still 20 names should stand out." He
continued, "each person creates an orbit that e moves in, those he
sees. Some of the circles overlap. Everyone's is different. No two
people with certain circles completely identical."
Asked whether news articles about Broward's dispersed power
centers were misleading (Lovely, 1983), he replied:
I do not like the term fragmented. All of the leaders are in
different orbits. A certain number at a meeting will do things.
Not all of them have to get together. If you took all the names
in your card file, a group like that, or even the top 10 or 20 of
them, if they ever were totally committed to anything, any needs
in Broward, it could not miss with all the talent and power that
is represented there. The Workshop is bringing together such a
group. A nucleus of leaders get together and say have got to do
something. If it is a worthwhile deal, the others can't say no.
The same people finance, provide leadership, and motivation.
Dahl would not have any great problem with the above statement
arguing that this businessman only points out that the group identified
has a high potential for control; a criticism he makes of the ruling
elite theorists is that they do not distinguish between potential power
and actual power (Dahl, 1958). This is the same distinction Clark


156
business community puts its stamp of approval on it, the voter will
believe that it will be good for the community, or reduce taxes, or
whatever the claim is. This same banker said he "regularly get(s)
letters from commissioners asking for support from the business
community." The point he was trying to make and which supports
Lindblom's thesis, is that government leaders go to the business
community for help. It is not always the business community going to
government for self-interest. Business leaders need government leaders
and government leaders need business leaders. It works both ways in a
system which divides responsibility for directing society between two
sets of leaders. Business is privileged in Stone's (1980) words
because it holds the strategic resources government officials need to
govern.
This point is illustrated by the tax revolt in Broward County in
1981, discussed in Chapter VI. Several leaders in the private sector,
based in the Broward Workshop came to the aid of county commissioners
not because they liked them but because they realized that if the
county commission were to fall, they too would be hurt. Bonds were
about to go on the market from a 1978 bond referendum to build roads,
regional parks, libraries, and other services. If the county were to
appear unstable, the bonds would go unsold. Without the infrastructure
provided by the bonds, business leaders would be unable to attract the
industry and address other concerns they had. Broward would lose its
image as a forward looking county which was attractive to relocating
businesses. Local concerns would suffer as the bond spending would be
a boost to the local economy. If business leaders were to abandon the
elected officials in the midst of the crisis, they too would suffer.
It was in their interest to do all that they could to help the


146
The purpose of this study was to bring these two systems and the
theories into a common framework. The political economy framework
offers the possibility of synthesis by highlighting how the two
theories each explain different aspects of the degree of centralization
in community decision making. The political economy approach is not a
replacement for power analysis. Instead, it provides a way to
integrate the two theories of political power.
Having identified the two separate elements of community decision
making is not enough. What remains to be seen is how the authority
structure and the power structure interact. This really involves two
questions. First, what is the nature of the relationship between
business leaders and government leaders? This involves not just how
they interact, but whether the relationship is among equals or not.
Second, we must address the question of whether the relationship is
fixed or can change over time.
The Relationship Between Public and Private Leaders
Recently, scholars have called into question the underlying biases
in government and business relations. Stone (1980) considers the
reason why public officials consistently favor "upper strata interests"
in their decision making, in spite of their selection by popular vote.
The answer, he says, is that:
public officials form their alliances, make their decisions and
plan their futures in a context in which strategically important
resources are hierarchically arrangedthat is officials operate
in a stratified society. The system of stratification is a
motivating factor in all that they do; it predisposes them to
favor upper over lower-strata interests. (Stone, 1980, p. 979)


20
First of all, Ricci points out that both sides accuse the other of
research methods which predetermine study results. In discussing the
reputational and positional methods favored by elite researchers, he
states, "the concept of power as a potential force led logically to the
conclusion that a few lead, and all others must follow." The parallel
argument is that the decisional method preferred by pluralist
researchers leads them to focus on actual decisions, overlooking the
"nondecision" problem, and biasing results to pluralist conclusions
(Ricci, 1980, p. 464).
Ricci also points out that pluralist researchers criticized Hunter
(1953) and other elite researchers for reliance on the reputational
approach, since the information provided was subjective and not subject
to independent verification. Yet, as Ricci points out, pluralist
researchers were dependent on interviews with community actors,
newspaper articles, and other historical documents which were no more
objective or reliable than the information provided by reputational
interviews (Ricci, 1980, p. 466).
Pluralists charged that elite researchers could not show that
other actors were not involved in community decision making, besides
those identified in the reputational survey. However, pluralist
studies, the counter-argument goes, also prematurely limit the
identification of community leaders to those who are actually active,
leaving open the possibility of overlooking other participants
before or after the study, or those whose participation is simply not
overt (Ricci, 1980, pp. 466-67) .
Ricci also points out that though elite researchers charged that
community leaders identified by the positional and reputational methods
represented their class- or self-interests, rather than the community's


193
DOMHOFF. G. WILLIAM (1978)
Who Really Rules? Santa Monica, Ca.: Goodyear Publishing Co.
DOMHOFF, G. WILLIAM (1979)
The Powers That Be: Processes of Ruling-Class Domination
in America. New York: Vintage Books.
DOMHOFF, G. WILLIAM, ed. (1980)
Power Structure Research. Beverly Hills: Sage.
DOMHOFF, G. WILLIAM (1983)
Who Rules America Now? Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:
Prentice-Hall.
DOMHOFF, G. WILLIAM and HOYT B. BALLARD (1968)
C. Wright Mills and the Power Elite. Boston: Beacon Press.
DREYFOOS, WILLIAM W. (1978)
"Broward County's Land Use Plan: The Quiet Revolution Comes
to South Florida," Florida Environmental and Urban Issues,
5: 1-11.
DYE, THOMAS (1966)
Politics, Economics, and the Public: Policy Outcomes in the
American States. Chicago: Rand McNally.
DYE THOMAS (1976)
Policy Analysis: What Governments Do, Why They Do
It, and What Difference It Makes. University, Ala.:
University of Alabama Press.
DYE. THOMAS (1983)
Who's Running America? Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
EBERTS, PAUL R., and JANET M. KELLY (1985)
"How Mayors Get Things Done: Community Politics and Mayor
Initiatives" in Clark (1985), Research in Urban Policy,
Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press.
ECKSTEIN, HARRY (1975)
"Case Study and Theory in Political Science," in Fred I.
Greenstein and Nelson W. Polsby, eds. (1975), Handbook of
Political Science: Strategies of Inquiry, Reading,
Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
FLORIDA STATISTICAL ABSTRACT (1983)
Bureau of Economic and Business Research,
Gainesville, Fla.: University Presses of Florida.
FORT LAUDERDALE/BROWARD COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (1983)
Statistical Abstract. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.:
Author.


154
Collaboration or Inducement?
Lindblom (1977) believes that government must induce business to
perform or suffer the consequences of its lack of performance.
Inducements take the shape of incentives to business, such as tax
subsidies or pursuing policies which enhance the business climate.
This is particularly true in the area of economic development.
Lindblom emphasizes that it is government officials who will take the
blame for high unemployment or recessions, not business. This
punishment will come in the form of electoral defeat by citizens.
Lindblom likens this situation to business blackmail of government
officials.
There was evidence that government induced business performance in
Broward County. It was not, however, out of fear of electorate
retaliation for poor business performance. It was much more subtle
than that. The following passage by a former elected official
illustrates the point. He was responding to a question about growth
and its desirability from the community's standpoint.
You can't take extremist views and allow them to run counter to
the legal system. Private property is intended to be in private
hands to make money. It can be tempered, but there is a point
beyond which you cannot tell them to stop. It's called
confiscation. It's hard for extreme environmentalists to
appreciate this.
The government decision makers acknowledge that business is responsible
for development, and while government may have certain interests it
wishes to press on developers, it also recognizes that there is a fine
line beyond which it should not tread. In effect, government defers to


21
interests, they were unable to prove this cohesion. He states:
In short, scholars who used the reputational and positional
techniques could not prove the lack of cohesion they said existed,
but scholars who studied decision-making also could not prove the
lack of cohesion they said exists. (Ricci, 1980, p. 467)
While elite theory, according to Polsby (1963) suffers from the
problem of "infinite regress" wherein it is always argued that even if
an elite is not revealed, it is simply because the elite is hidden,
pluralist theory has a similar excuse. Ricci tells us that pluralist
theory rests on the idea that "indirect influence" provides a check on
government and ensures responsiveness to the public. Yet indirect
influence is an untestable concept, and therefore no less a fallacy
than that of infinite regress (Ricci, 1980, p. 468).
Another parallel argument is that of "anticipated reactions" on
the one hand and the "nondecision" on the other. Elite theorists
criticized pluralists for ignoring the role of elites in setting the
agenda and shaping the alternatives. Pluralists responded by pointing
to the problems of researching the nondecision while employing the
concept of anticipated reactions in their own theory. If as the
pluralists say, it is not possible to study the nondecision, and
therefore it is not a very useful concept, Ricci questions why it is
justified to speak of anticipated reactions, which are also not
observable (Ricci, 1980, p. 465).
The last point Ricci raises to demonstrate the similarities
between the elite and pluralist arguments for their positions, and the
weaknesses of their opponents, is the "ubiquity of underlying
interests." Ricci points out that elite researchers can safely
conclude elitism, even if they fail to demonstrate elite cohesion,


117
spearheading government reform in Broward County, with the League of
Women Voters playing the lead organization behind this effort. The
other route which we shall address shortly is to unify the economic
leadership and allow it to provide the direction which they perceive is
lacking in the community.
Centralizing the Authority Structure: Deliberate Action
Before examining what steps have been taken to centralize the
informal power structure, it is important to emphasize that
centralization of decision making has been a deliberate goal of Broward
County leaders. This is true in the area of government as well as the
private sector. For government reorganization to occur, the County
Commission in October of 1973 had to vote to set up and fund a Charter
Commission. Getting to this point was no easy task as some of the
participants recalled.
Starting in 1970, we had meetings with the press showing why we
needed charter government. They covered the commission. In the
first two years we emphasized the mistakes of government. Harped
for change. We did not fear change. Wanted improved government.
We would speak to groups, as many as we could, get press, and
bring it up at commission meetings.
In short, the movement for government reorganization had its roots in
the earlier reform effort. The participant continued, "we had to get
the message across. The plan was to create great public awareness."
And they did. A brief look at some of the newspaper headlines in the
Fort Lauderdale News during this time period indicates just what that
message was:


76
only 15 percent of the residents of Broward County have a college
degree. Finally, Broward's community leaders tend to be moderate, many
fewer at the political extremes than in the public at large. About half
of the leaders interviewed identified themselves as moderate.
Twenty-eight percent of the residents called themselves liberal and 46
percent conservative.
Classifying the Community
The fact that there was substantial overlap among the leaders
identified as community influentials strongly suggests that power is
not widely dispersed in the community. However, as pointed earlier,
the number of leaders found through the reputational method alone is
not sufficient to classify a community as elite or pluralistic. More
important is the relationship among the leaders.
How then are we to classify the community? If we accept the
notion that whatever else these persons identified by the reputational
analysis are, they are experts on their community politics, then we may
begin here. Community leaders, as found in the reputational survey,
were asked to characterize Broward County's political structure.
Twenty-six of the leaders interviewed described a community which we
would commonly label pluralist [1].
The majority of respondents used phrasings which parallel
pluralist descriptions of communities such as
-changing coalitions depending on the issue
-no cohesion
-no small group of individuals
-vested interests


24
3. Economic diversity is associated with dispersed power
structures. As the economic structure becomes more diversified
(differentiated), the transaction costs are increased between
horizontal sectors reducing the probability of activation outside
one's own sector. When vertical linkages are increased, where
previously weak, decentralization will result.
4. Political structure of the community contributes to the type of
power structure, in that reform governments are related to more
centralized power structures.
5. Civic organizations and political parties help to explain the
existing power structure, in that the greater the number of
organizations present and the more competitive the party system,
the more decentralized the power structure.
6. Values of the community are found to set the parameters of
government activity. This is related to leadership style and
ideology. (Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson, 1964)
The state of our knowledge of power as a dependent variable is not
very great. Though we seem able to specify the variables which affect
the community power structure, there is little evidence of which
factors are most important and to what degree. Lyon (1977) puts it
this way:
In order to determine "Who governs and Why?", ... it became
necessary to go beyond case studies and employ a large number of
communities in the research effort. This type of research has
usually focused upon demographic-ecological predictors of
community power, with typically weak and mixed results. (Lyon,
1977, p. 416)
In terms of looking at power structure as an independent variable
to explain policy outputs, the results are not much better. Though
three power-policy models have been developed (see earlier discussion),
the fragility model, the separability model, and the community
mobilization model, the evidence suggests none of the models are
statistically significant in their attempts to account for policy
differences among communities (Lyon, 1977) .


86
There is no leadership in Broward. There are smart successful
people, not leaders, that can take charge and go for it. . .
People would follow, if there were a leader. There is leadership
on specific causes. The 1978 bond issueEd Houston did a good
job on that cause. Afterwards, he was not effective, too busy in
other areas. Chuck Cobb put together the South Florida
Coordinating Council made up of 100 corporations doing business in
three counties [Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach]. They played a
leadership role with a good executive director. After he left, it
went down hill because they did not have leadership. Roger Hall
put together the Broward Legislative Fly-In [state legislators
were brought to the county and given an overview of Broward's
problems and needs, as well as wined and dined]. He raised funds
from the private sector and it came off well. It was a good job
but it took alot of energy. This is not something these people
would want to do every day.
Asked why there is not permanent leadership, only leaders for specific
causes, he replied:
There are so many forces that go against it. It's wearing and
difficult. People shoot at you all the time. It's difficult to
get people to move in one direction. Look at the history of the
airport improvement plan since 1972. Consultants, money, ten
yearscrazy lack of leadership. The forces against prevent
permanent leadership. We are provincial from municipality,
council, mayor, to chamber.
He was asked why no one has stayed as a leader after their specific
activity.
I am not sure it is worth it for anyone because of the degree of
difficulty. Maybe a guy like Lomelo [mayor of the City of Sunrise
and chairman of the Democratic Partycurrently serving time in
federal prison for fraud] persistent and energetic in Sunrise, but
most people would go against it though.
Leadership in a Pluralist System
In the
a system of
preceding section, we saw that leaders in Broward
decision making consistent with pluralist theory.
described
They do
not see a small group of leaders who run things, and they decried the


121
ideological orientations of leaders (Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson,
1964). Dahl (1961) looked at elite participation in community decision
making. Presthus (1964) compared alternative methods to identify the
power structure and how they revealed different dimensions of community
leadership and decision making. Most often these studies identified
factors in the environment as the source of a particular power
structure configuration. For example, Dahl found that pluralism was
related to social diversity in the community. Hunter believed that the
economic system was greatly responsible for the prominence of business
leaders in the power structure. Clark (1968) and other researchers
employing the Permanent Community Sample and relying on aggregate
analysis were naturally led to a focus on demographic and economic
variables in accounting for the existence of a centralized or
decentralized structure.
Broward County offered an excellent opportunity to observe
attempts to form a more unified cohesive power structure to replace the
pluralist system of decision making previously discussed. This work,
building on prevous studies, should contribute to our understanding of
community decision making and how power structures can be created and
institutionalized.
Past Studies of Power in Broward County
Before undertaking an examination of the current power structure
of Broward County, it is useful to look at past studies of power in
Broward. Over the years, the media has written a number of articles
concerning Broward's power structure. The first was done by Fort


114
a trait frowned on among the professional adminstrators who value
reserved styles of leadership and are not known for their charisma.
On the other hand, city managers often work well with the informal
business structure. But, in a community where the power structure is
not well organized, the city manager will often be less effective.
Weak mayors or rotating chairpersons are poor substitutes for the
strong leadership necessary to forge coalitions and get things done in
pluralist communities. In other words, reform government may not be an
effective government in a pluralist community, depending on the
structure of government in the business community. Perhaps what needs
to be explored is not whether a strong mayor form of government creates
pluralism, but whether pluralism in the community generates the need
for a strong mayor. Likewise, a city manager system of government may
suit communities which are already elite, not cause centralization, but
be the result of it.
In fact, the complaints of leaders in Broward that they cannot get
things done in such a pluralist community run counter to the
experiences of some pluralist communities where a great deal is
accomplished. Dahl (1961) describes how the mayor of New Haven almost
single-handedly brought urban renewal to the community. Eberts and
Kelly (1985) argue a strong mayor is necessary in pluralist
communities. They offer a four part typology of mayorsceremonial,
caretaker, entrepreneurial, and activistbased on the mayors' role
orientations. Activist mayors are described in the following way.
Activist mayors show greater involvement both locally and
non-locally. They differ from entrepreneurial mayors primarily
because they devote more energy to building local networks.
Activist mayors probably identify a broader range of local needs
and through their extralocal networks develop multiple channels of


36
the notion that checks and balances built into the American system will
prevent leaders from exercising unlimited powers and keep them
dependent upon the public.
Elite researchers like Hunter, Mills, and Domhoff have emphasized
the lack of accountability of the elected officials and the ability of
public officials to manipulate the voters. Mills, more readily than
Hunter or Domhoff, acknowledges the possibility that pluralism exists
at the midlevels of American politics, such as the Congress. However,
none of these three accord much significance to the fact that some
leaders in this country are elected. In fact, they point out, rightly
so, that a major portion of the leadership in this country is
unelectedeconomic leadersand that these leaders are unaccountable
and that elected officials are often subordinate to them. Hunter came
to this conclusion in Atlanta, and Domhoff in his reexamination of New
Haven came to a similar conclusion.
There are many variants of elite theory other than the view
propogated by Dahl and Polsby. Even Hunter and Mills had different
views on elite theory. As pointed out earlier. Hunter did not even use
the term elite in his classic study of Atlanta. Mills conceived the
elite as a power elite.
The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to
transcend the ordinary environment of ordinary men and women; they
are in positions to make decisions having major consequences.
Whether they do or do not make such decisions is less important
than the fact that they do occupy such pivotal positions: their
failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act
that is often of greater consequence than the decisions they do
make. For they are in command of the major hierarchies and
organizations of modern society. They rule the big corporations.
They run the machinery of the state and claim its perogatives.
They direct the military establishment. They occupy the strategic
command posts of the social structure, in which are now centered


VITOWARDS A MORE UNIFIED POWER STRUCTURE:
THE BROWARD WORKSHOP 120
Past Studies of Growth in Broward County 121
Growth and the Business Community 126
The Broward Workshop 130
Leadership Broward 142
VII DYNAMICS OF BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS 145
The Relationship Between Public and Private Leaders. . 146
An Application of Lindblom's Privileged
Position of Busines Thesis 151
Government Leaders Versus Business Leaders 169
Can Business Privilege Be Overcome?
Molotch's Growth Machine 172
VIII CONCLUSION 176
Towards a Typology of Business-Government
Relationships 176
Summary 187
Future Research 188
BIBLIOGRAPHY 191
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 199
v


54
If the government structure is very fragmented (Point A) and
business leaders are very unorganized (Point U), then we might have a
situation akin to what Frederick Wirt (1976, p. 350) has called
"hyperpluralism." In this case, the community is so pluralistic that
it is almost impossible to accomplish any community goals and there is
no common direction or any mechanism to provide coordination. In
reality, most communities fall somewhere more towards the middle of the
lines. These should be viewed as continuums. A completely
consolidated community, like a Jacksonville, might fall at point R in
its authority structure. Most community authority structures would
fall somewhere between Point T and Point A. Much would also depend on
the particular definition of community used by the researcher. A
county would be expected to have a more decentralized authority
structure than a city given the presence of independent cities and its
traditionally more narrow scope.
Seen in this light, the findings of Hunter (1953) and Dahl (1961)
are not necessarily contradictory. The above discussion raises the
possibility that each work is correct as far as it goes. Dahl's
interest was government decision making. He focused on urban renewal,
local elections, and public school policy. Because a different set of
leaders was found to be influential in each area, with only the mayor
exercising power across issue areas, the community was said to be
pluralistic. However, we see that Dahl was really only studying the
authority structure. In similar fashion, Hunter (1953) studied the
informal power structure, saying very little about the authority
structure. He found the private sector leaders to be very cohesive and
organized. While the tone of his work makes it clear that he believed
the authority structure was subordinate to the power structure, he


196
MANLEY, JOHN F. (1983)
"Neo-pluralism: A Class Analysis of Pluralism I and
Pluralism II," American Political Science Review, 77:
368-389.
MICA. JOHN L. (1975)
"Florida County Charter Efforts: An Analysis of Their Success
or Failure," Florida Environmental and Urban Issues,
3: 9-12.
MILLER, DELBERT C. (1975)
Leadership and Power the in Bos-Wash Megalopolis. New York:
John Wiley.
MILLS, C. WRIGHT (1956)
The Power Elite. New York: Oxford University Press.
MOLLENKOPF, JOHN H. (1983)
The Contested City. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University
Press.
MOLOTCH, HARVEY (1976)
"The City as Growth Machine: Toward a Political Economy
of Place," American Journal of Sociology, 82: 309-32.
NICHOLAS, JAMES C. (1980)
The Broward Economy: Past Present and Choices For the
Future. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Economic Development Council
of Broward County.
1980 CENSUS HANDBOOK FLORIDA COUNTIES (1984)
Bureau of Economic and Business Research, Gainesville,
Fla.: University Presses of Florida.
POLSBY, NELSON (1963)
Community Power and Political Theory (1st ed.) New Haven: Yale
University Press.
POLSBY, NELSON, (1980)
Community Power and Political Theory (2nd ed.) New Haven: Yale
University Press.
PRESTHUS, ROBERT (1964)
Men At The Top: A Study of Community Power. New York: Oxford
University Press.
PREWITT, KENNETH and ALAN STONE (1973)
The Ruling Elites: Elite Theory, Power, and American
Democracy. New York: Harper & Row.
RICCI, DAVID (1971)
Community Power and Democratic Theory: The Logic of Political
Analysis. New York: Random House.


28
Notes
1. Interestingly enough, Dahl (1982, p. 207) denies that this notion
was ever part of pluralist theory, implicitly or explicitly.
2. For works which appraise the overall community power field, see
Aiken and Alford (1970), Clark (1975), Curtis and Petras (1977), Lief
and Clark (1973), Lyon (1977), Polsby (1980), Ricci (1980), and Walton
(1976) .


125
at the Governor's Club in Fort Lauderdale, new developments were
planned before the bacon and eggs reached the table.
That predominantly Anglo-Saxon, Republican power structure
dissolved in the 1960s when most of its leaders died and the power
of those who remained was diluted by the county's increasing
population. "You had a group of blue-blood Midwestern WASPS,"
says one longtime observer of local politics. "Then came the new
immigrantsDemocratic, Northeastern Jews with ideas of their own.
As expected, the two groups never got together and Broward's power
structure became very diffused." (Macnow, 1980, p. 35)
The article then went on to discuss Detroit as an example of where a
previously weak power structure was strengthened. The article closed
on the note that in the future, perhaps an "organization, which would
be able to bypass splintered government and ineffective established
groups," could be formed resulting in an effective power structure. In
Broward, these articles suggest that power is distributed very broadly,
with no one able to exert any significant direction in the community
for more than a brief period of time. What is desired, according to
the article, is a more formally structured set of power relations which
can force unity in the direction the community goes and coordinate
decision making.
If Broward's power structure was regarded as pluralistic, it was
still possible to identify major leaders. However, by 1983 a new study
"Broward in Search of Powers That Be" appeared in the Fort Lauderdale
News (Lovely, 1983). According to the article, "as 1983 begins, few
individuals have broad countywide influence, and power blocs seldom
coalesce" (Lovely, 1983, p. 11A). The article describes the
splintering of power even in the condominiums of west Broward, the
growth of south Broward leaders, and the decline of the eastern
establishment. The article's main point was that there is a growing
split between east Broward (downtown Fort Lauderdale) and the western
parts of the county, where well organized condominium leaders deliver


From this, they identify four sets of relationships which can occur
within nations. Their typology is reproduced below.
178
TABLE 8-2
INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
INTERNAL STRUCTURE
RELATIONSHIP
Cooperative
Adversarial
Cohesive
Corporatism
Conflict
Fragmented
Weak Planning
Local self-interest
They state:
These terms describe particular relationships within
countries. Major structures and relationships within each country
are not the same. Internal structure and unity provide the
possibility of "top-down" direction necessary to the
implementation of centralized bargains.
The term corporatist describes any policy of cooperation
among major private sector interests which are well organized. It
includes the centralized collaboration of major business and labor
organizations in wage determination in Sweden and the cooperation
of government, finance, and industry in directive planning in
Japan. Cooperation among less structurally integrated
institutions results in weak or indicative (that is,
unenforceable) planning. . .Where fragmented institutions are
adversaries, the grass roots pursue self-interest while elites
bargain and argue. . .Long periods of conflict between well
organized institutions are less common than fifty years ago. (Alt
and Chrystal, 1983, pp.38-39)
In other words, institutions in which policy makers act limit the
ability of these leaders by structuring interaction within their
system, as well as between them. While Alt and Chrystal focus on the
nation-state and are interested in economic policy, their typology is
helpful in understanding the relationship between economic and
political leaders at the local level.


8
elite-pluralist debate by providing a more complete and realistic
portrayal of the urban decision making process than the simple
elite-pluralist dichotomy. While ideology is difficult to measure,
researchers must be sensitive to possible differences in power
structure ideology and avoid sweeping generalizations about the
attitudes and preferences of an elite or pluralist power structure.
As researchers began to recognize that some of the differences
between pluralist and elite power structures were semantical in nature,
a shift in focus from "who governs?" to "where, when, and with what
effects?" took place (Clark 1975). Though researchers began to abandon
the elite-pluralist debate all together, most of the issues remained
unresolved. Secondary analysis of case studies and large scale
comparative studies followed. Questions of disciplinary field as a
major source of variation in the findings of researchers were raised.
Sociologists tended to find that communities were elite run, while
political scientists usually found communities were pluralistic. New
questions about approach (position, reputational, or decisional) were
raised as well. Walton (1966) found the discipline of researchers
influenced the method of study of the community and subsequently the
type of power structure arrived at. Gilbert (1968) in a larger study
(166 case studies were examined) found discipline to be unrelated to
the type of power structure found.
In the early 1970s, a number of researchers attempted to assess
the field of community power (Clark, 1975). This is evidenced by the
appearance of several anthologies: Clark, Community Structure and
Decision-making: Comparative Analyses (1968); Aiken and Mott, The
Structure of Community Power (1970); and Hawley and Wirt, The Search
for Community Power (1974).


81
A banker pointed out that Broward did not have a single paper read
by everyone in the county as is the case Miami. In South Broward, they
either read the Miami Herald or the Hollywood Sun Tattler. In Central
and North Broward, they read the Fort Lauderdale News. Broward does
not have a major television station so people must rely on stations
from Palm Beach or Miami with Broward bureaus for their news. This
means Broward usually gets secondary treatment. This, the banker said,
hinders the development of a community identity. The banker said you
need county-wide structures, whether organizations are civic or
otherwise. A chance to get together. Not just because it's a
county cultural center, convention center or downtown. The
physical presence gives identity to the community. That's why
they are important.
An elected official emphasized the clash between the old and the
new residents in terms of party membership.
Broward will not get a small group of leaders like Dade. Dade was
organized before labor or condos came. Everything was
concentrated in the downtown. Broward was Republican, the new
people were Democrats. Power was diffused. Broward is a more
open community than Dade. People can get into politics without
anyone's support. A self-starter can make it.
In other communities, there may be social diversity and government
fragmentation, yet the business community, often centered in the
Chamber of Commerce, provides the focus for a cohesive elite. In
Broward, however, the business community is as split as the political.
A developer compared the situation in Broward to that of Dade County.
There is one Chamber of Commerce in Dade. The Greater Miami
Chamber is the business power. Its consolidated in Dade and they
have the support of banks and utilities. Broward is diffuse. We
have brought the West Broward Chamber in with the Fort Lauderdale


139
The Broward County Tax Revolt
In September of 1981, tax notices were mailed to property owners
which included sizeable tax increases. This coincided with a state
mandate to increase assessments on property to 100 percent of real
value. In other words, a high budget was proposed at the same time
people's homes were being assessed as much as 40 percent more than the
previous year. In theory, the increased assessments should not result
in higher taxes as the state had provided for millage rates to be
rolled back when assessments were raised to be revenue neutral in its
effect, unless the government specifically voted to raise the millage
to receive greater revenue than in the previous budget year. To add to
the confusion of property owners, it was found that a number of tax
bills were incorrect. The chairman of the Republican part, William
Glynn and several taxpayers groups, including Michael Block, who went
on to help start a state wide tax revolt [Proposition 1], exploited
this issue effectively. They were able to do so because the county
commission was made up entirely of Democrats.
Public backlash was swift and angry. Twice, budget hearings had
to be moved to larger meeting halls, when the county commission meeting
room was found to be too small, and then War Memorial Auditorium in
Fort Lauderdale. Finally, the county commission met in the Sunrise
Music Theatre with Sheriff's officers holding back thousands of angry
property owners. While the meeting resembled a three ring circus,
recall petitions, supplied by William Glynn and others, were passed
through the hall and later the community. The recall petition focused
on the two commissioners perceived to be the most responsible,
including the county commission chairperson.


194
FORT LAUDERDALE/BROWARD COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (1983)
"Leadership Broward Directory," Fort Lauderdale, Fla.:
Author.
FORT LAUDERDALE NEWS (1980)
"Broward in the 80s: Trouble in Paradise?" Fort Lauderdale,
Fla.: Author.
GARSON. G. DAVID (1978)
Group Theories of Politics. Beverley Hills: Sage.
GILBERT, CLAIRE W. (1968)
"Community Power and Decision-making: A Quantitative
Examination of Previous Research," in Terry N. Clark
(1968), Community Structure and Decision-Making,
Scranton, Penn.: Chandler Publishing.
GILBERT, CLAIRE W. (1972)
Community Power Structure. Gainesville, Florida: University
of Florida Press.
GORTMAKER, LINDA (1975)
"Why Broward County's Charter Passed," Environmental
and Urban Issues, 2: 1-2, 12-13.
de GROOT JR., JOHN (1973)
"PowerOld Guard New Guard Share It: Who Fort Lauderdale's
Elite Are?" Fort Lauderdale News (Nov. 4, 1973), 1-2E.
HAWLEY, WILLIS D., and FREDERICK M. WIRT, eds. (1974)
The Search For Community Power (2nd ed.). Englewood
Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
HUNTER, FLOYD (1953)
Community Power Structure. Chapel Hill: University of
North Carolina Press.
HUNTER, FLOYD (1980)
Community Power Succession. Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press.
IMMERSHEIN, A.W., and R.J. LIEBERT (1977)
Power, Paradigms and Community Research. Beverly Hills:
Sage.
JENNE, KENNETH C. (1977)
"State of the County Message," to the Board of Broward County
Commissioners.
JONES, R. J. BARRY (1983)
Perspectives on Political Economy. London: Frances Pinter.
KASARDA, JOHN D. and ROBERT L. LINEBERRY (1980)
"People, Production, and Power," American Behavioral
Scientist, 24: 157-176.


98
services. After a year of study, the committee proposed that a number
of cities be consolidated, reducing Broward's 29 municipalities to a
more manageable number. Second, the committee recommended
consolidating a number of services including water, sewer, fire,
police, and beaches, parks, and recreation. They presented their
proposals to the legislative delegation and requested an additional
year to study some of the issues more closely. The state legislative
delegation failed to act on either recommendation.
Though the reforms did not go through, it is clear that the
committee was trying to reduce political fragmentation in Broward
County by, first, reducing the number of cities in the county and thus
the number of competing policy makers and interests. Second, by
addressing functional consolidation of services, the committee was
attempting to provide more uniform service delivery throughout the
county and to eliminate functional fragmentation of certain policies.
In other words, one governmental entity would be responsible for the
provision of certain services county-wide regardless of the wishes of
individual municipalities. The effect of both proposals would have
been to centralize authority in the county government, by reducing the
number of independent municipalities and providing for uniform service
delivery of certain basic services by one central government. While
none of these reforms were successful, government reorganization needs
should be seen as a long-term process, rather than as a series of
unrelated events. In 1970, for instance, the former chairman of the
committee ran for the state legislature and won, defeating an incumbent
legislator who had failed to act on the committee's recommendations.
His ran on a platform of government efficiency.


96
TABLE 5-2
MUNICIPAL INCORPORATIONS BY YEAR
1904 DANIA
1911 FORT LAUDERDALE
1925 DEERFIELD BEACH
HOLLYWOOD
1929 OAKLAND PARK
1939 HILLSBOROUGH BEACH
1947 HALLANDALE
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA
POMPANO BEACH
1953 PLANTATION
1954 WILTON MANORS
1955 MARGATE
MIRAMAR
1956 LIGHTHOUSE POINT
1957 PEMBROKE PARK
1959 COOPER CITY
LAUDERHILL
SEA RANCH LAKES
1960 DAVIE
PEMBROKE PINES
1961 LAUDERDALE LAKES
1963 CORAL SPRINGS
NORIH LAUDERDALE
PARKLAND
TAMARAC
1973 SUNRISE
SOURCE: Walter W. Falck, Executive Director, Broward County League of
Cities.
Efforts to Unify Government Decision Making
There is a long history of government reorganization in Broward
County, which is rooted in a desire to overcome the fragmented
governmental structure produced by rapid development. Consider the
leaders' responses to this fragmentation in the authority structure.
We can analytically distinguish several kinds of centralizing reforms
that would improve a commmunity's ability to identify its problems and
take action to rectify or at least alleviate them. First of all, a
community needs an administrative structure capable of coordinating
policy making and implementing programs. Secondly, it needs an actor


149
that government will be turned out of office. Government in a
market-oriented system must maintain a growth economy or ultimately
face the wrath of unemployed voters.
In addition to this structural advantage in the market system of
organization, business also has superior resources to effect government
policy (Lindblom, 1977, pp. 193-98). Business has greater wealth than
other groups in society. This wealth is useful in influencing
political parties and public officials always in need of campaign
funds. Business also has the advantage of organization and special
access to government. Finally, business has the ability to
indoctrinate the public to support the present structure.
Both Stone and Lindblom try to avoid the instrumentalism that
brought elite theory into disrepute. Lindblom's argument differs from
the power elite theory, in that it need not be shown that government is
an instrument of business, only that government is naturally
predisposed towards business, whether or not a power elite is found.
He states:
To understand the peculiar character of politics in
market-oriented systems requires, however, no conspiracy theory of
politics, no theory of common social origins uniting government
and business officials, no crude allegations of a power elite
established by clandestine forces. Business simply needs
inducements, hence a privileged position in government and
politics, if it is to do its job. (Lindblom, 1977, p. 175)
Similarly, Stone says
different strata operate from different footings and therefore
face different opportunity costs (cf. Harsanyi, 1963). The
particular interactions and relationships (the parts) yield an
overall pattern of decision making that is unplanned and
unforseen. It does, however, bear a class imprint not predicted


37
the effective means of power and the wealth and the celebrity
which they enjoy. (Mills, 1956, pp. 3-4)
Thus the power elite was made up of the captains of industry, the heads
of the military, and the top political leader including the president
and his cabinet, but not the Congress, which Mills saw as being in the
"mid-levels of power."
The power elite was not considered all powerful, but was
sufficiently powerful to get its way on the most important decisions in
society such as war and peace and the economy. Where others have
influence, it is only because the elite was not concerned enough to get
directly involved. They were able to be so powerful because they held
the greatest amounts of the most valued resources in societywealth,
status, and power. For Mills, power, to be exercised required command
of the organizations and institutions in society, something the masses
lacked. The power elite, while not totally cohesive, nevertheless,
formed a self-perpetuating, interconnecting group through commonalities
in social background such as prep schools, upper class clubs, and
intermarriages. Mills, however, is clear that the three groupings that
form the power elite do have differences with each other and that the
relative importance of any of the three blocs can change over time.
Mills also identifies an inner core in the power elite that consists of
those individuals who move in and out of the three groupings. A
Secretary of Defense who was a former corporation president would be an
example of this type of person.
Where Mills saw a power elite containing three parts, the
political, economic, and military leaders at the national level, Hunter
(1953) describes a very different type of elite at the local level.
Hunter talks about "men of power" and "top leaders" instead of an


85
It is really difficult to do something. You must start from
scratch each time. If there was an ongoing group, a sounding
board to develop different things, it would help. There isn't, we
don't do that in Broward.
Statements like these suggest that we take another look at the
way we have approached the linkage between power structure and policy
outputs. In Chapter I, it was pointed out that a number of hypotheses
about power structure and policy outputs have been formulated and
tested, with very inconclusive results. Most of the studies trying to
make a connection between power and policy have looked at the level of
policy outputs in the community, usually in terms of expenditures or
participation in federal grant programs. However, interviews with
community influentials in Broward County suggest that perhaps
researchers are looking at the wrong level. Most federal programs
instituted in the 1960s were based on communities meeting certain
criteria. Whether a community participated in Model Cities or poverty
programs may have more to do with community characteristics that
community politics, in that many of these programs are formula driven.
In short, according to leaders in Broward County, their
pluralistic decision making structure has undesirable
consequencesless success in economic development than more
centralized communities, difficulty in getting good legislative
candidates, fewer leadership positions in state government, fewer
resources from the state and difficulty putting together "big deals."
Lastly, and this may be the most severe problem with a decentralized
decision making structure, individuals tend to drift into and out of
leadership positions. Consider this leader's frustration:


CHAPTER VI
TOWARDS A MORE UNIFIED POWER STRUCTURE: THE BROWARD WORKSHOP
In the last chapter, we saw how Broward County leaders have
deliberately tried to centralize the authority structure in order to
accomplish their objectives, namely providing a modern organizational
mechanism capable of providing services in a growing metropolitan
community. While the government structure could have been further
centralized, the adoption of the county charter in 1973 was a major
step in this direction. In this chapter, we will examine how leaders
in the private sector have attempted and partially succeeded in
creating a more unified power structure. Their purpose has been to
provide greater direction and more coordination to the pursuit of
community goals. In part, this effort to centralize the power
structure stemmed from disillusionment with the governmental authority
structure and with government leaders. As in the previous chapter, the
focus is on deliberate action taken by community leaders to centralize
the power structure.
While there have been a number of studies of power structure,
there is still much to learn about power structure dynamics. This is
particularly true about the formation and maintenance of power
structures. Most previous studies of power structure have focused on
particular actions of the power structure itself. For instance, Hunter
(1953) concerned himself with how the power structure set the agenda,
though he later (1980) examined how power was transferred
generationally. Other studies of power structure studied the
120


116
Based on their findings, Eberts and Kelly offer a number of policy
implications. First, is that communities should consider creating
full-time mayors. While the reform movement has scorned full-time
mayors, it appears that they play a very important role in the
community. This is the role of providing direction to the community in
setting agendas and implementing them. In some places, a cohesive
business leadership may fulfill this function, but Broward County lacks
this alternative to political leadership. Therefore, it is especially
in need of the strong governmental leadership that a strong-mayor
system can help provide.
A second policy implication identified by Eberts and Kelly is:
political pluralism and competition produce community activism and
that nearly any set of citizens can enter into this process. Our
data indicate that greater local political pluralism and
competition stimulate network building, agenda setting, and task
intitiation. Thus, more citizens and citizen groups should become
active participants, with the understanding that they are making
positive contributions, no matter what local individuals or
officials may say. And mayors and citizens should encourage such
activities. (Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 53)
In other words, perhaps the complaints by community leaders in Broward
County are unwarranted. Perhaps there is too much pluralism in Broward
which hinders the community in gaining needed resources from the state
legislature or in moving ahead with community improvements, though this
is obviously a normative question. If this is the case, however, there
are two distinct strategies which leaders could follow. The one,
drawing on the research of Eberts and Kelly, indicates that a strong
mayor may be the factor which makes pluralism work and that could
overcome the present difficulties identified by many of Broward's
leaders. This seems to be the path being followed by those


89
leaders helped quash a tax revolt and a recall petition against county
commissioners that threatened a major bond issue (see Chapter VI), this
businessman sounded even more conspiratorial.
There was a small group who met and worked on the tax revolt. We
prefer that people just know that there is some force that does
something quietly, unknown. It was a handful of people who got
together and discussed it. If they wanted to help, fine.
Otherwise, can go, but keep mouth shut. We wanted to remain
anonymous and out of view. To identify the participants would
violate confidences.
He was asked whether leaders ever get together on other things besides
the tax revolt issue. He said:
It depends on what surfaces. Nothing else that visible, but the
ongoing future development of the county. Every community is
different. No one group. There is a core of people perceived as
movers and shakers, a nucleus. Start a convention center, go
here, do that, over a long period of time. The names that appear
on everyone's list are the one's I'm talking about. Not those who
get five votes, but those with 10 or 15. It's not cliques, more
dynamic than that. There are different varied interests. In
business area, not as cliquish. There are few leaders and many
followers. All want to be associated with someone perceived as a
leader. A few idea peoplehere's how to do it and the time
frame. Others are good at implementing, followers. Everybody is
moving at a different pace but a common goalthe improvement of
the community at all levels.
Asked whether public officials are ever part of this group, he offered
the tax revolt issue as an illustration:
Public officials are brought in later. When the commissions about
to be deposed, they are brought in and told, we will help you but
you must be more responsive in the future, but we want d,b,c, and
d. Now we will fight this by saying this is not the time or way
to object. We need unity. Give and take. If the commissioners
said no, then the group would not assist them. We would pull back
and say roast. The commissioners don't come directly to the
group. They come through an intermediary. The group asks what do
they want. Cut deal. Still politics, but now in the front room
and not the back. A tax revolt is only once every five years.


10
A second direction in community power research identified by
Kasarda and Lineberry (1980) is that of network analysis characterized
by Imershein and Liebert (1977) Their emphasis is on organizational
linkages and their findings have a
distinctively political theme that tends to find the greatest
efficacy of power, and indeed the most universal structure of
power, to lie in a certain organized diversity, a pluralist set of
subsystems with an integrated system of elites. (Imershein and
Leibert, 1977, p. 16)
The way to understand the community according to these researchers is
to study the organizations in the community which are the major locus
of power.
According to Kasarda and Lineberry (1980), the third direction of
research in community power is the policy output field. This has
coincided with a shift in focus from such questions as "who governs?"
to "where, when, and with what effects?" (Clark, 1975) Researchers
attempt to isolate the factors associated with variation in policy
output in different communities. In particular, Clark (1971), Aiken
and Alford (1970), Lyon and Bonjean (1981) and others have attempted to
use power structure to explain variation in policy outputs among
communities. To date, researchers have been largely unsuccessful in
linking the power structure type, whether elite or pluralistic, to the
type of policy output in the community (Lyon, 1977) This is also true
for the later centralized-decentralized conceptualization which has
replaced the more traditional elite-pluralist conceptualization.
Utilizing the Permanent Community Sample (PCS), a sample of
fify-one communities ranging in population from 50,000 to 750,000
persons, Clark finds evidence that centralized power structures cause


132
consensus on the direction the community should move in, though not
necessarily agreeing on very specific details of how to proceed.
Approximately 100 leaders attended the conference including most of the
county commissioners and major business leaders. The retreat did come
under some criticism for its exclusionary process and the fact that the
meetings took place outside of Broward County. In particular, grass
roots leaders charged the process was elitist.
Just the act of organizing the conference to discuss Broward's
problems entailed centralizing the business community and power
structure in general. As one businessman explained the Workshop's
origin,
Those who sponsored the Workshop met for one year in secret once a
month for dinner to get the Workshop together, finance, and plan
it. There are circles of people which feed into the Workshop.
There is more structure to Broward's leadership; it is not as
dispersed as the paper leads you to believe.
Another businessman involved in the effort explained where the idea for
the Workshop came from.
The newspaper recognized the dispersion of leaders. They tried to
make the public conscious of leaders. They wrote stories, and
tried to create a positive influence. Campbell [president of the
Fort Lauderdale News] came up with the Workshop along with
Farber, Ketcham, Cheaney, and Millsaps. They financed the
Workshop.
Starting in January of 1980, the Fort Lauderdale News ran a 22
part series entitled "Broward in the 80s: Trouble in Paradise?" The
series identified major problems facing Broward County, most of which
were still not being adequately addressed. (Fort Lauderdale News,
1980). Among the major problems identified were the rapid growth rate


34
bring to the task of governing" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p. 6). Do
the elites rule in their own self-interest or are they more public
regarding? For Hunter and Mills, and other elite researchers, the
answer was simple: elites rule in their own self-interest. However,
Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) rejected this simple view and
proposed that greater attention be paid to the ideology of elites in
the community. Some elites were self-interested while others were
public-regarding.
A second difference of opinion among elite researchers concerns
the possibility of change. If the elite rule and are responsible for
the major decisions in society, then it would seem that change could
come about in either of two ways. First, if the elite were to change
their minds about an issue or their ideology, or secondly, if the
composition of the elite were to change (e.g., a different elite were
to replace them or the size of factions within the elite were
altereda realignment within the elite).
Some scholars, however, do not believe that change would result
from a change in the makeup or views of the elite. They believe that
certain arrangements in society, particularly the economic
arrangements, cause a certain kind of elite to emerge, regardless of
the particular personalities of that elite. In other words, in a
capitalist society, economic actors will predominate, and the dominant
ideology will reflect this predominence. Particular leaders (members
of the elite) will come and go, but they will behave in similar ways.
Even if a dramatic shift were to occur in the elite, if the economic
arrangements remain unchanged, the new elite will not be different from
the old except in minor ways.


172
Indeed, government leaders and business leaders do not have to like
each other or even respect each other to get along, if both sets of
leaders recognize that cooperation is necessary for both to prosper.
The structure of community decision making is such that a kind of
"forced" cooperation will occur. The alternative increasingly is to
have a community at war with itself. Because of this forced
cooperation, business will be privileged. The simple act of
cooperation with the power structure by government leaders advantages
business. If government leaders opt to ignore or not cooperate with
business, voters will eventually blame them for the failure of business
to perform. More importantly, in the current age of scarcity,
communities more and more must focus on protecting their economic base
(Schultze, 1980, pp. 15-16). This means catering to business and
maintaining a good business climate. In Stone's (1980) way of
thinking, government leaders must cater to the upper strata of the
economic sector because it holds certain strategic resources, most
important of which, is its revenue-producing capability. Few
government leaders have failed to learn the lesson of Mayor Kucinich
(Swanstrom, 1985).
Can Business Privilege Be Overcome? Molotch's Growth Machine
Molotch (1976) argues that local politics is dominated by a growth
machine. This growth machine consists of all those interests in the
community which benefit from population growth and economic
development. The main goal of the growth machine is the
intensification of land use. The members of the growth machine include
realtors, developers, bankers, the newspaper, and businesses which earn


CHAPTER I
COMMUNITY POWER: AN ASSESSMENT
Community power structure studies have evolved into a general
field of research since the early part of this century. Communities
were first studied, and still are today, because they are thought to
represent a microcosm of the larger political system. It is believed
that in the locality, one can most readily observe the dynamics of
decision making. Community power structure studies, it was hoped,
would increase our awareness of the political processes which take
place in the political system. This field of research seeks to
describe and explain community decision making and how it affects local
policy outputs. These studies aid us in assessing the relative health
of our democracy by allowing us to compare our ideals to reality. In
this way we are able to guage the workings of democracy and adjust our
system, our values and beliefs, or our behavior accordingly. Finally,
community power structure studies could, potentially, enable us to
better design and implement programs aimed at the many urban problems
which confront us by providing planners with a more complete
understanding of the urban processes.
The community power field is also the source of one of the larger
controversies in the social sciences, which pits two rival theories of
political power and their alternative explanations of politics and
public policy against each other. In the classical elite-pluralist
debate, scholars have clashed over conceptualizations of power, the
existence of an elite, methodologies to locate community leaders, and
1


33
the elite theory disproved by Dahl and Poslby is not the only or even
the major variant of elite theory advocated by elite researchers.
What then is elite theory and how should it be operationalized in
a specific study? Prewitt and Stone (1973) summarize elite theory with
two principles:
First, no matter what the dominant political ideology of
organizing the State, every society can be divided into the small
number who rule and the larger number who are ruled.
Second, the character of society and the direction it is
taking can be understood in terms of the composition, structure,
and conflicts of the ruling group. (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p.
5)
For elite theory, it makes no difference whether the economy is
capitalist, socialist, or communist, whether the government is
democratically elected and subject to a written constitution, or a
small band of revolutionary guerillas who have seized power in a bloody
coup. Elites run the Soviet Union and they run the United States. The
only differnce is in the composition and ideology of the elites.
Elites make decisions and shape history, not masses.
There are differences of opinion within elite theory about (1) the
"relationship that exists between the rulers and the ruled" (Prewitt
and Stone, 1973, p. 6); (2) whether change can be accomplished by
changing the composition of the elite or if it is necessary to change
the structure of rule (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 14-15); and (3)
whether the elite can be held accountable by the voting public in
democracies (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 23-26).
The first issue concerns the motives of the elite. How should the
"power and privileges" of the elite be viewed?as the result of
exploitation of the masses, or "rewards for the special skills they


188
tinkering with the community decision making structure can overcome
these biases, though they may be more obvious in some patterns of
decision making than others.
In an era of neoconservative politics emanating from the national
level, it is considered critical for communities to centralize their
decision making, whether in government or the private sector, or both,
in order to pursue policies which enhance the business climate of the
community. Communities which are decentralized in their decision
making structures face difficulties in pursuing policies designed to
attract capital to the community. Thus, leaders in both government and
the private sector have an interest in enhancing the prospects for
growth. This means that leaders in the two sector must cooperate with
each other.
Future Research
This study has highlighted the need for researchers to pay greater
attention to the interaction of political and economic leaders in the
community. The classic elitepluralist dichotomy must be put to rest,
as it oversimplifies community decision making and distracts
researchers from the more important issues of community decision
making.
In future studies, greater attention must be paid to
classification of community decision making. While elite and pluralist
classifications are valid, they must be based on an examination of the
decision making processes of both government and the private sector.
In addition, the institutional structure of the two sectors must be


53
have said was that reform government was a step in the direction of
centralizing the authority structure of the community. This is not
necessarily equivalent to an elite decision making structure, as the
business community can still be disorganized. In reality, the degree
of centralization in community decision making hinges on the structure
of both economic and political authority. Figure 3-1 below illustrates
this point. For instance, if a community were to have a very
fragmented government structure, it might be located at a point "A" on
the Authority Structure line. This would correspond with a community
that was functionally and geographically split (i.e., many special
authorities and municipalities), with little formal coordination
between them. If the business community were located at point "U" we
would say that it was very disorganized and lacked cohesion. We can
well imagine a community experiencing growth so rapid that business
leaders do not know each other and are not organized into a central
business organization such as the Chamber of Commerce.
Authority Structure
Centralized
Decentralized
R
T
A
Power Structure
Centralized
Decentralized
X
W
u
Figure 3-1: COMMUNITY CENTRALIZATION


Ill
10. Be provided an adequate expense account over and above that of
the office of a commissioner to carry out the duties of the office
of mayor. (Broward County Government Efficiency Study Committee,
1984, pp. 17-18)
In essence, it was the Committee's view that a pluralist
community, such as Broward, must have a centralized authority structure
to provide coordination and direction to community policy making. What
happened to this effort to centralize the authority structure? The
verdict is still out on functional consolidation of services and on the
movement towards a twotier system. It appears that the county will
end up providing area-wide services, in large part because the costs
associated with them are beyond the reach of many municipalities. It
is less clear whether the the county can get out of the municipal
services business. Unless the state legislature forces an annexation
plan on the community or the county and cities agree on one and ask the
legislature to adopt it, the county will have to continue providing
these services. Unlike Dade County, Broward cannot alter city
boundaries. The present laws requiring double majorities will make it
extremely difficult if not impossible to accomplish annexation, even if
the cities were willing, which many are not.
The idea of an elected mayor was turned down by the county
commission. According to one observer, the reason the commission
opposed the change was that "some of them were afraid they would end up
losing power." As long as the chairmanship is rotated, each
commissioner has a crack at it, and no one personality can overshadow
the others. However, if there were an elected mayor, the commissioners
must actually face the voters for the position. If they lose, they are
off the commission, as only one person can win the office. Competition
would undoubtedly be fierce for the office. Under the present policy


184
regulation to prevent the quality of community life from declining.
Government needs business to provide jobs for residents, revenues,
financial support for projects which government can not supply, and
status and credibility before the voters. The result is a kind of
forced collaboration, not an elite based on common social origins, but
a realization that to succeed, both need each other.
While a certain amount of cooperation is necessary and does occur
in the other patterns, under this pattern we approach Swanson's notion
of "permeation." Interaction is continuous and there is a high degree
of integration between the two systems. If only one or the other
leadership structure is centralized, dominance will result of one
sector over the other.
It is possible that the two centralized sectors will conflict.
The problem, as both sides come to realize, is that nobody wins under
these circumstances. Thus, a strong mayor sounds tougher on business
in the campaign then when he takes office. To alienate business is to
cause one's term of office to be very chaotic and unproductive. On the
other hand, business cannot simply run roughshod over government.
Government bureaucracies are increasingly professional and government
leaders are able to win reelection using the advantages of incumbency.
In addition, business does not thrive in conflict any more than
government does. Conflict takes a great toll on economic development
efforts, a critical concern to most local businesses. As pointed out
earlier, government borrowing to pay for infrastructure can be
threatened by community conflict.
Business will often push centralization on the government
structure. Often business interests are more organized than
government, but find it difficult to get things accomplished because


151
An Application of Lindblom's Privileged Position of Business Thesis
To summarize Lindblom's (1977) argument, he believes business is
privileged for three reasons. First, business leaders are responsible
for many of the most important decisions in society; thus they are
public officials in the same way that government leaders are public
officials. Second, government must induce business performance. The
major task of government is to provide the proper climate for economic
growth. Failure to do so will result in the expulsion of government
leaders by dissatisfied voters. Third, even in the day to day process
of politics, business possesses superior resources to effectuate public
policy.
Businessmen as Public Officials
In Chapter IV, the results of a reputational analysis of Broward
County were presented, ranked according to the number of nominations
each individual received. Thirty-six leaders received two or more
nominations. Table 71 lists these results in a slightly different
format. In the first column are government officials. In the second
column are business leaders. The third column is labeled other.
Individuals here did not readily fit into either of the first two
columns. Alongside the leaders' names and positions are the number of
nominations each received.
Of the 36 leaders in Broward County identified by the reputational
method, 17 can clearly be classified as government officials and 14 as
businesspersons. Only 5 individuals did not clearly fall into one or
the other of these categories. Whether or not a student of power would


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Many people have contributed to the completion of this
dissertation. First, I would like to thank my parents. They provided
financial resources to pursue my education and a refuge to recoup from
the rigors of graduate school. Their faith in me never wavered.
I would like to thank those individuals who provided guidance and
encouragement throughout my graduate education. My greatest debt is
owed to Professor Bert E. Swanson, chairman of my supervisory
committee. He was generous with his time and patient beyond belief. I
consider him a teacher, a colleague, and a friend. I would also like
to thank Professor William Kelso who first encouraged me to attend
graduate school. His friendship and counsel were greatly appreciated
during this time. The other members of my committee, Professors
Deborah Baumgold, James Button, and Anthony LaGreca were also extremely
helpful. Gus Jones deserves special mention. While not serving on my
committee, he offered helpful advice and friendship throughout this
long process.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the Political Science
department at Valdosta State College. Dr. James Betka was particularly
supportive, both as a friend and colleague, providing me with good
teaching schedules and making department resources available.
Professor Roy Copeland generously allowed me to use his copy machine at
no charge, as well as his home, dinner table, and liquor, when I needed
a respite from teaching and writing. Dr. James Peterson allowed me
exclusive use of the department's only Apple computer, which greatly
facilitated the typing and editing of the final draft of this work.
n


163
up his banks. Direct benefits. Instead of just doing downtown,
should also remove the Black slum districts and build affordable
housing.
He concluded, "ninety-five percent of elected officials want
reelection. They try to appease both sides, east and west. (In
Broward County, read east as downtown Fort Lauderdale and business, and
west as condominium dwellers and retirees who now control a great
portion of the votes.)
What we see then, is that money as a resource, while not
exclusively in the hands of business, is a powerful tool to effect
policy with. A county commissioner who was originally elected without
business support and with the strong backing of grass roots groups such
as environmentalists and retirees (the condo vote), succumbed to the
lure of campaign finance offered by business. Business did not buy his
vote, but it was relayed to him in a very straightforward fashion that
if he wanted their money, he had better vote right on the four cents
gas tax issue. While other groups in society have money and are able
to contribute to candidates, their interests are much narrower.
Doctors and lawyers heavily contributed in the 1982 races in Broward
County, but they heavily concentrated their donations in the area of
the state legislature and with only one concern, 'the candidates stand
on medical malpractice legislation. Business on the other hand,
supports candidates and issues for reasons other than direct personal
gain. That is not to say they also do not care about special
interests. It is just that their special interest by nature is
general. That is, anything that promotes growth and a good business
climate without overly detracting from the quality of life.


71
While some pluralist critics might argue that the question asked
limited the number of influentials identified, the question asked
leaders to identify "ten" influentials instead of the normal "five"
posed in most reputational studies. Thus, starting with panel 1, the
knowledgeables, a potential 100 different names could have been
identified as community influentials, if there were no overlap in
responses. From here, the number of leaders named as influentials
could have gone into several hundred or thousand.
Table 4-1 identifies the top leaders in Broward County as found in
the reputational survey. Table 4-2 compares these leaders with the
rest of the residents of the county. An examination of this table
quickly reveals that Broward County leaders are not representative of
the community as a whole. No blacks and only four women were
identified as top leaders. While this does not necessarily mean that
women and blacks are without influence in the community, it does
suggest that despite progress that women and blacks have made in
securing equal rights and opportunities in society, they have not yet
achieved parity with white males.
These leaders are by no means homogeneous. The religious
background of the top leaders is shown in the table below. If this
group is an elite, it is not a white Anglo Saxon Protestant elite.
Over one-third of Broward's top leaders are Jewish, and one-fifth are
Catholic. These leaders are alike in several other ways, however. In
addition to being all white, and predominantly male, they are
overwhelmingly democratic and college educated. Only four of Broward's
leaders have never been to college. More than half of them have
graduate degrees, mostly law. Almost three-fourths of them have a
bachelors degree or higher. This is even more notable when we see that


CHAPTER V
CENTRALIZING DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
THE AUTHORITY STRUCTURE
Leaders in Broward County discussed a number of movements towards
centralizing community decision making. It seems that Broward's
leaders do not merely voice discontent with pluralist decision making,
they have taken concrete steps to centralize decision making. This
will force us to reconsider our views not only about the desirability
of pluralism as a way to make decisions, but also the extent to which
community leaders may shape the system within which they operate. It
has already been pointed out that leaders feel the present structure
does not allow them to deal with the problems of their community in an
effective manner. This chapter discusses what has and is being done to
overcome these limitations in the area of political reforms. The next
chapter considers efforts to centralize the informal power structure in
the business community. The structure of government and the informal
power structure are not simply givens; rather the degree of
centralization in community decision making is to a great extent
dependent on the deliberate actions of community leaders, working to
shape these structures to suit their needs.
Growth and Development in Broward County
In the last chapter leaders identified a number of factors
associated with pluralism in the community and how these further
fragmented community decision making. Chief among these was growth and
93


162
There are two separate campaigns, one for the vote and one for the
money.
A close supporter of Commissioner Craft put it this way.
When Craft ran the first time, he had grass roots support, no
money behind him. He's made friends of political enemies and
enemies of his political friends. He did not have the backing of
the McTigues and the Whiddons when he ran the first time. Now he
does. He's turned the environomentalists off. He went with the
developers.
In response to a question of how this transformation took place, the
informant explained:
Two large developers wanted permission to put a restaurant and
motel along 1-75. They were represented by Emmerson Allsworth
[lobbyist]. The Broward County Planning Council turned them down.
[The county commission can overturn planning council decisions].
If Craft votes for it, he makes a friend. Hamilton Forman [large
land owner and banker who sits on the planning council] voted for
it. On interchanges on 1-75, if he votes for it, he makes a
friend. It's the same with the school board. They come to the
county for land. The school board then relocates to the downtown
alongside the new bank building [Barnett] of Houston. Craft ran
on an environmental platform and had a grass roots campaign.
Since then, he has alot of pro-development votes. The big guys
wanted the four cents gas tax. He voted for it.
The question was put to him, is it money versus condos (in Broward,
when one speaks of votes, he is generally talking about the condominium
dwellers, highly organized retirees in the western part of the county).
You can't sell yourself to them. You need money for campaigns.
It's easier to send a mailing than to go door to door. Your can
hire professionals to put up signs. Money guys are not bad guys.
On 80 percent of the issues, I can agree with them,like
attracting light industry to create jobs and bring people. .
.The major difference is they would want someone who would want
what they want only. For example, Houstonthe downtown is the
result of the eastern group. Without costing him money, he builds


52
community decisions and policy. Another way to refer to government in
this context is as the authority structure of the community.
In considering the authority structure of the community, we are
interested in the administrative structure of government and its
capacity to deal with problems confronting the community. This
involves the government's ability to identify problems, formulate
policy, and implement programs to address those problems. An important
element then is whether government is in a position to coordinate
community action and whether it can mobilize the community behind its
agenda. It is particularly important in a pluralist community to have
a strong leadership position with the ability to perform this
mobilization function and even to get agreement on the community
agenda.
The second dimension of community centralization is the extent to
which the economic sector is cohesive. In the community power
literature, this has usually been equated with the informal power
structure of the community. If business leaders are cohesive, they can
provide direction and coordination to community decision making which
may be lacking in the governmental sector. While most studies of
community power have treated the informal power structure as a given,
whether elite or pluralist, we shall examine whether organization of
the business community can be the result of very specific steps by
private sector leaders.
To consider decision making in the community without looking at
the two separate elements can result in a distorted view of the degree
to which decision making is centralized. This may have been the source
of some of the difficulty experienced by Terry Clark when he
characterized reform government with centralization. What he should


17
theory, yet the community power field often times appears atheoretical.
While science does not always require researchers to proceed with a
theoretical orientation, descriptive study must be placed in a broader
perspective. One cannot explain a phenomenon by the phenomenon itself.
It seems that many researchers explain the community decision making
structure without reference to a previous theoretical orientation or
offering a new one themselves. An example of this is Clark's
reformulation of the elite-pluralist debate to one of centralization
versus decentralization (as discussed earlier).
A second criticism of the field is that researchers often fail to
take account of their slightly different agendas, which may cause them
to talk past one another. Walton (1976) points out that there have
been at least three different substantive concerns of researchers.
Hunter (1953) was concerned with the origins of policy and the issue of
democracy. Dahl (1961) was concerned with patterns of political
participation, as well as the distribution of resources in the
community and their effect on participation and decision making. He
also was concerned with the issue of democracy. Clark and the newer
researchers are concerned with structural characteristics of cities and
their relation to outputs. What many observers have bemoaned as an
unscholarly debate about methods of inquiry in the classic
elite-pluralist debate of the early 1960s might better be understood as
a normative debate about the nature of democratic decision making
argued at the community level. Read this way, there is little cause
for celebration in the abandonment of a field of research dealing with
such important questions.
A third criticism of the community power field is the lack of
agreement on concepts, definitions of terms, and measurement.


155
business. That is not to say government does not regulate development,
or that business does not find government intrusive.
A planner, in a position to observe much of the growth debates
accompanying the writing and adoption of Broward's comprehensive land
use plan in the mid-seventies, at the height of Broward's growth, had
this to say:
Probably the single greatest influence [of why the plan is the way
it is] .is a,frontier individual ethic or myth. The idea that a
person has the right to do what he wants to. That myth allows
Hamilton Forman, or any large land owner, to work or be
successful. It induces a feeling of guilt in people who feel
strongly in managing growth. They become defensive. They end up
explaining the other values they are trying to achieve.
Business gains the upper hand by putting those who would regulate
business on the defensive.
A careless reading of Lindblom (1977) might lead us to overstate
the role of government inducements to business. While government does
induce business, collaboration is at the heart of local politics.
Government leaders do not simply buy off business with subsidies.
Government finds business useful for its own needs as well. A banker
explained.
Community people [businessmen] provide credibility. Voters are
not sure political leaders give them the right information. If a
business group says it will save them money, they will believe it.
County government [read as any government] people ask for help of
business.
In this particular instance, he was referring to the passage of bond
issues or tax or statutory changes, issues which tend to confuse
voters. If government alone were to try to get these proposals
adopted, the voter would look at them with suspicion. If, however, the


180
TABLE 8-3
TYPOLOGY OF COMMUNITY DECISION MAKING
POWER STRUCTURE
AUTHORITY STRUCTURE
Centralized
Decentralized
Centralized
Cooperative
Economic Elite
Decentralized
Political Elite
Hyperpluralism
Hyperpluralism
Hyperpluralism (see Wirt, 1974, p. 350) is a condition which
exists when both the authority and the power structure are highly
decentralized. Neither system is able to act or shape the agenda. The
community, for all practical purposes, is ungoverned. While each
system may have policy outputs, there is no overall coordination of
policy making within or between sectors.
Broward County, in the early 1970s, fit this pattern of community
decision making. Government lacked the organizational structure and
sufficient resources to act, in combination with a political leadership
that was complacent. The power structure was disorganized and thus not
in a postion to take up the slack. Hyperpluralism is brought on by
rapid growth which requires the ability to make policy rapidly. A
decentralized government structure cannot respond quickly to changing
situations and lacks the ability to develop coherent policy. Growth
also can overwhelm the power structure with many new actors unfamiliar
with the community's history and informal rules. If the economic
leaders do not know each other, they can hardly organize themselves.
Also, divergent backgrounds of new economic leaders may break down
cohesiveness in the business community. In earlier chapters, it was
A


127
newer companies and industries have other interests and may challenge
older more established ones. In addition, as an economy matures, and
more diverse economies develop, it is more difficult to pursue one's
own self-interest collectively. What benefits one sector of the
economy may hinder another. In addition, the presence of absentee
companies with professional managers who are frequently transferred
reduces the probability that the managers will be in one location long
enough to become major actors in the community. In addition, large
companies may encourage managers to stay in safe community activities
such as charitable work and other so called "nonpartisan" type
endeavors to avoid alienating sectors of the community by becoming
involved in "politics."
In Broward County, the economy has matured greatly adding to other
pluralistic trends. According to Dr. James Nicholas, Broward's economy
has done fairly well in the past "because national forces were at work
which made south Florida a desirable place to be" (Nicholas, 1980, p.
18). According to Nicholas, there are four major parts to Broward's
economy: tourism, retirement, construction, and manufacturing.
According to Nicholas, the manufacturing sector has been growing at the
greatest rate, 7.1 percent between 1972 and 1979 (Nicholas, 1980, p.
48, Table 16).
Consider the top ten manufacturing employers (see Table 6-2).
Notice that none of the top ten manufacturing employers was in Broward
prior to 1966. This newest sector of the economy has reduced Broward's
dependence on its more traditional industriestourism, construction,
and retirement. In addition, these newer companies reduce the relative
influence of other actors in the community. However, the point should
not be overstated. It is interesting to note that not a single one of


TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
ABSTRACT vi
CHAPTERS
ICOMMUNITY POWER: AN ASSESSMENT 1
Community Power 6
Contemporary Power Research 9
Power as an Independent Variable 11
The Permanent Community Sample 13
Critique of the Community Power Field 15
What Do We Know? 22
Where Do We Go From Here? 26
Notes 28
IIELITE AND PLURALIST THEORY 29
Elite Theory and Its Critics 29
Pluralist Theory 39
Classifying Communities Using the Theories 41
IIITHE POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH 46
The Political Economy Approach 46
Case Study and Theory Development 55
A Research Site 59
Identification of Community Leaders 60
IVDECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
A LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE 68
Elite or Pluralist? 69
Classifying the Community 76
Factors Associated With Pluralism 78
Consequences of Pluralism 82
Leadership in a Pluralist System 86
Notes 92
VCENTRALIZING DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
THE AUTHORITY STRUCTURE 93
Growth and Development in Broward County 93
Efforts to Unify Government Decision Making 96
Centralizing Leadership: A Strong Mayor 113
Centralizing the Authority Structure:
Deliberate Action 117
IV


103
introduce local bills in the state legislature for a whole range of
activities. For instance, a county without a charter may not
reorganize its governmental structure without going through the state
legislature. Thus, the local legislative delegation becomes quite
active in local government. A chartered county may restructure its
government through passage of a local ordinance. Kenneth Jenne has
commented:
Those of us who supported this concept (a new government structure
via the charter commission process) said that it would provide a
home-rule form of government with far less dependence upon
continuing legislative approval for local policies and programs.
It has certainly done just that. Our legislative package is
almost completely addressing statewide matters rather than those
solely affecting Broward. (Jenne, 1977, p. 2)
Indeed, the reorganization of county government itself would have been
much more difficult to accomplish without the charter reform, as it
would have required passage of a bill in the legislature. As Jenne
pointed out, "because we have home rule, the Commission . organized
county government's far-flung operations into seven (7) major
departments without having to depend on Tallahassee to approve the
changes" (Jenne, 1977, p. 4). In fact, it might have been quite
difficult to reorganize local government through Tallahassee, as
previously, department heads had been quite independent and well
connected with the state legislature.
In sum, the charter reforms centralized the political authority
structure in three ways. First, a county administrator was appointed
in conjunction with reorganizing county government. The purpose of
these changes was to reduce departmental independence and provide for
greater coordination of government activity. It was hoped that a


99
Home Rule Charter
The next serious effort to reorganize government in Broward County
occurred in 1973. In the few years since the previous study, the
county had undergone a number of changes. Growth had continued at a
staggering rate. Congestion on the roads had reached a critical point.
Infrastructure problems had caught up with Broward. The county and
cities were facing a crisis in that they were unprepared for the growth
which had occurred. Environmentalists were alarmed at the destruction
of the water recharge areas which threatened water supplies and the
future of the Everglades. County Commissioners were persuaded of the
need to modernize their antiquated form of government after revelations
of money mismanagement and charges of corruption began appearing daily
in the press. These charges were made even more believable when a
grand jury investigation resulted in criminal charges being filed
against the County Comptroller.
In October, 1973, the County Commission voted to set up and fund a
Charter Commission, as provided by the 1968 Florida Constitution. Over
a ten-month period, the charter commission members met and wrote a
county charter; and after eight public hearings, the charter was put to
the voters and approved. The final document contained several major
changes in the organization and powers of county government. In
particular, the new charter first restructured county government by
creating an appointed county administrator "with power to hire and fire
employees and coordinate the 65 independent departments that previously
directly reported to the five County Commissioners" (Gortmaker, 1975,
p. 12) and second gave the county new powers to manage growth in the
county. According to Richard Aiken, "with Article Vi's provision that


55
actually said rather little about the authority structure. His concern
was with the power structure and how it acted in the community. Dahl
uses a very narrow definition of community decision making, concerning
himself with the actions of government. Hunter emphasizes private
decision making. Neither gives sufficient credit to the other because
his particular conceptualization of community decision making rejects
the other's viewpoint (see Ricci, 1980).
Case Study and Theory Development
There seems to be a common perception among some researchers that
the case study is to be avoided and that reliance upon it by the
discipline is a hindrance to theory building. For example, Bonjean,
Clark, and Lineberry state:
While the case study can highlight research problems and
illustrate the infinite variety of urban systems, comparative
studies alone are able to test hypotheses and build theories.
(Bonjean, Clark, and Lineberry, 1971, p. 265)
Polsby (1980, pp. 122-23n) states that case studies are a substitute
for theory and suggests that they are on a par with metaphors in that
researchers rely upon them as alternatives to theory. These statements
imply that the case study is inconsistent with theory building, the
goal of social science research.
Few people would argue, however, that Robert Dahl's (1961) study
of New Haven, or Floyd Hunter's (1953) study of Atlanta was
atheoretical. Yet both of these authors used the case study method to
build theories. Even Clark, one of the strongest advocates of
large-scale comparative study and an originator of the Permanent


TABLE 6-4
BROWARD WORKSHOP ORGANIZERS*
131
1. Byron Campbell
Newspaper
Fort Lauderdale News
2. Phillip N. Cheaney
Banker
First Federal Savings &
Loan
3. Frank dePaul
Banker
First Federal Savings &
Loan
4. Leonard Farber
Developer
Leonard Farber Inc.
5. William D. Horovitz
Developer
Hollywood Inc.
6. J. Edward Houston
Banker
Barnett Bank, South
7. Walter A Ketcham
Utility
Southern Bell Telephone
8. Stewart R. Kester
Banker
Florida Coast Banks
9. Robert B. Lochrie
Banker
Century Bank
10. J. Bill McKinney
Executive
Safecard Services Inc.
11. R. Emmet McTigue
Realtor/
Developer
M.R. McTigue & Co.
12. Fred R. Millsaps
Banker
(Retired)
Landmark Banking Corporation
13. Albert J.W. Novak
Executive
Novatronics Group Inc.
14. Fred R. Pettijohn
Newspaper
Fort Lauderdale News
15. David H. Rush
Executive/
Owner
ACR Electronics
16. George Sullivan
Utility
Florida Power & Light
17. Lucius H. Weeks
Banker
Landmark First National
Bank
18. Gene A. Whiddon
Executive/
Owner
Causeway Lumber Co. Inc.
*A11 positions given were
for the year
the Broward Workshop was
organized (1981).
SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale News, January 25, 1981.


112
of rotation, an incumbent commissioner will eventually become
chairperson. This is not the case if the switch is made. A
commissioner would have to put a program together and face the prospect
of losing. Those lacking the drive to go for mayor would find their
visibility and independence diminished by the change as well.
This same observer suggested an additional reason for the
rejection of this proposal. "When there is major scandal, you get
successful change in local government." Though many are dissatisfied
with the present structure and performance of county government in
Broward, there is not any crisis. It is a familiar observation in the
government reform literature that crisis is a necessary condition of
reorganization.
This has not kept some from trying, however. When the commission
decided not to act the Governmental Efficiency Study Committee's
recommendation in this area, the Chamber of Commerce attempted to force
the measure on the ballot through a petition drive. Though the Chamber
failed to obtain sufficient signatures by the deadline, they were more
successful than many had expected. The issue has not died. Around the
time that the Government Efficiency Committee was releasing its Final
Report in May of 1984, the League of Women Voters decided to undertake
a study of the issue. They collected data from communities across the
United States and studied it. They came to the conclusion that Broward
should adopt a strong mayor form of government. They are presently
putting together a proposal to separate the executive and legislative
powers by giving an elected mayor veto powers over council votes, as
well as allowing the mayor to hire and fire the county administrator
and department heads. They do not merely want to create a figurehead
mayor, but a strong mayor. As soon as they have worked out the details


23
are more elitist than others; but in all communities, a relatively few
actors are responsible for community decisions. Curtis and Petras
(1977) sum it up this way:
The student who carefully reads the literature will not obtain a
clear perspective on the nature of American community power. At
present, he may only conclude that the conflicting findings tend
to give some support to either a "pluralist" or a
"stratificationist" theoretical perspective on community political
life. (Curtis and Petras, 1977, p. 418)
Lyon (1977) responds similarly:
Answers to the first question, "who governs?", have constituted
the major bulk of community power studies (e.g.. Hunter, 1953;
Dahl, 1961). The general conclusion that emerged from this
research was that different communities do indeed possess
significantly different power structures. However, few
generalizations beyond this single finding can be made without
comparative research. (Lyon, 1977, p. 418)
Once researchers concluded that communities varied along an
elite-pluralist scale, the focus of research shifted to examining power
structure as a dependent variable. We have made some inroads
identifying the factors associated with different types of power
structures. The findings are listed below. These statements are
synthesized from Clark (1973), Gilbert (1968), and Walton (1970).
1. Communities which are more autonomous are more likely to have
centralized power structures. Vertical linkages decentralize the
power structure. Horizontal and vertical differentiation
introduce competitive decision making structures and increase the
available base resources in the community.
2. Demography is important in that structural differentiation
which is related to size leads to power dispersion. The greater
the social diversity, the more decentralized the power structure.
(Population size is only related, however, to the degree that it
represents heterogeneity.)


70
community. One respondent, a banker, said there were more than 200
leaders in Broward, and one could not single out just ten as the most
influential. An elected official said there were over 1000 leaders in
Broward, again saying ten was too few to talk about. He then proceeded
to name so called "stars." A third respondent, also an elected
official, cautioned that just because he identified ten as the most
influential in Broward, it did not mean that there really were ten
leaders in Broward who got together and decided things (reminiscent of
Polsby's criticism of the the reputational method). A fourth leader,
also an elected official, said he did not think he could name just ten
leaders, but then said I had the leaderships' names in my set of index
cards.
This was in contrast to the views of several other Broward
leaders. A banker said there were between 30 and 50 leaders in
Broward, closer to 30, who were really influential. An executive of a
large company in Broward said there were only about 20 to 25 leaders
who were involved on a regular basis. Another said there were between
10 to 15 individuals who were very active. This was complicated by the
tendency of businessmen to consider only private sector individuals as
leaders. Several respondents failed to name any public or elected
officials as among the most influential persons in Broward County.
Nevertheless, a picture does emerge from the respondents' answers.
Regardless of the protestations of a few of Broward's leaders that over
100 or even a 1000 persons were very influential in the county, the
two-step reputational method in fact identified just 36 leaders. The
great majority of Broward's community influentials, as found in
interviews, identified only a relatively few number of leaders in
response to the question asked above.


144
leaders, at one time or another, have been involved with the Broward
Workshop.
So we see that private sector leaders may take specific steps to
create a more unified and cohesive power structure. These efforts have
met with varying levels of success. The leaders involved with the
Broward Workshop have sought to centralize decision making through
their organization, where problems could be studied, a course of action
planned and then issues placed on the government agenda. These and
other private sector leaders have attempted to recruit and train new
leaders through the Leadership Broward program and place them in
positions of decision making on county and city policy making boards.


18
Researchers in this field often do not tell you how they conceive power
or operationalize it. Curtis and Petras (1977, p. 386) point out that
most researchers do not define what power structures are, though they
use the term freely in their writing. Polsby (1980) takes to task
those researchers, like Long (1958) who employ metaphors in place of
rigorous and scientific inquiry. On a hopeful note, it does seem that
researchers are much readier to recognize the strengths and weaknesses
of each of three major approaches to identify community leadership: the
reputational, positional, and decisional methods (see Chapter II).
Many of the criticisms of the community power field revolve around
the unscholarly behavior of many of the researchers, some of them the
most respected in the discipline. Reasonable disagreements over
methods and conceptualizations become ideological debates with little
rational discussion. While some of this can be attributed to the
different agendas that researchers were addressing, as discussed above,
the venomous attacks by one side or the other rarely met the
expectations of how scientists ought to behave towards one another.
Rather than test their own theories and the theories of others,
researchers tend to interpret their data selectively. Polsby (1980)
effectively critiques much of the elite work, but then, with blinders
on, he defies anyone to find fault with pluralist studies, seemingly
viewing himself as a crusading white knight out to destroy the elite
theory. Domhoff (1978) argues persuasively that pluralist theory fails
to account for much of the inequality he finds pervasive in American
society, but he asks the student of power to accept on faith what he
cannot document. For example, Domhoff is unable to document that


74
TABLE 4-2
CHARACTERISTICS OF LEADERS AND CITIZENS
COMMUNITY INFLUENTIALS RESIDENTS
RELIGION
Catholic
20%
(7)
Protestant
37%
(13)
Jewish
34%
(12)
None
9%
(3)
n=35
SOURCE:
Interviews
RACE
White
100%
(36)
Black and
other 0%
(0)
n=36
SOURCE:
Interviews
SEX
Male
69%
(25)
Female
11%
(4)
n=36
SOURCE:
Interviews
PARTY IDENTIFICATION
Democrat
77%
(27)
Republican
17%
(6)
Independent
6%
(2)
n=35
SOURCE: Interviews
POLITICAL ATTITUDES
Extremely Liberal
-
-
Liberal
-
-
Slightly Liberal
15%
(4)
Moderate
52%
(14)
Slightly Conservative
7%
(2)
Conservative
22%
(6)
Extremely Conservative
4%
(1)
n=27
32%
43%
15%
Fort Lauderdale News (1980),
p. 9.
88% (897,670)
12% (120,530)
Florida Statistical Abstract
(1983) Table 1.42, p. 24.
47% (483,557)
53% (534,643)
Florida Statistical Abstract
(1983) Table 1.35, p. 18.
60% (346,800)
32% (184,399)
8% (43,205)
Broward County Supervisor
of Elections Office
28%
15%
46%
Fort Lauderdale News, (1980),
p. 9.
SOURCE:
Interviews


124
Indeed in today's Broward, power seems increasingly diffuse. The
population has grown rapidlyfrom 84,000 in 1950 to one million
todayblurring an already fuzzy social structure. (Macnow, 1979,
p. 2B)
The article also suggested that power structure in the community was
linked to state politics and the governor.
Broward's power structure appears to be shifting since the
election of Gov. Robert Graham, a man addicted to old loyalties.
Many of those surrounding Graham are members of the same coterie
that stuck by him last year, when he was at the bottom of the
polls. Six members of this list vigorously supported Graham's
election; some played key roles in his victory. (Macnow, 1979, p.
2B)
If Broward's power structure was elitist prior to the 1970s, by
1973 a new guard was rising to inherit the reigns of power. By 1979,
the old guard was gone. Only four names from the Fort Lauderdale News
list (de Groot, 1973) were identified by the Sun Sentinel (Macnow,
1979).
In 1980, the Fort Lauderdale News published a series of articles,
later put in booklet form, titled "Broward in the 80s: Trouble in
Paradise (Fort Lauderdale News, 1980). One article in the series was
called, "Leadership Shortage Keeps County From Running Smoothly." The
thrust of the article was that Broward lacked an effective power
structure due to government fragmentation and absentee businesses. The
consequences of this were an "inability to deal with its problems on a
county wide basis." The article suggested that Broward act to "create
a power structure." It made reference to Broward's past:
But years ago, Broward had a power structure. The men who cased
in of Florida's land boom of the 1920s later formed the small
coterie that made things happen here. When men like R.H. Gore,
James Hunt Sr., Steven Calder and George English met for breakfast


69
Respondents were then given a set of approximately fifty index cards
containing the names of community actors. The cards were arranged in
alphabetical order, the names having been drawn from a positional
analysis. Respondents were encouraged to add names of individuals who
they considered influential, even if there were no card on them. Names
were added and deleted to the set of cards in order to keep the total
number of cards manageable.
The second step of the reputational approach consisted of
interviewing as many individuals as possible who got two or more
nominations from the panel of knowledgeables. A snowball technique was
used, in that anyone who received two or more nominations was added to
the pool to be interviewed. In all, thirty-six individuals received
two or more nominations. Thirty-one of these individuals were
interviewed about Broward County decision making, leaders, and issues
in the community. In addition to the open-ended reputational study,
approximately twenty other knowledgeables were interviewed in their
areas of expertise. Seven of the original panel of knowledgeables were
later found to have two or more nominations. There were, however,
significant differences in the rankings between the two steps. Table
4-1 lists the results of the two-step reputational analysis.
Elite or Pluralist?
Who are Broward's leaders? How many community influentials are
there? In response to the question posed above, we get a picture of
Broward's leadership structure. First of all, the respondents differed
amongst themselves about the number of influential persons in the


130
several leaders traced pluralism in the county to the lack of
county-wide integrative mechanisms, both governmental and
non-governmental. With 16 chambers in a county of one million plus
people, it is no wonder that business leaders may have difficulty
keeping track of each other.
Some efforts were made to overcome this fragmentation in the
business community. There was an effort to consolidate chambers of
commerce into a newly expanded Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
which would go under the name of the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County
Chamber of Commerce. The effort was largely unsuccessful with only the
West Broward Chamber of Commerce merging into the Fort Lauderdale
Chamber. As one leader explained, "we should bring Pompano and
Hollywood into the Fort Lauderdale Chamber, but that won't happen."
This businessman blamed the lack of success in consolidating the
chambers on staff, but the truth is that staff resistance alone might
delay mergers, but ultimately if business leaders in the municipalities
wanted to merge, they could, even over staff reluctance.
The Broward Workshop
The major effort to unify the power structure has been through the
creation of the Broward Workshop. In 1981, 18 business leaders
sponsored a leadership retreat in Vero Beach, Florida. The invitation
list was made up by the sponsoring businessmen. Table 6-4 identifies
those behind the Workshop effort. The purpose of the Workshop was to
identify the major problems facing Broward County and begin a process
to address those problems. In most instances, this meant forging


133
with the added strain on services and also its consequences for the
quality of life. A major concern was that the elderly, in particular,
were becominig an increasing component of Broward's population. Citing
the Broward County Planning Council, the article pointed out that half
of Broward's population would be over age 60 by the year 2000. The
elderly would require greater services and could become quite a burden
on the community. The series also devoted a great deal of attention to
Broward's government structure and how fragmented organization and
leadership appeared to constrain the community's ability to attract
industry, improve the quality of life, bring greater educational
opportunities, and simply deal with problems like transportation,
poverty, and health care. In this way the series served as a catalyst
to bring attention to the numerous problems which confronted the county
and had to be addressed if Broward were to become a vital major
metropolitan community in the years ahead. After all, Broward is the
second largest county in Florida, second only to Dade County to the
south.
An employee of the newspaper, knowledgeable about the newspaper's
"Broward in the 80s" series, explained why the newspaper would be so
interested in Broward's political structure and problems. He pointed
out that the "paper has an interest in bringing the county together as
a market." By doing a major "feature story you get a picture of the
market, a needs assessment." By undertaking a major study of the
community, the newspaper would create an information source useful for
the advertising department (demographics, etc.) and help the paper plan
for the future in terms of growth and forecasting circulation. He
pointed out that many of the staff and management of the paper was new,
with Campbell, the president, only coming in 1977 when the paper was


43
of elites. For example, the decisional method might best identify
political elites while the reputational method might better identify
economic elites. While some like Hunter viewed the economic elite as
the dominant element, the particular structure of the elite and its
scope of power, as well as its ideology and cohesiveness might vary
from community to community. With this conception, pluralism is not
greatly at odds with elite theory, but merely a variant, i.e., the
hypothesis of competitive elites.
In terms of classification of a community as elite or pluralistic,
the literature is unclear about what the criterion is. For some, it is
simply the number of actors or participants identified as the most
influential or controlling in a decision. Thus one may say a community
is elite if less than a certain specified percentage of the population
regularly participates in important decisions, say one percent. For
others, it is not the absolute number of participants in a decision
which matters, nor their percentage of the total population, but
whether there was competition between groups in the community (or
factions within the elite) over the issue. Still others say it is not
numbers, nor competition itself, but whether there is much overlap
among participants from one decision or issue to another. That is,
even if a small number of actors in the community make decisions and
there is little competition among these participants within an issue
area, as long as different decision makers decide decision "A" than
decision "B," the community is not elite, but pluralistic. This is
particularly true if it is elected officials who make up the majority
of overlappers on issues. Even if one were to call the actors in A and
B an elite, the community would be classified as pluralistic using this
criterion. Again, it needs to be emphasized that though a researcher


160
business money for reelection. If business is pleased, it makes money
available.
The adoption of the four cent gasoline tax in Broward County
illustrates how business donations can influence policy. In 1983. the
Florida Legislature enacted legislation permitting counties to adopt an
optional four cents gasoline tax to raise needed revenue to build roads
and highways in their communities. Counties could impose the entire
four cent tax, or some smaller portion, but the catch was that the tax
had to be adopted by more than a simple majority vote. A four to three
majority would not be enough. It would take five of the seven
commissioners' votes to adopt the tax. Commissioners Forman, Grossman,
Thompson, and Beach favored the tax. Commissioners Fried and Cowan
opposed the tax. Commissioner Fried believed the public opposed the
tax. A newspaper poll reported that 56.6 percent of the public opposed
the tax while only 41 percent favored it (Fort Lauderdale News, July
3, 1983). Commissioner Cowan opposed the tax because he feared it
would fan the flames of Proposition 1, a citizen initiated revenue
limitation amendment sweeping the state. Commissioner Craft, the swing
vote was undecided, proposing at one point a compromise two cent tax on
gasoline. The business community was solidly behind the tax.
The key to the issue was Craft. An elected official described
what happened next.
Historically, the cost of road construction has increased. There
was a time when gas tax revenue was increasing, but the tax was a
fixed dollar amount. As the cars got smaller, there was a decline
in revenue, but costs continued to increase. The state and
federal government had not addressed the need for more revenue.
The federal government passed a gas tax, the state passed one, and
now they authorized the local governments. We needed more than
four votes to get the four cent tax. The key was Craft. He voted
for it after he sounded like he wouldn't. He was told by a member


42
but we do not know how to classify the power structure based on the
information provided to us by Hunter. What was the determining factor
in calling this community an elite? Was it the number of leaders
identified in the study? Was it the composition of the power structure
and the fact that very few of the top leaders could be characterized as
political rather than economic leaders? Was it the way the system
operated, that is the agreement on basic values and the absence of
major conflict within the power structure itself? Hunter might argue
that in the case of Atlanta it was all of these things. But surely it
is possible, empirically, to have inconsistent findings.
In short, is the identification of a power structure equivalent to
the identification of an elite? Is the existence of an elite in the
community the same as an elite classification? It would seem that Dahl
and other pluralists do not find much utility in the term "elite" or
"power structure." In fact, a major reason why pluralists are so
negative about the reputational method is that they use the terms elite
and power structure interchangeably. Since in their minds, a power
structure is the same as an elite, a method like the reputational
approach which purports to identify a community's power structure by
definition is unsound. This is so because their conception of an elite
is a group that is cohesive, always wins, and is all powerful. Thus
the reputational method identified an elite automatically classifying
the community as elite.
For other researchers, "elite" means nothing more than those who
are in positions to make important decisions in society. The elite may
be subdivided into several components, a political elite, an economic
elite, etc.. Thus, different methods may be used to identify this
elite and some methods may be better suited to identify different types


179
Swanson identifies four patterns of relationship: (1)
independence; (2) interdependence; (3) domination; and (4) permeation.
Alt and Chrystal point out the importance of the structure of
institutions, whether fragmented or not and whether the relationship is
adversarial or cooperative. From our experience in Broward County we
find that the two sectors, economic and political can vary from
centralized to decentralized. In part, the particular relationship
between the two systems depends on the degree of fragmentation within
each. A precondition to cooperation between business and government
are that leaders are in a position to do something. If leaders in
government and the private sector act in fragmented systems,
coordination within, let alone between the systems is impossible.
Thus, the relationship will be one of conflict. Cooperation requires
that government and business be centralized in their structure. This,
however, is a prerequisite to cooperation. Conflict could still be the
order of the day. For domination to occur, whether business domination
of government or vice versa, one sector must be centralized.
Four patterns of community decision making are identified below,
depending upon how centralized the authority structure and power
structure are. Each pattern of community decision making is associated
with a particular relationship between the public and private sector
power system. Centralization of authority structure refers to the
level of fragmentation in government decision making. Centralization
of the power structure deals with how cohesive and organized economic
leaders are.


16
sociology and political science. He finds the field irrelevant to the
concerns and needs of the serious urban analyst or planner. In the
second edition of his book, Polsby states:
The literature on community power, no exemplar of clarity or
intelligence when I first wrote the book [1963], has since its
publication become even more dense with misunderstandings of all
kinds, while burgeoning in nearly every directionevery
direction, that is, except toward the resolution of empirical
problems about the shape and scope of power in American
communities. (Polsby, 1980, pp. IX-XII)
He continues:
To the recent upsurge of interest in problems of the local
community, in urban political activitylegal and illegal, mass
and eliteand in the impact of demography and policy upon the
lives of city dwellers, the study of community power has
contributed little or nothing in the way of knowledge. It should
have been plain enough a decade ago, but at any rate it bears
repeating, that the academic study of community power is not much
about urban politics. (Polsby, 1980, pp. IX-XII)
This is pretty severe criticism to make of a field of study with
so much research. In fact, according to Curtis and Petras:
The published social science literature bearing on this topic now
includes well over six hundred items written primarily by
political scientists and sociologists. There have been over
eighty systematic attempts to present an overall, composite
description of the structure of power in particular communities.
. . These studies are accompanied in the literature by hundreds
of critiques of methodological approaches, attempts at conceptual
refinement, studies of narrower facets of community political
processes, and reviews and commentaries on particular studies.
(Curtis and Petras, 1977, p. 369)
Let us examine the various criticisms that have been made.
The community power field has been criticized for lacking many of
the attributes considered desirable in a science. Science requires


6
unify the power structure were centered in the creation of the Broward
Workshop, an organization of the top private sector leaders.
In Chapter VII, we examine the underlying systemic biases that
affect policy making. The structure of community decision making has
important consequences for policy making. A typology of the patterns
of relationship between political and economic leaders at the local
level is presented in the final chapter. Our purpose is not to test
elite or pluralist theory, but to gain a better understanding of
community decision making. In this effort, the newer political economy
approach will be helpful. The focus then will be what is the
relationship between the political and economic leaders in the
community and how should we characterize this relationship.
Community Power
The first major work in this area was the Lynds' study of
Middletown (1929 and 1937) which found an elite structure dominated by
the economic sector and based on family ties. Hunter (1953) in Atlanta
confirmed the existence of an elite by using the reputational approach.
Mills (1956) at the national level, employing the positional approach,
suggested American politics was dominated by a "power elite." Though
Hunter's elite was qualitatively different from Mills, in both cases an
elite was found to exercise a disproportionate share of power in the
community. These two works served as the basis for the elite theory
that guided subsequent studies.
Then Dahl (1961) and Polsby (1963), his student, set the basis for
the pluralist school to challenge the elite paradigm of American
politics. Dahl, in a case study of New Haven, using the decisional


183
and there is the provision for a strong executive (preferably elected)
with wide ranging powers to govern in the administrative structure.
When this set of circumstances is found in combination with a very
decentralized or fragmented power structure, government is able to
dominate community decision making. This is the category which
probably most closely resembles pluralism as described by Dahl (1961).
If government leaders lack the will, or resources to act, the
community could slide into hyperpluralism. Under this pattern of
community decision making, business privilege will still be important.
However, business will be much more equal to other groups in the
community. If the interests of business conflict with a major
constituency of government leaders, business is more likely to lose.
Under this pattern the underlying basis of business privilege, private
property rights and the fact that government leaders will be held
accountable by the voters for business performance, still exists. The
chances of putting a coalition together that rejects growth are
strongest in this pattern of decision making, as business is weak and
may have a difficult time combatting the anti-growth coalition.
Under this pattern of community decision making, both the economic
and political sectors are centralized and there is a naturally tendency
towards cooperation between the two sectors, rather than conflict.
Collaboration is the order of the day because leaders in both sectors
realize that neither sector can go it alone. Business needs government
for the preconditions of growth and to maintain a good business climate
including capital infrastructure, tax incentives, services, and


182
pattern, business privilege will be most obvious, as government either
lacks the will or the capacity to act independently. A city-manager
form of government is suited to this pattern, as it ensures that the
political structure will lack strong leadership with which to challenge
the power structure (as could be provided by a strong mayor). This
pattern of decision making most closely resembles the elite pattern
found by Hunter (1953) in Atlanta.
In rare instances, the power structure may fail to act to fill the
void in community decision making. If this occurs, the community could
fall into the hyperpluralism pattern. In some communities, the power
structure does not successfully train a new set of leaders and so
disintegrates as the power structure ages. In this case, the aging
leaders are often referred to as the old guard, but find themselves in
hyperpluralism, unable to exercise the kind of leadership they were
able to in the past. In Broward County, it appears that the old guard
has simply been overwhelmed by events (rapid growth). While still
existing, they were unable to integrate new economic leaders into their
networks. A newer power structure has evolved, centered in the Broward
Workshop which includes the older power structure. However, the newer
power structure is no longer in this pattern of community decision
making.
Political Elite (Pluralism)
Under this pattern of community decision making, government is
structured so that the capacity exists to govern the community and
leadership can take advantage of that capacity. In other words, the
authority structure is not functionally or geographically fragmented


CHAPTER VII
DYNAMICS OF BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Elite and pluralist theory are only able to account for part of
the community decision making structure. Pluralist theory focuses our
attention on growth and how this contributes to social diversity and
increased fragmentation in the authority structure. Lacking a strong
mayor position, leaders in Broward County have difficulty mobilizing
the citizenry behind a common agenda, indeed difficulty in even setting
the agenda. There is no possibility of an executive centered coalition
when there is no strong executive position in government. Functional
and geographic fragmentation contribute to these problems. Thus,
efforts at reform have focused on the administrative structure as well
as the number and different levels of government.
Elite theory directs our attention to the activities of private
sector leaders and their deliberate efforts to set the agenda, create
consensus within a formal private sector organization, and coordinate
community decision making. In past studies of community decision
making, the artificial separation of politics and economics has caused
us to focus on the separate parts in isolation from each other. In
classifying the parts, we assume we have classified the whole. Then we
attack others for studying the wrong parts and therefore improperly
classifying the whole. It is not that elite theory or pluralist theory
are wrong, simply that as operationalized, researchers have tended to
focus on government or private sector decision making without reference
to the other.
1A5


11
separable goods such as poverty programs, housing, and model cities
programs (Clark, 1975). Lyon and Bonjean (1981) test Clark's
separability model and Aiken's (1970) mobilization model to explain
variations in policy outputs. Aiken suggests that the level of
participation and organization in a community should increase policy
outputs. He looked at several federal programs which parallel Clark's
separability dimension. The test revealed that neither model could
explain variation in outputs even half of the time.
Lyon and Bonjean then formulated a new hypothesis using the
distinction between routine and nonroutine decisions measured against
the centralization-decentralization dimension. They find that
specification of decisions as routine or nonroutine improves the
linkage to the type of power structure. Thus, model cities which Clark
is led to predict would have higher outputs in decentralized cities was
really more closely tied to centralized cities, as the program required
much coordination in the planning stages to be successful.
Decentralized structures were at a disadvantage as competition and
fragmentation reduced coordination necessary to receive federal funds.
More recently, Lyon, Felice, Perryman, and Parker (1981) have found
"business power" to be related to growth, using the PCS. While they
define business power somewhat differently from Clark's
decentralization index, they do incorporate Clark's variable into
theirs.
Power as an Independent Variable
The results of using power as an independent variable to explain
policy outputs are inconclusive. Some researchers have found


19
individuals in positions of power act in their own class or
self-interest, yet this does not prevent him from asserting this is the
case.
An additional criticism, mentioned earlier, is that much of the
research and writing in the field avoids political questions (Walton,
1976) This is particularly true of the quantitative research using
the PCS. A focus on structural and demographic characteristics leaves
little room for political explanations. Polsby (1980) points out that
those who are primarily interested in the "stuff" of local politics
will be disappointed looking for it in the community power field.
It is difficult to tell whether contradictory findings in the
field are due to differences in (1) conceptualizations, (2)
methodology, (3) theoretical orientations, (4) discipline, (5)
interpretation of data, or (6) real differences in communities. This
has led many to consider the field as a Kuhnian paradigm. David Ricci
(1980), in a perceptive article, finds the field readily fits a Kuhn
paradigm (see also Curtis and Petras, 1977; and Walton, 1966). He
states:
On a great many key questions of proof and disproof for new ideas
in the field, those who argued for a particular idea employed
exactly the same logic which they identified in their opponent's
work and which caused them to argue against his idea. (Ricci,
1980, pp. 463-64)
Areas identified by Ricci where parallel arguments are employed by
adherents to the positional and reputational methods on the one hand
and the followers of the decisional method on the other, in stating
their own case and attacking their opponent's will be discussed
briefly.


DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY
A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH
BY
RONALD KENNETH VOGEL
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1986

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Many people have contributed to the completion of this
dissertation. First, I would like to thank my parents. They provided
financial resources to pursue my education and a refuge to recoup from
the rigors of graduate school. Their faith in me never wavered.
I would like to thank those individuals who provided guidance and
encouragement throughout my graduate education. My greatest debt is
owed to Professor Bert E. Swanson, chairman of my supervisory
committee. He was generous with his time and patient beyond belief. I
consider him a teacher, a colleague, and a friend. I would also like
to thank Professor William Kelso who first encouraged me to attend
graduate school. His friendship and counsel were greatly appreciated
during this time. The other members of my committee, Professors
Deborah Baumgold, James Button, and Anthony LaGreca were also extremely
helpful. Gus Jones deserves special mention. While not serving on my
committee, he offered helpful advice and friendship throughout this
long process.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the Political Science
department at Valdosta State College. Dr. James Betka was particularly
supportive, both as a friend and colleague, providing me with good
teaching schedules and making department resources available.
Professor Roy Copeland generously allowed me to use his copy machine at
no charge, as well as his home, dinner table, and liquor, when I needed
a respite from teaching and writing. Dr. James Peterson allowed me
exclusive use of the department's only Apple computer, which greatly
facilitated the typing and editing of the final draft of this work.
n

I would be remiss if I did not thank my friends who graciously put
up with late night telephone calls. Included in this list are my
brother Robert and his wife Barbara, and my brothers Richard and Randy.
Others who deserve special thanks are Margy DeMar, Geeta Chowdhry, and
Karin Moore.
Professor Grady Lacy in Modern Foreign Languages at Valdosta State
College provided invaluable assistance in teaching me the intracacies
of "Applewriter." Mike Lekich proved an extremely reliable, if
underpaid, typist/printer. He willingly worked 24 hours straight to
help get the first submission of this paper to the editorial office
before the deadline. I have no doubt that my graduation would have
been delayed by at least three months without his assistance.
Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to the leaders of
Broward County. Without their cooperation, this project could never
have been started.
1X1

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
ABSTRACT vi
CHAPTERS
ICOMMUNITY POWER: AN ASSESSMENT 1
Community Power 6
Contemporary Power Research 9
Power as an Independent Variable 11
The Permanent Community Sample 13
Critique of the Community Power Field 15
What Do We Know? 22
Where Do We Go From Here? 26
Notes 28
IIELITE AND PLURALIST THEORY 29
Elite Theory and Its Critics 29
Pluralist Theory 39
Classifying Communities Using the Theories 41
IIITHE POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH 46
The Political Economy Approach 46
Case Study and Theory Development 55
A Research Site 59
Identification of Community Leaders 60
IVDECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
A LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE 68
Elite or Pluralist? 69
Classifying the Community 76
Factors Associated With Pluralism 78
Consequences of Pluralism 82
Leadership in a Pluralist System 86
Notes 92
VCENTRALIZING DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
THE AUTHORITY STRUCTURE 93
Growth and Development in Broward County 93
Efforts to Unify Government Decision Making 96
Centralizing Leadership: A Strong Mayor 113
Centralizing the Authority Structure:
Deliberate Action 117
IV

VITOWARDS A MORE UNIFIED POWER STRUCTURE:
THE BROWARD WORKSHOP 120
Past Studies of Growth in Broward County 121
Growth and the Business Community 126
The Broward Workshop 130
Leadership Broward 142
VII DYNAMICS OF BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS 145
The Relationship Between Public and Private Leaders. . 146
An Application of Lindblom's Privileged
Position of Busines Thesis 151
Government Leaders Versus Business Leaders 169
Can Business Privilege Be Overcome?
Molotch's Growth Machine 172
VIII CONCLUSION 176
Towards a Typology of Business-Government
Relationships 176
Summary 187
Future Research 188
BIBLIOGRAPHY 191
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 199
v

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY: A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH
By
Ronald Kenneth Vogel
May 1986
Chairman: Bert E. Swanson
Major Department: Political Science
Studies of community decision making abound, yet the classic
elite-pluralist debate has remained unresolved. Without answering the
question "who governs?" researchers shifted focus to "where, when, and
with what effects?" Researchers using an inadequate conceptualization
of community decision making combined with their ideological
predispositions produced largely uninteresting and insignificant
results of the relationship between power and local policy outputs.
Worse, researchers managed to take politics out of the study of
community decision making. The community power field, a once thriving
and exciting field of study, was abandoned by many as a result.
To overcome these problems, a political economy orientation is
adopted, the focus being how do the public and private decision making
systems relate to each other. Community decision making consists of
two separate but intertwined processes, one based in the private sector
commonly called the power structure and the other in government or the
authority structure. This orientation allows us to reconsider elite
and pluralist theory and how, as used by researchers, they explain
different aspects of community decision making. The emphasis is not to
prove one theory over another but to attempt to synthesize the
vi

theories. Many differences in their explanations are traced to
incomplete conceptualizations of community decision making.
In a case study of Broward County, Florida, the dynamics of
business-government relations are examined. This study reveals that
the structure of decision making does matter, affecting the quantity
and quality of policy outputs in the community. Leaders have attempted
to centralize the governmental authority structure and private power
structure in an effort to overcome what they believe are severe
deficiencies in operating in a pluralist system. A typology of
community decision making is introduced based on the research findings
depending on the degree of centralization of the power structure and
the authority structure. Decentralized decision making structures are
seen to disadvantage communities competing in an era of mobile capital.
A trend towards increased government-business cooperation based on
mutual dependence is identified.
vxi

CHAPTER I
COMMUNITY POWER: AN ASSESSMENT
Community power structure studies have evolved into a general
field of research since the early part of this century. Communities
were first studied, and still are today, because they are thought to
represent a microcosm of the larger political system. It is believed
that in the locality, one can most readily observe the dynamics of
decision making. Community power structure studies, it was hoped,
would increase our awareness of the political processes which take
place in the political system. This field of research seeks to
describe and explain community decision making and how it affects local
policy outputs. These studies aid us in assessing the relative health
of our democracy by allowing us to compare our ideals to reality. In
this way we are able to guage the workings of democracy and adjust our
system, our values and beliefs, or our behavior accordingly. Finally,
community power structure studies could, potentially, enable us to
better design and implement programs aimed at the many urban problems
which confront us by providing planners with a more complete
understanding of the urban processes.
The community power field is also the source of one of the larger
controversies in the social sciences, which pits two rival theories of
political power and their alternative explanations of politics and
public policy against each other. In the classical elite-pluralist
debate, scholars have clashed over conceptualizations of power, the
existence of an elite, methodologies to locate community leaders, and
1

2
the scientific objectivity of research. The debate has pitted
sociologists against political scientists, the left against the right,
and normative democratic theorists against empirical democratic
theorists. While this debate has raged for more than thirty years, it
is marked by the relative lack of progress in building an accumulated
body of knowledge expected of a discipline which uses the label
"science." Questions have been raised about the reception of ideas in
political science as a result (Ricci, 1980).
There have been two major responses to the disarray found in the
community power field. The first response has been to change the focus
of study from, in Terry Clark's words, "who governs?" to "where, when,
and with what effects?" (Clark, 1975, p. 271). On the surface, this
shift would seem to be a natural step and enhance our understanding of
power structures. However, it was accompanied by a reformulation of
the problem. To avoid getting bogged down in the elite-pluralist
debate of the early sixties, and to facilitate large scale aggregate
analysis, elite and pluralist theory were operationalized as a
centralization-decentralization index. Researchers attempted to
isolate the factors associated with variation in policy outputs in
different communities using the centralization index in place of power
structure. Instead of focusing on power structure, the new focus
became policy outputs. The problem is, the elitepluralist questions
still remain unanswered. If we do not really understand the difference
between elite and pluralist communities, how can we understand what
difference it will make in terms of policy outputs? We need to better
understand "who governs?" before we can adequately answer the questions
"where, when, and with what effects?"

3
A second response to the community power impasse was to abandon
the field of inquiry all together. Polsby (1980) has questioned the
utility of further research in this vein, given the inability to say
anything more than we could when the elite-pluralist debate was at its
height in the early sixties. Yates (1977, pp. 86-90) argues that
community power structures are misleading because they suggest that
power is structured in the community. Instead, he argues that we
should study issue networks which transcend community boundaries. He
states that every policy has its own power structure, taking in
communities, states, and the national government, as well as other
actors in society.
To abandon community power studies because of the difficulties
encountered in research and the lack of a cohesive body of knowledge in
favor of a policy approach devoid of a community framework is
premature. As Ricci (1980) points out, all of the problems encountered
in the community power research are also present in policy studies.
People live and work and act in communities. This does not mean that
vertical linkages should be ignored, only that we should not lose sight
that power is still structured in the community. If in recent years,
power has shifted more toward Washington, Reagan's New Federalism
ensures that the community leadership will have greater control over
local policy for many more years.
The rest of this chapter traces the development of the community
power field over the years. The major controversies are identified and
the two major theories of political power, elite and pluralist, are
introduced. The movement away from case studies to large-scale
aggregate analysis is examined. Also, the policy outputs approach of
Terry Clark and others is described. The chapter addresses the

4
questions of what do we know and where do we go from here. While the
response of some to the confusion and contradictions found in the
literature is to abandon this field of inquiry all together, a case is
made that much of the present impasse results from the lack of
theoretical focus of much of the research. An additional problem has
been the reliance on large scale aggregate analysis, particularly the
Permanent Community Sample of 51 communities, which has displaced
original case study research to a great extent.
In Chapter II, elite and pluralist theory are examined in greater
detail. The problem of how to classify a community is also considered.
The research strategy and methodology are outlined in Chapter III.
Here the political economy framework is introduced which emphasizes
that community decision making really consists of two separate but
intertwined decision processes, one based in the private sector and
commonly called the power structure, and the other in government or the
authority structure. This improved conceptualization of community
decision making offers a way out of the elite-pluralist dichotomy that
has dominated the field and prevented significant progress toward a
theory of community power.
The major research premise is that theories of political power
ought to be operational in the community. To overcome several of the
problems in community power research, this study uses the case method
to reexamine leadership and decision making in the community. Eckstein
(1975) describes how the case method can be used for theory building.
The case study enables us to specify the process by which power
structure may shape policy, something that large scale aggregate
analysis can only speculate about. By adopting the "heuristic case"
approach, we may generate theory by examining phenomena and seeing

5
where the present theories are applicable and where they need to be
filled out (Eckstein, 1975, p. 104). Rather than interpret theories of
political power in the community, we can allow the findings in the
community to help shape the theory.
After describing the research approach, the choice of a research
site, Broward County, and the method of identifying community leaders
are discussed. A variant of the reputational method was chosen to
identify community leaders. The method was corrected for pluralist
criticisms by (1) using a two-step approach, where a panel of community
knowlegdeables selects community influentials; (2) including several
elected officials in the original panel of community kncwledgeables to
overcome any bias towards private sector leaders; (3) asking leaders
identified by the first panel to name the ten most influential leaders
in the community instead of the top five leaders (as many reputational
studies do); and (4) asking open-ended questions about community
decision making and issues.
Chapter IV presents the results of the reputational survey. More
importantly, the chapter describes Broward County's decision making
system from the leadership's perspective. Broward's leaders described
Broward as a very pluralistic community, but then went on to decry this
state of affairs. This runs contrary to conventional wisdom that
pluralism is a desirable way to run the community.
In Chapters V and VI, efforts by Broward leaders to centralize
community decision making are examined. Leaders in Broward have
attempted to centralize the authority structure (government) and the
power structure (economic sector) in order to overcome the limitations
of pluralist decision making (described in Chapter IV). Efforts to

6
unify the power structure were centered in the creation of the Broward
Workshop, an organization of the top private sector leaders.
In Chapter VII, we examine the underlying systemic biases that
affect policy making. The structure of community decision making has
important consequences for policy making. A typology of the patterns
of relationship between political and economic leaders at the local
level is presented in the final chapter. Our purpose is not to test
elite or pluralist theory, but to gain a better understanding of
community decision making. In this effort, the newer political economy
approach will be helpful. The focus then will be what is the
relationship between the political and economic leaders in the
community and how should we characterize this relationship.
Community Power
The first major work in this area was the Lynds' study of
Middletown (1929 and 1937) which found an elite structure dominated by
the economic sector and based on family ties. Hunter (1953) in Atlanta
confirmed the existence of an elite by using the reputational approach.
Mills (1956) at the national level, employing the positional approach,
suggested American politics was dominated by a "power elite." Though
Hunter's elite was qualitatively different from Mills, in both cases an
elite was found to exercise a disproportionate share of power in the
community. These two works served as the basis for the elite theory
that guided subsequent studies.
Then Dahl (1961) and Polsby (1963), his student, set the basis for
the pluralist school to challenge the elite paradigm of American
politics. Dahl, in a case study of New Haven, using the decisional

7
approach, found different leaders active in different issue areas, with
the mayor as the predominant figure in an executive-centered coalition.
Polsby attacked Hunter and other elite studies as fallacious. He
embarked on a crusade against the positional and reputational
approaches to the study of power, arguing that one must look to actual
behavior in the community, an approach that came to be labelled the
"decisional" approach.
Bachratz and Baratz (1962) raised the nondecision problem and
argued the decisional method missed the agenda-setting stage where
alternative policies are originally shaped. They attacked the logic of
studying government decisions alone, as researchers would miss efforts
to limit the agenda of government. This criticism went to the heart of
the pluralist school and shed doubt on the decisional approach. The
stage was thus set for the ensuing elite-pluralist debate, much of
which was conducted in an unscholarly vein. Presthus (1964) using the
reputational and decisional approaches found much overlap between the
two methods. More importantly, he found little empirical difference
between the elite and pluralist schools of thought. He states:
To some extent, where sociologists found monopoly and called it
elitism, political scientists found oligopoly but defined it in
more honorific terms as pluralism. (Presthus, 1964, p. 430)
Thus, much of the debate revolved not around the objective reality in
our communities, but the interpretation of the findings.
Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) introduced a typology of power
structures and regimes. They emphasized the role of leadership
ideology as an independent variable on the community structure and
subsequent policy outputs. Their conceptualization improved the

8
elite-pluralist debate by providing a more complete and realistic
portrayal of the urban decision making process than the simple
elite-pluralist dichotomy. While ideology is difficult to measure,
researchers must be sensitive to possible differences in power
structure ideology and avoid sweeping generalizations about the
attitudes and preferences of an elite or pluralist power structure.
As researchers began to recognize that some of the differences
between pluralist and elite power structures were semantical in nature,
a shift in focus from "who governs?" to "where, when, and with what
effects?" took place (Clark 1975). Though researchers began to abandon
the elite-pluralist debate all together, most of the issues remained
unresolved. Secondary analysis of case studies and large scale
comparative studies followed. Questions of disciplinary field as a
major source of variation in the findings of researchers were raised.
Sociologists tended to find that communities were elite run, while
political scientists usually found communities were pluralistic. New
questions about approach (position, reputational, or decisional) were
raised as well. Walton (1966) found the discipline of researchers
influenced the method of study of the community and subsequently the
type of power structure arrived at. Gilbert (1968) in a larger study
(166 case studies were examined) found discipline to be unrelated to
the type of power structure found.
In the early 1970s, a number of researchers attempted to assess
the field of community power (Clark, 1975). This is evidenced by the
appearance of several anthologies: Clark, Community Structure and
Decision-making: Comparative Analyses (1968); Aiken and Mott, The
Structure of Community Power (1970); and Hawley and Wirt, The Search
for Community Power (1974).

9
Contemporary Power Research
Kasarda and Lineberry (1980) see three directions in contemporary
community power research. The first is research in the original
elite-pluralist tradition of the early 1960s, focusing on the question
of who governs. This is typified by Domhoff (1978) in his
reexamination of New Haven (Dahl, 1961) Domhoff concludes that New
Haven was elite run all along. Hunter's (1980) revisit to Atlanta, in
which he traced the durability of the power structure, and Polsby's
(1980) revised and expanded version of his earlier work, which contains
additional critiques of elite studies, also fall into this category.
More recent examples of research in this vein are Trounstine and
Christensen's (1982) study of San Jose, and Whitt's (1982) study of the
transportation issue in California. Trounstine and Christensen using
the reputational approach, find, as the literature would suggest, that
growth leads to a more pluralistic structure, but they question how
much decision making is left to the cities given the changing economy
and broader forces in society beyond the reach of the community. They
draw a clear distinction between sunbelt and frostbelt communities.
Whitt studies a statewide issue, transportation, in California, over
time. He assesses how well pluralist, elitist, and ruling class
theories of political power fit the decision to build the Bay Area
Rapid Transit (BART) system and changes in the state allocation of
highway monies over a twelve-year period. He concludes that while each
theory contributes to an understanding of the issue and its resolution,
the classdialectic (ruling class) model of political power is the most
explanatory.

10
A second direction in community power research identified by
Kasarda and Lineberry (1980) is that of network analysis characterized
by Imershein and Liebert (1977) Their emphasis is on organizational
linkages and their findings have a
distinctively political theme that tends to find the greatest
efficacy of power, and indeed the most universal structure of
power, to lie in a certain organized diversity, a pluralist set of
subsystems with an integrated system of elites. (Imershein and
Leibert, 1977, p. 16)
The way to understand the community according to these researchers is
to study the organizations in the community which are the major locus
of power.
According to Kasarda and Lineberry (1980), the third direction of
research in community power is the policy output field. This has
coincided with a shift in focus from such questions as "who governs?"
to "where, when, and with what effects?" (Clark, 1975) Researchers
attempt to isolate the factors associated with variation in policy
output in different communities. In particular, Clark (1971), Aiken
and Alford (1970), Lyon and Bonjean (1981) and others have attempted to
use power structure to explain variation in policy outputs among
communities. To date, researchers have been largely unsuccessful in
linking the power structure type, whether elite or pluralistic, to the
type of policy output in the community (Lyon, 1977) This is also true
for the later centralized-decentralized conceptualization which has
replaced the more traditional elite-pluralist conceptualization.
Utilizing the Permanent Community Sample (PCS), a sample of
fify-one communities ranging in population from 50,000 to 750,000
persons, Clark finds evidence that centralized power structures cause

11
separable goods such as poverty programs, housing, and model cities
programs (Clark, 1975). Lyon and Bonjean (1981) test Clark's
separability model and Aiken's (1970) mobilization model to explain
variations in policy outputs. Aiken suggests that the level of
participation and organization in a community should increase policy
outputs. He looked at several federal programs which parallel Clark's
separability dimension. The test revealed that neither model could
explain variation in outputs even half of the time.
Lyon and Bonjean then formulated a new hypothesis using the
distinction between routine and nonroutine decisions measured against
the centralization-decentralization dimension. They find that
specification of decisions as routine or nonroutine improves the
linkage to the type of power structure. Thus, model cities which Clark
is led to predict would have higher outputs in decentralized cities was
really more closely tied to centralized cities, as the program required
much coordination in the planning stages to be successful.
Decentralized structures were at a disadvantage as competition and
fragmentation reduced coordination necessary to receive federal funds.
More recently, Lyon, Felice, Perryman, and Parker (1981) have found
"business power" to be related to growth, using the PCS. While they
define business power somewhat differently from Clark's
decentralization index, they do incorporate Clark's variable into
theirs.
Power as an Independent Variable
The results of using power as an independent variable to explain
policy outputs are inconclusive. Some researchers have found

12
environmental conditions such as urbanization, wealth, and education to
be the major determinants of public policy to the exclusion of
political variables at all (Sharkansky, 1970; Dye, 1966, 1976).
In fact, Lyon (1977) examined three prominent power policy models
in the literature, Clark's fragility model, Clark's separability model,
and Aiken and Alford's Community Mobilization Model. Clark's fragility
model says that "fragile" policies or new conflictual policies like
fluoridation are likely to be associated with centralized power
structures. "Nonfragile" or non-conflictual policies like police
expenditures are likely to be associated with decentralized power
structures. The separability model and mobilization model are
discussed above. Lyon concludes:
Quite simply, the power-policy models of Clark and Aiken and
Alford do not account for a majority of the associations found
between political decentralization and policy outputs. (Lyon,
1977, p. 475)
Lyon then tests demographic-ecological variables including "(1)
urbanism, (2) racial composition, (3) maturity/growth and (4)
socioeconomic status," to account for the relationship between power
and policy (Lyon, 1977, p. 475). He operationalizes the variables as
"(1) population size, (2) percent Negro, (3) percent of housing
constructed before 1950, and (4) median family income." He argues:
These demographic-ecological variables are more than twice as
powerful in explaining the total variation in the policy outputs
considered in this paper. This leaves those of us interested in
community power with a most difficult question to answer: If the
easier-to-measure demographic-ecological variables can produce
larger correlations with policy outputs, why bother with measures
of community power? (Lyon, 1977, p. 475)

13
Lyon discusses Aiken's (1970) similar findings:
Some recent analysts have come close to suggesting not bothering
at all. Consider for example Aiken's conclusion after surveying
the small statistical correlations he found between his secondary
classification of community power and participation in federal
programs. "It seems apparent from the results here that the
community power perspective as it now exists, is simply not the
most appropriate model to use (Aiken 1970: 517)." (Lyon, 1970, p.
475)
Many of the problems encountered in attempting to link the structure of
community decision making to policy outputs are related to more general
problems found in the community power field (see next section).
However, many of the difficulties are the result of the way the PCS was
collected and operationalized, as well as the way researchers have
attempted to analyze these data.
The Permanent Community Sample
The Permanent Community Sample (PCS) was collected in 1967. At
the time, the sample was hailed as a major advancement for urban
researchers, as now a large sample (fifty-one cities) was available for
comparative analysis (Clark, 1975) Data were available on numerous
variables, includings informal power structure, operationalized as a
"decentralization index." However, there are serious questions about
the reliability of Clark's index. The index is constructed by
tabulating the results of a reputational survey conducted in each of
the communities with informants identifying the number of actors active
in four issue areas. The answer of each respondent was tallied with
the other respondents in a twenty cell matrix. Clark then reasons that

14
the major features of pluralism are (1) the number of actors who
participate in an issue area; and (2) the overlap of actors from one
issue area to another. Using these criteria, he collapses the twenty
cell matrix into a single index of decentralization.
Clark is somewhat vague in his publications (Clark, 1968, 1975) as
to the exact procedures used to create the index. According to Clark,
an actor may be defined as a single individual or a group of
individuals with similar status. Thus, two businessmen active in the
same issue would be counted as one actor. But if the same individual
was identified by two informants with a different status given by each
(e.g., corporate president and democratic party chairman), he would be
treated as two actors. The intent of this conceptualization was to
weight the index by involvement of community institutions rather than
by individual participants. This could seriously distort the index and
make it very difficult to interpret results. There is also the problem
of how to replicate the index in other studies.
In addition to the above problems, this reformulation of pluralism
lacks a theoretical orientation. An index of decentralization can
hardly capture the complexity of the pluralist model. Pluralism is
concerned with more than just the number of actors and amount of
overlap among issue areas, as important as these elements may be. By
the same token, how are we to interpret centralized decision making?
What guides the behavior of actors in a centralized structure as
opposed to an elite structure? Clark does not tell us, though he
regards the abandonment of the elite-pluralist field as a step forward
for the field. This lack of theoretical orientation seriously reduces
the explanatory power of policy output research. Walton (1976), Warren
(1977), and Lyon (1977) all point out the limitations of a focus on

15
structural and demographic characteristics. It leaves too little room
for political explanations and is overly deterministic.
In part the comparative studies using the PCS data suffer from the
same difficulties encountered in any large scale data analysis. That
is, while numerous variables are available for study, they are not
always the variables which operationalize our concepts. Often, they
are simply the only ones available, so we must make do. While it makes
sense to collect aggregate budget expenditures for cities, this
information does not allow the researcher to qualitatively
differentiate resource allocation of cities. Lyon and Bonjean (1981)
point out how this lack of specificity regarding the outputs being
compared hinders researchers who attempt to link policy outputs to
community structure.
Other measurement errors may result from Clark's use of membership
in the League of Women Voters to indicate civic group involvement in
the community. While there are logical reasons for this choice, as
Clark points out, it nevertheless detracts from our confidence in
research conclusions based on these variables. The point is not that
Terry Clark and other researchers in this vein do not realize the
problems inherent in their research methods and data but that all of
these factors have inhibited the development of a concrete body of
knowledge with wide application in the social sciences.
Critique of Community Power Field
Polsby (1963, 1980) suggests that there is little in the
conceptual, theoretical, or methodological debates which characterize
the community power field to interest any but a select few scholars in

16
sociology and political science. He finds the field irrelevant to the
concerns and needs of the serious urban analyst or planner. In the
second edition of his book, Polsby states:
The literature on community power, no exemplar of clarity or
intelligence when I first wrote the book [1963], has since its
publication become even more dense with misunderstandings of all
kinds, while burgeoning in nearly every directionevery
direction, that is, except toward the resolution of empirical
problems about the shape and scope of power in American
communities. (Polsby, 1980, pp. IX-XII)
He continues:
To the recent upsurge of interest in problems of the local
community, in urban political activitylegal and illegal, mass
and eliteand in the impact of demography and policy upon the
lives of city dwellers, the study of community power has
contributed little or nothing in the way of knowledge. It should
have been plain enough a decade ago, but at any rate it bears
repeating, that the academic study of community power is not much
about urban politics. (Polsby, 1980, pp. IX-XII)
This is pretty severe criticism to make of a field of study with
so much research. In fact, according to Curtis and Petras:
The published social science literature bearing on this topic now
includes well over six hundred items written primarily by
political scientists and sociologists. There have been over
eighty systematic attempts to present an overall, composite
description of the structure of power in particular communities.
. . These studies are accompanied in the literature by hundreds
of critiques of methodological approaches, attempts at conceptual
refinement, studies of narrower facets of community political
processes, and reviews and commentaries on particular studies.
(Curtis and Petras, 1977, p. 369)
Let us examine the various criticisms that have been made.
The community power field has been criticized for lacking many of
the attributes considered desirable in a science. Science requires

17
theory, yet the community power field often times appears atheoretical.
While science does not always require researchers to proceed with a
theoretical orientation, descriptive study must be placed in a broader
perspective. One cannot explain a phenomenon by the phenomenon itself.
It seems that many researchers explain the community decision making
structure without reference to a previous theoretical orientation or
offering a new one themselves. An example of this is Clark's
reformulation of the elite-pluralist debate to one of centralization
versus decentralization (as discussed earlier).
A second criticism of the field is that researchers often fail to
take account of their slightly different agendas, which may cause them
to talk past one another. Walton (1976) points out that there have
been at least three different substantive concerns of researchers.
Hunter (1953) was concerned with the origins of policy and the issue of
democracy. Dahl (1961) was concerned with patterns of political
participation, as well as the distribution of resources in the
community and their effect on participation and decision making. He
also was concerned with the issue of democracy. Clark and the newer
researchers are concerned with structural characteristics of cities and
their relation to outputs. What many observers have bemoaned as an
unscholarly debate about methods of inquiry in the classic
elite-pluralist debate of the early 1960s might better be understood as
a normative debate about the nature of democratic decision making
argued at the community level. Read this way, there is little cause
for celebration in the abandonment of a field of research dealing with
such important questions.
A third criticism of the community power field is the lack of
agreement on concepts, definitions of terms, and measurement.

18
Researchers in this field often do not tell you how they conceive power
or operationalize it. Curtis and Petras (1977, p. 386) point out that
most researchers do not define what power structures are, though they
use the term freely in their writing. Polsby (1980) takes to task
those researchers, like Long (1958) who employ metaphors in place of
rigorous and scientific inquiry. On a hopeful note, it does seem that
researchers are much readier to recognize the strengths and weaknesses
of each of three major approaches to identify community leadership: the
reputational, positional, and decisional methods (see Chapter II).
Many of the criticisms of the community power field revolve around
the unscholarly behavior of many of the researchers, some of them the
most respected in the discipline. Reasonable disagreements over
methods and conceptualizations become ideological debates with little
rational discussion. While some of this can be attributed to the
different agendas that researchers were addressing, as discussed above,
the venomous attacks by one side or the other rarely met the
expectations of how scientists ought to behave towards one another.
Rather than test their own theories and the theories of others,
researchers tend to interpret their data selectively. Polsby (1980)
effectively critiques much of the elite work, but then, with blinders
on, he defies anyone to find fault with pluralist studies, seemingly
viewing himself as a crusading white knight out to destroy the elite
theory. Domhoff (1978) argues persuasively that pluralist theory fails
to account for much of the inequality he finds pervasive in American
society, but he asks the student of power to accept on faith what he
cannot document. For example, Domhoff is unable to document that

19
individuals in positions of power act in their own class or
self-interest, yet this does not prevent him from asserting this is the
case.
An additional criticism, mentioned earlier, is that much of the
research and writing in the field avoids political questions (Walton,
1976) This is particularly true of the quantitative research using
the PCS. A focus on structural and demographic characteristics leaves
little room for political explanations. Polsby (1980) points out that
those who are primarily interested in the "stuff" of local politics
will be disappointed looking for it in the community power field.
It is difficult to tell whether contradictory findings in the
field are due to differences in (1) conceptualizations, (2)
methodology, (3) theoretical orientations, (4) discipline, (5)
interpretation of data, or (6) real differences in communities. This
has led many to consider the field as a Kuhnian paradigm. David Ricci
(1980), in a perceptive article, finds the field readily fits a Kuhn
paradigm (see also Curtis and Petras, 1977; and Walton, 1966). He
states:
On a great many key questions of proof and disproof for new ideas
in the field, those who argued for a particular idea employed
exactly the same logic which they identified in their opponent's
work and which caused them to argue against his idea. (Ricci,
1980, pp. 463-64)
Areas identified by Ricci where parallel arguments are employed by
adherents to the positional and reputational methods on the one hand
and the followers of the decisional method on the other, in stating
their own case and attacking their opponent's will be discussed
briefly.

20
First of all, Ricci points out that both sides accuse the other of
research methods which predetermine study results. In discussing the
reputational and positional methods favored by elite researchers, he
states, "the concept of power as a potential force led logically to the
conclusion that a few lead, and all others must follow." The parallel
argument is that the decisional method preferred by pluralist
researchers leads them to focus on actual decisions, overlooking the
"nondecision" problem, and biasing results to pluralist conclusions
(Ricci, 1980, p. 464).
Ricci also points out that pluralist researchers criticized Hunter
(1953) and other elite researchers for reliance on the reputational
approach, since the information provided was subjective and not subject
to independent verification. Yet, as Ricci points out, pluralist
researchers were dependent on interviews with community actors,
newspaper articles, and other historical documents which were no more
objective or reliable than the information provided by reputational
interviews (Ricci, 1980, p. 466).
Pluralists charged that elite researchers could not show that
other actors were not involved in community decision making, besides
those identified in the reputational survey. However, pluralist
studies, the counter-argument goes, also prematurely limit the
identification of community leaders to those who are actually active,
leaving open the possibility of overlooking other participants
before or after the study, or those whose participation is simply not
overt (Ricci, 1980, pp. 466-67) .
Ricci also points out that though elite researchers charged that
community leaders identified by the positional and reputational methods
represented their class- or self-interests, rather than the community's

21
interests, they were unable to prove this cohesion. He states:
In short, scholars who used the reputational and positional
techniques could not prove the lack of cohesion they said existed,
but scholars who studied decision-making also could not prove the
lack of cohesion they said exists. (Ricci, 1980, p. 467)
While elite theory, according to Polsby (1963) suffers from the
problem of "infinite regress" wherein it is always argued that even if
an elite is not revealed, it is simply because the elite is hidden,
pluralist theory has a similar excuse. Ricci tells us that pluralist
theory rests on the idea that "indirect influence" provides a check on
government and ensures responsiveness to the public. Yet indirect
influence is an untestable concept, and therefore no less a fallacy
than that of infinite regress (Ricci, 1980, p. 468).
Another parallel argument is that of "anticipated reactions" on
the one hand and the "nondecision" on the other. Elite theorists
criticized pluralists for ignoring the role of elites in setting the
agenda and shaping the alternatives. Pluralists responded by pointing
to the problems of researching the nondecision while employing the
concept of anticipated reactions in their own theory. If as the
pluralists say, it is not possible to study the nondecision, and
therefore it is not a very useful concept, Ricci questions why it is
justified to speak of anticipated reactions, which are also not
observable (Ricci, 1980, p. 465).
The last point Ricci raises to demonstrate the similarities
between the elite and pluralist arguments for their positions, and the
weaknesses of their opponents, is the "ubiquity of underlying
interests." Ricci points out that elite researchers can safely
conclude elitism, even if they fail to demonstrate elite cohesion,

22
because of the shared experiences which will cause elites to support
the same policies. The pluralist version of this is that all groups
are potentially organizable and therefore exert indirect influence on
decision makers [1]. Neither of these arguments has been proven,
though both make sense theoretically. If it is incorrect to accept one
notion, then how can it be all right to accept the other in the absence
of any clear evidence (Ricci, 1980, p. 470). Ricci concludes:
In the field of community power, as we have just seen, the
acceptance of ideas was far less a matter of applying objective
rules than of applying subjective values, whatever these might
have been. For that field, at least, it is best to speak of
"conversion experiences," "acts of faith," and "gestalt switches,"
as Kuhn did. (Ricci, 1980, p. 470)
Ricci is unsure whether this problem is limited to the community power
field or has wider application to the political science discipline. He
does, however, point out that the problems faced by the community power
field are present in any are of social science research including the
policy sciences.
What Do We Know?
After more than fifty years of study, one would expect that we
know quite a bit about the structure of urban decision making and the
role of power in the community [2]. This, unfortunately, is not the
case. While we have many theories, hypotheses, ideas, suspicions, and
hunches, our actual understanding of the community processes is slight.
We can say very little with certainty.
In answer to the first question, "who governs?" the evidence is
still far from clear. About all we do know is that some communities

23
are more elitist than others; but in all communities, a relatively few
actors are responsible for community decisions. Curtis and Petras
(1977) sum it up this way:
The student who carefully reads the literature will not obtain a
clear perspective on the nature of American community power. At
present, he may only conclude that the conflicting findings tend
to give some support to either a "pluralist" or a
"stratificationist" theoretical perspective on community political
life. (Curtis and Petras, 1977, p. 418)
Lyon (1977) responds similarly:
Answers to the first question, "who governs?", have constituted
the major bulk of community power studies (e.g.. Hunter, 1953;
Dahl, 1961). The general conclusion that emerged from this
research was that different communities do indeed possess
significantly different power structures. However, few
generalizations beyond this single finding can be made without
comparative research. (Lyon, 1977, p. 418)
Once researchers concluded that communities varied along an
elite-pluralist scale, the focus of research shifted to examining power
structure as a dependent variable. We have made some inroads
identifying the factors associated with different types of power
structures. The findings are listed below. These statements are
synthesized from Clark (1973), Gilbert (1968), and Walton (1970).
1. Communities which are more autonomous are more likely to have
centralized power structures. Vertical linkages decentralize the
power structure. Horizontal and vertical differentiation
introduce competitive decision making structures and increase the
available base resources in the community.
2. Demography is important in that structural differentiation
which is related to size leads to power dispersion. The greater
the social diversity, the more decentralized the power structure.
(Population size is only related, however, to the degree that it
represents heterogeneity.)

24
3. Economic diversity is associated with dispersed power
structures. As the economic structure becomes more diversified
(differentiated), the transaction costs are increased between
horizontal sectors reducing the probability of activation outside
one's own sector. When vertical linkages are increased, where
previously weak, decentralization will result.
4. Political structure of the community contributes to the type of
power structure, in that reform governments are related to more
centralized power structures.
5. Civic organizations and political parties help to explain the
existing power structure, in that the greater the number of
organizations present and the more competitive the party system,
the more decentralized the power structure.
6. Values of the community are found to set the parameters of
government activity. This is related to leadership style and
ideology. (Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson, 1964)
The state of our knowledge of power as a dependent variable is not
very great. Though we seem able to specify the variables which affect
the community power structure, there is little evidence of which
factors are most important and to what degree. Lyon (1977) puts it
this way:
In order to determine "Who governs and Why?", ... it became
necessary to go beyond case studies and employ a large number of
communities in the research effort. This type of research has
usually focused upon demographic-ecological predictors of
community power, with typically weak and mixed results. (Lyon,
1977, p. 416)
In terms of looking at power structure as an independent variable
to explain policy outputs, the results are not much better. Though
three power-policy models have been developed (see earlier discussion),
the fragility model, the separability model, and the community
mobilization model, the evidence suggests none of the models are
statistically significant in their attempts to account for policy
differences among communities (Lyon, 1977) .

25
Lyon and Bonjean (1981) have been able to make some progress in
this area recently. Using the PCS, they find that non-routine
decisions are more likely to be linked to the type of power structure
with centralized structures (elite) more likely to produce policies
which require coordination. Decentralized structures (pluralist) are
more likely to generate separable policies (distributive). Routine
decisions are more likely to be linked to the bureaucracy (rather than
the power structure) unless they become controversial. One final
conclusion which is readily accepted in the community power field, is
that a changing economy and broader forces in society are reducing
local autonomy. Some decisions are no longer exclusively local issues.
Thus, policy outputs in the community may be related to factors other
than community characteristics and the type of power structure (Walton,
1970; Trounstine and Christensen, 1982).
One needs to be careful not to overstate this conclusion, however.
Though outside forces may be increasingly important, communities still
retain control over a great deal of issues. In fact, one of the
difficulties that power-policy models may have encountered in
attempting to link power structure to policy outputs is that they
focused on policies that were clearly national in orientation and
design (such as model cities and public housing). One would not expect
local power structures to have a great effect on national policy
initiatives. National agencies structure programs which usually
allocate resources based on ecological and demographic variables.
Therefore, Lyon's (1977) findings that ecological and demographic
variables better account for the level of policy outputs should not be
all that surprising. In addition, if local autonomy was on the

26
decline, the effect of recent Reagan budget policies, particularly the
slowdown of federal monies, would be expected to reverse this trend.
Where Do We Go From Here?
It is too soon to abandon community power as a field of study.
While there is much to criticize in some of the directions the field
has taken, community power has made great contributions to specific
areas. It has allowed researchers to invent and test a wide variety of
techniques which have applications in other areas of study in social
science. For instance, the reputational method was born in the work of
Hunter and has been of use to researchers looking for an inexpensive
method to identify and survey community (or any other) leaders
regardless of their particular emphasis. Community power has been
concerned with the most important variable in political science,
namely, "power." No other part of the discipline has devoted so much
attention to this concept. Community power has served as the training
ground for many political scientists. Among those who began their
research in this area are Lowi, Polsby, and Wolfinger. Community power
has given birth to several important theoretical developments including
pluralism, and conceptual issues such as the "nondecision" or
"mobilization of bias." Community power has also been used
prescriptively in policy making. Areas where community power has been
used include the community control debates and poverty programs.
Finally, community power has been concerned with the nature of
democracy in mass society and has been instrumental in raising
questions about the quality of democratic life in our communities.

27
Yet, with all of the contributions the field has made to the
social sciences, gaps remain. Perhaps most glaring, is the need to
make the connection between community structure and policy outputs.
Much remains to be learned about the relationship of specific types of
policy to specific community characteristics and types of power
structures. While the large scale comparative study can be useful in
suggesting relationships, it is not capable of specifying in sufficient
detail the actual processes which translate community structure into
policy, i.e., power and its exercise. As Walton (1976) points out,
aggregate analysis does not always lend itself to the study of
politics. In the course of collecting indicators to serve as surrogate
measures for political phenomena, politics loses its dynamic quality.
It loses the context and complexity that give it meaning.
In this chapter, an overview of the community power field was
presented. While community power showed some promise that it could
help make the connection between urban structure and policy outputs,
this promise has not been realized. In fact, Lyon (1977) has found
that demographic variables can account for twice as much of the
varience in policy outputs as power structure. In part, the difficulty
in relating power structure to policy outputs stems from problems in
the PCS and aggregate analysis. More importantly, however, Lyon (1977)
attributes much of the difficulty to inadequate conceptualization of
power structure in most studies. The real problem seems to be that too
many questions still remain to be answered about power structure before
linkages can be made to variation in policy outputs in communities.

28
Notes
1. Interestingly enough, Dahl (1982, p. 207) denies that this notion
was ever part of pluralist theory, implicitly or explicitly.
2. For works which appraise the overall community power field, see
Aiken and Alford (1970), Clark (1975), Curtis and Petras (1977), Lief
and Clark (1973), Lyon (1977), Polsby (1980), Ricci (1980), and Walton
(1976) .

CHAPTER II
ELITE and PLURALIST THEORY
How have researchers approached the questions of the existence of
an elite and whether the community should be classified as elite or
pluralistic? How have they operationalized elite and pluralist theory
in specific studies? The term "elite" has been the source of many
disagreements among social scientists. Following the publications of
Hunter (1953) and Mills (1956), several political scientists challenged
the way the concept "elite" was used and the evidence used to support
conclusions that there was an elite in America, whether at the national
level or the local one. In particular, Dahl (1958) and Polsby (1963)
attacked both Hunter and Mills, challenging the definition and test of
an elite used by each. Wolfinger (1960) joined Dahl and Polsby in
attacking the "reputational method" used by Hunter. Ironically, the
understanding we have today of elite theory is largely shaped by its
pluralist criticsDahl, Wolfinger, and Polsby. For this reason, it
makes sense to start our discussion of elite theory with the critics of
elite theory.
Elite Theory and Its Critics
Dahl (1958) criticizes researchers who would prove a ruling elite
system, e.g., Hunter (1953) and Mills (1956):
Now it is a remarkable and indeed astounding fact that neither
Professor Mills nor Professor Hunter has seriously attempted to
29

30
examine an array of specific cases to test his major hypothesis.
Yet I suppose these two works more than any others in the social
sciences of the last few years have sought to interpret complex
political systems essentially as instances of a ruling elite.
(Dahl. 1958. p. 466)
He goes on to lay out what he considers to be an acceptable test of a
ruling elite.
To sum up: The hypothesis of the existence of a ruling elite can
be strictly tested only if: 1. The hypothetical ruling elite is a
well-defined group. 2. There is a fair sample of cases involving
key political decisions in which the preferences of the
hypothetical ruling elite run counter to those of any other likely
group that might be suggested. 3. In such cases, the preferences
of the elite regularly prevail. (Dahl, 1958, p. 466)
In a similar vein, Polsby (1963) summarizes the work of elite theorists
under the heading of stratification studies, and extrapolates five
propositions of stratification studies which he says they fail to
prove. He argues that to establish the existence of an elite, each of
the conditions of his test must be met. These conditions are as
/
follows
1. The upper class rules m local community life.
2. Political and civic leaders are subordinate to the upper class.
3. A single "power elite" rules in the community.
4. The upper-class power elite rules in its own interests.
5. Social conflict takes place between the upper and lower
classes. (Polsby, 1980, pp. 8-10)
While the conception of elite theory espoused by Dahl and Polsby
is consistent with elite theory as found in the works of Mosca, Pareto,
and Michaels, it is nevertheless misleading. Dahl and Polsby lay out a
single conception of elite theory and deny the legitimacy of any other
conception. The researcher who accepts their very narrow definition of

31
an elite is usually left little choice but to reject the existence of
an elite.
There is nothing in the work of Mills and Hunter to suggest that
there cannot be many variants of elite theory. Thus, Dahl and Polsby
identify one variant of elite theory and find it false. They have not,
however, disproved elite theory, only a single variant of elite theory,
and one which many would argue was a straw man to begin with. In fact,
neither Hunter nor Mills claimed the elite was all powerful or even
necessarily always cohesive. Hunter never even used the term "elite"
in his famous work. He was also very careful to point out that there
was not a single hierarchy in Atlanta.
In fact, one passage of Hunter's work could just as easily been
written in a pluralist account of the community. He states;
Actually the discussion here is primarily concerned with the
structuring of power on a policy-making level. Only a rudimentary
"power pyramid" of Regional City will be presented. One may be
content to do this because I doubt that power forms a single
pyramid with any nicety in a community the size of Regional City.
There are pyramids of power in this community which seem more
important to the present discussion than a pyramid. (Hunter,
1953, p.62)
While Polsby would point to this statement as contradicting Hunter's
elite arguments, it really suggests that Hunter had a much more
sophisticated view of elite theory than he has been given credit for.
Most of the criticism of Hunter's work centers on the reputational
method and not his conception of an elite. The point, however, is not
to defend Hunter's work, but to suggest that the view of elite theory
propagated by Dahl and Polsby is very narrow and not always consistent
with the views of other researchers, particularly within the elite
orientation.

32
To underline this point, the reader is directed to the fourth
proposition Polsby says elite researchers assert: "The upper-class
'power elite' rules in its own interests." This proposition denies the
possibility of an elite that rules in the public interest due to its
sense of noblese oblige. Would Polsby accept the reverse proposition
that elected officials act only for self-interests, as a tenet of
pluralist theory? Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) identify the
importance of ideology as a determinant of elite behavior.
There are problems with the other propositions of stratification
theory provided by Polsby, as well. For instance, if the elite has to
be a "single power elite," then one cannot talk about factions within
the elite, as this denies elite cohesion. The notion of a
counter-elite also is not possible, as this suggests power may be held
outside of the elite and that the elite may not always win. Finally,
the idea that if elite theory is to be given credence, it must be shown
that political leaders are subordinate to economic leaders means that
we may not conceive of the political leaders as part of the elite. In
fact, did not Mills claim that the "power elite" was composed of three
parts, the military elite, political elite, and industrial elite.
The version of elite theory advanced by Dahl and Polsby is found
lacking on several counts. First of all, it overly simplifies the
major premises of elite theory. Secondly, it is a straw man, in that
once the crude version of elite theory was discredited, all elite
theory was discredited. However, there is no reason to believe that
the propositions of Dahl and Polsby are the only acceptable version of
elite theory. Only their version was disproved. Finally, and just as
important, the work of elite theory researchers, as well as others,
does not logically lead to Dahl's and Polsby's propositions. That is,

33
the elite theory disproved by Dahl and Poslby is not the only or even
the major variant of elite theory advocated by elite researchers.
What then is elite theory and how should it be operationalized in
a specific study? Prewitt and Stone (1973) summarize elite theory with
two principles:
First, no matter what the dominant political ideology of
organizing the State, every society can be divided into the small
number who rule and the larger number who are ruled.
Second, the character of society and the direction it is
taking can be understood in terms of the composition, structure,
and conflicts of the ruling group. (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p.
5)
For elite theory, it makes no difference whether the economy is
capitalist, socialist, or communist, whether the government is
democratically elected and subject to a written constitution, or a
small band of revolutionary guerillas who have seized power in a bloody
coup. Elites run the Soviet Union and they run the United States. The
only differnce is in the composition and ideology of the elites.
Elites make decisions and shape history, not masses.
There are differences of opinion within elite theory about (1) the
"relationship that exists between the rulers and the ruled" (Prewitt
and Stone, 1973, p. 6); (2) whether change can be accomplished by
changing the composition of the elite or if it is necessary to change
the structure of rule (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 14-15); and (3)
whether the elite can be held accountable by the voting public in
democracies (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 23-26).
The first issue concerns the motives of the elite. How should the
"power and privileges" of the elite be viewed?as the result of
exploitation of the masses, or "rewards for the special skills they

34
bring to the task of governing" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p. 6). Do
the elites rule in their own self-interest or are they more public
regarding? For Hunter and Mills, and other elite researchers, the
answer was simple: elites rule in their own self-interest. However,
Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) rejected this simple view and
proposed that greater attention be paid to the ideology of elites in
the community. Some elites were self-interested while others were
public-regarding.
A second difference of opinion among elite researchers concerns
the possibility of change. If the elite rule and are responsible for
the major decisions in society, then it would seem that change could
come about in either of two ways. First, if the elite were to change
their minds about an issue or their ideology, or secondly, if the
composition of the elite were to change (e.g., a different elite were
to replace them or the size of factions within the elite were
altereda realignment within the elite).
Some scholars, however, do not believe that change would result
from a change in the makeup or views of the elite. They believe that
certain arrangements in society, particularly the economic
arrangements, cause a certain kind of elite to emerge, regardless of
the particular personalities of that elite. In other words, in a
capitalist society, economic actors will predominate, and the dominant
ideology will reflect this predominence. Particular leaders (members
of the elite) will come and go, but they will behave in similar ways.
Even if a dramatic shift were to occur in the elite, if the economic
arrangements remain unchanged, the new elite will not be different from
the old except in minor ways.

35
Hunter (1953), Mills (1956), and Domhoff (1978, 1979, 1983) all
saw the possibility of change as very slim. They emphasized that the
elite acted to maintain itself and limit the movement of nonelites to
elite positions. In addition, they saw the structure of rule as a
significant factor in limiting the chance of change. Pluralists have
often pointed to the circulation of elites to counter claims of the
existence of an elite. Often, however, they have failed to pay
attention to the structure of rule. Thus, even if new elites take
over, little will change if this proposition is correct.
Pluralists have contended that it makes little sense to refer to
the rulers of the United States and other democracies as an elite,
because they are democratically elected. Even if the term elite is
properly used to refer to elected officials, it is misleading in that
it implies an unaccountable elite. The elite are accountable because
they may be voted out of office at every election. To use Prewitt and
Stone's phrasing, the "rulers are on probation" (Prewitt and Stone,
1973, p. 23). The composition of the elite is dependent on the public
through elections and so the masses and the leaders are not so unequal
in power. The problem with this argument is that there is a question
of whether elections are really devices to select the public officials,
or do the elected officials themselves control the selection process?
The democratic theorists, according to Prewitt and Stone, respond to
this charge by pointing out that "there are internal power struggles
within the ruling groups. A minority out of power will turn to the
electorate, and thus deliberately involve the citizenry in deciding who
should rule" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p. 25). Also, they point out,
". . American politics has been organized with a view to the inherent
tendencies of ruling classes" (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, 25). This is

36
the notion that checks and balances built into the American system will
prevent leaders from exercising unlimited powers and keep them
dependent upon the public.
Elite researchers like Hunter, Mills, and Domhoff have emphasized
the lack of accountability of the elected officials and the ability of
public officials to manipulate the voters. Mills, more readily than
Hunter or Domhoff, acknowledges the possibility that pluralism exists
at the midlevels of American politics, such as the Congress. However,
none of these three accord much significance to the fact that some
leaders in this country are elected. In fact, they point out, rightly
so, that a major portion of the leadership in this country is
unelectedeconomic leadersand that these leaders are unaccountable
and that elected officials are often subordinate to them. Hunter came
to this conclusion in Atlanta, and Domhoff in his reexamination of New
Haven came to a similar conclusion.
There are many variants of elite theory other than the view
propogated by Dahl and Polsby. Even Hunter and Mills had different
views on elite theory. As pointed out earlier. Hunter did not even use
the term elite in his classic study of Atlanta. Mills conceived the
elite as a power elite.
The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to
transcend the ordinary environment of ordinary men and women; they
are in positions to make decisions having major consequences.
Whether they do or do not make such decisions is less important
than the fact that they do occupy such pivotal positions: their
failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act
that is often of greater consequence than the decisions they do
make. For they are in command of the major hierarchies and
organizations of modern society. They rule the big corporations.
They run the machinery of the state and claim its perogatives.
They direct the military establishment. They occupy the strategic
command posts of the social structure, in which are now centered

37
the effective means of power and the wealth and the celebrity
which they enjoy. (Mills, 1956, pp. 3-4)
Thus the power elite was made up of the captains of industry, the heads
of the military, and the top political leader including the president
and his cabinet, but not the Congress, which Mills saw as being in the
"mid-levels of power."
The power elite was not considered all powerful, but was
sufficiently powerful to get its way on the most important decisions in
society such as war and peace and the economy. Where others have
influence, it is only because the elite was not concerned enough to get
directly involved. They were able to be so powerful because they held
the greatest amounts of the most valued resources in societywealth,
status, and power. For Mills, power, to be exercised required command
of the organizations and institutions in society, something the masses
lacked. The power elite, while not totally cohesive, nevertheless,
formed a self-perpetuating, interconnecting group through commonalities
in social background such as prep schools, upper class clubs, and
intermarriages. Mills, however, is clear that the three groupings that
form the power elite do have differences with each other and that the
relative importance of any of the three blocs can change over time.
Mills also identifies an inner core in the power elite that consists of
those individuals who move in and out of the three groupings. A
Secretary of Defense who was a former corporation president would be an
example of this type of person.
Where Mills saw a power elite containing three parts, the
political, economic, and military leaders at the national level, Hunter
(1953) describes a very different type of elite at the local level.
Hunter talks about "men of power" and "top leaders" instead of an

elite. Policy, he finds, is made not by elected officials, but by
businessmen. He describes these leaders as follows:
38
Most of the leaders are persons of power status. In some cases
they control large industries in which they reign supreme in
matters of decision affecting large numbers of the citizenry.
They are persons of dominance, prestige, and influence. They are,
in part, the decision makers for the total community. They are
able to enforce their decisions by persuasion, intimidation,
coercion, and if necessary, force. Because of these elements of
compulsion, power weilding is often a hidden process. (Hunter,
1953, p. 24)
Hunter finds these leaders are drawn disproportionately from the
business community, and that among the forty or so top leaders, four or
five are at the center. Hunter thinks it is often not possible to
separate government decisions from private sector decisions.
Where do public politics end and private politics begin? There is
a very thin line between the two categories as they were observed
in the study of power relations in Regional City. In the normal
course of events the actions of the private citizen, at least on a
policy-making level of power, are almost indistinguishable from
those of formally designated officials. The dual relationship
between government and economic operations tends to blur into one
process. Yet many community activities which affect the total
citizenry cannot be properly called processes of government.
(Hunter, 1953, p. 171)
This is an important section of Hunter's analysis, for he makes a
distinction between government decision making proper, and policy
making in the community. Hunter's emphasis is on policy making for the
overall community, not the formal outputs of government. This point is
often missed by his pluralist critics.

39
Pluralist Theory
Pluralist theory is not very much clearer than elite theory.
Polsby (1980), in evaluating the criticism of pluralist theory made by
elite theorists, says they fail to distinguish between Pluralism 1,
Pluralism 2, and Pluralism 3. He says:
I propose a distinction among three uses of the term "pluralism"
that seem to correspond to three different senses in which it is
employed in the community power literature, though of course these
are not the only uses to which it is put, in community power
studies or elsewhere. (Polsby, 1980, p. 154)
According to Polsby, Pluralism 1 "refers to eclectic methods of
gathering data" (Polsby, 1980, p. 154). Pluralism 2, he says, is what
we commonly think of as pluralism in the community power field.
The Pluralist 2 state of affairs so described usually has one or
more characteristics that will by now be familiar to readers:
dispersion of power among many rather than a few participants in
decision-making; competition or conflict among political leaders;
specialization of leaders to relatively restricted sets of issue
areas; bargaining rather than hierarchical decision making;
elections in which the suffrage is relatively widespread as a
major determinant of participation in key decisions; bases of
influence over decisions relatively dispersed rather than closely
held; and so on. The list is illustrative, not exhaustive.
(Polsby, 1980, p. 154)
Pluralism 3, he says,
refers to an intellectual tradition that has had some strength in
American political theory. . .It has seemed to me helpful to
group under this general heading works showing some indebtedness
to writers as varied in their views as Madison, Tocqueville,
Montesquieu, and Locke. (Polsby, 1980, p. 154)

40
Thus, Pluralism 1 is a method to study power in the local
communitythe decisional approach. Pluralism 2 is a set of
propositions about how decisions are made at the local levelpluralism
as an explanatory model of local decision making. Pluralism 3 is a
political philosophy or theory that is largely normative in nature.
This categorization devised by Polsby is helpful in distinguishing
among the different types of pluralism, though it suffers because
Polsby is the only one who uses it, and it is suspect because he never
made the distinctions until 1980 and may have been motivated to fend
off criticism of pluralism. The first edition of his work was largely
a Pluralism 1 critique of elite studies.
Prewitt and Stone (1973) talk about Pluralism I and Pluralism II.
Pluralism I is essentially group theory.
To summarize, then, the arguments of group theory, the prevailing
trend in pluralism: Power is widely dispersed among various groups
which represent diverse interests. Those interests that are
unrepresented in groups are represented by the State, which
ordinarily is an umpire, one of whose functions is to oversee the
struggle between groups and set the rules for conflict among them.
Finally, the groups tend to be in equalibrium in the sense that
none continually dominate governmental decision-making and all are
subject to veto by other groups. (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p.
119)
Pluralism II, which they label the "multiple-elite hypothesis,
combines group theory, in finding power to be very diffusely held, and
elitism, in finding that each area is dominated by a narrow elite"
(Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 124-45). Thus, elites operate within
specific policy areas, but there is very little overlap from area to
area.
This last view of pluralism, the "multipleelite hypothesis,"
comes closest to illustrating the difficulty of distinguishing

41
pluralist theory from elite theory, let alone from other variants of
pluralist theory. To some extent, both theories differ only in their
emphasis. The elite theorist emphasizes the concentration of power and
the locus of decision making at the top of organizations and
institutions. There may be bargaining among the participants, but the
relevant factor is who has control of the decision (not necessarily
individuals, but institutions). This is where researchers should focus
their attention according to elite researchers. On the other hand,
pluralists emphasize the way or process by which decisions are reached.
Thus the focus is on what resources were used in what way to effectuate
what result. Bargaining among participants becomes the major defining
characteristic of pluralism. Both orientations may be consistent with
each other, but stress different aspects of the same question. This
may explain in part why it is so difficult to test the models against
one another.
Classifying Communities Using the Theories
A problem related to the difficulty of distinguishing the theories
from each other let alone the numerous variants of each is
classification of communities based upon the theories. Investigators
wishing to make use of the operational concepts of researchers like
Mills and Hunter or Dahl and Polsby find that though it is fairly easy
to distill oyt of their works the essence of their views on how the
system operates and whether it is elite or not, they do not make clear
how to classify a system. In other words, after reading Hunter, we
know Atlanta is run by economic elites, and we even know how to
identify the elites or power structure (i.e.,
a reputational analysis),

42
but we do not know how to classify the power structure based on the
information provided to us by Hunter. What was the determining factor
in calling this community an elite? Was it the number of leaders
identified in the study? Was it the composition of the power structure
and the fact that very few of the top leaders could be characterized as
political rather than economic leaders? Was it the way the system
operated, that is the agreement on basic values and the absence of
major conflict within the power structure itself? Hunter might argue
that in the case of Atlanta it was all of these things. But surely it
is possible, empirically, to have inconsistent findings.
In short, is the identification of a power structure equivalent to
the identification of an elite? Is the existence of an elite in the
community the same as an elite classification? It would seem that Dahl
and other pluralists do not find much utility in the term "elite" or
"power structure." In fact, a major reason why pluralists are so
negative about the reputational method is that they use the terms elite
and power structure interchangeably. Since in their minds, a power
structure is the same as an elite, a method like the reputational
approach which purports to identify a community's power structure by
definition is unsound. This is so because their conception of an elite
is a group that is cohesive, always wins, and is all powerful. Thus
the reputational method identified an elite automatically classifying
the community as elite.
For other researchers, "elite" means nothing more than those who
are in positions to make important decisions in society. The elite may
be subdivided into several components, a political elite, an economic
elite, etc.. Thus, different methods may be used to identify this
elite and some methods may be better suited to identify different types

43
of elites. For example, the decisional method might best identify
political elites while the reputational method might better identify
economic elites. While some like Hunter viewed the economic elite as
the dominant element, the particular structure of the elite and its
scope of power, as well as its ideology and cohesiveness might vary
from community to community. With this conception, pluralism is not
greatly at odds with elite theory, but merely a variant, i.e., the
hypothesis of competitive elites.
In terms of classification of a community as elite or pluralistic,
the literature is unclear about what the criterion is. For some, it is
simply the number of actors or participants identified as the most
influential or controlling in a decision. Thus one may say a community
is elite if less than a certain specified percentage of the population
regularly participates in important decisions, say one percent. For
others, it is not the absolute number of participants in a decision
which matters, nor their percentage of the total population, but
whether there was competition between groups in the community (or
factions within the elite) over the issue. Still others say it is not
numbers, nor competition itself, but whether there is much overlap
among participants from one decision or issue to another. That is,
even if a small number of actors in the community make decisions and
there is little competition among these participants within an issue
area, as long as different decision makers decide decision "A" than
decision "B," the community is not elite, but pluralistic. This is
particularly true if it is elected officials who make up the majority
of overlappers on issues. Even if one were to call the actors in A and
B an elite, the community would be classified as pluralistic using this
criterion. Again, it needs to be emphasized that though a researcher

44
may define an elite as those who make decisions, it is not the same
thing as characterizing the community as elitist. Further
investigation would be necessary before concluding this. We see then
that a semantical difference in language can become paramount in
classifying the community.
Finally, some look to the distribution of resources in society and
the extent of social diversity to classify a community. Are resources
to effectuate policy broadly or narrowly dispersed? Is the community
heterogeneous or homogeneous? For the pluralist, it is the
distribution of the vote which compensates for the great inequality in
the distribution of other resources. Also, the pluralist distinguishes
a potential for influence from actual influence, which is not to be
assumed from the former. This corresponds with Terry Clark's
distinction between a power structure and a decision making structure.
While the power structure may be elite, the decision making structure
may be pluralistic.
And so we come full circle, right back where we started. The
biggest problem confronting those who enter the community power field
is making sense of the contradictory findings in the literature. Why
do so many studies find one thing only to be contradicted by other
studies? The student of community power is left to determine for
himself which of any five possible explanations offered to account for
contradictory findings is most plausible: (1) the two theories are
fairly similar but result in different labels being applied to the
community; (2) the methods are the determining factor, particularly the
research discipline which influences the method chosen; (3) there are
real differences among communities and the conflicting evidence simply
reflects this reality; (4) ideology predisposes researchers to one

45
result or another and causes them to discount evidence contrary to
their original views; and (5) the particular way researchers
operationalize the two theories can structure the results. It is
possible to find scholarly studies which support each of these
conclusions. In the next chapter, the political economy approach is
introduced and offered as a possible route out the community power
maze. Just how much help this approach will be in synthesizing the
elite and pluralist theories is then explored in later chapters by way
of a case study of a community.

CHAPTER III
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH
In this chapter, the political economy approach is introduced as a
method which can bring some order to the disarray found in the
community power field. Also discussed are the proper research design,
approach to identify community leaders, and specific research site.
Eckstein (1975) identifies a number of research designs which may
contribute to theory building. The "heuristic case" study is chosen
because it is designed to generate theory. It allows the researcher to
explore the usefulness of ideas, instead of concentrating on testing
theories already developed, which are more properly studied by means of
the comparative case study or large-scale comparative analysis
(Eckstein 1975; see also Glaser and Strauss, 1967) The heuristic case
is most compatible with the political economy approach.
The Political Economy Approach
Pluralists contend that government dominates the community's
decision making processes. Economic decisions are seen as either
subordinate to government decision making or else considered outside
the scope of local government and so, unimportant for classification
purposes. Elite theory, on the other hand, emphasizes the informal
structure of power based in the economic sector where the real locus of
community decision making is said to take place and then transmitted to
the elected officials. Pluralists view business as just another group
46

47
in the community, while elite theorists see businessmen as the dominant
group. The result is an impasse between the two theories which has
stalled progress towards a theory of community power.
As the last chapter illustrated, competing conceptualizations over
key terms such as "elite" and "power structure" have led to a situation
in which testing is impossible. Elite and pluralist theorists are
focusing on different aspects of community decision making. The
political economy approach is offered as a way out of the conceptual
impasse of the elite-pluralist debate because it synthesizes the two
theories. It does so by emphasizing the importance of leaders in both
the governmental authority structure and the informal business power
structure. As David Garson has written:
American politics are neither the marketplace of group theory nor
the conspiracy of simple elite theories. If America is elitist,
it is elitist in a pluralistic way, or if pluralist, then
pluralist in a way that benefits an elite. Political scientists
would benefit from shedding these terms entirely in favor of a
concept of political economy as a system of power that integrates
production, culture, and power. This concept has been latent in
the writings of the more sophisticated authors in both camps for
some time now. Perhaps some convergence can be derived from
rendering this viewpoint explicit. It is misleading to speak of
elite domination when governing policies are consensual in the
main. Equally pluralist theorists obscure the manner in which
government policies systematically favor a business-based elite.
America is neither a participatory democracy, nor is it dominated
by a political-economic elite. It is, nonetheless, an elitist
political economy. By emphasizing this point, political economy
can be the basis of critical social theory that transcends the
now-sterile debate between group theorists and their critics.
(Garson, 1978, p. 207)
Just what is the political economy approach and how can it help
synthesize elite and pluralist theories? According to Martin Staniland

48
(1985), political economy "refers to a basic issue in social theory:
the relationship between politics and economics. This issue has both
explanatory and normative facets: it gives rise to statements of how
the two processes are related and about how they should be related"
(Staniland, 1985, p. 1). However, Staniland cautions us that there are
several different perspectives on political economy. First, there are
researchers "concerned with the economics of public policy" (Staniland,
1985, p. 3). Then, there is the '"new political economy' school, which
wants to apply the assumptions, language, and logic of neoclassical
economics to political behavior itself, and indeed to the entire range
of public and private decision-making" (Staniland, 1985, p. 3). A
third school, the opposite of the second, is "socialist political
economy." For many, Staniland says this is "synonomous with Marxism"
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3).
Staniland is concerned, however, that many who employ political
economy in their work, confuse a method with a theory. He states:
The trouble is that much writing on political economy implicitly
assumes that the term has unequivocal theoretical meaning, while
other writing mistakes an agenda for theory. Writers attached to
the two main schools [new political economy (neoconservatism) and
socialist political economy (radical)] typically make the
assumption of theoretical monopoly. This leaves a large number of
other writers who content themselves with denouncing the sins of
the existing social sciences and calling for (indeed, often
claiming to have adopted) a political economy approach. Such an
approach is said to be a "methodology" because it recognizes the
connection between politics and economics and thus transcends the
narrow assumptions of economics and political science.
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3)
This study proceeds with Staniland's formulation of political economy
as a method of study which emphasizes the importance of both the public
and private power systems, rather than a theory in itself. Staniland

warns, however, that recognition of a connection between politics and
economics is not enough.
49
This position is like that of a man who thinks he knows how to win
at poker because he has noticed a connection between playing cards
and getting money. The existence of a connection is not
problematic: the problem is to understand what the connection is
and how it works. In this respect, political economy may be a
victim both of its modishness and of its ideological appeal.
Fashion has lent it the status of a theory when it deserves only
that of a fielda rather broadly defined field, at that, and one
over which control is disputed between opposing theoretical
schools. The members of these schools, as well as all the others
who favor some sort of "interdisciplinary approach," contribute to
creating the impression that the desirability of a political
economy approach makes its actual specification a technical
detail. In this way, ambition is mistaken for achievement, and
the identification of a problem is confused with its solution.
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3)
The political economy approach sensitizes us to the need to put
economics and politics back together. But as Staniland points out, it
is not enough to assert that there is a connection between the two. We
must explain the dynamics of that relationship. The real test of the
political economy approach is whether it contributes to "empirical
understanding" (Staniland, 1985, p 6). To help achieve this end, a
number of research questions are offered which will be addressed
throughout this work.
First, what is the structure of community decision making? Are
both the political and economic sectors equally important? The
political economy approach allows us to examine community decision
making without having to commit to one of the theories of political
power in advance. The emphasis is on what do each of the theories
contribute to our understanding of community decision making.
Second, we wish to know how the structure of community decision
making affects policy outputs. Does the structure of community

50
decision making affect the capacity of a community to deal with its
problems in an effective manner? Chapter I identifies some of the
difficulties encountered by researchers attempting to account for
variations in policy outputs at the local level. Terry Clark and other
researchers who switched their focus from "who governs?" to "where,
when, and with what effects?" avoided the conceptual disagreements
between elite and pluralist theorists by simply characterizing
communities as centralized or decentralized (see Chapter I). While
this enabled them to move beyond the elite-pluralist controversies,
their approach lacked theoretical focus contributing to their inability
to obtain significant results. They failed to distinguish between
centralization in government and centralization in the private sector
which we would expect to effect the kinds of policy outputs found in
the community. The political economy approach should help clarify this
relationship by suggesting what policies might be related to
centralization in one or both sectors.
Third, we must ask, what is the relationship between business and
government leaders, if as the political economy approach suggests, this
is the most important set of leaders in the community? If both
government and private sector leaders are equally important, how do
they interact? Are their relations characterized by conflict,
cooperation, or indifference? Under what conditions will
public/private sector leaders dominate community decision making?
A fourth research question concernes the capacity of public
officials and business leaders to alter the decision making structure
in which they act. Many studies of community power treat the structure
of decision making as a permanent attribute of the community. Yet,
leaders can and do act in deliberate ways to change the structure of

51
decision making to suit their needs or desires. Clark et al (see
Chapter I) have been criticized for ignoring political explanations in
favor of a focus on structural and demographic variables. By examining
leaders' efforts to shape the decision making structure we may put
politics back in the equation.
Finally, are there limits to what community leaders can
accomplish, whether public or private, due to underlying systemic
biases? Recent works by Stone (1980) and Lindblom (1977) suggest that
the political-economic system biases outputs and outcomes, regardless
of the individual actors or structure of decision making, in fact, in
spite of them. Stone describes what he calls "systemic power," which
causes public officials to favor upper status interests. Lindblom
discusses the "privileged position of business" vis-a-vis other groups
in society. While it may be difficult to document the existence of
privileged groups in the community, we must remain sensitive to their
presence. An advantage of the heuristic method chosen is that it does
not impose overly restrictive rules of evidence on the researcher,
designed as it is for theory building.
We turn then to the political economy approach to help us escape
the pluralist-elite dichotomy. Let us see how this approach can assist
us in this effort. Most studies of community decision making have
simply characterized the community decision making structure as
centralized or decentralized (elite or pluralistic). However, it is
really necessary to break out the two separate dimensions of
centralization highlighted by a political economy approach. One aspect
is centralization of government. This refers to the fragmentation of
government which reduces the ability of government to coordinate

52
community decisions and policy. Another way to refer to government in
this context is as the authority structure of the community.
In considering the authority structure of the community, we are
interested in the administrative structure of government and its
capacity to deal with problems confronting the community. This
involves the government's ability to identify problems, formulate
policy, and implement programs to address those problems. An important
element then is whether government is in a position to coordinate
community action and whether it can mobilize the community behind its
agenda. It is particularly important in a pluralist community to have
a strong leadership position with the ability to perform this
mobilization function and even to get agreement on the community
agenda.
The second dimension of community centralization is the extent to
which the economic sector is cohesive. In the community power
literature, this has usually been equated with the informal power
structure of the community. If business leaders are cohesive, they can
provide direction and coordination to community decision making which
may be lacking in the governmental sector. While most studies of
community power have treated the informal power structure as a given,
whether elite or pluralist, we shall examine whether organization of
the business community can be the result of very specific steps by
private sector leaders.
To consider decision making in the community without looking at
the two separate elements can result in a distorted view of the degree
to which decision making is centralized. This may have been the source
of some of the difficulty experienced by Terry Clark when he
characterized reform government with centralization. What he should

53
have said was that reform government was a step in the direction of
centralizing the authority structure of the community. This is not
necessarily equivalent to an elite decision making structure, as the
business community can still be disorganized. In reality, the degree
of centralization in community decision making hinges on the structure
of both economic and political authority. Figure 3-1 below illustrates
this point. For instance, if a community were to have a very
fragmented government structure, it might be located at a point "A" on
the Authority Structure line. This would correspond with a community
that was functionally and geographically split (i.e., many special
authorities and municipalities), with little formal coordination
between them. If the business community were located at point "U" we
would say that it was very disorganized and lacked cohesion. We can
well imagine a community experiencing growth so rapid that business
leaders do not know each other and are not organized into a central
business organization such as the Chamber of Commerce.
Authority Structure
Centralized
Decentralized
R
T
A
Power Structure
Centralized
Decentralized
X
W
u
Figure 3-1: COMMUNITY CENTRALIZATION

54
If the government structure is very fragmented (Point A) and
business leaders are very unorganized (Point U), then we might have a
situation akin to what Frederick Wirt (1976, p. 350) has called
"hyperpluralism." In this case, the community is so pluralistic that
it is almost impossible to accomplish any community goals and there is
no common direction or any mechanism to provide coordination. In
reality, most communities fall somewhere more towards the middle of the
lines. These should be viewed as continuums. A completely
consolidated community, like a Jacksonville, might fall at point R in
its authority structure. Most community authority structures would
fall somewhere between Point T and Point A. Much would also depend on
the particular definition of community used by the researcher. A
county would be expected to have a more decentralized authority
structure than a city given the presence of independent cities and its
traditionally more narrow scope.
Seen in this light, the findings of Hunter (1953) and Dahl (1961)
are not necessarily contradictory. The above discussion raises the
possibility that each work is correct as far as it goes. Dahl's
interest was government decision making. He focused on urban renewal,
local elections, and public school policy. Because a different set of
leaders was found to be influential in each area, with only the mayor
exercising power across issue areas, the community was said to be
pluralistic. However, we see that Dahl was really only studying the
authority structure. In similar fashion, Hunter (1953) studied the
informal power structure, saying very little about the authority
structure. He found the private sector leaders to be very cohesive and
organized. While the tone of his work makes it clear that he believed
the authority structure was subordinate to the power structure, he

55
actually said rather little about the authority structure. His concern
was with the power structure and how it acted in the community. Dahl
uses a very narrow definition of community decision making, concerning
himself with the actions of government. Hunter emphasizes private
decision making. Neither gives sufficient credit to the other because
his particular conceptualization of community decision making rejects
the other's viewpoint (see Ricci, 1980).
Case Study and Theory Development
There seems to be a common perception among some researchers that
the case study is to be avoided and that reliance upon it by the
discipline is a hindrance to theory building. For example, Bonjean,
Clark, and Lineberry state:
While the case study can highlight research problems and
illustrate the infinite variety of urban systems, comparative
studies alone are able to test hypotheses and build theories.
(Bonjean, Clark, and Lineberry, 1971, p. 265)
Polsby (1980, pp. 122-23n) states that case studies are a substitute
for theory and suggests that they are on a par with metaphors in that
researchers rely upon them as alternatives to theory. These statements
imply that the case study is inconsistent with theory building, the
goal of social science research.
Few people would argue, however, that Robert Dahl's (1961) study
of New Haven, or Floyd Hunter's (1953) study of Atlanta was
atheoretical. Yet both of these authors used the case study method to
build theories. Even Clark, one of the strongest advocates of
large-scale comparative study and an originator of the Permanent

56
Community Sample, recognizes the role of case study in theory
development. Commenting on the failure of his model to significantly
predict the level of policy outputs, he stated, "at this point we may
turn to the highly detailed case study which can perform an
indispensable function" (Clark, 1971, p. 312). That function is to
help specify the relationship between power structure and policy
outputs.
A strong argument can be made for the case study when used
properly, following the guidelines layed down by Eckstein (1975) .
Eckstein identifies five types of case studies and their utility in
theory development. First, he discusses the
"configurative-idiographic" study which is useful in providing an
overall interpretive description of a particular case but is not
oriented toward theory building. He states:
In configurative-idiographic study the interpreter simply
considers a body of observations that are not self-explanatory,
and without hard rules of interpretation, may discern in them any
number of patterns that are more or less equally plausible.
(Eckstein, 1975, p. 97)
The second type of case study which he identifies is the
"disciplined-configurative" study which views the case as an object of
interpretation by reference to some theory in the field. Eckstein
says:
Case study thus is tied into theoretical inquirybut only
partially, where theories apply or can be envisioned; passively,
in the main, as a receptacle for putting theories to work;
fortuitously, as a catalytic element in the unfolding of
theoretical knowledge. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 100)

57
Thus general theory is used to interpret the case. At the same time,
the case may identify areas which require new theory or areas where
current theory does not fit well.
A third type of case study is the "heuristic case" where the aim
is to create theory. According to Eckstein:
Case study [is] deliberately used to stimulate the imagination
toward discerning important general problems and possible
theoretical solutions. That is the essence of heuristic case
studies (heuristic meaning "serving to find out"). Such studies,
unlike configurative-idiographic ones, tie directly into theory
building, and therefore are less concerned with overall concrete
configurations than with potentially generalizable relations
between aspects of them. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 104)
Thus the heuristic case study is used to generate theory by examining
cases which spur the researcher to explain phenomena for which no
theory or well developed theory exists. By looking at the particular
case, the researcher may discern patterns which may lead him to theory
which may be tested in other cases later on. This type of study may be
superior to comparative study because it allows the researcher to
examine many more variables than can be considered in comparative
research.
The fourth case study which Eckstein discusses is the
"plausibility probe" which is just what it says, a preliminary probe to
determine if one's theories are worth investigating. Probes at one
level may be used "to establish that a theoretical construct is worth
considering . ., i.e., that an apparent empirical instance of it can
be found" (Eckstein, 1975, p. 109). Dahl's (1961) study of New Haven
fits this description, as Eckstein points out. Plausibility probes are
guided much more directly by theory than are heuristic case studies.
Eckstein states:

58
As empirical plausibility probes, case studies are often as
serviceable as, or more so than, comparative onesand nearly
always a great deal cheaper (a prime consideration in probing
plausibility). The economic case for them is strongest where
required information is not readily available in aggregate data or
good secondary sources and is intrinsically hard to get. Case
studies can certainly serve the purpose well if well selected,
that is, if they are such that a result, for or against a theory,
cannot be readily shrugged off. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 112)
The final case study identified by Eckstein is the "crucial case
study." This is the study of a case which seems to fit a theory very
closely, or which seems to not fit a particular theory at all. Thus if
the case still contradicts the theory or the converse, if a case which
should not fit the theory does fit, then the theory is disproved.
Eckstein sees "most-likely" or "least-likely" cases as falling into
this category, in addition to "must fit" cases.
With the exception of the "configurative-idiographic" study, all
of the studies discussed above contribute to theory building, though
some more than others. From the standpoint of community power
research, the crucial case study, plausibility probe, and heuristic
case study are the most useful for advancement in the field. The
configurative idiographic and the disciplined configurative studies
already abound in the literature. New community power studies which
are merely descriptive or interpretive would not contribute appreciably
to the development of a more general body of knowledge which all
sciences strive for. Given the cost of the large-scale comparative
study and the limitations of aggregate analysis previously discussed,
by default, progress in the field will depend on the crucial case
study, the plausibility probe, or the heuristic case study. As

59
Eckstein points out, there is nothing to prevent researchers from
combining case study strategies.
The present study is a heuristic case, as the political economy
approach offers some new directions and understandings for both elite
and pluralist theory. Since the aggregate comparative study is
inappropriate for this task, there was little choice but to rely on the
case study. While a plausibility probe or crucial case would be the
most desired approach, at this stage of research it was felt unwise to
overly structure thinking or expectations as to what would be found in
the community. In the community power field, with all of its studies,
the greatest limitation has seemed to be researchers' inability to keep
open minds.
A Research Site
Broward County, the second largest county in Florida, was chosen
as the research site precisely because its power structure and
governmental authority structure were evolving. The structure of
community decision making was unclear. According to one newspaper
study (Lovely, 1983), it was not even possible to identify community
leaders. At the same time, leaders in the private sector had managed
to organize and conduct a community retreat to identify and discuss
community problems and set the stage for later action. Broward County
had many of the qualities desirable in a research site, given the type
of study (heuristic case) and the purpose of the study (to apply the
political economy approach to community decision making in order to
synthesize elite and pluralist theory). There was evidence that the

60
community was pluralistic, yet private sector leaders were acting to
create a more unified power structure.
While government appeared fragmented (29 municipalities and a
county government), several steps had and were being taken to
centralize government authority. In 1974, Broward adopted a "home rule
charter," allowing the county to make many of the decisions for itself,
that had previously been made in Tallahassee. The charter also marked
an increase in the scope of county government, in that it provided for
the assumption of final land use authority by the county over
individual cities' land use plans. The charter was followed in 1978
with a major bond issue to upgrade services across the board in the
county. More recently, a Government Efficiency Committee was set up to
study local government and make recommendations to improve its
organization an operation.
An additional reason for choosing Broward County as a research
site was its accessibility. Broward was most accessible in terms of
proximity, costs, personal knowledge of the community, and personal
contacts who could serve as valuable sources.
Identification of Community Leaders
Once deciding on the case method, a particular approach to
identify community leaders had to be selected. The purpose of
identifying community leaders is two-fold. First, obviously, it is
necessary to identify who the leaders are in a community and how they
interact. Second, and just as important, however, is the need to
identify a bank of very knowledgeable sources if one is to try to
understand local political dynamics. Community leaders are experts on

61
their politics and decision making. If we are to attempt to improve
our explanations of local decision making, it is necessary to root our
analysis in the realities of the community. These sources are
invaluable in accomplishing this task.
Decisional Approach
Most readers are familiar with the methodological debate between
the positional, reputational, and decisional approaches to identify
community leaders. The decisional approach, advanced by Dahl (1961),
Polsby (1980), and Wolfinger (1960), involves studying several issues
or decisions in detail noting the participants, their resources, and
most importantly, their actual behavior. Dahl's (1961) study of New
Haven is the classic example of the decisional approach to study a
community.
The major criticism of the decisional approach is that it
overlooks the nondecision problem described by Bachrach and Baratz
(1962). Other criticisms are that (1) the choice of decisions to study
is subjective and can bias the study; (2) by focusing only on actual
behavior one may overlook "anticipated reactions" on the part of some
actors; (3) the role of government officials tends to be overstated;
and (4) that it tends to devalue the role of private sector leaders in
community decisions. Perhaps most damning of the criticisms is the
point made by Ricci (1980) that if the reason for adopting the
decisional approach is the inadequacy of the reputational method (as
stated by Dahl and others) because of its reliance on subjective
interviews rather than objective evidence, then nothing is gained.
This is because the researcher who uses the decisional method must also

62
rely on the interviewee's subjective account of events and assessments
as to who exercised the most influence over the outcome of decisions.
Positional Approach
The positional method was popularized by C. Wright Mills (1956).
It involves identifying major institutions and leadership roles which
exercise political power. Once these have been identified, what
remains is to trace the interconnections among these positions and
relationships (sometimes referred to as network analysis). The
positional approach may be used as the sole method of identifying a
decision making structure, or may be combined part with the decisional
and reputational approaches. Critics of the positional method point
out that leaders, whether elected or not, may be figureheads and not
truly the exercisers of power. Pluralists object to the positional
approach because one is not studying actual behavior, which they claim
is necessary to demonstrate that the holder of a position actually
participates in decisions or exercises power in some way.
Reputational Approach
Finally, there is the reputational approach, used by Hunter (1953)
in his study of Atlanta. It involves identifying knowledgeable sources
in the community (usually by the positional method) and asking them who
the most powerful individuals in the community are. The greatest
drawback to the reputational approach is its reliance on the
interviewee's subjective assessment as to who is powerful, as pointed
out above.

63
In criticizing the ruling elite model, Dahl (1958) implicitly
criticizes the reputational and positional approaches to identifying
decision making structures. Essentially, he is critical of three
aspects of these two approaches. First of all he says that each
"confuses a ruling elite with a group that has a high potential for
control." What he means is that while those identified as members of
the "power structure" may have the capability to control the community,
this is quite different from saying they actually control the
community. Which is to say that the reputational and positional
methods ignore the possibility that an elite group may actually have a
"low potential for unity" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). In his view, actual
decisions must be studied as it is possible that a "group with a
relatively low potential for control but a high potential for unity may
be more politically effective than a group with a high potential for
control but a low potential for unity" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465).
Furthermore, Dahl believes that using these two approaches leads
the researcher to mislabel a group found "to have more influence than
any others in the system" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). In other words, just
because a group may have more influence over some decisions than others
does not prove the existence of an elite. Ultimately, this is because
the vote is so widely dispersed, that the masses retain enough power to
thwart an elite group's influence in the long run. Also, other groups
may change the balance of power at any point in time.
Finally, Dahl most vehemently objects to methods which "generalize
from a single scope of influence" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). He states:
Neither logically nor empirically does it follow that a group with
a high degree of influence over one scope [of influence] will
necessarily have a high degree of influence over another scope

64
within the same system. This is a matter to be determined
empirically. Any investigation that does not take into account
the possibility that different elite groups have different scopes
is suspect. (Dahl, 1958, p. 465)
Wolfinger (1960) similarly criticizes the reputational approach.
His major objection to this method is that it assumes reputation and
reality are the same thing. In addition, he is concerned that the
reputational method assumes leadership is general, while studies like
Dahl's suggest that leadership is specialized. By just asking who are
the top leaders in the community, one may overlook the possibility that
there is little overlap among leaders in different issue areas.
The decision was made to use a variant of the reputational method
in this study. While there are some problems with the reputational
approach, the decisional approach does not offer any significant
advantage over the reputational method. Both methods rely on the
interviewees' subjective assessment of empirical reality as pointed out
by Ricci (1980). In addition, there are several steps which can be
taken to improve the reputational approach. First of all, as pointed
out, it is important to distinguish the two elements of decision making
from each other. Dahl and Wolfinger mistakenly conclude that the
reputational method identifies only the power structure and not the
authority structure. If used properly, the reputational method
identifies both sets of leaders. Wolfinger and Dahl's criticisms of
the reputational approach center on the conclusions about power that a
researcher using the method is likely to make. Viewed as a method to
generate a set of community knowledgeables, the reputational method can
be quite effective. In fact Wolfinger is not critical of this view.
He states:

65
It can be argued that the reputational method should be regarded
as merely a systematic first step in studying a city's political
system rather than a comprehensive technique for discovering the
distribution of power. Under this modest construction the
researcher would not rely on the method to identify and rank all
of decision makers but would use it as a guide to knowledgeable
persons who would in turn give him leads to other informants until
he had a complete picture of the political system under study.
Viewed in this unambitious light, the reputational technique is
little more than an elaborate variant of the older procedure of
asking political insiderscity hall reporters, politicians, and
so onfor a quick rundown on the local big shots in order to
identify potentially useful interviewees. (Wolfinger, 1960, p.
637)
His objection is that
reputational researchers do not make such modest claims for their
method, nor do their critics take such a limited view. While I am
not aware of any explicit published statement to this effect, the
reputational studies give the impression that the technique is
regarded as considerably more than a ritualized introduction. The
putative validation of findings yielded by this method, the
assumption that a 'power structure' consists of those persons most
often given high rankings by panels of judges, and a tendency to
limit descriptions of decision makinng to the activities of the
top ranked leaders all point to a belief that this method is a
sufficient tool to study the distribution of power in community.
(Wolfinger, 1960, pp. 637-38)
Certainly the reputational method is effective as a technique to
identify knowledgeable persons in the community and solicit their views
about community decision making, though care must be taken that one
does not have a biased sample of sources which would give an incomplete
view of the system. However, Wolfinger overstates the case against the
reputational method as a means to identify community decision makers.
It is true that a decisional approach would be complementary and help
to refine and delineate the decision making structure. However, if
time and resources are limited the reputational method can give a much
better overview of community decision making. The danger is if one
attempts to classify the community with reference only to the

66
reputational survey results without regard to the detailed interviews
that accompany the survey of leaders.
The reputational method utilized in this study will be modified in
three ways to correct for pluralist criticism of the approach. First,
several elected officials are built into the first panel of community
knowledgeables that actually nominate the "community influentials."
Half of the first panel will be made up of elected officials in order
to make sure that the final list is not biased in any one direction,
especially towards business leaders. Second, respondents are asked to
name ten, instead of just five of the most influential members of the
community. In this way, we can try to get a larger sample of leaders
and prevent an arbitrarily low number of leaders from being identified
by this method. Then, if a small number of leaders is found, it will
not be an artifact of the question. Third, respondents will be given a
set of index cards with the names of community actors on them to refer
to as they respond to the question of who the most influential persons
in the community are. These names were culled from newspaper articles
and a positional analysis. This ensures that respondents consider
persons from a wide variety of groups and that political leaders are
included in the sample to be considered. The intent is to make sure
that respondents think in broader terms than just their own circle of
relationships. Respondents will also be encouraged to add names of
individuals not included in the index cards. (For more on this method
and how it is applied in the study see the next chapter.)
Classification of the community will be based not on the reputational
results themselves, but on the basis of descriptions provided by
leaders identified in the reputational survey. This should meet
Wolfinger's objections and overcome the problems of classification

67
discussed in Chapter II. This approach has been used by Wirt (1974)
San Francisco.
in

CHAPTER IV
DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY: A LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE
In keeping with our research premise that theories of political
power ought to be operational in the community, if they are to be given
credence, let us see who Broward County's leaders are, and how they
describe their political structure. Then we may see how this fits in
with the two major theories of political power, elite and pluralist
theory.
Leaders in Broward County were identified by a two-step
reputational analysis. First, ten individuals were selected to serve
as a panel of knowledgeables to identify community influentials. An
attempt was made to secure a broad-based group of individuals to serve
on the first panel. The positions they occupied were as follows:
1. Banker
2. County Commissioner
3. Political Party Official
A. State Legislator
5.Minority Leader
6. Port Commissioner
7. Condominium Leader
8. Large Employer
9. Media Representative
10.Labor Leader
By including several elected officials in the first panel, an attempt
was made to overcome the pluralist objection that the reputational
method is biased towards finding a small economic elite.
Each person on the panel was asked the following question:
Communities throughout the country typically contain certain
persons who influence community actions greatly. In your opinion,
who are the ten most influential persons in your community and
why?
68

69
Respondents were then given a set of approximately fifty index cards
containing the names of community actors. The cards were arranged in
alphabetical order, the names having been drawn from a positional
analysis. Respondents were encouraged to add names of individuals who
they considered influential, even if there were no card on them. Names
were added and deleted to the set of cards in order to keep the total
number of cards manageable.
The second step of the reputational approach consisted of
interviewing as many individuals as possible who got two or more
nominations from the panel of knowledgeables. A snowball technique was
used, in that anyone who received two or more nominations was added to
the pool to be interviewed. In all, thirty-six individuals received
two or more nominations. Thirty-one of these individuals were
interviewed about Broward County decision making, leaders, and issues
in the community. In addition to the open-ended reputational study,
approximately twenty other knowledgeables were interviewed in their
areas of expertise. Seven of the original panel of knowledgeables were
later found to have two or more nominations. There were, however,
significant differences in the rankings between the two steps. Table
4-1 lists the results of the two-step reputational analysis.
Elite or Pluralist?
Who are Broward's leaders? How many community influentials are
there? In response to the question posed above, we get a picture of
Broward's leadership structure. First of all, the respondents differed
amongst themselves about the number of influential persons in the

70
community. One respondent, a banker, said there were more than 200
leaders in Broward, and one could not single out just ten as the most
influential. An elected official said there were over 1000 leaders in
Broward, again saying ten was too few to talk about. He then proceeded
to name so called "stars." A third respondent, also an elected
official, cautioned that just because he identified ten as the most
influential in Broward, it did not mean that there really were ten
leaders in Broward who got together and decided things (reminiscent of
Polsby's criticism of the the reputational method). A fourth leader,
also an elected official, said he did not think he could name just ten
leaders, but then said I had the leaderships' names in my set of index
cards.
This was in contrast to the views of several other Broward
leaders. A banker said there were between 30 and 50 leaders in
Broward, closer to 30, who were really influential. An executive of a
large company in Broward said there were only about 20 to 25 leaders
who were involved on a regular basis. Another said there were between
10 to 15 individuals who were very active. This was complicated by the
tendency of businessmen to consider only private sector individuals as
leaders. Several respondents failed to name any public or elected
officials as among the most influential persons in Broward County.
Nevertheless, a picture does emerge from the respondents' answers.
Regardless of the protestations of a few of Broward's leaders that over
100 or even a 1000 persons were very influential in the county, the
two-step reputational method in fact identified just 36 leaders. The
great majority of Broward's community influentials, as found in
interviews, identified only a relatively few number of leaders in
response to the question asked above.

71
While some pluralist critics might argue that the question asked
limited the number of influentials identified, the question asked
leaders to identify "ten" influentials instead of the normal "five"
posed in most reputational studies. Thus, starting with panel 1, the
knowledgeables, a potential 100 different names could have been
identified as community influentials, if there were no overlap in
responses. From here, the number of leaders named as influentials
could have gone into several hundred or thousand.
Table 4-1 identifies the top leaders in Broward County as found in
the reputational survey. Table 4-2 compares these leaders with the
rest of the residents of the county. An examination of this table
quickly reveals that Broward County leaders are not representative of
the community as a whole. No blacks and only four women were
identified as top leaders. While this does not necessarily mean that
women and blacks are without influence in the community, it does
suggest that despite progress that women and blacks have made in
securing equal rights and opportunities in society, they have not yet
achieved parity with white males.
These leaders are by no means homogeneous. The religious
background of the top leaders is shown in the table below. If this
group is an elite, it is not a white Anglo Saxon Protestant elite.
Over one-third of Broward's top leaders are Jewish, and one-fifth are
Catholic. These leaders are alike in several other ways, however. In
addition to being all white, and predominantly male, they are
overwhelmingly democratic and college educated. Only four of Broward's
leaders have never been to college. More than half of them have
graduate degrees, mostly law. Almost three-fourths of them have a
bachelors degree or higher. This is even more notable when we see that

LEADER
Houston
Farber
Rush
Whiddon
Forman [Ham]
McTigue
Jenne
Gustafson
Josias
Lippman
Lochrie
Shaw
Grossman
Perez
Adams
Chambers
Campbell
Sullivan
Smith
Leonard
Stahl
Horvitz
Forman [How]
Scott
Rosenkrantz
Fischler
Beach
Brescher
Hall
Lomelo
Platt
Thompson
Cowan
Fried
Millsaps
Young
72
TABLE 4-1
BROWARD COUNTY COMMUNITY LEADERS
NOMIN
ATIONS POSITION 1234567
23
18
14
13
13
12
12
9
9
8
8
7
7
7
6
6
6
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
Barnett Bank South
X
Leonard Farber Inc.
X
ACR Electronics
X
Causeway Lumber
X
United Federal S & L
X
M.R. McTigue & Co.
X
State Senator/Attorney
X
X
State Legislator/Attorney
X
X
Attorney
X
State Legislator/Pharmacist
X
X
Sun Bank South
X
Congressman
X
County Commissioner
X
AFL-CIO
Broward Community College
Gulfstream Development
X
Ft. Lauderdale News
X
Florida Power & Light
X
Congressman
X
Attorney/Board of Regents
X
X
Broward Federal S & L
X
Hollywood Inc.
X
County Commissioner
X
State Senator/Attorney
X
X
Condominim Leader Lauder
X
dale Lakes Councilman
Nova University
County Commissioner
X
Sheriff
X
Arvida Corporation
X
Mayor, City of Sunrise/
X
Democratic Party Chair
Attorney
X
County Commissioner
X
County Commissioner
X
County Commissioner
X
Retired [Landmark Bank]
X
Fort Lauderdale City
X
Commission
x
X
X
X
14 17 71 1 3 1

73
Table 4-1 continued
KEY: 1=BUSINESS
2=PUBLIC OFFICIAL [Public or Private]
3=PR0FESSI0NAL [Lawyer (only practicing lawyers were put in this
category), Pharmacist]
4=LAB0R
5=MEDIA [also treated as business]
6=EDUCATION
. 7=CONDOMINIUM
NOTE:
Several leaders' positions changed during the course of the study which
could have affected their rankings. Houston left his position at Barnett
Bank, though most respondents felt this would not affect his position in the
community. He and Farber are now collaborating on a bank.
Campbell was promoted to the Los Angeles Times in the middle of the
study. Therefore, people stopped selecting him as a community leader and his
overall rank is probably substantially lower than it otherwise would have
been. His replacement was not yet known to respondents.
Lomelo was ousted as chairman of the Democratic Party and replaced by
George Platt shortly after field work was completed. Platt would probably
rise in the rankings as a result and Lomelo would drop. (Actually, Lomelo is
probably no longer a factor in Broward politics. He was indicted and
convicted of extortion, and is presently serving time in prison.)
SOURCE:
The data presented here were collected between June and December of
1983. Thirty of the 36 leaders who received two or more nominations were
interviewed. Two did not respond to the question of who the most influential
persons in the community were. Three of the 28 who answered the question
said there were too many influential leaders in the community to talk of just
ten. These results are based on 25 respondents who answered the question.
Twelve individuals received one vote each.

74
TABLE 4-2
CHARACTERISTICS OF LEADERS AND CITIZENS
COMMUNITY INFLUENTIALS RESIDENTS
RELIGION
Catholic
20%
(7)
Protestant
37%
(13)
Jewish
34%
(12)
None
9%
(3)
n=35
SOURCE:
Interviews
RACE
White
100%
(36)
Black and
other 0%
(0)
n=36
SOURCE:
Interviews
SEX
Male
69%
(25)
Female
11%
(4)
n=36
SOURCE:
Interviews
PARTY IDENTIFICATION
Democrat
77%
(27)
Republican
17%
(6)
Independent
6%
(2)
n=35
SOURCE: Interviews
POLITICAL ATTITUDES
Extremely Liberal
-
-
Liberal
-
-
Slightly Liberal
15%
(4)
Moderate
52%
(14)
Slightly Conservative
7%
(2)
Conservative
22%
(6)
Extremely Conservative
4%
(1)
n=27
32%
43%
15%
Fort Lauderdale News (1980),
p. 9.
88% (897,670)
12% (120,530)
Florida Statistical Abstract
(1983) Table 1.42, p. 24.
47% (483,557)
53% (534,643)
Florida Statistical Abstract
(1983) Table 1.35, p. 18.
60% (346,800)
32% (184,399)
8% (43,205)
Broward County Supervisor
of Elections Office
28%
15%
46%
Fort Lauderdale News, (1980),
p. 9.
SOURCE:
Interviews

Table 4-2 Continued
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
Below High School
-
4 Years of High School
14%
1-3 Years of College
17%
4 Years of College
17%
5 or more years
55%
n=29
-
30%
(207,702)
(4)
37%
(263,549)
(5)
18%
(125,179)
(5)
9%
(63,095)
(16)
6%
(43,295)
1980 Census Handbook
Florida Counties, Table
4.06, p. 162, 165.
SOURCE:
Interviews, news
articles and resumes.

76
only 15 percent of the residents of Broward County have a college
degree. Finally, Broward's community leaders tend to be moderate, many
fewer at the political extremes than in the public at large. About half
of the leaders interviewed identified themselves as moderate.
Twenty-eight percent of the residents called themselves liberal and 46
percent conservative.
Classifying the Community
The fact that there was substantial overlap among the leaders
identified as community influentials strongly suggests that power is
not widely dispersed in the community. However, as pointed earlier,
the number of leaders found through the reputational method alone is
not sufficient to classify a community as elite or pluralistic. More
important is the relationship among the leaders.
How then are we to classify the community? If we accept the
notion that whatever else these persons identified by the reputational
analysis are, they are experts on their community politics, then we may
begin here. Community leaders, as found in the reputational survey,
were asked to characterize Broward County's political structure.
Twenty-six of the leaders interviewed described a community which we
would commonly label pluralist [1].
The majority of respondents used phrasings which parallel
pluralist descriptions of communities such as
-changing coalitions depending on the issue
-no cohesion
-no small group of individuals
-vested interests

77
-diverse population with differing interests
-lots of entry points
-no ongoing structure
-very fragmented
It will be helpful to look at some of the statements made by
leaders in characterizing the community's decision making structure
[2]. A developer put it this way:
There is no structure in Broward like elsewhere. People do not
trust each other herejealous of control, suspicious. There are
tiny empires, vested interests. Ineffective and inefficient as a
result. Broward is about as uncontrolled a situation as you would
find. As the city gets bigger, it's out of control.
A banker described Broward's decision making in a similar fashion:
It's very fragmented. Everybody has his own interests. Sometimes
they overlap. Sometimes they ask help of each other. I do not
always know what the others are up to, nor them, me. . .In most
instances, there is a different mixture of groups in each issue.
In the county commission, interplay, conflict, debate, and the
answer to solve the problem comes out.
Another businessman summed it up this way:
People come together for only short term durations on issues.
There is no ongoing continuous power structure. These people come
together, work on projects and disassemble. Some give time to the
community because they want to live and work in a stable
community, any benefits are secondary. While for others, the
benefits are more direct. Power in Broward is dispersed. That is
not a problem if there is good leadership. . .In Broward there
is no cohesiveness. In Broward you can accomplish something that
is pretty obvious. The issue itself has to be one that will
attract a favorable response. It borders on the least common
denominator. For example, the bond issue to provide capital
improvements was structured to include something for everyone,
blatant.

78
An attorney characterized Broward as follows:
There was a book on Florida power structure in 1973 [Butcher,
1973] which found in Broward there was no distinct leadership
elite, power was fragmented. No single individual. So many
factions, at war with itself. This just precisely described the
situation today. Some names have changed. It's very fragmented,
complicated, complex. Broward is at war with itself. [3]
Factors Associated With Pluralism
Why did leaders believe Broward was so pluralistic? Leaders
identified a number of reasons for this including the newness of the
area, rapid growth, geographic divisions and social diversity, the
different orientations of the young and the old, fragmented government,
and the lack of county-wide structures. A major business leader said
there is
a failure of unity in Broward for two reasons. First, there are
28 to 29 cities in Broward with provincialism so we are left with
an inefficient government structure with duplication. Secondthe
young and the old. Older people are not as concerned with
education. Generally, the older people came from some other city.
Younger people feel 180 degrees opposite from their positions. As
there are more older people, there will occasionally be more
political problems.
This view was echoed by other leaders in the community. A developer,
after describing Broward as pluralistic, was asked why this was so. He
explained that the community was pluralistic "because no individual or
group is strong enough to bring together the community. No group is
able to say get together. . .Time and money keeps people apart." He
continued:

79
Broward is relatively new, about 20 years. Players don't know
each other. Areas don't talk. Old people want a voice but also
want to be left alone. It is not their home. They paid taxes and
identify with where they last came from.
It was not just the elderly, however, as "business leaders are not
always sure who others are in Broward." He compared the situation to
that of Jacksonville.
In Jacksonville, they are more cohesive. They have not had the
dramatic growth. There is a structure created and people know it,
though it is permeable. People can come and go. Players there
are established and known powers. If an issue comes up, you know
who to get together.
But this still does not tell us why Broward has not developed an
effective cohesive power structure. Certainly rapid growth is a
factor, as pointed out by the developer above. Trounstine and
Christensen (1982) found rapid growth was very much a factor in the
pluralist power structure found in San Jose, California:
While virtually every change broadens participation, nearly every
one is related to growth, which may be the single strongest
summarizing factor in alterring a city's power structure. The
irony is that although it is usually old-guard elites that force
growth on a community, as they bring growth they sow the seeds of
their own destruction. And what happens when growth stops?
Presumably, the community power structure freezes, or if the
decline of the community is sufficient to produce changes in any
of the characteristics listed the trend reverses itself.
(Trounstine and Christensen, 1982, pp. 46-47)
In Broward, it would appear that rapid growth brought a different
population increasing the social diversity of the community, a major
cause of pluralism, according to Dahl. The new migrants were elderly
and in large part, Jewish. These new residents were mostly Democratic,

80
locating in the western and southern parts of the county resulting in
geographic splits and generational conflict.
But other areas have also experienced rapid growth without it
seeming to affect the power structure in the same way. Bert Swanson is
currently researching Houston and characterizes it as having a business
elite power structure which dominates community decision making.
Sylvia Thompson has been studying Dade County, Florida, which has also
experienced rapid growth and a changing ethnic and racial population.
Her preliminary findings indicated that an elite dominates community
decision making there. Why then did Broward County develop such a
pluralistic community decision making structure? From interviews, a
possible answer emerged [4].
It is not just rapid growth which causes pluralism, but whether
the community can integrate the new population and either absorb new
power centers into the existing structure or prevent the emergence of
new power centers which can challenge the existing order. In Broward,
this capacity did not exist according to several leaders. The social,
political, and economic mechanisms that integrate the community and
create a small unified group with similar interests are absent. As an
elected official put it:
There is no cadre of leadership that can make decisions.
Geographically, the county is divided into the north, central, and
south. Leaders in the south are unknown in the north. Little
economic interests span the county. With the 29 cities,
fragmentation. The major city [Fort Lauderdale] has 10 to 12
percent of the population. There are park, hospital and water
districts. There is divided influence without central authority.

81
A banker pointed out that Broward did not have a single paper read
by everyone in the county as is the case Miami. In South Broward, they
either read the Miami Herald or the Hollywood Sun Tattler. In Central
and North Broward, they read the Fort Lauderdale News. Broward does
not have a major television station so people must rely on stations
from Palm Beach or Miami with Broward bureaus for their news. This
means Broward usually gets secondary treatment. This, the banker said,
hinders the development of a community identity. The banker said you
need county-wide structures, whether organizations are civic or
otherwise. A chance to get together. Not just because it's a
county cultural center, convention center or downtown. The
physical presence gives identity to the community. That's why
they are important.
An elected official emphasized the clash between the old and the
new residents in terms of party membership.
Broward will not get a small group of leaders like Dade. Dade was
organized before labor or condos came. Everything was
concentrated in the downtown. Broward was Republican, the new
people were Democrats. Power was diffused. Broward is a more
open community than Dade. People can get into politics without
anyone's support. A self-starter can make it.
In other communities, there may be social diversity and government
fragmentation, yet the business community, often centered in the
Chamber of Commerce, provides the focus for a cohesive elite. In
Broward, however, the business community is as split as the political.
A developer compared the situation in Broward to that of Dade County.
There is one Chamber of Commerce in Dade. The Greater Miami
Chamber is the business power. Its consolidated in Dade and they
have the support of banks and utilities. Broward is diffuse. We
have brought the West Broward Chamber in with the Fort Lauderdale

82
Chamber. We should bring in Pompano and Hollywood. It won't
happen because of staff. Business in Dade did it. There is more
big industry in Dade. In Broward, shopkeepers and local banks do
not want it either.
Consequences of Pluralism
Though the majority of respondents reported a highly pluralistic
community, they were somewhat critical of this decision making system.
This is ironic given the common view that pluralism is as close to
democracy as we can practically attain. The leaders identified a
number of problems associated with pluralist decision making. Among
them were
-an inability to get big deals (large projects for the
community)
-difficulty getting an effective program from the
legislature
-discouraging trade and industry from locating in the
county (hindered efforts to attract)
-makes it difficult if not impossible to accomplish
anything
-prevents the emergence of leaders
The following excerpts should clarify these community leaders'
objections to pluralist decision making. After describing Broward as a
pluralist community, a developer was asked whether it would be better
to have a well integrated, more unified power structure. Yes, he
replied:
It would be good. The Broward Workshop [an organization of top
private sector leaders] is the latest effort. Miami has a group.
When they speak, they are listened to. In Miami they move
projects, and get good legislative candidates. They are able to

83
get legislation. They are able to get transportation facilities,
bond issues, revitalization. Trade and industry come.
Here in Broward we don't have these things. If the XYZ company
wants to move its plant to Broward, is there any one guy to call
and get it done? No. If you needed 50,000 dollars for a campaign
for a bond issue, there are probably not a couple of leaders who
could get it.
An attorney also talked about the difficulty in getting things from the
legislature because of Broward's pluralism.
Broward is short-changed because it can't mount a unified approach
in Washington or Tallahassee. There is no consensus amongst
themselves.
This was echoed by another developer.
We do not have an effective organized program for the legislature
related to state issues and even advanced to the national.
Elected officials also see Broward's pluralism as a problem. An
elected official was asked whether it mattered that leadership was
splintered in Broward, as he had described. He said that if you do
"not have strong support, you are not successful. You must get
everyone together." This is very difficult in Broward. He drew this
analogy to development: "little deals are like little developments," in
that you are left with alot of "spaces to fill in. It won't be as big
or as well planned as a large development." He said in Broward, no
"big deals" could be accomplished due to its pluralistic system of
decision making. He said little deals do not take many people to
complete. An example he gave was the Performing Arts Center planned
for downtown Broward County. It required a commitment from the City of
Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, the State of Florida, and the Downtown

84
Development Authority. Only a few people are involved in an effort
like this. Each committed to support the Performing Arts Center to the
tune of 5 million dollars.
To many of us this might seem like a "big deal," but in this day
and age, 20 million dollars is really not that much money, especially
when four government entities are providing support. When pressed for
an example of a "big deal," the official was hard pressed for an
answer. After some prodding, he thought perhaps the Charter adopted in
1974, which changed the structure of county government might be an
example of a big deal, though he had no first-hand knowledge of this.
Another source in the community described how the lack of a more
unified power structure may have prevented or at least delayed a
Broward legislator from becoming Speaker of the Florida House of
Representatives. According to this source, in running for Speaker,
"solid backing from the hometown is crucial." He said, "the most
influential and top leader in Broward was not for Tom Gustafson in his
race against Jon Mills for the 1986 Speaker position. As a result, we
lost two of the Broward delegation to the Gainesville man [Jon Mills]."
He was referring to J. Edward Houston, president of Barnett Bank South.
According to this leader, "if Barnett Bank said we want a politician
from another part of the state to be Speaker, Houston would follow."
Barnett Bank, the head office of which is in Jacksonville, was
supporting Jon Mills of Gainesville and Houston "will do what is good
for Barnett Bank first."
Another banker shed some light on problems resulting from a
pluralistic decision making structure.

85
It is really difficult to do something. You must start from
scratch each time. If there was an ongoing group, a sounding
board to develop different things, it would help. There isn't, we
don't do that in Broward.
Statements like these suggest that we take another look at the
way we have approached the linkage between power structure and policy
outputs. In Chapter I, it was pointed out that a number of hypotheses
about power structure and policy outputs have been formulated and
tested, with very inconclusive results. Most of the studies trying to
make a connection between power and policy have looked at the level of
policy outputs in the community, usually in terms of expenditures or
participation in federal grant programs. However, interviews with
community influentials in Broward County suggest that perhaps
researchers are looking at the wrong level. Most federal programs
instituted in the 1960s were based on communities meeting certain
criteria. Whether a community participated in Model Cities or poverty
programs may have more to do with community characteristics that
community politics, in that many of these programs are formula driven.
In short, according to leaders in Broward County, their
pluralistic decision making structure has undesirable
consequencesless success in economic development than more
centralized communities, difficulty in getting good legislative
candidates, fewer leadership positions in state government, fewer
resources from the state and difficulty putting together "big deals."
Lastly, and this may be the most severe problem with a decentralized
decision making structure, individuals tend to drift into and out of
leadership positions. Consider this leader's frustration:

86
There is no leadership in Broward. There are smart successful
people, not leaders, that can take charge and go for it. . .
People would follow, if there were a leader. There is leadership
on specific causes. The 1978 bond issueEd Houston did a good
job on that cause. Afterwards, he was not effective, too busy in
other areas. Chuck Cobb put together the South Florida
Coordinating Council made up of 100 corporations doing business in
three counties [Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach]. They played a
leadership role with a good executive director. After he left, it
went down hill because they did not have leadership. Roger Hall
put together the Broward Legislative Fly-In [state legislators
were brought to the county and given an overview of Broward's
problems and needs, as well as wined and dined]. He raised funds
from the private sector and it came off well. It was a good job
but it took alot of energy. This is not something these people
would want to do every day.
Asked why there is not permanent leadership, only leaders for specific
causes, he replied:
There are so many forces that go against it. It's wearing and
difficult. People shoot at you all the time. It's difficult to
get people to move in one direction. Look at the history of the
airport improvement plan since 1972. Consultants, money, ten
yearscrazy lack of leadership. The forces against prevent
permanent leadership. We are provincial from municipality,
council, mayor, to chamber.
He was asked why no one has stayed as a leader after their specific
activity.
I am not sure it is worth it for anyone because of the degree of
difficulty. Maybe a guy like Lomelo [mayor of the City of Sunrise
and chairman of the Democratic Partycurrently serving time in
federal prison for fraud] persistent and energetic in Sunrise, but
most people would go against it though.
Leadership in a Pluralist System
In the
a system of
preceding section, we saw that leaders in Broward
decision making consistent with pluralist theory.
described
They do
not see a small group of leaders who run things, and they decried the

87
lack of a permanent on-going leadership, identifying a number of
specific problems associated with pluralist decision making in which
they operated. In spite of these problems, leaders do act and
decisions do get made. Exactly how do leaders operate in a pluralist
system? This question was put to a number of community leaders
identified in the reputational analysis.
In interpreting their answers, one sees that the clarity of the
two separate theories breaks down. While Broward County is not
necessarily an average community, there is little reason to expect that
Broward is atypical in this respect. Whatever differences exist
theoretically between the two schools of thought, elite and pluralist,
seem to be blurred in the community. Almost every description of
leadership behavior can be interpreted equally well by either theory
without distorting the leaders' responses. Without ideological
predispositions to interpret the findings, it becomes difficult if not
impossible to say one is correct and the other false.
How Do They Operate?
A banker explained that "there is a nucleus of individuals who are
involved, but they must expand beyond that to go anywhere if they want
county-wide support." This phrasing is important if we are to make any
sense of the conflict between elite and pluralist theory. For the
elite theorist, this suggests that there is an inner core, while the
pluralist emphasizes that this "nucleus" must "expand beyond" that to
gain "county-wide support." Obviously, the pluralist would say, there
is little sense in talking about an elite that is not powerful enough
to act on its own. Other groups and the people must be brought in to

88
accomplish projects or move ahead with agendas. The following account
of how leaders act in the community illustrates the ambiguity of these
findings.
According to a prominent businessman, the head of a major employer
in the county, "who is involved depends on the issues. These ten
leaders stand out. There are maybe 20 to 25 people in Broward who are
involved, take time and put money in to get things accomplished." He
explained further:
These leaders, particularly the top ten, form coalitions to
orchestrate what needs to be done before it ever gets to the
county commission. The county commission is the organization that
passes upon issues. For example, on the convention center, these
leaders did the legwork and research and then took it to the
county commission. The leaders do not see alot of each other.
The businessman pointed out, however, that the leaders could not do it
all on their own. They had their limits. He said:
On a long term project such as the convention center, these ten
cannot convince the whole community. They must go out and build a
broad coalitiongo to the cities, county, private business,
tourism, and the elderly. They must explain why it is beneficial
to them and then get the financing. These 20 to 30 leaders have
vested interests. It is difficult to get agreement within the
group of leaders itself. In addition, each city wants the
convention center. For instance. Plantation wants the convention
center even though it has no hotels.
The use of the term "orchestrate" to describe what the leaders do,
as well as his characterization of the top leaders as a "nucleus of
individuals," would suggest more structure and organization than one
would normally associate with a pluralist system of decision making.
It recalls Hunter's Atlanta, a community with a hidden elite deciding
things out of the public's view. In describing how a small group of
*

89
leaders helped quash a tax revolt and a recall petition against county
commissioners that threatened a major bond issue (see Chapter VI), this
businessman sounded even more conspiratorial.
There was a small group who met and worked on the tax revolt. We
prefer that people just know that there is some force that does
something quietly, unknown. It was a handful of people who got
together and discussed it. If they wanted to help, fine.
Otherwise, can go, but keep mouth shut. We wanted to remain
anonymous and out of view. To identify the participants would
violate confidences.
He was asked whether leaders ever get together on other things besides
the tax revolt issue. He said:
It depends on what surfaces. Nothing else that visible, but the
ongoing future development of the county. Every community is
different. No one group. There is a core of people perceived as
movers and shakers, a nucleus. Start a convention center, go
here, do that, over a long period of time. The names that appear
on everyone's list are the one's I'm talking about. Not those who
get five votes, but those with 10 or 15. It's not cliques, more
dynamic than that. There are different varied interests. In
business area, not as cliquish. There are few leaders and many
followers. All want to be associated with someone perceived as a
leader. A few idea peoplehere's how to do it and the time
frame. Others are good at implementing, followers. Everybody is
moving at a different pace but a common goalthe improvement of
the community at all levels.
Asked whether public officials are ever part of this group, he offered
the tax revolt issue as an illustration:
Public officials are brought in later. When the commissions about
to be deposed, they are brought in and told, we will help you but
you must be more responsive in the future, but we want d,b,c, and
d. Now we will fight this by saying this is not the time or way
to object. We need unity. Give and take. If the commissioners
said no, then the group would not assist them. We would pull back
and say roast. The commissioners don't come directly to the
group. They come through an intermediary. The group asks what do
they want. Cut deal. Still politics, but now in the front room
and not the back. A tax revolt is only once every five years.

90
But he does not think there is an organized elite: it is a "very
unstructured system. Issue by issue. Not only deal with detrimental
things. We work more on how to do something beneficial for the
community. It goes on quietly."
His answers could be discounted were he the only leader to have so
described Broward County. However, several other community
influentials gave similar opinions. Another business leader talked of
a small group of leaders which resembles the elite described by Hunter,
but acts in a pluralist system. His description could fit either
Hunter's Atlanta or Dahl's New Haven. He started out by explaining
"Broward is fragmented, but still 20 names should stand out." He
continued, "each person creates an orbit that e moves in, those he
sees. Some of the circles overlap. Everyone's is different. No two
people with certain circles completely identical."
Asked whether news articles about Broward's dispersed power
centers were misleading (Lovely, 1983), he replied:
I do not like the term fragmented. All of the leaders are in
different orbits. A certain number at a meeting will do things.
Not all of them have to get together. If you took all the names
in your card file, a group like that, or even the top 10 or 20 of
them, if they ever were totally committed to anything, any needs
in Broward, it could not miss with all the talent and power that
is represented there. The Workshop is bringing together such a
group. A nucleus of leaders get together and say have got to do
something. If it is a worthwhile deal, the others can't say no.
The same people finance, provide leadership, and motivation.
Dahl would not have any great problem with the above statement
arguing that this businessman only points out that the group identified
has a high potential for control; a criticism he makes of the ruling
elite theorists is that they do not distinguish between potential power
and actual power (Dahl, 1958). This is the same distinction Clark

91
(1975) makes when he defines a "power structure" as the distribution of
potential power in the community, and a "decision making structure" as
the distribution of actual exercised influence. However, leadership
behavior in Broward cannot be explained away so easily.
We will see in the next two chapters that Broward leaders have
acted to change a decision making structure which they perceive as
flawed. To overcome the problems of pluralism, they have attempted to
centralize community decision making, first, by changing the
governmental authority structure and second, by organizing and
formalizing leadership in the private sector. In the language of
community power, they have sought to create a more unified power
structure. Both of these efforts are examined in the following
chapters.

92
Notes
1. Initially, respondents were presented with a series of four types
of communities. Type 1 was a community in which there was controversy
over community issues, but it was always the same groups and
individuals versus each other no matter what issue was under
consideration. In Type 2, there was also controversy, but it was
different individuals and groups pitted against each other depending
upon the issue under consideration. Type 3 was a community in which
there was little controversy over issues and a high degree of consensus
about what should be done among leaders. Type 4 was a community where
the bureaucracy pretty much kept things running and addressed problems
regardless of what was going on in the leadership.
This approach to determine the type of community Broward County most
approximated was discontinued after a few interviews because it took a
great deal of time to list the different types of communities to
respondents and tended to cut off discussion. In place of this
question, a more open ended approach was utilized, asking respondents
to describe in their own words how community issues were addressed and
whether the community resembled either an elite or pluralist decision
making structure. For instance, respondents were told that in some
communities a relatively few leaders got together and decided community
issues. They were then asked whether this pattern was descriptive of
Broward County. This method was found to be very effective and
resulted in more thought out answers with examples. It also lended
itself to further probing.
2. Quotes of community leaders are reconstructed quotes based on
extensive notes taken during interviews. While a tape recording would
have guaranteed accurate quotation, it was felt leaders would be
reluctant to speak openly with a tape running. In some instances, to
ensure the confidentiality of respondents, quotes have been alterred.
The substance of the quotes, however, was never changed. If passages
were deleted from quotes, it is indicated by ". .". Regardless of
the gender of a source, the person was always referred to as "he.
3. I was surprised at how far the community power jargon had
penetrated the community. This respondent was not the only one
interviewed to be familiar with such terms.
4. Bert Swanson is presently working on a study of Houston's power
structure. Sylvia Thompson was interviewed in December of 1983 at the
University of Miami.

CHAPTER V
CENTRALIZING DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY:
THE AUTHORITY STRUCTURE
Leaders in Broward County discussed a number of movements towards
centralizing community decision making. It seems that Broward's
leaders do not merely voice discontent with pluralist decision making,
they have taken concrete steps to centralize decision making. This
will force us to reconsider our views not only about the desirability
of pluralism as a way to make decisions, but also the extent to which
community leaders may shape the system within which they operate. It
has already been pointed out that leaders feel the present structure
does not allow them to deal with the problems of their community in an
effective manner. This chapter discusses what has and is being done to
overcome these limitations in the area of political reforms. The next
chapter considers efforts to centralize the informal power structure in
the business community. The structure of government and the informal
power structure are not simply givens; rather the degree of
centralization in community decision making is to a great extent
dependent on the deliberate actions of community leaders, working to
shape these structures to suit their needs.
Growth and Development in Broward County
In the last chapter leaders identified a number of factors
associated with pluralism in the community and how these further
fragmented community decision making. Chief among these was growth and
93

94
development in the community. Let us take a closer look, then, at how
the county grew.
Broward County was created in 1915, carved out of Dade and Palm
Beach County. In 1920, the City of Fort Lauderdale had a population of
2,065 with another 3,070 people living in the rest of the county, for a
total population of 5,135. By 1981, Broward County had 29
municipalities and a population of 1,047,313 (Fort Lauderdale/Broward
County Chamber of Commerce, 1983, 3-2). Table 5-1 should help give
some perspective to Broward's rapid growth. Between I960 and 1970,
Broward was the fastest growing county in the nation, practically
doubling in size. Between 1970 and 1980, Broward's growth rate was 64
percent. The medium projected population of Broward County in 1990 is
1,314,300 (Florida Statistical Abstract, 1983, p. 46, Table 1.84).
Thus, Broward's growth rate of approximately 29 percent is still
relatively high in the eighties.
The pattern of development in Broward County was largely the
result of market forces. Development occurred in large tracts. Old
farms and large pieces of property held by one or a few owners provided
developers with the opportunity to develop large scale projects. In
the past, as a developer built a large development, he would go to
Tallahassee and incorporate the area. This served the developer's need
to control development and put needed infrastructure in place by
drawing on municipal taxing powers without an aggressive city council
regulating the types of development permitted. Developers could also
avoid the need to comply with the county's or city's (if it were
annexed) planning and zoning requirements. As development occurred and
sufficient population moved in, a council would be set up. These

95
development cities were by and large completed before citizens had
sufficient power to challenge or request changes in the types of
development to occur. Many cities are still dominated by developers
today. Table 5-2 lists municipalities in Broward and their year of
incorporation.
While this pattern of development served the developers' needs
rather nicely, it resulted in Broward having a very fragmented
structure of government29 municipalities and a weak county government
that has a rural mindset. The municipalities were very independent and
competitive. Development regulations were very lax, often written by
the developers themselves, and the infrastructure was very limited.
Residents newly arriving from the northeast had a difficult time
identifying with any community other than their particular development.
Many of the cities faced common problems including a deficient revenue
base and economic base. There was insufficient land set aside for
industry, as developers built residential retirement communities in
many ins t anc es.
TABLE 5-1
BROWARD COUNTY POPULATION, 1920-1980
YEAR
POPULATION
CHANGE
PERCENT
1920
5,135
1930
20,094
+ 14,959
291%
1940
39,794
+ 19,700
98%
1950
83,933
+ 44,139
111%
1960
333,946
+ 250,013
298%
1970
620,100
+ 286,154
86%
1980
1,018,200
+ 398.100
64%
SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce, 1983, p.
3-2, Table 3-1.

96
TABLE 5-2
MUNICIPAL INCORPORATIONS BY YEAR
1904 DANIA
1911 FORT LAUDERDALE
1925 DEERFIELD BEACH
HOLLYWOOD
1929 OAKLAND PARK
1939 HILLSBOROUGH BEACH
1947 HALLANDALE
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA
POMPANO BEACH
1953 PLANTATION
1954 WILTON MANORS
1955 MARGATE
MIRAMAR
1956 LIGHTHOUSE POINT
1957 PEMBROKE PARK
1959 COOPER CITY
LAUDERHILL
SEA RANCH LAKES
1960 DAVIE
PEMBROKE PINES
1961 LAUDERDALE LAKES
1963 CORAL SPRINGS
NORIH LAUDERDALE
PARKLAND
TAMARAC
1973 SUNRISE
SOURCE: Walter W. Falck, Executive Director, Broward County League of
Cities.
Efforts to Unify Government Decision Making
There is a long history of government reorganization in Broward
County, which is rooted in a desire to overcome the fragmented
governmental structure produced by rapid development. Consider the
leaders' responses to this fragmentation in the authority structure.
We can analytically distinguish several kinds of centralizing reforms
that would improve a commmunity's ability to identify its problems and
take action to rectify or at least alleviate them. First of all, a
community needs an administrative structure capable of coordinating
policy making and implementing programs. Secondly, it needs an actor

97
capable of mobilizing the community behind programs, and, indeed able
to shape the agenda in the first place.
In Broward County, there have been reforms aimed at improving the
administrative structure of government, efforts to consolidate some of
the municipalities, attempts to enlarge the scope of county government
and thereby reduce functional fragmentation, as well as consideration
of various functional consolidations of services. In addition to
reforms aimed at improving the administrative capabilities and policy
making of the community's authority structure, more recent reforms
focused on developing a strong and effective leadership by creating a
strong-mayor form of government instead of the current
commission-manager system. The intent of this change is to provide a
visible position of leadership which can set the community agenda and
mobilize support behind it. The latter is thought to be particularly
crucial in this fragmented community.
Government Efficiency Study I
Since the late 1960s, there have been four major reform efforts.
The first was in 1969, when the state legislative delegation of Broward
County appointed a study committee to examine the number of
municipalities in Broward and to consider consolidation. The impetus
for this effort stemmed from legislative campaigns and perceived
inefficiencies with the fragmented political system which had evolved
as Broward grew. The Government Efficiency Committee was composed of
15 persons and provided with $75,000 to hire a staff and undertake a
study. The committee broke itself into two groups, one to study the
consolidation of cities and the other to study the consolidation of

98
services. After a year of study, the committee proposed that a number
of cities be consolidated, reducing Broward's 29 municipalities to a
more manageable number. Second, the committee recommended
consolidating a number of services including water, sewer, fire,
police, and beaches, parks, and recreation. They presented their
proposals to the legislative delegation and requested an additional
year to study some of the issues more closely. The state legislative
delegation failed to act on either recommendation.
Though the reforms did not go through, it is clear that the
committee was trying to reduce political fragmentation in Broward
County by, first, reducing the number of cities in the county and thus
the number of competing policy makers and interests. Second, by
addressing functional consolidation of services, the committee was
attempting to provide more uniform service delivery throughout the
county and to eliminate functional fragmentation of certain policies.
In other words, one governmental entity would be responsible for the
provision of certain services county-wide regardless of the wishes of
individual municipalities. The effect of both proposals would have
been to centralize authority in the county government, by reducing the
number of independent municipalities and providing for uniform service
delivery of certain basic services by one central government. While
none of these reforms were successful, government reorganization needs
should be seen as a long-term process, rather than as a series of
unrelated events. In 1970, for instance, the former chairman of the
committee ran for the state legislature and won, defeating an incumbent
legislator who had failed to act on the committee's recommendations.
His ran on a platform of government efficiency.

99
Home Rule Charter
The next serious effort to reorganize government in Broward County
occurred in 1973. In the few years since the previous study, the
county had undergone a number of changes. Growth had continued at a
staggering rate. Congestion on the roads had reached a critical point.
Infrastructure problems had caught up with Broward. The county and
cities were facing a crisis in that they were unprepared for the growth
which had occurred. Environmentalists were alarmed at the destruction
of the water recharge areas which threatened water supplies and the
future of the Everglades. County Commissioners were persuaded of the
need to modernize their antiquated form of government after revelations
of money mismanagement and charges of corruption began appearing daily
in the press. These charges were made even more believable when a
grand jury investigation resulted in criminal charges being filed
against the County Comptroller.
In October, 1973, the County Commission voted to set up and fund a
Charter Commission, as provided by the 1968 Florida Constitution. Over
a ten-month period, the charter commission members met and wrote a
county charter; and after eight public hearings, the charter was put to
the voters and approved. The final document contained several major
changes in the organization and powers of county government. In
particular, the new charter first restructured county government by
creating an appointed county administrator "with power to hire and fire
employees and coordinate the 65 independent departments that previously
directly reported to the five County Commissioners" (Gortmaker, 1975,
p. 12) and second gave the county new powers to manage growth in the
county. According to Richard Aiken, "with Article Vi's provision that

100
all municipal land use plans within the county will conform with the
county plan, the intent of the charter is unmistakably to provide for
areawide control of growth" (Aiken, 1976, p. 4). Third, the charter
reduced the reliance of county government on the state legislative
delegation, because charter governments in Florida are accorded greater
autonomy over their activities.
Each of these changes centralized and strengthened county
government authority. The move to a county administrator coupled with
the elimination of some constitutional officers (e.g., the tax
collector and county comptroller) was intended to create a governmental
structure capable of coordinating the administration of policy and to
provide a mechanism that could identify and respond to the problems
facing Broward County in the 1970s and 1980s. The latter included the
adoption of professional management practices and regular audits. As
Kenneth Jenne, chairman of the county commission, and former executive
director of the charter commission, put it in his State of the County
Message: "The County Commission had functioned since 1915 wearing two
hats, those of the policy-maker and the administrator of day-to-day
affairs" (Jenne, 1977, p. 1). He continued elsewhere in his message:
On the management side, County government was unevenly
administered, and lacked the necessary structure for strong and
consistent adherence to the policies of the governing body.
Professional management was unknown to County government. With
Florida as one of the nation's fastest growing states, no state
audits of County spending had been published since 1964, and there
was no systematic provision for outside audit by professional
firms. As might be expected under these circumstances, citizen
involvement in County government was minimal, and there were few
attempts to act cooperatively or even to coordinate with the
municipalities. (Jenne, 1977, p. 2)
Thus under the new structure of government it would be possible to

101
address issues in a more coordinated fashion than the previous
government structure was capable of. As Jenne put it, "there was no
coordination of these services (senior citizens, troubled youth,
criminal offenders, frustrated consumers, etc.) prior to the charter"
(Jenne, 1977, p. 8).
The charter reforms focused on more than setting the county's
administrative house in order. The power of county government over
individual cities in the area of land use planning and pollution was
greatly increased. For the first time in Broward, the county was in a
position to unilaterally coordinate growth management policies, not
only in the unincorporated areas, but in the cities themselves. Indeed
the county government now has the power to override individual cities'
growth policies. Not only did the reform reduce municipalities'
autonomy, it also eroded some of the functional fragmentation that had
been part of the policy making environment. This is a major first step
towards voluntary functional consolidation of services. Giving the
county responsibility for growth-managment began a movement towards
regional delivery of certain services, an issue which had first been
raised in the Government Efficiency Study in 1970 and would be picked
up in future reform efforts.
John Degrove and Carolyn Lawrence have pointed out, that, in
general, "county governments, metropolitan as well as non-metropolitan,
have greatly expanded their role in providing services to their
residents" (DeGrove and Lawrence, 1976, p. 9). More specifically, they
state:
The one [function] that surely will increase the influence of
county government in the federal systemgrowth managmentis only
now beginning to be used by counties as a tool to determine

102
intracounty population patterns and to plan and coordinate the
delivery of services. (DeGrove and Lawrence, 1976, p. 9)
By giving the county responsibility for this area, clearly the charter
w as centralizing authority to act for the community. There is little
doubt that any differences of opinion between the cities and the county
would be decided in favor of the county. Aiken underlines this point.
Possibly anticipating city-county conflict, the Charter Commission
drafting the document also included the following statement"The
powers granted by this Charter shall be construed liberally in
favor of the county government." (Aiken, 1976, p. 4)
Gortmaker comes to a similar conclusion, though she believes the
charter does not go as far as it could have in terms of centralizing
power. The cities are still left with a great deal of independence.
After weighing what was politically feasible in Broward County,
the Charter Commission produced a document that many said later
came out stronger that they ever anticipated. One of the most
controversial parts establishes a countywide land use planning
council that strips the 29 cities of this power and lets a county
agency make these ultimate decisions. If a city creates a land
use plan that conforms to an overall county scheme, however, the
city can handle its own zoning provided it complies with its
original land use plan. The charter also allows muncipal
ordinances to prevail, except in areas of land use and pollution.
(Gortmaker, 1975, p. 12)
Third, the new charter provides the county with a greater degree
of autonomy than that accorded most counties in Florida. The Florida
Constitution, as revised in 1968, allows counties which adopt a charter
form of government (which requires voter approval) greater leeway in
running their own affairs. In Florida, counties without charters must
frequently go to their local legislative delegation and ask it to

103
introduce local bills in the state legislature for a whole range of
activities. For instance, a county without a charter may not
reorganize its governmental structure without going through the state
legislature. Thus, the local legislative delegation becomes quite
active in local government. A chartered county may restructure its
government through passage of a local ordinance. Kenneth Jenne has
commented:
Those of us who supported this concept (a new government structure
via the charter commission process) said that it would provide a
home-rule form of government with far less dependence upon
continuing legislative approval for local policies and programs.
It has certainly done just that. Our legislative package is
almost completely addressing statewide matters rather than those
solely affecting Broward. (Jenne, 1977, p. 2)
Indeed, the reorganization of county government itself would have been
much more difficult to accomplish without the charter reform, as it
would have required passage of a bill in the legislature. As Jenne
pointed out, "because we have home rule, the Commission . organized
county government's far-flung operations into seven (7) major
departments without having to depend on Tallahassee to approve the
changes" (Jenne, 1977, p. 4). In fact, it might have been quite
difficult to reorganize local government through Tallahassee, as
previously, department heads had been quite independent and well
connected with the state legislature.
In sum, the charter reforms centralized the political authority
structure in three ways. First, a county administrator was appointed
in conjunction with reorganizing county government. The purpose of
these changes was to reduce departmental independence and provide for
greater coordination of government activity. It was hoped that a

104
revamped administrative structure would be able to implement commission
policy efficiently and effectively. Second, county government was
given authority over land use and pollution policies in the entire
countyi.e., the cities as well as unincorporated areas. In other
words, the county would now have responsibility for growth management
even in the cities reducing functional fragmentation.
Third, chartered counties, under Florida's Constitution, have
special privileges. Specifically, charter governments are given a much
greater degree of freedom from state interference in running their day
to day affairs. In Florida, unchartered governments must frequently
request state legislative approval for even the most basic of
activities. Since Broward established a charter government, authority
is more centralized in the county commission which no longer must rely
on the state delegation to steer local bills through the assembly.
Greater autonomy in decision making enhances centralization of decision
making and policy making. The state delegation has essentially been
removed as a central actor in local decision making.
In spite of these centralizing effects found in the charter, the
authority structure in Broward is not as centralized as it might have
been. In fact, leaders of the reform effort were quite cognizant of
the fact that much greater centralization could have been proposed, but
felt that the charter went as far as was practicable at the time. No
attempt was made to consolidate local government. This was not even
seriously contemplated. Other than in the area of growth and land use,
admittedly an important service, no attempt was made to subject cities
to county authority.
Indeed, the fact that the charter did not go as far as some
advocated in centralizing decision making authority was turned into a

105
major selling point for the charter. A paper was published emphasizing
the limits to centralization as compared to the centralization of
authority in Dade County ("Synopsis of the Differences Between the
BROWARD COUNTY CONSTITUTION and the DADE COUNTY 'METRO' CHARTER"). The
opening paragraphs speak for themselves:
It is important to realize that the intention behind the
creation of the BROWARD COUNTY CHARTER was to form a streamlined
County Government, which could more readily perform necessary
services to the unincorporated areas and bring about more
efficiency in the structure of County Government which has existed
since 1885.
The Dade County "Metro" Charter was created for the purposes
of creating a Central Metropolitan Government for all of Dade
County.
The Rough Draft of the Broward Charter reflects the basic
premise of reformation of an antiquated system, while, on the
other hand, the Dade Charter specifically authorizes the Dade
County Commissioners to be a government with immense override
power of the municipalities. (Synopsis, 1973, p. 1)
The paper goes on to list specific differences between the Broward
County Charter and that of Dade County, pointing out that the
government reforms proposed in the charter are nowhere near as
centralizing as those put into effect in Dade. First, the Dade charter
established a "Metropolitan Government" with the power to redraw city
boundaries and determine the "functions and powers of the Cities."
Second, the Dade charter provides for a much greater degree of
functional consolidation of services under the county government.
Third, Dade's charter provides a broader grant of powers to the county
commission to act "in the common interest of the people of the County."
The report points out, in comparison, that Broward County's charter
provides for a limited county government lacking authority over
municipalities except in the area of land use.

106
Even in the area of land use, there are important constraints
which limit the centralizing effect of the charter. Though cities are
required to bring their land use plan and density levels into
conformance with the county plan, the county plan is written by the
Broward County Planning Council, an entity created by the Charter. The
Council is composed of 15 members appointed by the county commission.
However, of the two appointments given each of the seven commissioners,
one must be a municipal official. This accounts for 14 of the council
members. The fifteenth member is a county commissioner selected by the
full commission. In other words, seven of the 15 members of the
planning council are municipal officials. This gives the cities quite
a bit of input into the county plan that they must conform to. In
essence, municipalities have been given an institutional role in
writing the comprehensive plan which restricts the centralizing effect
of this reform. Still, the fact that the county commission retains
final authority over the plan and must approve it and any future
changes is a centralizing force and should not be downplayed.
Centralization of government authority varies from the most
centralized form, full consolidation (Jacksonville), to metropolitan
government (Metro Dade), to charter government (Broward), to
unchartered government. It should be pointed out that the exact degree
of centralization embodied in a charter is an open-ended question. It
is not the charter itself which determines the degree of
centralization, but the specific structure and powers granted to
government under the charter. At a minimum, adopting a charter
government frees county government from much state involvement in local
affairs.

107
Government Efficiency Study II
The charter reforms adopted in 1974, which took effect in January
of 1975, were not the end of government reform efforts in Broward
County. There have been additional attempts to centralize the delivery
of services and leadership of the county government. In 1982, a state
legislator from Broward pushed a bill through the state legislature
creating a study commission to examine Broward County's government.
Not only did this bypass Broward's charter review process (by giving
the study commission the power to place proposals directly on the
ballot, without the county commission's approval), the bill also
required the county to foot the bill for the study's work! The county
commission balked at the study being rammed down its throat and at
being forced to provide as much $100,000 for the study group. As far
as the county was concerned, the state delegation was not playing by
the rules.
Also, there were suspicions that the study group was instigated
out of jealousy over salaries. At the time the local bill passed the
state legislature, Broward County Commissioners earned $37,000 a year
compared with $12,000 for state legislators. Eventually, a compromise
was struck between the legislative delegation and the county commission
which resulted in the county setting up the Government Efficiency
Committee through a county ordinance and the state repealing the law.
The Committee was composed of 21 members, seven appointed by the county
commission, state delegation, and League of Cities (an organization of
Broward's municipalities) respectively. They were given a free reign
to study just about anything they wanted. A former state legislator's
aide was selected to serve as the executive director. After a slow

start, the study group decided to tackle the question of service
delivery and functional consolidation, avoiding the very divisive
subject of cities-county consolidation.
Throughout the Committee's existence, it was plagued by the
reluctance of participants to take stands on issues. In the summer of
1984, the Committee came out with its recommendations which were
presented to the county commission for consideration. First, the
Committee recommended that the county stop providing municipal services
and concentrate on regional services. In the Committee's own words:
To achieve the goals of efficiency, management effectiveness
and political adequacy, the relationship between the various units
of government in Broward must be more fully defined.
Overlapping and duplicative functions should be reduced or
eliminated by assigning repsponsibility for specific services to a
city or county government. By reducing or eliminating service
competition and by more adequately defining the powers of city and
county government, better utilization of public resources will
develop.
The committee feels two-level government will improve
accountability by making an easily identifiable unit responsible
for each government service. Better service and public facility
planning will also result from a clear definition of the role and
function of local government. The Committee recommends that
Broward local government move toward service delivery on a system
of two levels, municipal and areawide. . .
In an attempt to make government more directly responsive to
its taxpayers, the Committee reviewed several basic services
provided by several levels of government in Broward and
recommended assignment of the responsiblity to one level or
another. (Broward County Government Efficiency Study Committee,
1984, pp. 7-8)
It is instructive, however, that of the services the Committee
examined, it could find very few that should remain municipal services,
while it found quite many which should be provided at the areawide
level. Among the services that should be provided at the areawide
level were water, wastewater, solid waste, regional type parks, social
services, building inspection codes, and detention. Those services

109
clearly identified as municipal were fire protection, neighborhood
parks and recreation, and police road patrol. Movement towards a
two-tiered system of service provision in Broward County should
significantly centralize decision making at the county level. While
the Committee left open, in some instances, the question of who should
provide areawide services, in all likelihood the county government
would be the service provider.
The second major recommendation of the Committee concerned
governmental structure, and in particular a proposal for an elected
county mayor. The Committee stated:
In its attempt to formulate a better service delivery system for
Broward County, the Committee came to the realization that the
County's governmental structure merited review. Reasons for the
review were two-fold. First, the Board of County Commissioners
requested that the Committee review the issue of an elected mayor.
Second, pervading the discussion of service provision was the
issue of poor and often hostile communications between county and
municipal governments. These communication problems give rise to
a lack of trust between the levels of government, hampering
efficient and cost-effective compromises. (Broward County
Government Efficiency Study Committee, 1984, p. 16)
Yet the Committee did not recommend the adoption of a strong-mayor form
of government. What they intended was that the county retain the
council (commission)-manager form of government, with an appointed
county administrator remaining "head of county government." However,
instead of following the current practice of selecting a commission
chairperson every year from among the commission's ranks, the Committee
wanted to have someone run for the position of mayor. The Committee's
intent was to provide for "clear discernible leadership to bargain and
speak for Broward with other governmental leaders." The Committee was
quite clear about wanting to retain the county administrator.

110
Such a mayor would serve as a member of the legislative body,
with the same voting abilities as the other commissioners.
Clearly, the mayor as envisioned in this system would not infringe
upon the administrator's duties and responsibilities as outlined
in the present Broward County Charter, but rather would embody
additional needed communicative and political influence. Such a
position would replace the commission chairman which now rotates
annually.
The Committee recognizes the need in Broward for strong
leadership to galvanize all factions of Broward's diverse
population, and feels such goals could best be realized with a
legislative county mayor who had powers and responsibilities
expanded from the present chairman's role. Such a person would be
Broward's "ambassador" to other government units and the private
sector, providing a readily identifiable Broward image. (Broward
County Government Efficiency Study Committee, 1984, p. 17)
The Committee also listed the "powers and duties" that should be
given the mayor:
1. Serve as the presiding officer of the Commission.
2. Present annually, ... a ^'State of the County" message,
setting forth programs and recommendations to the Commission.
3. Serve as the official representative and ceremonial dignitary
for Broward County to the private and public sectors with the
prerogative of issuing proclamations.
4. Sign ordinances, resolutions and other legislative documents
for the Commission.
5. Call the Commission into regular and special session.
6. Preside over the committee charged with reviewing nominations
for department heads by the County Administrator.
7. Serve as ex-officio member of quasi-policy-making boards and
commissions.
8. Appoint one additional person to boards and commissions in
his/her role as mayor in addition to appointment authority given
to him/her as a commissioner. (Example: Each Commissioner would
have two appointments to Broward County Zoning Advisory Board: The
Mayor would have three).
9. Have the option to hire one additional staff person in addition
to regular allocation to the office of a commissioner.

Ill
10. Be provided an adequate expense account over and above that of
the office of a commissioner to carry out the duties of the office
of mayor. (Broward County Government Efficiency Study Committee,
1984, pp. 17-18)
In essence, it was the Committee's view that a pluralist
community, such as Broward, must have a centralized authority structure
to provide coordination and direction to community policy making. What
happened to this effort to centralize the authority structure? The
verdict is still out on functional consolidation of services and on the
movement towards a twotier system. It appears that the county will
end up providing area-wide services, in large part because the costs
associated with them are beyond the reach of many municipalities. It
is less clear whether the the county can get out of the municipal
services business. Unless the state legislature forces an annexation
plan on the community or the county and cities agree on one and ask the
legislature to adopt it, the county will have to continue providing
these services. Unlike Dade County, Broward cannot alter city
boundaries. The present laws requiring double majorities will make it
extremely difficult if not impossible to accomplish annexation, even if
the cities were willing, which many are not.
The idea of an elected mayor was turned down by the county
commission. According to one observer, the reason the commission
opposed the change was that "some of them were afraid they would end up
losing power." As long as the chairmanship is rotated, each
commissioner has a crack at it, and no one personality can overshadow
the others. However, if there were an elected mayor, the commissioners
must actually face the voters for the position. If they lose, they are
off the commission, as only one person can win the office. Competition
would undoubtedly be fierce for the office. Under the present policy

112
of rotation, an incumbent commissioner will eventually become
chairperson. This is not the case if the switch is made. A
commissioner would have to put a program together and face the prospect
of losing. Those lacking the drive to go for mayor would find their
visibility and independence diminished by the change as well.
This same observer suggested an additional reason for the
rejection of this proposal. "When there is major scandal, you get
successful change in local government." Though many are dissatisfied
with the present structure and performance of county government in
Broward, there is not any crisis. It is a familiar observation in the
government reform literature that crisis is a necessary condition of
reorganization.
This has not kept some from trying, however. When the commission
decided not to act the Governmental Efficiency Study Committee's
recommendation in this area, the Chamber of Commerce attempted to force
the measure on the ballot through a petition drive. Though the Chamber
failed to obtain sufficient signatures by the deadline, they were more
successful than many had expected. The issue has not died. Around the
time that the Government Efficiency Committee was releasing its Final
Report in May of 1984, the League of Women Voters decided to undertake
a study of the issue. They collected data from communities across the
United States and studied it. They came to the conclusion that Broward
should adopt a strong mayor form of government. They are presently
putting together a proposal to separate the executive and legislative
powers by giving an elected mayor veto powers over council votes, as
well as allowing the mayor to hire and fire the county administrator
and department heads. They do not merely want to create a figurehead
mayor, but a strong mayor. As soon as they have worked out the details

113
of their proposal, they will launch a petition drive to place the
measure on the ballot.
The proposal will have the backing of the Chambers of Commerce,
the League of Women Voters, the Broward Workshop, the Economic
Development Council, and others in the community. Opponents of the
proposal are expected to include some sitting county commissioners, the
county administrator, as well as western condominium leaders because
the selection of a strong mayor will probably be coupled with the
imposition of single member districts. Single member districts would
undercut the influence of the condominium vote county-wide, as their
vote will only affect the selection of one commissioner, their own (or
a few), but not the entire commission.
Centralizing Leadership: A Strong Mayor
Why would the adoption of a strong mayor form of government lead
to greater centralization of the authority structure? Usually we
associate strong-mayor government with pluralism and a city manager
with centralization and elite government. However, the reason we
associate a council-manager form of government with centralization may
have more to do with the informal power structure than the authority
structure. The adoption of reform government centralizes
administration to the extent that government was organized with many
independent departments acting on their own. Usually, a city manager
lacks the capacity to mobilize the community behind an agenda or forge
broadbased coalitions. This capacity is precisely what is required in
a pluralist community. Strong leadership before the public is actually

114
a trait frowned on among the professional adminstrators who value
reserved styles of leadership and are not known for their charisma.
On the other hand, city managers often work well with the informal
business structure. But, in a community where the power structure is
not well organized, the city manager will often be less effective.
Weak mayors or rotating chairpersons are poor substitutes for the
strong leadership necessary to forge coalitions and get things done in
pluralist communities. In other words, reform government may not be an
effective government in a pluralist community, depending on the
structure of government in the business community. Perhaps what needs
to be explored is not whether a strong mayor form of government creates
pluralism, but whether pluralism in the community generates the need
for a strong mayor. Likewise, a city manager system of government may
suit communities which are already elite, not cause centralization, but
be the result of it.
In fact, the complaints of leaders in Broward that they cannot get
things done in such a pluralist community run counter to the
experiences of some pluralist communities where a great deal is
accomplished. Dahl (1961) describes how the mayor of New Haven almost
single-handedly brought urban renewal to the community. Eberts and
Kelly (1985) argue a strong mayor is necessary in pluralist
communities. They offer a four part typology of mayorsceremonial,
caretaker, entrepreneurial, and activistbased on the mayors' role
orientations. Activist mayors are described in the following way.
Activist mayors show greater involvement both locally and
non-locally. They differ from entrepreneurial mayors primarily
because they devote more energy to building local networks.
Activist mayors probably identify a broader range of local needs
and through their extralocal networks develop multiple channels of

115
assistance. While the activist-executive mayors may be similar to
managers of local systemsas some ceremonial mayors might
beexecutives are more active in the process by which things get
done (Kotter and Lawrence 1974). Activist mayors are more
involved in the local networks that set agendas, as well as in
local staff-bureaucratic mechanisms for carrying agendas out,
including finding nonlocal assistance. Thus, activists may
perform a central coordinative role in a manner which is not found
in any other mayoral type, or in any other community position.
(Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 42)
Activist mayors, according to Eberts and Kelly, are more innovative and
aggressive in pursuing their agendas than any of the other types of
mayors:
Apparently, greater local and cosmopolitan networks sensitize
activist mayors both to citizens' concerns and to sources of state
and federal aid for responding to "optional" issues. If a mayor
has the resources to respond to a particular community problem,
then he or she will be more likely to consider the problem
important. (Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 45)
In sum:
The core principle is that mayors who have larger local and
extralocal networks have larger agendas. Consequently, activist
mayors have the largest agendas, and ceremonials the smallest.
(Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 46)
Further, Eberts and Kelly examine the factors associated with the
presence of activist mayors in communities. Surprisingly, given the
skepticism of a number of scholars about the utility of power structure
as a variable to account for differences in community outputs (see
Chapter I), Ebert and Kelly find pluralism is "the largest variable
affecting mayoral activism." They find that pluralism "is itself
affected only to a small extent by economic and demographic variables,
being influenced mainly by citizen participation and electoral
competition" (Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 53).

116
Based on their findings, Eberts and Kelly offer a number of policy
implications. First, is that communities should consider creating
full-time mayors. While the reform movement has scorned full-time
mayors, it appears that they play a very important role in the
community. This is the role of providing direction to the community in
setting agendas and implementing them. In some places, a cohesive
business leadership may fulfill this function, but Broward County lacks
this alternative to political leadership. Therefore, it is especially
in need of the strong governmental leadership that a strong-mayor
system can help provide.
A second policy implication identified by Eberts and Kelly is:
political pluralism and competition produce community activism and
that nearly any set of citizens can enter into this process. Our
data indicate that greater local political pluralism and
competition stimulate network building, agenda setting, and task
intitiation. Thus, more citizens and citizen groups should become
active participants, with the understanding that they are making
positive contributions, no matter what local individuals or
officials may say. And mayors and citizens should encourage such
activities. (Eberts and Kelly, 1985, p. 53)
In other words, perhaps the complaints by community leaders in Broward
County are unwarranted. Perhaps there is too much pluralism in Broward
which hinders the community in gaining needed resources from the state
legislature or in moving ahead with community improvements, though this
is obviously a normative question. If this is the case, however, there
are two distinct strategies which leaders could follow. The one,
drawing on the research of Eberts and Kelly, indicates that a strong
mayor may be the factor which makes pluralism work and that could
overcome the present difficulties identified by many of Broward's
leaders. This seems to be the path being followed by those

117
spearheading government reform in Broward County, with the League of
Women Voters playing the lead organization behind this effort. The
other route which we shall address shortly is to unify the economic
leadership and allow it to provide the direction which they perceive is
lacking in the community.
Centralizing the Authority Structure: Deliberate Action
Before examining what steps have been taken to centralize the
informal power structure, it is important to emphasize that
centralization of decision making has been a deliberate goal of Broward
County leaders. This is true in the area of government as well as the
private sector. For government reorganization to occur, the County
Commission in October of 1973 had to vote to set up and fund a Charter
Commission. Getting to this point was no easy task as some of the
participants recalled.
Starting in 1970, we had meetings with the press showing why we
needed charter government. They covered the commission. In the
first two years we emphasized the mistakes of government. Harped
for change. We did not fear change. Wanted improved government.
We would speak to groups, as many as we could, get press, and
bring it up at commission meetings.
In short, the movement for government reorganization had its roots in
the earlier reform effort. The participant continued, "we had to get
the message across. The plan was to create great public awareness."
And they did. A brief look at some of the newspaper headlines in the
Fort Lauderdale News during this time period indicates just what that
message was:

118
"County Accounts Publically Unaccounted" (October 1, 1973)
"Broward Banking Policy Loosely Drawn" (October 1, 1973)
County Budget Puzzles Computer, Too (October 1, 1973)
"Time is Right to Change Our County Governments" (editorial, October 2,
1973)
"Job Definitions Shift With Political Tide" (October 2, 1973)
"County Choice Client For Consultants" (October 3, 1973)
"Sewer, Water Plan Underestimated by $12 Million" (October 3, 1973)
"Spendthrift Department Heads Must Explain to County Panel" (October 3,
1973)
"Poole Suggests Probe of County Corruption" (October 3, 1973)
"Sewage Plant Bids Awash in Mystery" (Octoberr 3, 1973)
Jury Calls Building Probe" (October 4, 1973)
"Broward's Future Rests With Charter Proposals" (October 5, 1973)
"State to Begin Investigation of County's Richest Purchase" (October 5,
1973)
"Wheeler Out; Comptroller Office Shut" (October 9, 1973)
"State Auditor Charges Wheeler With 2 Violations" (November 28, 1973)
"Photo Contradicts Wheeler" (November 29, 1973)
In fact, from the headlines listed above, one would imagine that
the County Comptroller had stolen millions of dollars of revenue from
the county. In fact, the crisis in Broward was more created than real,
at least with respect to corruption in government. The County
Comptroller actually was in trouble for purjuring himself in testimony
about his wife's employment in his office. This is not to downplay the
administrative problems, particularly financial monitoring and record
keeping in county government. However, as students of government know,
how the message is conveyed has a great affect on the success of
government reorganization efforts. A crisis atmosphere certainly

119
helps. Anyone reading the above headlines cannot help but think the
government is in serious trouble and warrants immediate attention.
The same is true of the two Governmental Efficiency Study
Committees. They did not just appear out of thin air. Members of the
state legislative delegation had to take specific action to create
these committees. Thus, leaders in Broward have acted deliberately to
alter the structure of government. We see that each effort has been
concerned with centralizing government authority to provide a greater
degree of coordination and coherence in policy making as well as to
improve the administrative organization and functioning of government.
In the next chapter we shall see how leaders have attempted to
strengthen the informal power structure as well as formalize it in the
Broward Workshop. To some extent this effort was undertaken to get the
community moving and provide the direction found lacking in the
authority structure. This is the second component of community
decision making, which may complement or conflict with the first, the
authority structure.

CHAPTER VI
TOWARDS A MORE UNIFIED POWER STRUCTURE: THE BROWARD WORKSHOP
In the last chapter, we saw how Broward County leaders have
deliberately tried to centralize the authority structure in order to
accomplish their objectives, namely providing a modern organizational
mechanism capable of providing services in a growing metropolitan
community. While the government structure could have been further
centralized, the adoption of the county charter in 1973 was a major
step in this direction. In this chapter, we will examine how leaders
in the private sector have attempted and partially succeeded in
creating a more unified power structure. Their purpose has been to
provide greater direction and more coordination to the pursuit of
community goals. In part, this effort to centralize the power
structure stemmed from disillusionment with the governmental authority
structure and with government leaders. As in the previous chapter, the
focus is on deliberate action taken by community leaders to centralize
the power structure.
While there have been a number of studies of power structure,
there is still much to learn about power structure dynamics. This is
particularly true about the formation and maintenance of power
structures. Most previous studies of power structure have focused on
particular actions of the power structure itself. For instance, Hunter
(1953) concerned himself with how the power structure set the agenda,
though he later (1980) examined how power was transferred
generationally. Other studies of power structure studied the
120

121
ideological orientations of leaders (Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson,
1964). Dahl (1961) looked at elite participation in community decision
making. Presthus (1964) compared alternative methods to identify the
power structure and how they revealed different dimensions of community
leadership and decision making. Most often these studies identified
factors in the environment as the source of a particular power
structure configuration. For example, Dahl found that pluralism was
related to social diversity in the community. Hunter believed that the
economic system was greatly responsible for the prominence of business
leaders in the power structure. Clark (1968) and other researchers
employing the Permanent Community Sample and relying on aggregate
analysis were naturally led to a focus on demographic and economic
variables in accounting for the existence of a centralized or
decentralized structure.
Broward County offered an excellent opportunity to observe
attempts to form a more unified cohesive power structure to replace the
pluralist system of decision making previously discussed. This work,
building on prevous studies, should contribute to our understanding of
community decision making and how power structures can be created and
institutionalized.
Past Studies of Power in Broward County
Before undertaking an examination of the current power structure
of Broward County, it is useful to look at past studies of power in
Broward. Over the years, the media has written a number of articles
concerning Broward's power structure. The first was done by Fort

122
Lauderdale News reporter John de Groot Jr. (1973). The study found 20
leaders "reported as men who get things done" (de Groot, 1973, p. 2E).
Power was shared between the old guard who "came to town in the 1920s
and 30s," and the new guard, "the majority of them hav(ing) risen
through the workings of companies created by the old guard, or working
with and earning the respect of the old guard" (de Groot, 1973, p. 2E).
While at one time Broward was run by five or so members of the old
guard, "in talking with those said to have power in Fort Lauderdale,
one finds it a shifting and elusive thing" (de Groot, 1973, p. 2E).
Table 6-1 gives the names of the leaders identified in this study, as
well as two other newspaper studies.
The next article appeared in the Fort Lauderdale Sun,Sentinel in
1979 and is titled "The 'Powerful 10'They're Broward's Influential
Elite" (Macnow, 1979). According to the author, "the group was
selected after consulting more than 100 politicians, bureaucrats,
educators and leaders in business finance and media" (Macnow, 1979, p.
IB). The following excerpts suggest that Broward County's power
structure was pluralistic due in part to deaths in the old guard and
rapid growth experienced in the county.
"Anything that happened here before 1970 is ancient history," said
one Broward leader. Broward history started when the people moved
down en masse.
Beyond the selections came a debate about the effectiveness of
county leadership. Some said the deaths of power houses J.P.
Taravelia and Stephen Alexander Calder [founders of Coral Ridge
Properties] along with other long time leaders had created a local
power vacuum.
"Broward just doesn't have an identifiable power structure," said
Sen. Ken Jenne, DHollywood. "Things have not yet come together
because of a lack of continuity and a lack of time."

TABLE 6-1
PAST STUDIES OF POWER IN BROWARD COUNTY
123
Old Guard/New Guard
(1973)
Old Guard:
R.H. Gore
James S. Hunt, Sr.
George English
L.C. Judd
E. Thomas Wilburn
Steve Calder
New Guard:
Fred Millsaps
Thomas J. Walker
Gene Whiddon
Jack Gore
Edward Stack
Robert Elmore
A. Gray Boylston
Hamilton Forman
Philip N. Cheaney
Robert B. Lochrie Jr.
Joseph P. Taravella
E. Clay Shaw
The Powerful 10
(1979)
Gene Whiddon
Edward Stack
Hamilton Forman
Philip N. Cheaney
Emerson Allsworth
J. Edward Houston
Milton Kelly
Anne Kolb
Bert Lichtenstein
R. Emmet McTigue
In Search of Powers
(1983)
Gene Whiddon
J. Edward Houston
R. Emmet McTigue
William Leonard
Steve Josias

124
Indeed in today's Broward, power seems increasingly diffuse. The
population has grown rapidlyfrom 84,000 in 1950 to one million
todayblurring an already fuzzy social structure. (Macnow, 1979,
p. 2B)
The article also suggested that power structure in the community was
linked to state politics and the governor.
Broward's power structure appears to be shifting since the
election of Gov. Robert Graham, a man addicted to old loyalties.
Many of those surrounding Graham are members of the same coterie
that stuck by him last year, when he was at the bottom of the
polls. Six members of this list vigorously supported Graham's
election; some played key roles in his victory. (Macnow, 1979, p.
2B)
If Broward's power structure was elitist prior to the 1970s, by
1973 a new guard was rising to inherit the reigns of power. By 1979,
the old guard was gone. Only four names from the Fort Lauderdale News
list (de Groot, 1973) were identified by the Sun Sentinel (Macnow,
1979).
In 1980, the Fort Lauderdale News published a series of articles,
later put in booklet form, titled "Broward in the 80s: Trouble in
Paradise (Fort Lauderdale News, 1980). One article in the series was
called, "Leadership Shortage Keeps County From Running Smoothly." The
thrust of the article was that Broward lacked an effective power
structure due to government fragmentation and absentee businesses. The
consequences of this were an "inability to deal with its problems on a
county wide basis." The article suggested that Broward act to "create
a power structure." It made reference to Broward's past:
But years ago, Broward had a power structure. The men who cased
in of Florida's land boom of the 1920s later formed the small
coterie that made things happen here. When men like R.H. Gore,
James Hunt Sr., Steven Calder and George English met for breakfast

125
at the Governor's Club in Fort Lauderdale, new developments were
planned before the bacon and eggs reached the table.
That predominantly Anglo-Saxon, Republican power structure
dissolved in the 1960s when most of its leaders died and the power
of those who remained was diluted by the county's increasing
population. "You had a group of blue-blood Midwestern WASPS,"
says one longtime observer of local politics. "Then came the new
immigrantsDemocratic, Northeastern Jews with ideas of their own.
As expected, the two groups never got together and Broward's power
structure became very diffused." (Macnow, 1980, p. 35)
The article then went on to discuss Detroit as an example of where a
previously weak power structure was strengthened. The article closed
on the note that in the future, perhaps an "organization, which would
be able to bypass splintered government and ineffective established
groups," could be formed resulting in an effective power structure. In
Broward, these articles suggest that power is distributed very broadly,
with no one able to exert any significant direction in the community
for more than a brief period of time. What is desired, according to
the article, is a more formally structured set of power relations which
can force unity in the direction the community goes and coordinate
decision making.
If Broward's power structure was regarded as pluralistic, it was
still possible to identify major leaders. However, by 1983 a new study
"Broward in Search of Powers That Be" appeared in the Fort Lauderdale
News (Lovely, 1983). According to the article, "as 1983 begins, few
individuals have broad countywide influence, and power blocs seldom
coalesce" (Lovely, 1983, p. 11A). The article describes the
splintering of power even in the condominiums of west Broward, the
growth of south Broward leaders, and the decline of the eastern
establishment. The article's main point was that there is a growing
split between east Broward (downtown Fort Lauderdale) and the western
parts of the county, where well organized condominium leaders deliver

126
needed votes to elected officials. The newspaper found that only one
leader had what it called county-wide influence. Ironically, that
individual, J. Edward Houston, worked out of Miami where he was
president of Barnett Bank South. Four other names identified in the
article made the list because of their "Tallahassee connection" to
Governor Bob Graham. Otherwise, only a few other individuals were
identified as potential new leaders. However, the article saw little
to indicate that Broward would gain a more unified power structure
anytime in the near future. So it would appear that Broward's power
structure, once a small conservative elite, had become so pluralistic
that it was difficult to even identify the leaders' names. The next
section discusses some of the causes that brought Broward to this
state.
Growth and the Business Community
As mentioned earlier, growth had many effects on Broward County.
Growth and development not only fragmented the authority structure of
the county with the incorporation of numerous municipalities, but also
resulted in greater fragmentation of the business community. It did so
in two ways. First of all, economic differentiation occurred. Second,
as development moved outside of the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Fort
Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce was no longer the sole voice of business
in the community. Within each of the new cities a Chamber of Commerce
sprung up, splintering the business community. Let us examine each of
these trends further.
It was pointed out in Chapter I that economic diversity is
associated with dispersed power structures. This is only natural as

127
newer companies and industries have other interests and may challenge
older more established ones. In addition, as an economy matures, and
more diverse economies develop, it is more difficult to pursue one's
own self-interest collectively. What benefits one sector of the
economy may hinder another. In addition, the presence of absentee
companies with professional managers who are frequently transferred
reduces the probability that the managers will be in one location long
enough to become major actors in the community. In addition, large
companies may encourage managers to stay in safe community activities
such as charitable work and other so called "nonpartisan" type
endeavors to avoid alienating sectors of the community by becoming
involved in "politics."
In Broward County, the economy has matured greatly adding to other
pluralistic trends. According to Dr. James Nicholas, Broward's economy
has done fairly well in the past "because national forces were at work
which made south Florida a desirable place to be" (Nicholas, 1980, p.
18). According to Nicholas, there are four major parts to Broward's
economy: tourism, retirement, construction, and manufacturing.
According to Nicholas, the manufacturing sector has been growing at the
greatest rate, 7.1 percent between 1972 and 1979 (Nicholas, 1980, p.
48, Table 16).
Consider the top ten manufacturing employers (see Table 6-2).
Notice that none of the top ten manufacturing employers was in Broward
prior to 1966. This newest sector of the economy has reduced Broward's
dependence on its more traditional industriestourism, construction,
and retirement. In addition, these newer companies reduce the relative
influence of other actors in the community. However, the point should
not be overstated. It is interesting to note that not a single one of

128
the community influentials identified through the reputational method
was associated with any of these companies. This would seem to support
the proposition that absentee companies withdraw from community
politics in favor of more "civic" type activities including the Chamber
of Commerce.
TABLE 6-2
BROWARD COUNTY'S TEN LARGEST MANUFACTURING EMPLOYERS
NAME PRODUCT ESTABLISHED EMPLOYEES
1. Motorola, Inc.
Electronics
1973
3100
2. Gould Inc., S.E.L
Computers
1961
1600
(Computer Systems Div.)
3. Bendix Corporation
Avionics
1966
1492
(Avionics Div.)
4. Modular Computer
Computers
1970
1426
Systems Inc.
5. Harris Corp.
Computers
1967
1000
(Computer Systems Div.)
6. Racal-Milgo
Data
1955
in Dade 700
Communications
1966
in Broward
7. Sensormatic
Electronic
Surveillance
Systems
1968
600
8. Westinghouse Corp.
Relays and
Instruments
1979
530
9. Burroughs Corp.
Electromechanical
1968
500
10. Visual Graphics Corp.
Photo
Typesetting
Equipment
1973
500
SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce,
Statistical, 1983, Table 9-4.
When asked why leaders of the top manufacturers seem not to be
involved in community politics, one observer said, "they have
representatives in the Chamber of Commerce, usually middle to high
level management. The presidents are so busy, they haven't got time

129
themselves to be involved." Related to the problem of time and
participation in community decision making is that leaders of business
are not always sure who other business leaders are, as one developer
pointed out (see Chapter IV). Growth, particularly rapid growth, as
experienced in Broward County, breaks down existing power structures
that depend upon common networks and experiences. New businessmen do
not know who the established leaders are and find little reward in
jumping into the middle of a very pluralistic political system filled
with dangers at every corner.
TABLE 6-3
CITIES WITH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Coral Springs
Dania
Davie
Deerfield Beach
Fort Lauderdale
Hallandale
Hollywood
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Margate
Mirimar/Pembroke Pines
Oakland Park
Wilton Manors
Plantation
Pompano Beach
Sunrise
Tamarac
In many communities, the Chamber of Commerce serves to orient new
businesses to the community and integrate them into the community
decision making processes. This leads us to the second effect of
growth and development experienced in Broward. That is, the
multiplication of Chambers of Commerce in the county. Table 6-3 lists
the municipalities which have a chamber. As discussed in Chapter IV,

130
several leaders traced pluralism in the county to the lack of
county-wide integrative mechanisms, both governmental and
non-governmental. With 16 chambers in a county of one million plus
people, it is no wonder that business leaders may have difficulty
keeping track of each other.
Some efforts were made to overcome this fragmentation in the
business community. There was an effort to consolidate chambers of
commerce into a newly expanded Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
which would go under the name of the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County
Chamber of Commerce. The effort was largely unsuccessful with only the
West Broward Chamber of Commerce merging into the Fort Lauderdale
Chamber. As one leader explained, "we should bring Pompano and
Hollywood into the Fort Lauderdale Chamber, but that won't happen."
This businessman blamed the lack of success in consolidating the
chambers on staff, but the truth is that staff resistance alone might
delay mergers, but ultimately if business leaders in the municipalities
wanted to merge, they could, even over staff reluctance.
The Broward Workshop
The major effort to unify the power structure has been through the
creation of the Broward Workshop. In 1981, 18 business leaders
sponsored a leadership retreat in Vero Beach, Florida. The invitation
list was made up by the sponsoring businessmen. Table 6-4 identifies
those behind the Workshop effort. The purpose of the Workshop was to
identify the major problems facing Broward County and begin a process
to address those problems. In most instances, this meant forging

TABLE 6-4
BROWARD WORKSHOP ORGANIZERS*
131
1. Byron Campbell
Newspaper
Fort Lauderdale News
2. Phillip N. Cheaney
Banker
First Federal Savings &
Loan
3. Frank dePaul
Banker
First Federal Savings &
Loan
4. Leonard Farber
Developer
Leonard Farber Inc.
5. William D. Horovitz
Developer
Hollywood Inc.
6. J. Edward Houston
Banker
Barnett Bank, South
7. Walter A Ketcham
Utility
Southern Bell Telephone
8. Stewart R. Kester
Banker
Florida Coast Banks
9. Robert B. Lochrie
Banker
Century Bank
10. J. Bill McKinney
Executive
Safecard Services Inc.
11. R. Emmet McTigue
Realtor/
Developer
M.R. McTigue & Co.
12. Fred R. Millsaps
Banker
(Retired)
Landmark Banking Corporation
13. Albert J.W. Novak
Executive
Novatronics Group Inc.
14. Fred R. Pettijohn
Newspaper
Fort Lauderdale News
15. David H. Rush
Executive/
Owner
ACR Electronics
16. George Sullivan
Utility
Florida Power & Light
17. Lucius H. Weeks
Banker
Landmark First National
Bank
18. Gene A. Whiddon
Executive/
Owner
Causeway Lumber Co. Inc.
*A11 positions given were
for the year
the Broward Workshop was
organized (1981).
SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale News, January 25, 1981.

132
consensus on the direction the community should move in, though not
necessarily agreeing on very specific details of how to proceed.
Approximately 100 leaders attended the conference including most of the
county commissioners and major business leaders. The retreat did come
under some criticism for its exclusionary process and the fact that the
meetings took place outside of Broward County. In particular, grass
roots leaders charged the process was elitist.
Just the act of organizing the conference to discuss Broward's
problems entailed centralizing the business community and power
structure in general. As one businessman explained the Workshop's
origin,
Those who sponsored the Workshop met for one year in secret once a
month for dinner to get the Workshop together, finance, and plan
it. There are circles of people which feed into the Workshop.
There is more structure to Broward's leadership; it is not as
dispersed as the paper leads you to believe.
Another businessman involved in the effort explained where the idea for
the Workshop came from.
The newspaper recognized the dispersion of leaders. They tried to
make the public conscious of leaders. They wrote stories, and
tried to create a positive influence. Campbell [president of the
Fort Lauderdale News] came up with the Workshop along with
Farber, Ketcham, Cheaney, and Millsaps. They financed the
Workshop.
Starting in January of 1980, the Fort Lauderdale News ran a 22
part series entitled "Broward in the 80s: Trouble in Paradise?" The
series identified major problems facing Broward County, most of which
were still not being adequately addressed. (Fort Lauderdale News,
1980). Among the major problems identified were the rapid growth rate

133
with the added strain on services and also its consequences for the
quality of life. A major concern was that the elderly, in particular,
were becominig an increasing component of Broward's population. Citing
the Broward County Planning Council, the article pointed out that half
of Broward's population would be over age 60 by the year 2000. The
elderly would require greater services and could become quite a burden
on the community. The series also devoted a great deal of attention to
Broward's government structure and how fragmented organization and
leadership appeared to constrain the community's ability to attract
industry, improve the quality of life, bring greater educational
opportunities, and simply deal with problems like transportation,
poverty, and health care. In this way the series served as a catalyst
to bring attention to the numerous problems which confronted the county
and had to be addressed if Broward were to become a vital major
metropolitan community in the years ahead. After all, Broward is the
second largest county in Florida, second only to Dade County to the
south.
An employee of the newspaper, knowledgeable about the newspaper's
"Broward in the 80s" series, explained why the newspaper would be so
interested in Broward's political structure and problems. He pointed
out that the "paper has an interest in bringing the county together as
a market." By doing a major "feature story you get a picture of the
market, a needs assessment." By undertaking a major study of the
community, the newspaper would create an information source useful for
the advertising department (demographics, etc.) and help the paper plan
for the future in terms of growth and forecasting circulation. He
pointed out that many of the staff and management of the paper was new,
with Campbell, the president, only coming in 1977 when the paper was

134
bought from the Gore family by the Chicago Tribune. In earlier
chapters, it was pointed out that a major factor in Broward's pluralism
was said to be the lack of integrative structures including newspapers.
The Fort Lauderdale News has an interest in unifying its market to
increase sales. As long as people in south Broward, for instance,
identify more closely with Dade County and read the Miami Herald, the
Fort Lauderdale News is losing revenue, not just in circulation, but
more importantly, in advertising. An examination of Table 6-4 reveals
that the president and editorial director of the Fort Lauderdale News
were part of the original group which sponsored the Broward Workshop.
They helped underwrite the Workshop's retreat and organization and also
provided copies of their series in booklet form to members attending
the retreat in Vero.
The Purpose of the Broward Workshop
Few concrete proposals came out of the retreat. However, a
permanent ongoing organization, The Broward Workshop, was set up to
continue the work begun in Vero. Elected officials were excluded from
membership and dues were set at $2000 annually. Membership was by
invitation only. There was little doubt as to the purpose of the
Broward Workshop. According to Workshop literature:
The goal of the Workshop is to coordinate the private sector and,
where government is involved, work closely with it to gain
community support to get something done; or, if necessary, to try
to effect a change in the position taken by that governmental
unity. (Broward Workshop Brochure)
Since Broward lacked a county-wide chamber of commerce, the Workshop

135
was conceived as an organization which could bring together all of the
separate leaders in the private sector who went their own way. It was
to provide some unity to decision making that had previously been
absent, by serving as an umbrella organization to coordinate activities
and move toward common goals. Its concerns were the problems raised in
the newspaper series published the previous year including growth,
education, and economic development. Projects of special interest to
members included construction of a Performing Arts Center, a convention
center, and creating a viable downtown. As one member of the business
community put it:
The Workshop as a group has 20 to 25 leaders. They concentrate
their efforts. It brings the leadership under one umbrella.
There is a cooperative spirit between leadership.
The Workshop was not just intended to unite the private sector
behind a common program or agenda, but also to take the lead in
community decision making. Since government was unable to address the
community's problems as was abundantly clear by the "Trouble in
Paradise: Broward in the 80s" series, the informal power structure
would have to get its act together and get the community moving.
Implicit in the creation of the Broward Workshop was the notion that
business leaders had a better sense of the public interest than
government leaders. This belief is reflected in the comments of the
businessman who said, "The difference between elected officials and us V.
[the Workshop] is we say 'what is best for Broward County?' and they
[elected officials] say 'what is best for Broward County but I must be
reelected.'"

136
The Broward Workshop's Record
The Broward Workshop has had its share of successes and failures.
According to one leader:
The Broward Workshop includes most business leaders throughout the
county. Its function is to study the most critical problems of
the county and encourage the political sector to focus in on them.
He gave several examples of the Workshop "doing something."
The Workshop went to the county and suggested the appointment of a
citizens committee to get the airport moving [airport improvement
project]. A formal appointed board was set up. In the Workshop,
we are strongly backing the development of a theatre of the
performing arts. There was an urgent meeting of the Workshop on
the tax revolt. In the Workshop people are action oriented.
Leaders are trying to channel their activities through the
Workshop. As one businessman put it, "effectivity through the Broward
Workshop as a vehicle." While the Workshop has had its share of
successes, there are a number of detractors of the Workshop as well.
According to one county commissioner, "... the Workshop leaves me
cold. I've seen nothing come of it. Johnson [county administrator]
tried to force the Workshop on the commission." A banker said, "the
Workshop tried to create a permanent structure. But if you need to
invite 150 people [to the retreat in Vero Beach], that's a pretty
clumsy epensive way to do it." A lawyer made a similar observation.
It's too fragmented in Broward. There is no one group with one
goal which is able to get together and do something. The Workshop

137
may have tried to do it, but it hasn't. I attended the Vero
caucus. It was too encompassing. A group of people with diverse
ideas.
The question arose as to just why the Workshop had not had the
success rate that some had hoped for. A developer attributed the
Workshop's problems to the perception that it was part of the old Fort
Lauderdale downtown group.
The Broward Workshop, even though it tried to get a broad base,
fell apart. Some said it was downtown Fort Lauderdale. Some
complained that it met out of Broward.
Another community leader traced the Workshop's difficulties to a lack
of commitment on the part of leaders in the community.
At the second meeting I attended, I expressed the belief that they
must give their time, not just their money. You cannot meet once
a month and expect the executive director to do it all. The
Workshop has largely failed. It is being restructured to a
smaller group with Sullivan [vice-president of Southeast Division,
Florida Power & Light] as the president. It needs to take stands
on issues which it has avoided in the past and it needs some
successes if it is to work. The Workshop offers the best hope and
potential because it is the only thing of its type that all are
involved in.
One member of the Workshop related his experiences. He said,
The Workshop tries to do the work that should be done by political
leaders. It cuts across political entities. It was conceived
with good intentions. There was some negative publicity when it
got started. We got going about a year ago. I served on the
education task force. We interfaced with engineering technology,
had directors of training and personnel, vocational education
colleges, etc. Everyone worked and then it just stopped. The
executive director must constantly raise money to pay his own
salary.
He discussed his frustration about the one cent sales tax referendum

138
which was to have paid for a performing arts center and convention
center.
Last year, there was a one cent penny sales tax referendum that
would be used to build a theatre for the performing arts and a
convention center. Farber was the key art representative. We
were assured by everyoneFarber said they would raise money and
provide workers for phone calls etc. to assure passage. They
didn't raise much money and didn't deliver. Farber didn't
deliver. He didn't have time. He was out of town. If you are
going to do it, do it.
Certainly the fact that the Workshop has gone through three
executive directors since its inception has contributed to the problems
it has faced. Yet, it seems that the effort to centralize Broward's
power structure through the Broward Workshop has been only partially
successful. While many in Broward have pointed to the Workshop's less
than total success as evidence of Broward's pluralist system of
decision making, they overlook the fact that the creation of the
Broward Workshop has centralized the power structure over what it was,
even if it is still less centralized than they may have desired. In
addition, the workshop has had some very impressive results. Perhaps
the best example of what the Workshop is capable of is the case of the
Broward County tax revolt in 1981 which threatened a recent bond issue
by spawning a recall petition against several county commissioners.
Several business leaders, most of them involved in the Broward
Workshop, came to the aid of the commissioners and put a stop to the
recall petition.

139
The Broward County Tax Revolt
In September of 1981, tax notices were mailed to property owners
which included sizeable tax increases. This coincided with a state
mandate to increase assessments on property to 100 percent of real
value. In other words, a high budget was proposed at the same time
people's homes were being assessed as much as 40 percent more than the
previous year. In theory, the increased assessments should not result
in higher taxes as the state had provided for millage rates to be
rolled back when assessments were raised to be revenue neutral in its
effect, unless the government specifically voted to raise the millage
to receive greater revenue than in the previous budget year. To add to
the confusion of property owners, it was found that a number of tax
bills were incorrect. The chairman of the Republican part, William
Glynn and several taxpayers groups, including Michael Block, who went
on to help start a state wide tax revolt [Proposition 1], exploited
this issue effectively. They were able to do so because the county
commission was made up entirely of Democrats.
Public backlash was swift and angry. Twice, budget hearings had
to be moved to larger meeting halls, when the county commission meeting
room was found to be too small, and then War Memorial Auditorium in
Fort Lauderdale. Finally, the county commission met in the Sunrise
Music Theatre with Sheriff's officers holding back thousands of angry
property owners. While the meeting resembled a three ring circus,
recall petitions, supplied by William Glynn and others, were passed
through the hall and later the community. The recall petition focused
on the two commissioners perceived to be the most responsible,
including the county commission chairperson.

140
At this point the business and legal community stepped forward to
help the county commissioners. Initially, the commission had planned
to fire the county administrator. However, the commission was
persuaded to let the administrator stay on after suspending him for two
weeks. Eventually, after the controversy died down the commission
fired the county administrator. The group successfully raised money to
fight the recall petition in court, hiring Chesterfield Smith, the
noted Tampa attorney, arguing that "raising taxes was not grounds for a
recall [particularly to pay for a bond approved by the voters a few
years earlier]." The lawyers and businessmen who were involved in
putting down the tax revolt and coming to the aid of the county
commissioners under fire were by and large members of the Broward
Workshop. Among those involved in putting down the tax revolt were: J.
Edward Houston, David Rush, George Platt, Steven Josias, George
Sullivan, and Robert Huebner. Of these, only Josias is not part of the
Broward Workshop. All of these men were identified in the reputational
analysis as community influentials except Huebner, who got just one
nomination. Two were former county commissioners.
In their own words, let us see what they did. According to one
participant,
We were six people who met in a restaurant to discuss the recall.
First, we needed to raise money for lawyers. Second, we had to
generate a positive feeling to make the effort fail. We hired two
lawyers, Chesterfield Smith, president of the American Bar
Association who represented the county commissioners and David
Cardwell, an election law expert to represent individual
commissioners. Then we assigned other responsibility to others to
get things done.
Another member of the Workshop explained,

141
We filed a lawsuit to seek an injunction against any recall
election. Raising taxes to pay for a bond approved by the voters
is not grounds for a recall. Major portions of the 1978 bond
issue [a 230 million dollar bond to pay for roads, parks, and
other services] were becoming due. We won the lawsuit. . .
Houston worked hard for the 1978 bond issue. He was cognizant of
the orchestrated effort against the commission. People of common
sense know you must pay bonds off. . .Ed genuinely believed the
county was moving in the right direction. Houston was the leader
of that effort.
This view was echoed by another leader.
We went out and explained to the people, do you want the community
to move ahead. What are we paying versus what other communities
do. Also, there was a complex financial bonding situation. It
was no time to go to the bond market. If the community was
unstable, we would not be able to sell bonds. We went out and
said to groups, if you are unhappy then use the political process,
not vigilante type thing. You can't threaten politicians. Do it
at elections, that way, not with the recall.
These leaders were instrumental in preventing the developers in Broward
County from jumping on the recall bandwagon. There had been some talk
among developers of joining those attacking the county commission
because of dissatisfaction with the county land use plan which they
percieved as anti-growth. The Workshop leaders pointed out to
developers that nobody would gain if the Broward County bond issue was
impaired and suggested they wait until the next general election to
show their displeasure with the sitting county commissioners.
So we see that Broward's business leaders have attempted to
institutionalize and formalize their separate individual influence in
the form of the Broward Workshop. They have to some extent centralized
the informal power structure of the community and they have had some
significant successes, though their record is by no means unblemished.
Their handling of the tax revolt issue shows what they are capable of.
There have been some other steps leaders have taken in Broward County

142
to build greater cohesiveness and organization amongst themselves in
their efforts to create a more unified power structure.
Leadership Broward
While the Broward Workshop was the most significant effort to
centralize business leaders, another effort deserves mention. A
concerted effort was undertaken to recruit, train, and place new
leaders from the private sector into community decision making
positions. Following the example of other Chambers of Commerce,
including Dallas, Houston, and Tampa, the Fort Lauderdale/Broward
County Chamber of Commerce has instituted a Leadership Broward program.
The program is designed:
to assist the leadership potential currently existing in our
community. Through the exposure of a ten-month program of highly
structured activities, participants become familiar with current
issues, community resources and other factors influencing the
direction of Broward County's future. (Chamber of Commerce
Brochure)
According to the Chamber's literature:
The program is designed to bring together individuals from diverse
backgrounds and experiences from the public and private sectors
who have demonstrated both talent and interest in community
leadership. Through face-to-face discussions with established
community leaders and experts from a variety of local
organizations and institutions, participants have a unique
opportunity to examine the dynamics of social, political and
economic changes affecting community life. (Chamber of Commerce
Brochure)
The Leadership Broward program was intended not just to train
future leaders and aquaint them with community problems, but to create
leadership networks and place new leaders into positions of decision

143
making in the community. At the conclusion of each year's leadership
program, a directory of the 40 to 50 participants is published. The
directory states:
The end of each year's program will mark the beginning of a new
opportunity for involvement by participants. Each year's
graduating class will become part of an alumni group which
represents a pool of all previous participants. The alumni group
will meet regularly to maintain their relationships, to continue
the dialogue begun in the program, to provide guidance in the
development of future leadership programs, and to encourage and
place participants in community leadership roles. (Fort
Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce, 1983)
It was hoped that government officials would make appointments to
advisory boards from among the ranks of graduates of Leadership
Broward.
Leadership Broward was not without its critics. Most of the
criticism stemmed from the fact that 31 of the 40 participants in
Leadership Broward were based in Fort Lauderdale, though not all were
business persons. Nevertheless, the perception was that Leadership
Broward was another example of downtown Fort Lauderdale leaders trying
to get what they want at the expense of the rest of the county. Still
Leadership Broward is entering its fourth year of training future
leaders. If nothing else comes out of the program, leaders are getting
to know each other and form networks, all of which increases the
organization of the private sector, formalizing previously informal
contacts through Leadership Broward. An examination of Leadership
Broward's advisory board reveals that several of Broward's most
influential actors identified in the reputational analysis are involved
in the program and become aquainted with emerging leaders. On the
board of directors are Roger Hall, J. Edward Houston, George Sullivan,
Dr. Abraham Fischler, Jack Chambers, and David Rush. Most of these

144
leaders, at one time or another, have been involved with the Broward
Workshop.
So we see that private sector leaders may take specific steps to
create a more unified and cohesive power structure. These efforts have
met with varying levels of success. The leaders involved with the
Broward Workshop have sought to centralize decision making through
their organization, where problems could be studied, a course of action
planned and then issues placed on the government agenda. These and
other private sector leaders have attempted to recruit and train new
leaders through the Leadership Broward program and place them in
positions of decision making on county and city policy making boards.

CHAPTER VII
DYNAMICS OF BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Elite and pluralist theory are only able to account for part of
the community decision making structure. Pluralist theory focuses our
attention on growth and how this contributes to social diversity and
increased fragmentation in the authority structure. Lacking a strong
mayor position, leaders in Broward County have difficulty mobilizing
the citizenry behind a common agenda, indeed difficulty in even setting
the agenda. There is no possibility of an executive centered coalition
when there is no strong executive position in government. Functional
and geographic fragmentation contribute to these problems. Thus,
efforts at reform have focused on the administrative structure as well
as the number and different levels of government.
Elite theory directs our attention to the activities of private
sector leaders and their deliberate efforts to set the agenda, create
consensus within a formal private sector organization, and coordinate
community decision making. In past studies of community decision
making, the artificial separation of politics and economics has caused
us to focus on the separate parts in isolation from each other. In
classifying the parts, we assume we have classified the whole. Then we
attack others for studying the wrong parts and therefore improperly
classifying the whole. It is not that elite theory or pluralist theory
are wrong, simply that as operationalized, researchers have tended to
focus on government or private sector decision making without reference
to the other.
1A5

146
The purpose of this study was to bring these two systems and the
theories into a common framework. The political economy framework
offers the possibility of synthesis by highlighting how the two
theories each explain different aspects of the degree of centralization
in community decision making. The political economy approach is not a
replacement for power analysis. Instead, it provides a way to
integrate the two theories of political power.
Having identified the two separate elements of community decision
making is not enough. What remains to be seen is how the authority
structure and the power structure interact. This really involves two
questions. First, what is the nature of the relationship between
business leaders and government leaders? This involves not just how
they interact, but whether the relationship is among equals or not.
Second, we must address the question of whether the relationship is
fixed or can change over time.
The Relationship Between Public and Private Leaders
Recently, scholars have called into question the underlying biases
in government and business relations. Stone (1980) considers the
reason why public officials consistently favor "upper strata interests"
in their decision making, in spite of their selection by popular vote.
The answer, he says, is that:
public officials form their alliances, make their decisions and
plan their futures in a context in which strategically important
resources are hierarchically arrangedthat is officials operate
in a stratified society. The system of stratification is a
motivating factor in all that they do; it predisposes them to
favor upper over lower-strata interests. (Stone, 1980, p. 979)

147
Stone calls this "systemic power." Essentially, the system
rewards public officials for responding to upper-strata interests and
punishes them for responding to lower-strata interests. Stone looks at
three strata: economic, associational, and social or life-style. He
divides each strata into a top, middle, and bottom. Within each of
three strata he finds the top stratum holds greater resources. In the
economic strata, they possess "great wealth and command of major
economic enterprises" (Stone, 1980, p. 982). In the associational
strata, they possess "hierarchical power, that is, command of the
resources of major organizations" (Stone, 1980, p. 982). Finally, in
the social position and life-style stratum, they have greater status
(Stone, 1980, p. 983).
Stone believes that public officals have an interest in favoring
upper strata interests, whether economic, associational, or social.
This is because upper strata interests are revenue producing
(economic), more easily mobilized (associational), and are more
rewarding to work (social position and life-style) (Stone, 1980, p.
982-84). The lower strata interests, on the other hand, are seen as
"economically dependen(t)" and "service-demanding" (economic),
unorganized (associational), and "unrewarding to work with" (social
position and life-style) (Stone, 1980, p. 982-84).
The argument for systemic power seriously undermines pluralist
theory, as it is based in the political system which biases public
officials to act in certain ways regardless of elections or numbers, in
fact, in spite of them. The argument is a very strong attack on
pluralism, especially when one considers Stone's statement that

148
"inequalities are likely to be cumulative rather than dispersed [among
the three strata]" (Stone, 1980, p. 982).
Lindblom (1977) analyzes the connection between politics and
economics, rejecting his previous conception of pluralism because it
failed to take account of the "privileged position of business."
According to Lindblom, business is privileged in several ways. First,
business holds a quasi-public status, on a par with that of the state.
Businessmen are considered public officials because they make many of
the most important decisions in society in a market system such as
ours. They decide what to produce, as well as where and when to
produce it. While these are private decisions, they have a profound
impact on society and government policies. Lindblom believes that
government must induce business to perform because:
in the eyes of government officials . businessmen do not
appear simply as the representatives of special interest, as
representatives of interest groups do. They appear as
functionaries performing functions that government officials
regard as indispensable. (Lindblom, 1977, p. 175)
He explains:
Any government official who understands the requirements of his
position and the responsibilities that market-oriented systems
throw on businessmen will therefore grant them a privileged
position. He does not have to be bribed, duped, or pressured to
do so. Nor does he have to be an uncritical admirer of
businessmen to do so. He simply understands, as is plain to see,
that public affairs in market-oriented systems are in the hands of
two groups of leaders, government and business, who must
collaborate and that to make the system work government leadership
must often defer to business leadership. Collaboration and
deference between the two are at the heart of politics in such
systems. (Lindblom, 1977, p. 175)
According to Lindblom, if government does not induce business to be
productive, or inhibits through regulation business productivity, then

149
that government will be turned out of office. Government in a
market-oriented system must maintain a growth economy or ultimately
face the wrath of unemployed voters.
In addition to this structural advantage in the market system of
organization, business also has superior resources to effect government
policy (Lindblom, 1977, pp. 193-98). Business has greater wealth than
other groups in society. This wealth is useful in influencing
political parties and public officials always in need of campaign
funds. Business also has the advantage of organization and special
access to government. Finally, business has the ability to
indoctrinate the public to support the present structure.
Both Stone and Lindblom try to avoid the instrumentalism that
brought elite theory into disrepute. Lindblom's argument differs from
the power elite theory, in that it need not be shown that government is
an instrument of business, only that government is naturally
predisposed towards business, whether or not a power elite is found.
He states:
To understand the peculiar character of politics in
market-oriented systems requires, however, no conspiracy theory of
politics, no theory of common social origins uniting government
and business officials, no crude allegations of a power elite
established by clandestine forces. Business simply needs
inducements, hence a privileged position in government and
politics, if it is to do its job. (Lindblom, 1977, p. 175)
Similarly, Stone says
different strata operate from different footings and therefore
face different opportunity costs (cf. Harsanyi, 1963). The
particular interactions and relationships (the parts) yield an
overall pattern of decision making that is unplanned and
unforseen. It does, however, bear a class imprint not predicted

150
by pluralist theories of community power and it comes about in
ways requiring no ruling elite. (Stone, 1980, p. 979)
Stone can be viewed as an elaboration on Lindblom. Stone treats
Lindblom's "privileged position of business" thesis as one dimension of
"systemic power," the economic strata. He then goes on to say that a
similar process is at work in the area of associations and in social
status. Lindblom probably subsumed these other two strata in
"economics," given that most business enterprises are organized into
associations and interest groups, and that executives of large
companies enjoy high status. This notion is embodied in Lindblom's
references to business leaders as "public officials" in their own
right. Also, Stone is much more interested in government decision
making and business influence, while Lindblom is interested in
considering decisions left entirely to the private sector, as well as
how business and government interact.
What is clear is that both men believe that the relationship
between the authority structure and the economic structure results in
predictable systemic biases in community decisions unaccounted for by
pluralist or elite theory. Pluralist theory obscures the biases by
focusing on immediate policy outputs and treating all decisions as
equally important. Elite theory finds villains where none may exist.
In addition, elite theory draws attention away from systemic processes
which result in the biases in the first place. Let us see whether the
"privileged position of business" thesis can be applied in our case
study of Broward County.

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An Application of Lindblom's Privileged Position of Business Thesis
To summarize Lindblom's (1977) argument, he believes business is
privileged for three reasons. First, business leaders are responsible
for many of the most important decisions in society; thus they are
public officials in the same way that government leaders are public
officials. Second, government must induce business performance. The
major task of government is to provide the proper climate for economic
growth. Failure to do so will result in the expulsion of government
leaders by dissatisfied voters. Third, even in the day to day process
of politics, business possesses superior resources to effectuate public
policy.
Businessmen as Public Officials
In Chapter IV, the results of a reputational analysis of Broward
County were presented, ranked according to the number of nominations
each individual received. Thirty-six leaders received two or more
nominations. Table 71 lists these results in a slightly different
format. In the first column are government officials. In the second
column are business leaders. The third column is labeled other.
Individuals here did not readily fit into either of the first two
columns. Alongside the leaders' names and positions are the number of
nominations each received.
Of the 36 leaders in Broward County identified by the reputational
method, 17 can clearly be classified as government officials and 14 as
businesspersons. Only 5 individuals did not clearly fall into one or
the other of these categories. Whether or not a student of power would

152
GOVERNMENT
Kenneth Jenne (12)
State Senator
Thomas Gustafson (9)
State Representative
Fred Lippman (8)
State Representative
E. Clay Shaw (7)
Congressman
Nicki Grossman (7)
County Commissioner
Howard Forman (5)
County Commissioner
Larry Smith (5)
Congressman
James Scott (4)
State Senator
Harry Rosenkrantz (4)
City Council,
Lauderdale Lakes
Marcia Beach (3)
County Commissioner
George Brescher (3)
Sheriff
John Lomelo (3)
Mayor, Sunrise
Democratic Party
Gerald Thompson (3)
County Commissioner
Scott Cowan (3)
County Commission
Jack Fried (2)
County Commission
Virginia Young
City Commissioner,
Fort Lauderdale
TABLE 7-1
BROWARD COMMUNITY LEADERS
ECONOMIC
*J. Edward Houston (23)
Barnett Bank South
Leonard Farber (18)
Leonard Farber Inc.
*David Rush (14)
ACR Electronics
*Gene Whiddon (13)
Causeway Lumber
Hamilton Forman (13)
United Federal S & L
*R. Emmet McTigue (12)
M.R. McTigue & Co.
Robert Lochrie (8)
Sun Bank South
Jack Chambers (6)
Gulfstream Development
Byron Campbell (6)
Fort Lauderdale News
George Sullivan (5)
Florida Power & Light
Angelique Stahl (5)
Broward Federal S & L
William Horvitz (5)
Hollywood Inc.
Roger Hall (3)
Arvida Corporation
Fred Millsaps (2)
Retired-Landmark Bank
OTHER
Steven Josias (9)
Attorney
Charles Perez (7)
AFL-CIO
Hugh Adams (6)
Broward
Community
College
William Leonard (5)
Regent/Attorney
Abraham Fischler (4)
Nova University
George Platt (3)
Attorney
NOTE: An asterisk next to a name indicates an original sponsor of the Broward
Workshop. Ten of the 14 names listed under economic leaders were involved in
this effort.
SOURCE: Field interviews, June 1983 to December 1983.

153
call this an elite or pluralist community, it is clear that business is
almost as well represented in community decision making as government.
These results would tend to confirm Lindblom's privileged position of
business thesis. It would seem that business leaders are indeed on an
equal footing with government leaders in Broward County, Florida.
Lindblom's business privilege offers a new way to interpret the
reputational method popularized by Hunter (1953). If business leaders
are equivalent to public officials because they are responsible for a
great deal of society's decisions, then it should come as no surprise
that community knowledgeables and influentials should recognize this
reality in answering the survey. It should then come as no surprise
that a decisional technique, which looks at how government decisions
are made, might come up with a different set of community leaders.
Both methods are valid, it is just that only those directly involved in
the government decisions will be found in a decisional analysis.
On the other hand, the reputational method, which does not limit
itself to government activity, finds that major economic decision
makiers are influential as well as government leaders. The
reputational method captures the private sphere as well as the
governmental one, in so far as some elected officials are included
among the original set of knowledgeables to correct for bias on the
panel towards the private sector (see Chapter III) In any event, in
Broward County, business leaders are equally well represented in the
decision making structure. Lindblom appears justified in calling them
public officials and not just another interest group. After all, labor
has only one representative in the leadership results.

154
Collaboration or Inducement?
Lindblom (1977) believes that government must induce business to
perform or suffer the consequences of its lack of performance.
Inducements take the shape of incentives to business, such as tax
subsidies or pursuing policies which enhance the business climate.
This is particularly true in the area of economic development.
Lindblom emphasizes that it is government officials who will take the
blame for high unemployment or recessions, not business. This
punishment will come in the form of electoral defeat by citizens.
Lindblom likens this situation to business blackmail of government
officials.
There was evidence that government induced business performance in
Broward County. It was not, however, out of fear of electorate
retaliation for poor business performance. It was much more subtle
than that. The following passage by a former elected official
illustrates the point. He was responding to a question about growth
and its desirability from the community's standpoint.
You can't take extremist views and allow them to run counter to
the legal system. Private property is intended to be in private
hands to make money. It can be tempered, but there is a point
beyond which you cannot tell them to stop. It's called
confiscation. It's hard for extreme environmentalists to
appreciate this.
The government decision makers acknowledge that business is responsible
for development, and while government may have certain interests it
wishes to press on developers, it also recognizes that there is a fine
line beyond which it should not tread. In effect, government defers to

155
business. That is not to say government does not regulate development,
or that business does not find government intrusive.
A planner, in a position to observe much of the growth debates
accompanying the writing and adoption of Broward's comprehensive land
use plan in the mid-seventies, at the height of Broward's growth, had
this to say:
Probably the single greatest influence [of why the plan is the way
it is] .is a,frontier individual ethic or myth. The idea that a
person has the right to do what he wants to. That myth allows
Hamilton Forman, or any large land owner, to work or be
successful. It induces a feeling of guilt in people who feel
strongly in managing growth. They become defensive. They end up
explaining the other values they are trying to achieve.
Business gains the upper hand by putting those who would regulate
business on the defensive.
A careless reading of Lindblom (1977) might lead us to overstate
the role of government inducements to business. While government does
induce business, collaboration is at the heart of local politics.
Government leaders do not simply buy off business with subsidies.
Government finds business useful for its own needs as well. A banker
explained.
Community people [businessmen] provide credibility. Voters are
not sure political leaders give them the right information. If a
business group says it will save them money, they will believe it.
County government [read as any government] people ask for help of
business.
In this particular instance, he was referring to the passage of bond
issues or tax or statutory changes, issues which tend to confuse
voters. If government alone were to try to get these proposals
adopted, the voter would look at them with suspicion. If, however, the

156
business community puts its stamp of approval on it, the voter will
believe that it will be good for the community, or reduce taxes, or
whatever the claim is. This same banker said he "regularly get(s)
letters from commissioners asking for support from the business
community." The point he was trying to make and which supports
Lindblom's thesis, is that government leaders go to the business
community for help. It is not always the business community going to
government for self-interest. Business leaders need government leaders
and government leaders need business leaders. It works both ways in a
system which divides responsibility for directing society between two
sets of leaders. Business is privileged in Stone's (1980) words
because it holds the strategic resources government officials need to
govern.
This point is illustrated by the tax revolt in Broward County in
1981, discussed in Chapter VI. Several leaders in the private sector,
based in the Broward Workshop came to the aid of county commissioners
not because they liked them but because they realized that if the
county commission were to fall, they too would be hurt. Bonds were
about to go on the market from a 1978 bond referendum to build roads,
regional parks, libraries, and other services. If the county were to
appear unstable, the bonds would go unsold. Without the infrastructure
provided by the bonds, business leaders would be unable to attract the
industry and address other concerns they had. Broward would lose its
image as a forward looking county which was attractive to relocating
businesses. Local concerns would suffer as the bond spending would be
a boost to the local economy. If business leaders were to abandon the
elected officials in the midst of the crisis, they too would suffer.
It was in their interest to do all that they could to help the

157
threatened commission. By cutting off support for recall efforts and
making supportive statements in the press, these leaders helped to calm
the situation.
Business, Not Just Another Interest Group
So far we have seen some examples of business privilege by showing
that there are indeed two sets of local leaders, and that collaboration
is the order of the day between these leadership groups. Now let us
see if business has disproportionate resources to effectuate government
policy as claimed by Lindblom. The resources Lindblom speaks of are
wealth, access to decision makiers, and organization.
Wealth. In terms of wealth, Lindblom argues that business has
greater resources to devote to campaign finance and therefore to
influence the selection of candidates. Is this the case in Broward
County? The Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel examined all
campaign contributions of $100 or more for all local races in 1982.
This included county commission, state legislative, and judicial races.
Their results are shown below.
If we combine the categories of banking and real estate, and label
this business, business contributions would total $238,000 or 11.3
percent of all contributions. We see that this figure still falls
$2000 shy of the amount contributed by attorneys. This suggests that
Lindblom has overstated the case of business privilege, in so far as

TABLE 7-2
ELECTION 82 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
158
CONTRIBUTOR
AMOUNT
PERCENTAGE
Lawyers
$285,000
11.4%
Real Estate and Construction
220,000
8.8
Doctors and Health Related
200,000
8.1
Unions and Labor
140,000
5.6
Banks and Savings & Loans
63,000
2.5
Republican Party
54,000
2.2
Democratic Party and House
Speaker Lee Moffitt
30,000
1.2
TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS
(all sources)
2.500,000
Source: Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel (November 28, 1982).
business having much greater wealth to influence election. Other
groups, such as doctors and lawyers also give large contributions to
candidates. The above listed contributions may be atypical, in that
there was a fierce battle being waged by doctors and lawyers in an
effort to influence the course of medical malpractice legislation.
Nevertheless, this only goes to show that some groups, when interested,
can and do match business spending in campaign fincance. Even labor,
usually pointed to as an example of a group that is unable to compete
with business spending, came up with a respectable $140,000 in
contributions.
We should not be too hasty, however, to underestimate the ability
of business to influence policy through campaign finance. While other
groups may have resources available to them, i.e. doctors and lawyers,
they are rarely employed. In those instances when these groups do get
active, they are issue specific. Business, on the other hand, is
continuously active across a broader spectrum of issues. While medical
malpractice legislation concerns doctors and lawyers, it is for the

159
most part irrelevant to the interests of business. Business donations
can be counted on election after election. Doctors and lawyers are in
and out. In addition, doctors and lawyers' donations were heavily
concentrated in state legislative races. Business donations, while
also going to state legislative candidates, go to local government
candidates as well.
The question arises as to what a campaign contribution buys.
Business is not interested in outright buying of candidates but in
ensuring access and a "fair hearing" as one business leader put it. An
elected official concurred saying "people like Arvida (a large
development company) do not believe money buys votes of public
officials. Fairness, not favoritism is what they want." However,
business makes clear that its support is contingent upon a record of
pro-business decisions. While business contributions are important to
a candidate, elected officials recognize that there is a difference
between failing to get business contributions and business
contributions being made available to potentioal opponents.
A major factor influencing a candidate's decision to run for
office is the availability of money to run a campaign. While and
incumbent may not be strongly backed or even liked by business, he will
want to refrain from alienating them to the extent that they make it a
major goal to replace him. For if business is sufficiently
dissatisfied with a public official, it may make money available to
challengers who would otherwise not run. This is a subtle form of
influence, but it nevertheless affects a public official who desires to
stay in office. Business holds the monetary resources to make an
incumbent official's life easy or difficult. For the candidate who
gets elected on a shoestring, it is tempting to accept the seduction of

160
business money for reelection. If business is pleased, it makes money
available.
The adoption of the four cent gasoline tax in Broward County
illustrates how business donations can influence policy. In 1983. the
Florida Legislature enacted legislation permitting counties to adopt an
optional four cents gasoline tax to raise needed revenue to build roads
and highways in their communities. Counties could impose the entire
four cent tax, or some smaller portion, but the catch was that the tax
had to be adopted by more than a simple majority vote. A four to three
majority would not be enough. It would take five of the seven
commissioners' votes to adopt the tax. Commissioners Forman, Grossman,
Thompson, and Beach favored the tax. Commissioners Fried and Cowan
opposed the tax. Commissioner Fried believed the public opposed the
tax. A newspaper poll reported that 56.6 percent of the public opposed
the tax while only 41 percent favored it (Fort Lauderdale News, July
3, 1983). Commissioner Cowan opposed the tax because he feared it
would fan the flames of Proposition 1, a citizen initiated revenue
limitation amendment sweeping the state. Commissioner Craft, the swing
vote was undecided, proposing at one point a compromise two cent tax on
gasoline. The business community was solidly behind the tax.
The key to the issue was Craft. An elected official described
what happened next.
Historically, the cost of road construction has increased. There
was a time when gas tax revenue was increasing, but the tax was a
fixed dollar amount. As the cars got smaller, there was a decline
in revenue, but costs continued to increase. The state and
federal government had not addressed the need for more revenue.
The federal government passed a gas tax, the state passed one, and
now they authorized the local governments. We needed more than
four votes to get the four cent tax. The key was Craft. He voted
for it after he sounded like he wouldn't. He was told by a member

161
of the business community that if he voted no, he would be shut
off from money to campaign again.
In his last campaign for the county commission. Craft received very
little business support. Most of that went to his opponent. Craft
voted for the four cent tax, and received business backing for his
reelection. It would seem that the message got across.
This raises the question of whether votes (numbers) are more
important to a candidate, or if money is the better resource. The
answer to this question has important consequences for democratic
government. Pluralist theory tells us that number or votes more than
outweigh money as a resource to effect policy. One observer shed some
light on the question. He said,
A politician cares about two things. First, who raises
moneythose effective at raising or withholding it. Second, who
gets them votesgrass roots support. If you have one or the
other, your strategy revolves around what you have.
From time to time, however, the two conflict. He explained,
When it is money versus grass roots, watch the politicians scream.
It's entertaining to watch. The greed of the few comes into
direct conflict with the many. It's happening more and more.
Issues are more complicated. There is more potential for
conflict.
Speaking more directly to the four cents gas tax, one participant said:
People who give the finances say yes and those with the votes say
no on the issue. In terms of campaign support, Ann Kolb [deceased
county commissioner known for her grass roots support] was able to
deliver at 14 cents per vote. Most politicians don't have that
luxury. Forman's cost is 40 cents a vote. If you are someone it
costs 80 cents to one dollar per vote, money is very important.
For someone like Kolb, 14 cents a vote, money means very little.

162
There are two separate campaigns, one for the vote and one for the
money.
A close supporter of Commissioner Craft put it this way.
When Craft ran the first time, he had grass roots support, no
money behind him. He's made friends of political enemies and
enemies of his political friends. He did not have the backing of
the McTigues and the Whiddons when he ran the first time. Now he
does. He's turned the environomentalists off. He went with the
developers.
In response to a question of how this transformation took place, the
informant explained:
Two large developers wanted permission to put a restaurant and
motel along 1-75. They were represented by Emmerson Allsworth
[lobbyist]. The Broward County Planning Council turned them down.
[The county commission can overturn planning council decisions].
If Craft votes for it, he makes a friend. Hamilton Forman [large
land owner and banker who sits on the planning council] voted for
it. On interchanges on 1-75, if he votes for it, he makes a
friend. It's the same with the school board. They come to the
county for land. The school board then relocates to the downtown
alongside the new bank building [Barnett] of Houston. Craft ran
on an environmental platform and had a grass roots campaign.
Since then, he has alot of pro-development votes. The big guys
wanted the four cents gas tax. He voted for it.
The question was put to him, is it money versus condos (in Broward,
when one speaks of votes, he is generally talking about the condominium
dwellers, highly organized retirees in the western part of the county).
You can't sell yourself to them. You need money for campaigns.
It's easier to send a mailing than to go door to door. Your can
hire professionals to put up signs. Money guys are not bad guys.
On 80 percent of the issues, I can agree with them,like
attracting light industry to create jobs and bring people. .
.The major difference is they would want someone who would want
what they want only. For example, Houstonthe downtown is the
result of the eastern group. Without costing him money, he builds

163
up his banks. Direct benefits. Instead of just doing downtown,
should also remove the Black slum districts and build affordable
housing.
He concluded, "ninety-five percent of elected officials want
reelection. They try to appease both sides, east and west. (In
Broward County, read east as downtown Fort Lauderdale and business, and
west as condominium dwellers and retirees who now control a great
portion of the votes.)
What we see then, is that money as a resource, while not
exclusively in the hands of business, is a powerful tool to effect
policy with. A county commissioner who was originally elected without
business support and with the strong backing of grass roots groups such
as environmentalists and retirees (the condo vote), succumbed to the
lure of campaign finance offered by business. Business did not buy his
vote, but it was relayed to him in a very straightforward fashion that
if he wanted their money, he had better vote right on the four cents
gas tax issue. While other groups in society have money and are able
to contribute to candidates, their interests are much narrower.
Doctors and lawyers heavily contributed in the 1982 races in Broward
County, but they heavily concentrated their donations in the area of
the state legislature and with only one concern, 'the candidates stand
on medical malpractice legislation. Business on the other hand,
supports candidates and issues for reasons other than direct personal
gain. That is not to say they also do not care about special
interests. It is just that their special interest by nature is
general. That is, anything that promotes growth and a good business
climate without overly detracting from the quality of life.

164
Thus, business supports the four cent gas tax, not because they
get an identifiable direct benefit, though some undoubtedly do. They
support the four cent gas tax because it will build more roads,
improving the flow of traffic, making it easier to get to the downtcwn,
and boosting the local economy. Business knows it will benefit
indirectly, if not directly. So we see that in Broward County,
business effectively used its financial resources to secure the
adoption of the four cent gas tax. Other groups opposed to the tax
lacked the financial resources to counter business donations. While
votes are important, they are sometimes less so than money. Votes are
important at election time. Then for several years, the elected
official is scrutinized not by the voter, but by business. Since the
voter is only attentive at election time, and the businessman is always
attentive, known, sitting on boards, making his views known, and
becoming a friend, business is often able to coopt the elected
official.
Organization. Business is more highly organized than other groups
in the community. With this organization, business has the resources
and staff to study, independent of government, important issues in the
community. In Broward County there are 15 chambers of commerce. Each
has a staff and various committees which study community problems and
take stands or make recommendations on policy. This allows business to
shape the content of policy before it gets on the agenda of government,
without public comment or media scrutiny. In the previous chapter, the
institution of the Leadership Broward program by the Fort
Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce and the development of
the Broward Workshop were discussed. These organizations are, in some
instances, able to devote more time to issues of county importance than

165
the county government itself. By creating a bank of skilled
knowledgeable businessmen, business is able to challenge government
policies and propose new policies in an atmosphere devoid of the usual
give and take of government chambers.
Another important organization of business in Broward, is the
Economic Development Council (EDC). Its name is often mistaken to be
that of a government agency. It is an organization of the 13 largest
developers in the county. They are particularly influential on land
use matters. The EDC hired James Nicholas, a Florida Atlantic
University professor, to do a study on the future of Broward's economy.
This report has been widely circulated and forms the basis of the
county's own economic element of the comprehensive plan of the
community. A major emphasis of the study is the increasing presence of
the elderly in Broward, a factor which worries many of the developers.
They fear this will have a negative influence on their efforts to sell
Broward as a vibrant young community where people will want to raise
children and industry will want to relocate to. It is not a question
of whether the study is biased because it originated in the development
lobby, it merely reflects Lindblom's privileged position of business
thesis. Namely, that business has superior resources to affect
government policy. The EDC was concerned about economic development in
the future and what policies were necessary to further it. Because
they had financial resources, they were able to frame the issue and get
it on the agenda. Other groups would find this prohibitively
expensive.
Access to Decision Making. It is not just their superior
financial resources which allows business to impact on government
policy to a greater extent than other groups in the community. Nor is

166
it their organization which provides an ongoing structure to discuss
and consider many local issues. According to Lindblom, business also
has greater access to government officials and government decision
making, once they decide on a course of action. Lindblom argues that
government often delegates much of its authority outright to business
to make decisions on its behalf. There are several examples of this in
Broward County. All seven members of the Downtown Development
Authority (DDA) appointed by the Fort Lauderdale City Commission are
businessmen. Of the 18 members of the Broward Economic Development
Authority, only two are county commissioners. The other 16 members are
representatives of the several chambers.
There is really nothing unusual about this, if we accept
Lindblom's premise that government leaders defer to business on matters
of the economy. Other interest groups such as labor, retirees, or
neighborhood associations are frozen out of the early stages of
decision making. While they may still be able to affect policy by
going directly to the city or county commission to voice their
concerns, it may be too late if a policy becomes entrenched early on.
The major economic policy making boards in Broward County are dominated
by business. Business interests can be advanced in these boards
without the representation of other groups' interests and the boards
have the full weight of governmental authority behind them.
It is not only on economic boards that business interests are
advanced. While business dominates the membership of the two boards
just discussed, business has representatives on most important
government appointed boards in the county. This gives business the
ability to readily place issues on the agenda of government and to

167
become cognizant of what other groups and government place on the
agenda.
Business access to governmental decision making in Broward County
is not limited to membership on formally appointed boards, whether
advisory or autonomous. Business has access to government decision
making that other groups lack. This is illustrated by the "Broward
County Government Walk-In" sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale/Broward
County Chamber of Commerce held on August 26, 1983. County
administrators and department heads took half the day off to meet with
business leaders. The purpose of the meeting was to educate business
leaders on the workings of major county offices, identify major
problems which the county departments deal with, and gain the input of
business to help solve these problems.
The planning discussion group leader was Skeet Jernigan, executive
director of the EDC. The consensus of the group, primarily a few
developers, businessmen, and the director of the Broward County
Planning Office, was that there was a negative image among developers
about the ability to develop in the county. Skeet Jernigan put it this
way.
The perception of developers is that Broward is a bad county to
develop in. It does not have a good reputation. This is
detrimental to the county. The processing of government approvals
is not that onerous. We must put out the word. . .The business
perception is that it is difficult to operate or develop in
Broward County. That is a misperception, at least on the county
level. . .It is a misconception within the business community..
Other discussions concerned the organization of the county planning
office and the need to update the county plan to permit more growth and
development. Other discussion groups were similarly structured. It is

168
unlikely that another interest group, such as environmentalists would
have come up with similar recommendations.
In a one day period, business was able to meet most of the
government officials responsible for county policy. Business was able
to learn what the major problems these officials deal with are and
offer their views and opinions as to what the departments ought to be
doing and how. All of this was without the expression of other groups'
views. That is not to say that the county officials will do business'
bidding, only that they will seriously consider it. Business leaders
now know who the government officials are. They were encouraged to
call and offer their ideas, as well as their complaints. This is what
we mean by access* While access does not mean everything business
wants it gets, it does mean that business is in a unique position to
influence county policy. What other groups in the community could
command the kind of attention that business did, attracting every major
department head and most of the elected county officials to explain
their jobs and listen to the views of the group? The opportunity for
later dialogue was established. Again, this is not to say that
government does not benefit from this type of interaction as much as
business. At the end of the walk-in, the Chamber spokesman, Edward
Kennedy, had this to say:
I want to commend the county for its expertise and
professionalism. I want to thank them for coming to the meeting.
I want to thank the business community for coming. This is a
"love-in." Two years ago, this probably would have been a
different type of meeting. Meetings like this are what is in the
best interest of Broward, as our home.
Thus it seems that the county government may have coopted the business
leadership. Or perhaps both sets of leaders, county government and

169
business, have simply realized that they do indeed share responsibility
for governing society.
Government Leaders Versus Business Leaders
So far we have identified the major elements of business privilege
and established that they are present in Broward County. At this
point, it is useful to examine the relationship between government
leaders and business leaders. Then we will want to address the
question of whether political mobilization can overcome business
privilege. Government leaders represent the authority structure, while
business leaders represent the economic structure, the visible
manifestation of the economic structure being what we commonly refer to
as the power structure. Taken together, these two sets of leaders
constitute the decision making structure of the community. Table 7-1
lists the two sets of leaders.
An important facet of the relationship between political and
economic leaders is how they view each other. While no in-depth
attitude survey was undertaken of how these two sets of leaders view
each other, certain attitudes became clear during the interviews.
There was a marked tendency for business leaders to view elected
officials with a certain disdain. This is illustrated in the following
exchange with one of Broward's top business leaders.
Q: Why didn't you select any county commissioners in your answer
[to the question: Who are the 10 most influential persons in your
community?]?
A: County Commissioners are passing scenes. Once they are out of
office, they have little power or strength. This is true on any
level of government. Some stay for several terms, but they are

170
always running for reelection. They are only responsive to
constituents. While in office, they are effective, but once out,
they are not.
Q: Are elected officials part of the power structure?
A: The power structure rarely includes elected officials, not
current commissioners or those running for office. When he runs
for office, he responds to his constituency. He is no longer a
free agent.
Q: Who is in the power structure?
A: Successful businessmenrarely elected officials. They have a
capability that one rarely finds in political figures.
Q: Why doesn't someone like you ever run for office?
A: I have engagements in business that I enjoy and that are very
lucrative. . .Financial disclosure is a serious problem. I
would never want to spread out all of my finances on the front
page of the Fort Lauderdale News. This limits the available
candidates for the public.
Q: Where does the public fit in? Is it business versus voters?
A: The group of 10 [that he selected] is very sensitive to public
opinion. A politician is sensitive to his constituents. He must
take a narrow view.
Underlying the businessman's comments is a notion that the power
structure has a better sense of the public interest than elected
officials who are constrained by their need for reelection.
In fact, there was a tendency for businessmen to ignore or
deemphasize elected officials in their discussion of community
influentials. Another businessman explained.
Q: Why didn't you pick any politicians in answering?
A: I treat politicians differently than other leaders. Political
people's influence is felt through the political process, no one
of which carries more than another. Jenne perhaps is at the top
of the pack. He is a full time senator for $12,000 to the
detriment of his law career. Political office is secondary for
many.
Q: Who affects us more, the county commission or business leaders?

171
A: The county commission, yes. They pass laws etc. . .Influence
without the political process, no.
The businessman acknowledged the importance of the authority structure
(government), but in his mind the question of who were the most
important persons in the community somehow did not include elected
officials (even though he was given a set of index cards including
elected officials' names when the question was asked).
Government leaders were not always charitable to business leaders
either. After flipping through the index cards listing names of
elected and business leaders in Broward County, a county commissioner
remarked, "many of these are private interest people out for their own
interest." A major point of disagreement among respondents in the
governmental sector versus those in the private sector was where
direction for the community could come from. Invariably, county
commissioners saw it coming from the commission itself, while business
leaders saw it coming from the Broward Workshop, particularly if they
were members of the Workshop.
Regardless of their feelings toward each other, or which sector
views itself as better able to lead the community, the political
economy approach emphasizes that neither sector can effectively operate
for long, completely independent of the other. This view was best
summarized by an elected official who said.
There is more agreement than disagreement between elected
officials and business leaders because of the calibre of elected
officials and the intelligence of the business community. To
fight on each issue is not beneficial to the community. Business
wants profit and eventually gets it. The county wants orderly
sustained growth with orderly development.

172
Indeed, government leaders and business leaders do not have to like
each other or even respect each other to get along, if both sets of
leaders recognize that cooperation is necessary for both to prosper.
The structure of community decision making is such that a kind of
"forced" cooperation will occur. The alternative increasingly is to
have a community at war with itself. Because of this forced
cooperation, business will be privileged. The simple act of
cooperation with the power structure by government leaders advantages
business. If government leaders opt to ignore or not cooperate with
business, voters will eventually blame them for the failure of business
to perform. More importantly, in the current age of scarcity,
communities more and more must focus on protecting their economic base
(Schultze, 1980, pp. 15-16). This means catering to business and
maintaining a good business climate. In Stone's (1980) way of
thinking, government leaders must cater to the upper strata of the
economic sector because it holds certain strategic resources, most
important of which, is its revenue-producing capability. Few
government leaders have failed to learn the lesson of Mayor Kucinich
(Swanstrom, 1985).
Can Business Privilege Be Overcome? Molotch's Growth Machine
Molotch (1976) argues that local politics is dominated by a growth
machine. This growth machine consists of all those interests in the
community which benefit from population growth and economic
development. The main goal of the growth machine is the
intensification of land use. The members of the growth machine include
realtors, developers, bankers, the newspaper, and businesses which earn

173
profits from additional residents and economic activity. These groups,
often centered in the Chamber of Commerce come together to promote
growth. Elected officials, if not directly part of the growth machine,
are recruited by and supported by the growth machine.
Molotch, however, describes how anti-growth coalitions may arise
in communities in response to the growth machine. Molotch points to
Palo Alto, Santa Barbara, Boulder, and Ann Arbor, as communities where
the growth machine has been successfully challenged. The basis of the
anti-growth coalition is a "mixture of young activists (some are
veterens of the peace and civil rights movements), middle-class
professionals, and workers, all of who see their own tax rates as well
as life-styles in conflict with growth." He explains further that,
"important in leadership roles are government employees and those who
work for organizations not dependent on local expansion for profit,
either directly or indirectly" (Molotch, 1976, pp. 327-28).
If anti-growth coalitions are successful, they will impose
restrictions on growth, and end "the so called natural process of land
development which has given American cities their present shape"
(Molotch, 1976, p. 328). More importantly, as these coalitions take
hold in more communities, business will lose its "threat to locate
elsewhere should public policies endanger the profitability they
desire" (Molotch, 1976, p. 328). In other words, business privilege
would end as a major force in local policy making. This would be
followed by the withdrawal of "local business elitesled by land
developers and other growth-coalition forces . from local politics"
(Molotch, 1976, p. 329).
Like Stone (1980) and Lindblom (1977), Molotch (1976) believes
that public officials are disadvantaged in their relations with

174
business. To end business privilege the predispositions of local
government leaders must change so that they no longer favor
upper-strata interests. For this to occur, however, requires the
concerted action of "volunteer labor to supplant political powers
institutionalized through a system of vested economic interest. ..."
Therefore, he says, "antigrowth movements are probably more likely to
succeed in those places where volunteer movements have a realistic
constituencya leisured and sophisticated middle class with a
tradition of broad based activism, free from an entrenched machine"
(Molotch, 1976, p. 327).
We are left then with a bit of a dilemma. Stone (1980) and
Lindblom (1977) suggest that in the United States, no matter how
pluralistic decision making is, some sectors will be advantaged,
regardless of what we call this. Molotch, on the other hand, is saying
that local citizens can politically mobilize to overcome this bias in
the system. While Molotch is not overly optimistic about this
possibility, he thinks it exists and even identifies some communities
where it has happened.
The dilemma is, to some extent, moderated when we recognize that
Molotch's anti-growth coalition will not occur unless citizens in the
community are free of employment in enterprises dependent on growth for
their profits. Also, Stone points out that the middle and lower strata
may organize, but they suffer from the "collective action problem,"
when they try to "mobilize their membership" as well as encountering
"the 'law of oligarchy' problem." The top strata does not suffer this
difficulty, as their numbers are few (Stone, 1980, pp. 982-83). It is
not, however, possible to completely resolve this problem. Time and
further research are necessary to see whether the gains of the

175
anti-growth coalitions are permanent or only temporary and whether
business has indeed lost its favored status. In communities where the
anti-growth coalition displaces the growth machine, we would expect
conflict between the two systems, the economic and authority, to be
quite high.
Given our discussion about business privilege, some might conclude
that the relationship between business and government is largely
irrelevant, since business privilege will always occur given the
present political-economic structure. This conclusion is unwarranted,
however, as the evidence in Broward County suggests. Leaders in
Broward County, in both the authority structure and the power structure
have attempted to centralize their decision making apparatus to
overcome difficulties in attaining policy outputs. Both sets of
leaders seek greater coordination in policy making, something they
believe is lacking. While there is not total agreement about how best
to improve their structures, coordination within and between the two
sectors is seen as critical for community improvement. This
coordination has been attempted through efforts to centralize both the
authority structure and the power structure. While business privilege
certainly causes policy outcomes to advantage the economic sector in
selective areas, it would be incorrect to ignore how the two sectors,
the political and economic, interact and how this effects policy
outputs and outcomes. Research in this area could then tell us when
and where business privilege can be overcome, if desirable.

CHAPTER VIII
CONCLUSION
Towards a Typology of Business-Government Relationships
Bert Swanson (1984), based on his examination of several varying
interpretations of Houston's power system, has developed a typology to
account for four different patterns of relationship between the public
and private sector power systems, identified by researchers in that
community. His typology is reproduced below (Swanson, 1984, p. 7). He
hypothesizes that four sets of relationship between the two systems can
occur, depending upon the degree of integration between them and
whether interaction is selective or continual. His typology is
particularly useful to us because it implies the possibility of
movement from one pattern of relationship between the two systems to
another.
TABLE 8-1
PATTERNS OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE RELATIONSHIPS
STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION BEHAVIORAL INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE TWO
BETWEEN THE TWO SYSTEMS SYSTEMS
Selective
Continual
Low
Independence
Interdependence
High
Domination
Permeation
In the first pattern, "independence," both systems act in their
own spheres with only occasional (selective) interaction between them.
This might occur in the area of economic development (Swanson, 1984, p.
176

177
8). In the second pattern, "interdependence," the two systems interact
on a much more regular basis. He describes their relationship as one
of mutual dependence. However, the two sectors are still relatively
distinct from each other. Thus, decision making results from "mutual
adjustment" over time. This category, he likens to what is commonly
understood as pluralism (Swanson, 1984, p. 10). The third pattern is
domination. This occurs when interaction between the two systems is
selective and the degree of integration is high. Here, one or the
other system dominates. For example, the business community may
dominate the city government (Swanson, 1984, p. 11). The fourth
pattern is what Swanson calls "permeation." Here, he says, "the values
and beliefs of the economic elites have so penetrated the interstices
of society and most of its institutions that it would be more
appropriate to refer to the relationship as one of 'permeation'"
(Swanson, 1984, p. 14). In this pattern, though the organizations
retain their identity, it becomes difficult to see where the one leaves
off and the other begins.
In discussing how the political and economic systems develop
economic policy, Alt and Chrystal (1983) focus more directly on the
factors which may affect the relationship between these two sectors.
They state:
The way in which preferences are articulated, aggregated, and
eventually transformed into the selection of targets and
instruments of economic policy depends on:
1.The internal structure, unity, and power of the political and
economic institutions, and
2.The interrelationships among the institutions, in particular,
whether these interrelationships are predominantly cooperative or
adversarial. (Lindberg and Maier, 1983) (Alt and Chrystal, 1983,
p. 38)

From this, they identify four sets of relationships which can occur
within nations. Their typology is reproduced below.
178
TABLE 8-2
INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
INTERNAL STRUCTURE
RELATIONSHIP
Cooperative
Adversarial
Cohesive
Corporatism
Conflict
Fragmented
Weak Planning
Local self-interest
They state:
These terms describe particular relationships within
countries. Major structures and relationships within each country
are not the same. Internal structure and unity provide the
possibility of "top-down" direction necessary to the
implementation of centralized bargains.
The term corporatist describes any policy of cooperation
among major private sector interests which are well organized. It
includes the centralized collaboration of major business and labor
organizations in wage determination in Sweden and the cooperation
of government, finance, and industry in directive planning in
Japan. Cooperation among less structurally integrated
institutions results in weak or indicative (that is,
unenforceable) planning. . .Where fragmented institutions are
adversaries, the grass roots pursue self-interest while elites
bargain and argue. . .Long periods of conflict between well
organized institutions are less common than fifty years ago. (Alt
and Chrystal, 1983, pp.38-39)
In other words, institutions in which policy makers act limit the
ability of these leaders by structuring interaction within their
system, as well as between them. While Alt and Chrystal focus on the
nation-state and are interested in economic policy, their typology is
helpful in understanding the relationship between economic and
political leaders at the local level.

179
Swanson identifies four patterns of relationship: (1)
independence; (2) interdependence; (3) domination; and (4) permeation.
Alt and Chrystal point out the importance of the structure of
institutions, whether fragmented or not and whether the relationship is
adversarial or cooperative. From our experience in Broward County we
find that the two sectors, economic and political can vary from
centralized to decentralized. In part, the particular relationship
between the two systems depends on the degree of fragmentation within
each. A precondition to cooperation between business and government
are that leaders are in a position to do something. If leaders in
government and the private sector act in fragmented systems,
coordination within, let alone between the systems is impossible.
Thus, the relationship will be one of conflict. Cooperation requires
that government and business be centralized in their structure. This,
however, is a prerequisite to cooperation. Conflict could still be the
order of the day. For domination to occur, whether business domination
of government or vice versa, one sector must be centralized.
Four patterns of community decision making are identified below,
depending upon how centralized the authority structure and power
structure are. Each pattern of community decision making is associated
with a particular relationship between the public and private sector
power system. Centralization of authority structure refers to the
level of fragmentation in government decision making. Centralization
of the power structure deals with how cohesive and organized economic
leaders are.

180
TABLE 8-3
TYPOLOGY OF COMMUNITY DECISION MAKING
POWER STRUCTURE
AUTHORITY STRUCTURE
Centralized
Decentralized
Centralized
Cooperative
Economic Elite
Decentralized
Political Elite
Hyperpluralism
Hyperpluralism
Hyperpluralism (see Wirt, 1974, p. 350) is a condition which
exists when both the authority and the power structure are highly
decentralized. Neither system is able to act or shape the agenda. The
community, for all practical purposes, is ungoverned. While each
system may have policy outputs, there is no overall coordination of
policy making within or between sectors.
Broward County, in the early 1970s, fit this pattern of community
decision making. Government lacked the organizational structure and
sufficient resources to act, in combination with a political leadership
that was complacent. The power structure was disorganized and thus not
in a postion to take up the slack. Hyperpluralism is brought on by
rapid growth which requires the ability to make policy rapidly. A
decentralized government structure cannot respond quickly to changing
situations and lacks the ability to develop coherent policy. Growth
also can overwhelm the power structure with many new actors unfamiliar
with the community's history and informal rules. If the economic
leaders do not know each other, they can hardly organize themselves.
Also, divergent backgrounds of new economic leaders may break down
cohesiveness in the business community. In earlier chapters, it was
A

181
pointed out that splintering in the authority structure (creating new
cities) can also splinter the power structure.
Hyperpluralism is disliked by leaders in communities because it
does not facilitate, but instead hinders, community decision making.
If government and business are splintered internally, they cannot act
for themselves, let alone the community. This becomes a particular
problem in growing communities which require the introduction of new
services and the rapid placement of a capital infrastructure. Business
privilege itself may be threatened under hyperpluralism because neither
government nor business is in a position to ensure a good business
climate is maintained or that the quality of life does not so
denigrate, that the source of growth itself dries up. Thus, business
may push for government to centralize in order to coordinate policy
making and implementation. In the process, business may centralize its
own structure even to the point of formalizing informal relationships.
Economic Elite
This pattern of community decision making occurs when leaders in
the private sector are centralized (i.e., cohesive and organized),
while leaders in the public sector are decentralized. A vacuum occurs
due to the inability of the government to set policy and deal with
problems. The power structure fills this void by providing policies to
follow that the authority structure then adopts.
The economic elite label is given to this pattern to indicate that
economic leaders dominate the community decision making by setting the
agenda and seeing that government acts, when necessary, to maintain a
good business climate and ensure some minimal quality of life. In this

182
pattern, business privilege will be most obvious, as government either
lacks the will or the capacity to act independently. A city-manager
form of government is suited to this pattern, as it ensures that the
political structure will lack strong leadership with which to challenge
the power structure (as could be provided by a strong mayor). This
pattern of decision making most closely resembles the elite pattern
found by Hunter (1953) in Atlanta.
In rare instances, the power structure may fail to act to fill the
void in community decision making. If this occurs, the community could
fall into the hyperpluralism pattern. In some communities, the power
structure does not successfully train a new set of leaders and so
disintegrates as the power structure ages. In this case, the aging
leaders are often referred to as the old guard, but find themselves in
hyperpluralism, unable to exercise the kind of leadership they were
able to in the past. In Broward County, it appears that the old guard
has simply been overwhelmed by events (rapid growth). While still
existing, they were unable to integrate new economic leaders into their
networks. A newer power structure has evolved, centered in the Broward
Workshop which includes the older power structure. However, the newer
power structure is no longer in this pattern of community decision
making.
Political Elite (Pluralism)
Under this pattern of community decision making, government is
structured so that the capacity exists to govern the community and
leadership can take advantage of that capacity. In other words, the
authority structure is not functionally or geographically fragmented

183
and there is the provision for a strong executive (preferably elected)
with wide ranging powers to govern in the administrative structure.
When this set of circumstances is found in combination with a very
decentralized or fragmented power structure, government is able to
dominate community decision making. This is the category which
probably most closely resembles pluralism as described by Dahl (1961).
If government leaders lack the will, or resources to act, the
community could slide into hyperpluralism. Under this pattern of
community decision making, business privilege will still be important.
However, business will be much more equal to other groups in the
community. If the interests of business conflict with a major
constituency of government leaders, business is more likely to lose.
Under this pattern the underlying basis of business privilege, private
property rights and the fact that government leaders will be held
accountable by the voters for business performance, still exists. The
chances of putting a coalition together that rejects growth are
strongest in this pattern of decision making, as business is weak and
may have a difficult time combatting the anti-growth coalition.
Under this pattern of community decision making, both the economic
and political sectors are centralized and there is a naturally tendency
towards cooperation between the two sectors, rather than conflict.
Collaboration is the order of the day because leaders in both sectors
realize that neither sector can go it alone. Business needs government
for the preconditions of growth and to maintain a good business climate
including capital infrastructure, tax incentives, services, and

184
regulation to prevent the quality of community life from declining.
Government needs business to provide jobs for residents, revenues,
financial support for projects which government can not supply, and
status and credibility before the voters. The result is a kind of
forced collaboration, not an elite based on common social origins, but
a realization that to succeed, both need each other.
While a certain amount of cooperation is necessary and does occur
in the other patterns, under this pattern we approach Swanson's notion
of "permeation." Interaction is continuous and there is a high degree
of integration between the two systems. If only one or the other
leadership structure is centralized, dominance will result of one
sector over the other.
It is possible that the two centralized sectors will conflict.
The problem, as both sides come to realize, is that nobody wins under
these circumstances. Thus, a strong mayor sounds tougher on business
in the campaign then when he takes office. To alienate business is to
cause one's term of office to be very chaotic and unproductive. On the
other hand, business cannot simply run roughshod over government.
Government bureaucracies are increasingly professional and government
leaders are able to win reelection using the advantages of incumbency.
In addition, business does not thrive in conflict any more than
government does. Conflict takes a great toll on economic development
efforts, a critical concern to most local businesses. As pointed out
earlier, government borrowing to pay for infrastructure can be
threatened by community conflict.
Business will often push centralization on the government
structure. Often business interests are more organized than
government, but find it difficult to get things accomplished because

185
government is so fragmented. As government centralizes, its capacity
to govern increases. It actually becomes more autonomous. In the
short run, conflict between business and government may actually
increase. However, in the long run there will be pressures to
collaborate. The major force behind collaboration is the need to
compete with other communities for the supposed benefits of growth. In
an era of neo-conservative politics stemming from the national level,
we should expect communities to pursue strategies that will centralize
decision making and politics of collaboration rather than conflict.
Broward County Today
Broward County is a community in transformation. While
hyperpluralism resulted from the tremendous growth experienced in
Broward from the 1950s through the 1970s, leaders have attempted to
centralize both the authority structure and the power structure. It is
not clear exactly where Broward falls at the present time. Continued
efforts to centralize government decision making include efforts to
adopt a strong mayor and some consolidation of cities. Whether these
efforts will be successful are not clear. The power structure has
attempted to forge consensus and organization within the business
community. It has suffered many setbacks and several of its proposals
have been turned down by the voters in referendums including an effort
to build a stadium in conjunction with Dade County.
There is evidence, however, that increasing collaboration between
the two sectors is occurring. In the past year, Project Horizon has
been instituted. The Broward County Commission has raised fees for
occupational licenses paid by businesses. The increased revenue is to

186
be split between economic development and a regional symphony (in
conjunction with Dade County). The county has agreed to follow the
recommendations of Project Horizon in spending the economic development
money.
Project Horizon was set up by the Broward Workshop. Of the 37
member steering committee, at least 12 members are from the Workshop
and all of the members were appointed by the Workshop. The county
administrator is co-chairman of Project Horizon. Thus, the separation
between county government and business leaders is getting increasingly
narrow. According to the Miami Herald,
The Committee includes the top executives of at least five banks,
three real estate firms, three law firms, three construction and
land development firms, two Big Eight accounting firms, two
utility companies and the Fort Lauderdale News/Sun Sentinel.
(Miami Herald, October 16, 1985).
The article points out that labor, environmental groups, and minority
groups are not included in the Project, though some minority members
are serving on the board.
One observer commented in the fall of 1985,
I think there is more coordination now. A cooperative spirit
between the two sectors exists [business and government]. They
understand that they can't go forward without each other.
Only time will tell if this arrangement will become the norm or is the
exception. We should expect, however, that Broward County is not
unique in this respect. In communities accross the country, business
and government are finding that they must collaborate to a greater
extent than ever before.

187
Summary
We started this paper by reviewing the community power research.
Studies of community decision making abound, yet the classic
elite-pluralist debate has still been unresolved. This meant that when
researchers shifted their focus to where, when, and with what effects
in the 1960s, they had difficulty showing that power mattered. The
problem was traced to several sources including an inadequate
operationalization of concepts and predispositions of researchers.
To overcome these problems, a political economy orientation was
adopted, the focus being how do the public and private decision making
systems relate to each other. This orientation allowed us to
reconsider elite and pluralist theory and how, as used by researchers
they each explain different aspects of community decision making.
Rather than viewing the theories as opposites, we saw that they are not
incompatible with each other. Differences in their explanations can be
traced to incomplete conceptualizations of community decision making
and an obsession with a tautological concern, the definition of an
elite.
By undertaking a case study of Broward County, we saw how the two
decision making systems relate to each other. We find that the
structure of community decision making, whether centralized or
decentralized, is indeed important. Leaders may act to shape the
structure in which they operate. We saw, however, that the structure
of decision making, while affecting the quantity and quality of policy
outputs in the community, alone cannot account for community policy.
Embedded within the private and public decision making systems are
forces which bias outcomes to favor the private sector. No amount of

188
tinkering with the community decision making structure can overcome
these biases, though they may be more obvious in some patterns of
decision making than others.
In an era of neoconservative politics emanating from the national
level, it is considered critical for communities to centralize their
decision making, whether in government or the private sector, or both,
in order to pursue policies which enhance the business climate of the
community. Communities which are decentralized in their decision
making structures face difficulties in pursuing policies designed to
attract capital to the community. Thus, leaders in both government and
the private sector have an interest in enhancing the prospects for
growth. This means that leaders in the two sector must cooperate with
each other.
Future Research
This study has highlighted the need for researchers to pay greater
attention to the interaction of political and economic leaders in the
community. The classic elitepluralist dichotomy must be put to rest,
as it oversimplifies community decision making and distracts
researchers from the more important issues of community decision
making.
In future studies, greater attention must be paid to
classification of community decision making. While elite and pluralist
classifications are valid, they must be based on an examination of the
decision making processes of both government and the private sector.
In addition, the institutional structure of the two sectors must be

189
broken down into their components. Patterns of leadership interaction
are, in part, dependent on the structures they act in.
Hyperpluralism disadvantages communities in their efforts to
attract growth and capital. In part, ideology shapes the type of
structures leaders seek to create and act in. Swanstrom (1985) points
out that leaders are shifting from a conservative to a liberal growth
orientation. In the conservative era, leaders sought to let the market
reign supreme and keep government intervention to a minimum. In a
liberal growth ideology, leaders seek to use government to enhance
growth opportunities and maintain a good business climate.
Neoconservative politics at the national level which facilitate capital
movement require cities to compete with each other for the supposed
benefits of growth including higher revenues, jobs, and a better
quality of life. This means we must pay greater attention to local
leadership ideologies concerning the appropriate scope of government
activity. While Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (196A) first pointed to
the importance of local ideologies for community decision making,
little research has been done in this area.
We need to undertake further research to see whether cooperative
pattern will indeed be the dominant pattern of community decision
making. While Broward is certainly heading in that direction, it is
unclear whether this trend toward centralization and collaboration is
the norm. Certainly the resurgence of consolidation efforts would
indicate that reformers are again focusing on fragmentation in
government structure. Reductions in the federal grants-in-aid system
and revenue sharing should accelerate the trend toward consolidation.
In terms of the connection between the type of community decision
making and policy outputs, researchers must take greater care in

190
selecting policy outputs for study. This study suggests that the
degree of centralization in community decision making is linked more
closely to state legislative outputs rather than national outputs.
Also, the primary effect of a decentralized decision making structure
may be to impede leadership activity. Distinguishing between
centralization in government as opposed to centralization in the
private sector should assist us in making the connection between power
and policy outputs in the community.
Most important of all, this study has shown us that the structure
of community decision making has a significant impact on the ability of
leaders to govern the community, whether public sector leaders or
private. Leaders are increasingly aware of the constraints structure
imposes on decision making, particularly in their attempts to formulate
and implement coherent policy. As communities struggle to plan for the
future, leaders have come to recognize that the institutions they work
in may hinder their efforts. Thus they are led to examine the way
decisions are made. A centralized decision making structure is seen as
the key to success, whether centralized in government, the private
sector, or both. We see then that power does matter, and that the
structure of community decision making is important, contrary to those
who would argue that the community power field is irrelevant.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Ronald Kenneth Vogel was born in Valley Stream, New York. He has
three brothers. He is 27 years old. His family moved to Fort
Lauderdale when he was 13. He attended Broward Community College and
earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of
Florida.
His major areas of study are urban politics and policy, public
administration, and American government. He is presently working as an
Assistant Professor of Political Science at Valdosta State College.
His research is concerned with the capacity of communities and in
particular local governments to take control of their agendas and act
for the community.
199

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Bert E. Swanson, Chairman
Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
LjJiC-CU-t C,
William A. Kelso
Associate Professor of Political
Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
' Associate Professor of Political
Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
/r/)sJZzL'
Deborah Baumgold J
Assistant Professor'of Political
Science

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Anthony LeGra
Associate Professor of Sociology
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy.
May 1986
Dean, Graduate School



40
Thus, Pluralism 1 is a method to study power in the local
communitythe decisional approach. Pluralism 2 is a set of
propositions about how decisions are made at the local levelpluralism
as an explanatory model of local decision making. Pluralism 3 is a
political philosophy or theory that is largely normative in nature.
This categorization devised by Polsby is helpful in distinguishing
among the different types of pluralism, though it suffers because
Polsby is the only one who uses it, and it is suspect because he never
made the distinctions until 1980 and may have been motivated to fend
off criticism of pluralism. The first edition of his work was largely
a Pluralism 1 critique of elite studies.
Prewitt and Stone (1973) talk about Pluralism I and Pluralism II.
Pluralism I is essentially group theory.
To summarize, then, the arguments of group theory, the prevailing
trend in pluralism: Power is widely dispersed among various groups
which represent diverse interests. Those interests that are
unrepresented in groups are represented by the State, which
ordinarily is an umpire, one of whose functions is to oversee the
struggle between groups and set the rules for conflict among them.
Finally, the groups tend to be in equalibrium in the sense that
none continually dominate governmental decision-making and all are
subject to veto by other groups. (Prewitt and Stone, 1973, p.
119)
Pluralism II, which they label the "multiple-elite hypothesis,
combines group theory, in finding power to be very diffusely held, and
elitism, in finding that each area is dominated by a narrow elite"
(Prewitt and Stone, 1973, pp. 124-45). Thus, elites operate within
specific policy areas, but there is very little overlap from area to
area.
This last view of pluralism, the "multipleelite hypothesis,"
comes closest to illustrating the difficulty of distinguishing


147
Stone calls this "systemic power." Essentially, the system
rewards public officials for responding to upper-strata interests and
punishes them for responding to lower-strata interests. Stone looks at
three strata: economic, associational, and social or life-style. He
divides each strata into a top, middle, and bottom. Within each of
three strata he finds the top stratum holds greater resources. In the
economic strata, they possess "great wealth and command of major
economic enterprises" (Stone, 1980, p. 982). In the associational
strata, they possess "hierarchical power, that is, command of the
resources of major organizations" (Stone, 1980, p. 982). Finally, in
the social position and life-style stratum, they have greater status
(Stone, 1980, p. 983).
Stone believes that public officals have an interest in favoring
upper strata interests, whether economic, associational, or social.
This is because upper strata interests are revenue producing
(economic), more easily mobilized (associational), and are more
rewarding to work (social position and life-style) (Stone, 1980, p.
982-84). The lower strata interests, on the other hand, are seen as
"economically dependen(t)" and "service-demanding" (economic),
unorganized (associational), and "unrewarding to work with" (social
position and life-style) (Stone, 1980, p. 982-84).
The argument for systemic power seriously undermines pluralist
theory, as it is based in the political system which biases public
officials to act in certain ways regardless of elections or numbers, in
fact, in spite of them. The argument is a very strong attack on
pluralism, especially when one considers Stone's statement that


4
questions of what do we know and where do we go from here. While the
response of some to the confusion and contradictions found in the
literature is to abandon this field of inquiry all together, a case is
made that much of the present impasse results from the lack of
theoretical focus of much of the research. An additional problem has
been the reliance on large scale aggregate analysis, particularly the
Permanent Community Sample of 51 communities, which has displaced
original case study research to a great extent.
In Chapter II, elite and pluralist theory are examined in greater
detail. The problem of how to classify a community is also considered.
The research strategy and methodology are outlined in Chapter III.
Here the political economy framework is introduced which emphasizes
that community decision making really consists of two separate but
intertwined decision processes, one based in the private sector and
commonly called the power structure, and the other in government or the
authority structure. This improved conceptualization of community
decision making offers a way out of the elite-pluralist dichotomy that
has dominated the field and prevented significant progress toward a
theory of community power.
The major research premise is that theories of political power
ought to be operational in the community. To overcome several of the
problems in community power research, this study uses the case method
to reexamine leadership and decision making in the community. Eckstein
(1975) describes how the case method can be used for theory building.
The case study enables us to specify the process by which power
structure may shape policy, something that large scale aggregate
analysis can only speculate about. By adopting the "heuristic case"
approach, we may generate theory by examining phenomena and seeing


60
community was pluralistic, yet private sector leaders were acting to
create a more unified power structure.
While government appeared fragmented (29 municipalities and a
county government), several steps had and were being taken to
centralize government authority. In 1974, Broward adopted a "home rule
charter," allowing the county to make many of the decisions for itself,
that had previously been made in Tallahassee. The charter also marked
an increase in the scope of county government, in that it provided for
the assumption of final land use authority by the county over
individual cities' land use plans. The charter was followed in 1978
with a major bond issue to upgrade services across the board in the
county. More recently, a Government Efficiency Committee was set up to
study local government and make recommendations to improve its
organization an operation.
An additional reason for choosing Broward County as a research
site was its accessibility. Broward was most accessible in terms of
proximity, costs, personal knowledge of the community, and personal
contacts who could serve as valuable sources.
Identification of Community Leaders
Once deciding on the case method, a particular approach to
identify community leaders had to be selected. The purpose of
identifying community leaders is two-fold. First, obviously, it is
necessary to identify who the leaders are in a community and how they
interact. Second, and just as important, however, is the need to
identify a bank of very knowledgeable sources if one is to try to
understand local political dynamics. Community leaders are experts on


136
The Broward Workshop's Record
The Broward Workshop has had its share of successes and failures.
According to one leader:
The Broward Workshop includes most business leaders throughout the
county. Its function is to study the most critical problems of
the county and encourage the political sector to focus in on them.
He gave several examples of the Workshop "doing something."
The Workshop went to the county and suggested the appointment of a
citizens committee to get the airport moving [airport improvement
project]. A formal appointed board was set up. In the Workshop,
we are strongly backing the development of a theatre of the
performing arts. There was an urgent meeting of the Workshop on
the tax revolt. In the Workshop people are action oriented.
Leaders are trying to channel their activities through the
Workshop. As one businessman put it, "effectivity through the Broward
Workshop as a vehicle." While the Workshop has had its share of
successes, there are a number of detractors of the Workshop as well.
According to one county commissioner, "... the Workshop leaves me
cold. I've seen nothing come of it. Johnson [county administrator]
tried to force the Workshop on the commission." A banker said, "the
Workshop tried to create a permanent structure. But if you need to
invite 150 people [to the retreat in Vero Beach], that's a pretty
clumsy epensive way to do it." A lawyer made a similar observation.
It's too fragmented in Broward. There is no one group with one
goal which is able to get together and do something. The Workshop


30
examine an array of specific cases to test his major hypothesis.
Yet I suppose these two works more than any others in the social
sciences of the last few years have sought to interpret complex
political systems essentially as instances of a ruling elite.
(Dahl. 1958. p. 466)
He goes on to lay out what he considers to be an acceptable test of a
ruling elite.
To sum up: The hypothesis of the existence of a ruling elite can
be strictly tested only if: 1. The hypothetical ruling elite is a
well-defined group. 2. There is a fair sample of cases involving
key political decisions in which the preferences of the
hypothetical ruling elite run counter to those of any other likely
group that might be suggested. 3. In such cases, the preferences
of the elite regularly prevail. (Dahl, 1958, p. 466)
In a similar vein, Polsby (1963) summarizes the work of elite theorists
under the heading of stratification studies, and extrapolates five
propositions of stratification studies which he says they fail to
prove. He argues that to establish the existence of an elite, each of
the conditions of his test must be met. These conditions are as
/
follows
1. The upper class rules m local community life.
2. Political and civic leaders are subordinate to the upper class.
3. A single "power elite" rules in the community.
4. The upper-class power elite rules in its own interests.
5. Social conflict takes place between the upper and lower
classes. (Polsby, 1980, pp. 8-10)
While the conception of elite theory espoused by Dahl and Polsby
is consistent with elite theory as found in the works of Mosca, Pareto,
and Michaels, it is nevertheless misleading. Dahl and Polsby lay out a
single conception of elite theory and deny the legitimacy of any other
conception. The researcher who accepts their very narrow definition of


start, the study group decided to tackle the question of service
delivery and functional consolidation, avoiding the very divisive
subject of cities-county consolidation.
Throughout the Committee's existence, it was plagued by the
reluctance of participants to take stands on issues. In the summer of
1984, the Committee came out with its recommendations which were
presented to the county commission for consideration. First, the
Committee recommended that the county stop providing municipal services
and concentrate on regional services. In the Committee's own words:
To achieve the goals of efficiency, management effectiveness
and political adequacy, the relationship between the various units
of government in Broward must be more fully defined.
Overlapping and duplicative functions should be reduced or
eliminated by assigning repsponsibility for specific services to a
city or county government. By reducing or eliminating service
competition and by more adequately defining the powers of city and
county government, better utilization of public resources will
develop.
The committee feels two-level government will improve
accountability by making an easily identifiable unit responsible
for each government service. Better service and public facility
planning will also result from a clear definition of the role and
function of local government. The Committee recommends that
Broward local government move toward service delivery on a system
of two levels, municipal and areawide. . .
In an attempt to make government more directly responsive to
its taxpayers, the Committee reviewed several basic services
provided by several levels of government in Broward and
recommended assignment of the responsiblity to one level or
another. (Broward County Government Efficiency Study Committee,
1984, pp. 7-8)
It is instructive, however, that of the services the Committee
examined, it could find very few that should remain municipal services,
while it found quite many which should be provided at the areawide
level. Among the services that should be provided at the areawide
level were water, wastewater, solid waste, regional type parks, social
services, building inspection codes, and detention. Those services


143
making in the community. At the conclusion of each year's leadership
program, a directory of the 40 to 50 participants is published. The
directory states:
The end of each year's program will mark the beginning of a new
opportunity for involvement by participants. Each year's
graduating class will become part of an alumni group which
represents a pool of all previous participants. The alumni group
will meet regularly to maintain their relationships, to continue
the dialogue begun in the program, to provide guidance in the
development of future leadership programs, and to encourage and
place participants in community leadership roles. (Fort
Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce, 1983)
It was hoped that government officials would make appointments to
advisory boards from among the ranks of graduates of Leadership
Broward.
Leadership Broward was not without its critics. Most of the
criticism stemmed from the fact that 31 of the 40 participants in
Leadership Broward were based in Fort Lauderdale, though not all were
business persons. Nevertheless, the perception was that Leadership
Broward was another example of downtown Fort Lauderdale leaders trying
to get what they want at the expense of the rest of the county. Still
Leadership Broward is entering its fourth year of training future
leaders. If nothing else comes out of the program, leaders are getting
to know each other and form networks, all of which increases the
organization of the private sector, formalizing previously informal
contacts through Leadership Broward. An examination of Leadership
Broward's advisory board reveals that several of Broward's most
influential actors identified in the reputational analysis are involved
in the program and become aquainted with emerging leaders. On the
board of directors are Roger Hall, J. Edward Houston, George Sullivan,
Dr. Abraham Fischler, Jack Chambers, and David Rush. Most of these


67
discussed in Chapter II. This approach has been used by Wirt (1974)
San Francisco.
in


58
As empirical plausibility probes, case studies are often as
serviceable as, or more so than, comparative onesand nearly
always a great deal cheaper (a prime consideration in probing
plausibility). The economic case for them is strongest where
required information is not readily available in aggregate data or
good secondary sources and is intrinsically hard to get. Case
studies can certainly serve the purpose well if well selected,
that is, if they are such that a result, for or against a theory,
cannot be readily shrugged off. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 112)
The final case study identified by Eckstein is the "crucial case
study." This is the study of a case which seems to fit a theory very
closely, or which seems to not fit a particular theory at all. Thus if
the case still contradicts the theory or the converse, if a case which
should not fit the theory does fit, then the theory is disproved.
Eckstein sees "most-likely" or "least-likely" cases as falling into
this category, in addition to "must fit" cases.
With the exception of the "configurative-idiographic" study, all
of the studies discussed above contribute to theory building, though
some more than others. From the standpoint of community power
research, the crucial case study, plausibility probe, and heuristic
case study are the most useful for advancement in the field. The
configurative idiographic and the disciplined configurative studies
already abound in the literature. New community power studies which
are merely descriptive or interpretive would not contribute appreciably
to the development of a more general body of knowledge which all
sciences strive for. Given the cost of the large-scale comparative
study and the limitations of aggregate analysis previously discussed,
by default, progress in the field will depend on the crucial case
study, the plausibility probe, or the heuristic case study. As


126
needed votes to elected officials. The newspaper found that only one
leader had what it called county-wide influence. Ironically, that
individual, J. Edward Houston, worked out of Miami where he was
president of Barnett Bank South. Four other names identified in the
article made the list because of their "Tallahassee connection" to
Governor Bob Graham. Otherwise, only a few other individuals were
identified as potential new leaders. However, the article saw little
to indicate that Broward would gain a more unified power structure
anytime in the near future. So it would appear that Broward's power
structure, once a small conservative elite, had become so pluralistic
that it was difficult to even identify the leaders' names. The next
section discusses some of the causes that brought Broward to this
state.
Growth and the Business Community
As mentioned earlier, growth had many effects on Broward County.
Growth and development not only fragmented the authority structure of
the county with the incorporation of numerous municipalities, but also
resulted in greater fragmentation of the business community. It did so
in two ways. First of all, economic differentiation occurred. Second,
as development moved outside of the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Fort
Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce was no longer the sole voice of business
in the community. Within each of the new cities a Chamber of Commerce
sprung up, splintering the business community. Let us examine each of
these trends further.
It was pointed out in Chapter I that economic diversity is
associated with dispersed power structures. This is only natural as


186
be split between economic development and a regional symphony (in
conjunction with Dade County). The county has agreed to follow the
recommendations of Project Horizon in spending the economic development
money.
Project Horizon was set up by the Broward Workshop. Of the 37
member steering committee, at least 12 members are from the Workshop
and all of the members were appointed by the Workshop. The county
administrator is co-chairman of Project Horizon. Thus, the separation
between county government and business leaders is getting increasingly
narrow. According to the Miami Herald,
The Committee includes the top executives of at least five banks,
three real estate firms, three law firms, three construction and
land development firms, two Big Eight accounting firms, two
utility companies and the Fort Lauderdale News/Sun Sentinel.
(Miami Herald, October 16, 1985).
The article points out that labor, environmental groups, and minority
groups are not included in the Project, though some minority members
are serving on the board.
One observer commented in the fall of 1985,
I think there is more coordination now. A cooperative spirit
between the two sectors exists [business and government]. They
understand that they can't go forward without each other.
Only time will tell if this arrangement will become the norm or is the
exception. We should expect, however, that Broward County is not
unique in this respect. In communities accross the country, business
and government are finding that they must collaborate to a greater
extent than ever before.


118
"County Accounts Publically Unaccounted" (October 1, 1973)
"Broward Banking Policy Loosely Drawn" (October 1, 1973)
County Budget Puzzles Computer, Too (October 1, 1973)
"Time is Right to Change Our County Governments" (editorial, October 2,
1973)
"Job Definitions Shift With Political Tide" (October 2, 1973)
"County Choice Client For Consultants" (October 3, 1973)
"Sewer, Water Plan Underestimated by $12 Million" (October 3, 1973)
"Spendthrift Department Heads Must Explain to County Panel" (October 3,
1973)
"Poole Suggests Probe of County Corruption" (October 3, 1973)
"Sewage Plant Bids Awash in Mystery" (Octoberr 3, 1973)
Jury Calls Building Probe" (October 4, 1973)
"Broward's Future Rests With Charter Proposals" (October 5, 1973)
"State to Begin Investigation of County's Richest Purchase" (October 5,
1973)
"Wheeler Out; Comptroller Office Shut" (October 9, 1973)
"State Auditor Charges Wheeler With 2 Violations" (November 28, 1973)
"Photo Contradicts Wheeler" (November 29, 1973)
In fact, from the headlines listed above, one would imagine that
the County Comptroller had stolen millions of dollars of revenue from
the county. In fact, the crisis in Broward was more created than real,
at least with respect to corruption in government. The County
Comptroller actually was in trouble for purjuring himself in testimony
about his wife's employment in his office. This is not to downplay the
administrative problems, particularly financial monitoring and record
keeping in county government. However, as students of government know,
how the message is conveyed has a great affect on the success of
government reorganization efforts. A crisis atmosphere certainly


110
Such a mayor would serve as a member of the legislative body,
with the same voting abilities as the other commissioners.
Clearly, the mayor as envisioned in this system would not infringe
upon the administrator's duties and responsibilities as outlined
in the present Broward County Charter, but rather would embody
additional needed communicative and political influence. Such a
position would replace the commission chairman which now rotates
annually.
The Committee recognizes the need in Broward for strong
leadership to galvanize all factions of Broward's diverse
population, and feels such goals could best be realized with a
legislative county mayor who had powers and responsibilities
expanded from the present chairman's role. Such a person would be
Broward's "ambassador" to other government units and the private
sector, providing a readily identifiable Broward image. (Broward
County Government Efficiency Study Committee, 1984, p. 17)
The Committee also listed the "powers and duties" that should be
given the mayor:
1. Serve as the presiding officer of the Commission.
2. Present annually, ... a ^'State of the County" message,
setting forth programs and recommendations to the Commission.
3. Serve as the official representative and ceremonial dignitary
for Broward County to the private and public sectors with the
prerogative of issuing proclamations.
4. Sign ordinances, resolutions and other legislative documents
for the Commission.
5. Call the Commission into regular and special session.
6. Preside over the committee charged with reviewing nominations
for department heads by the County Administrator.
7. Serve as ex-officio member of quasi-policy-making boards and
commissions.
8. Appoint one additional person to boards and commissions in
his/her role as mayor in addition to appointment authority given
to him/her as a commissioner. (Example: Each Commissioner would
have two appointments to Broward County Zoning Advisory Board: The
Mayor would have three).
9. Have the option to hire one additional staff person in addition
to regular allocation to the office of a commissioner.


50
decision making affect the capacity of a community to deal with its
problems in an effective manner? Chapter I identifies some of the
difficulties encountered by researchers attempting to account for
variations in policy outputs at the local level. Terry Clark and other
researchers who switched their focus from "who governs?" to "where,
when, and with what effects?" avoided the conceptual disagreements
between elite and pluralist theorists by simply characterizing
communities as centralized or decentralized (see Chapter I). While
this enabled them to move beyond the elite-pluralist controversies,
their approach lacked theoretical focus contributing to their inability
to obtain significant results. They failed to distinguish between
centralization in government and centralization in the private sector
which we would expect to effect the kinds of policy outputs found in
the community. The political economy approach should help clarify this
relationship by suggesting what policies might be related to
centralization in one or both sectors.
Third, we must ask, what is the relationship between business and
government leaders, if as the political economy approach suggests, this
is the most important set of leaders in the community? If both
government and private sector leaders are equally important, how do
they interact? Are their relations characterized by conflict,
cooperation, or indifference? Under what conditions will
public/private sector leaders dominate community decision making?
A fourth research question concernes the capacity of public
officials and business leaders to alter the decision making structure
in which they act. Many studies of community power treat the structure
of decision making as a permanent attribute of the community. Yet,
leaders can and do act in deliberate ways to change the structure of


CHAPTER VIII
CONCLUSION
Towards a Typology of Business-Government Relationships
Bert Swanson (1984), based on his examination of several varying
interpretations of Houston's power system, has developed a typology to
account for four different patterns of relationship between the public
and private sector power systems, identified by researchers in that
community. His typology is reproduced below (Swanson, 1984, p. 7). He
hypothesizes that four sets of relationship between the two systems can
occur, depending upon the degree of integration between them and
whether interaction is selective or continual. His typology is
particularly useful to us because it implies the possibility of
movement from one pattern of relationship between the two systems to
another.
TABLE 8-1
PATTERNS OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE RELATIONSHIPS
STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION BEHAVIORAL INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE TWO
BETWEEN THE TWO SYSTEMS SYSTEMS
Selective
Continual
Low
Independence
Interdependence
High
Domination
Permeation
In the first pattern, "independence," both systems act in their
own spheres with only occasional (selective) interaction between them.
This might occur in the area of economic development (Swanson, 1984, p.
176


39
Pluralist Theory
Pluralist theory is not very much clearer than elite theory.
Polsby (1980), in evaluating the criticism of pluralist theory made by
elite theorists, says they fail to distinguish between Pluralism 1,
Pluralism 2, and Pluralism 3. He says:
I propose a distinction among three uses of the term "pluralism"
that seem to correspond to three different senses in which it is
employed in the community power literature, though of course these
are not the only uses to which it is put, in community power
studies or elsewhere. (Polsby, 1980, p. 154)
According to Polsby, Pluralism 1 "refers to eclectic methods of
gathering data" (Polsby, 1980, p. 154). Pluralism 2, he says, is what
we commonly think of as pluralism in the community power field.
The Pluralist 2 state of affairs so described usually has one or
more characteristics that will by now be familiar to readers:
dispersion of power among many rather than a few participants in
decision-making; competition or conflict among political leaders;
specialization of leaders to relatively restricted sets of issue
areas; bargaining rather than hierarchical decision making;
elections in which the suffrage is relatively widespread as a
major determinant of participation in key decisions; bases of
influence over decisions relatively dispersed rather than closely
held; and so on. The list is illustrative, not exhaustive.
(Polsby, 1980, p. 154)
Pluralism 3, he says,
refers to an intellectual tradition that has had some strength in
American political theory. . .It has seemed to me helpful to
group under this general heading works showing some indebtedness
to writers as varied in their views as Madison, Tocqueville,
Montesquieu, and Locke. (Polsby, 1980, p. 154)


97
capable of mobilizing the community behind programs, and, indeed able
to shape the agenda in the first place.
In Broward County, there have been reforms aimed at improving the
administrative structure of government, efforts to consolidate some of
the municipalities, attempts to enlarge the scope of county government
and thereby reduce functional fragmentation, as well as consideration
of various functional consolidations of services. In addition to
reforms aimed at improving the administrative capabilities and policy
making of the community's authority structure, more recent reforms
focused on developing a strong and effective leadership by creating a
strong-mayor form of government instead of the current
commission-manager system. The intent of this change is to provide a
visible position of leadership which can set the community agenda and
mobilize support behind it. The latter is thought to be particularly
crucial in this fragmented community.
Government Efficiency Study I
Since the late 1960s, there have been four major reform efforts.
The first was in 1969, when the state legislative delegation of Broward
County appointed a study committee to examine the number of
municipalities in Broward and to consider consolidation. The impetus
for this effort stemmed from legislative campaigns and perceived
inefficiencies with the fragmented political system which had evolved
as Broward grew. The Government Efficiency Committee was composed of
15 persons and provided with $75,000 to hire a staff and undertake a
study. The committee broke itself into two groups, one to study the
consolidation of cities and the other to study the consolidation of


173
profits from additional residents and economic activity. These groups,
often centered in the Chamber of Commerce come together to promote
growth. Elected officials, if not directly part of the growth machine,
are recruited by and supported by the growth machine.
Molotch, however, describes how anti-growth coalitions may arise
in communities in response to the growth machine. Molotch points to
Palo Alto, Santa Barbara, Boulder, and Ann Arbor, as communities where
the growth machine has been successfully challenged. The basis of the
anti-growth coalition is a "mixture of young activists (some are
veterens of the peace and civil rights movements), middle-class
professionals, and workers, all of who see their own tax rates as well
as life-styles in conflict with growth." He explains further that,
"important in leadership roles are government employees and those who
work for organizations not dependent on local expansion for profit,
either directly or indirectly" (Molotch, 1976, pp. 327-28).
If anti-growth coalitions are successful, they will impose
restrictions on growth, and end "the so called natural process of land
development which has given American cities their present shape"
(Molotch, 1976, p. 328). More importantly, as these coalitions take
hold in more communities, business will lose its "threat to locate
elsewhere should public policies endanger the profitability they
desire" (Molotch, 1976, p. 328). In other words, business privilege
would end as a major force in local policy making. This would be
followed by the withdrawal of "local business elitesled by land
developers and other growth-coalition forces . from local politics"
(Molotch, 1976, p. 329).
Like Stone (1980) and Lindblom (1977), Molotch (1976) believes
that public officials are disadvantaged in their relations with


44
may define an elite as those who make decisions, it is not the same
thing as characterizing the community as elitist. Further
investigation would be necessary before concluding this. We see then
that a semantical difference in language can become paramount in
classifying the community.
Finally, some look to the distribution of resources in society and
the extent of social diversity to classify a community. Are resources
to effectuate policy broadly or narrowly dispersed? Is the community
heterogeneous or homogeneous? For the pluralist, it is the
distribution of the vote which compensates for the great inequality in
the distribution of other resources. Also, the pluralist distinguishes
a potential for influence from actual influence, which is not to be
assumed from the former. This corresponds with Terry Clark's
distinction between a power structure and a decision making structure.
While the power structure may be elite, the decision making structure
may be pluralistic.
And so we come full circle, right back where we started. The
biggest problem confronting those who enter the community power field
is making sense of the contradictory findings in the literature. Why
do so many studies find one thing only to be contradicted by other
studies? The student of community power is left to determine for
himself which of any five possible explanations offered to account for
contradictory findings is most plausible: (1) the two theories are
fairly similar but result in different labels being applied to the
community; (2) the methods are the determining factor, particularly the
research discipline which influences the method chosen; (3) there are
real differences among communities and the conflicting evidence simply
reflects this reality; (4) ideology predisposes researchers to one


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
DECISION MAKING IN BROWARD COUNTY: A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH
By
Ronald Kenneth Vogel
May 1986
Chairman: Bert E. Swanson
Major Department: Political Science
Studies of community decision making abound, yet the classic
elite-pluralist debate has remained unresolved. Without answering the
question "who governs?" researchers shifted focus to "where, when, and
with what effects?" Researchers using an inadequate conceptualization
of community decision making combined with their ideological
predispositions produced largely uninteresting and insignificant
results of the relationship between power and local policy outputs.
Worse, researchers managed to take politics out of the study of
community decision making. The community power field, a once thriving
and exciting field of study, was abandoned by many as a result.
To overcome these problems, a political economy orientation is
adopted, the focus being how do the public and private decision making
systems relate to each other. Community decision making consists of
two separate but intertwined processes, one based in the private sector
commonly called the power structure and the other in government or the
authority structure. This orientation allows us to reconsider elite
and pluralist theory and how, as used by researchers, they explain
different aspects of community decision making. The emphasis is not to
prove one theory over another but to attempt to synthesize the
vi


warns, however, that recognition of a connection between politics and
economics is not enough.
49
This position is like that of a man who thinks he knows how to win
at poker because he has noticed a connection between playing cards
and getting money. The existence of a connection is not
problematic: the problem is to understand what the connection is
and how it works. In this respect, political economy may be a
victim both of its modishness and of its ideological appeal.
Fashion has lent it the status of a theory when it deserves only
that of a fielda rather broadly defined field, at that, and one
over which control is disputed between opposing theoretical
schools. The members of these schools, as well as all the others
who favor some sort of "interdisciplinary approach," contribute to
creating the impression that the desirability of a political
economy approach makes its actual specification a technical
detail. In this way, ambition is mistaken for achievement, and
the identification of a problem is confused with its solution.
(Staniland, 1985, p. 3)
The political economy approach sensitizes us to the need to put
economics and politics back together. But as Staniland points out, it
is not enough to assert that there is a connection between the two. We
must explain the dynamics of that relationship. The real test of the
political economy approach is whether it contributes to "empirical
understanding" (Staniland, 1985, p 6). To help achieve this end, a
number of research questions are offered which will be addressed
throughout this work.
First, what is the structure of community decision making? Are
both the political and economic sectors equally important? The
political economy approach allows us to examine community decision
making without having to commit to one of the theories of political
power in advance. The emphasis is on what do each of the theories
contribute to our understanding of community decision making.
Second, we wish to know how the structure of community decision
making affects policy outputs. Does the structure of community


64
within the same system. This is a matter to be determined
empirically. Any investigation that does not take into account
the possibility that different elite groups have different scopes
is suspect. (Dahl, 1958, p. 465)
Wolfinger (1960) similarly criticizes the reputational approach.
His major objection to this method is that it assumes reputation and
reality are the same thing. In addition, he is concerned that the
reputational method assumes leadership is general, while studies like
Dahl's suggest that leadership is specialized. By just asking who are
the top leaders in the community, one may overlook the possibility that
there is little overlap among leaders in different issue areas.
The decision was made to use a variant of the reputational method
in this study. While there are some problems with the reputational
approach, the decisional approach does not offer any significant
advantage over the reputational method. Both methods rely on the
interviewees' subjective assessment of empirical reality as pointed out
by Ricci (1980). In addition, there are several steps which can be
taken to improve the reputational approach. First of all, as pointed
out, it is important to distinguish the two elements of decision making
from each other. Dahl and Wolfinger mistakenly conclude that the
reputational method identifies only the power structure and not the
authority structure. If used properly, the reputational method
identifies both sets of leaders. Wolfinger and Dahl's criticisms of
the reputational approach center on the conclusions about power that a
researcher using the method is likely to make. Viewed as a method to
generate a set of community knowledgeables, the reputational method can
be quite effective. In fact Wolfinger is not critical of this view.
He states:


57
Thus general theory is used to interpret the case. At the same time,
the case may identify areas which require new theory or areas where
current theory does not fit well.
A third type of case study is the "heuristic case" where the aim
is to create theory. According to Eckstein:
Case study [is] deliberately used to stimulate the imagination
toward discerning important general problems and possible
theoretical solutions. That is the essence of heuristic case
studies (heuristic meaning "serving to find out"). Such studies,
unlike configurative-idiographic ones, tie directly into theory
building, and therefore are less concerned with overall concrete
configurations than with potentially generalizable relations
between aspects of them. (Eckstein, 1975, p. 104)
Thus the heuristic case study is used to generate theory by examining
cases which spur the researcher to explain phenomena for which no
theory or well developed theory exists. By looking at the particular
case, the researcher may discern patterns which may lead him to theory
which may be tested in other cases later on. This type of study may be
superior to comparative study because it allows the researcher to
examine many more variables than can be considered in comparative
research.
The fourth case study which Eckstein discusses is the
"plausibility probe" which is just what it says, a preliminary probe to
determine if one's theories are worth investigating. Probes at one
level may be used "to establish that a theoretical construct is worth
considering . ., i.e., that an apparent empirical instance of it can
be found" (Eckstein, 1975, p. 109). Dahl's (1961) study of New Haven
fits this description, as Eckstein points out. Plausibility probes are
guided much more directly by theory than are heuristic case studies.
Eckstein states:


7
approach, found different leaders active in different issue areas, with
the mayor as the predominant figure in an executive-centered coalition.
Polsby attacked Hunter and other elite studies as fallacious. He
embarked on a crusade against the positional and reputational
approaches to the study of power, arguing that one must look to actual
behavior in the community, an approach that came to be labelled the
"decisional" approach.
Bachratz and Baratz (1962) raised the nondecision problem and
argued the decisional method missed the agenda-setting stage where
alternative policies are originally shaped. They attacked the logic of
studying government decisions alone, as researchers would miss efforts
to limit the agenda of government. This criticism went to the heart of
the pluralist school and shed doubt on the decisional approach. The
stage was thus set for the ensuing elite-pluralist debate, much of
which was conducted in an unscholarly vein. Presthus (1964) using the
reputational and decisional approaches found much overlap between the
two methods. More importantly, he found little empirical difference
between the elite and pluralist schools of thought. He states:
To some extent, where sociologists found monopoly and called it
elitism, political scientists found oligopoly but defined it in
more honorific terms as pluralism. (Presthus, 1964, p. 430)
Thus, much of the debate revolved not around the objective reality in
our communities, but the interpretation of the findings.
Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) introduced a typology of power
structures and regimes. They emphasized the role of leadership
ideology as an independent variable on the community structure and
subsequent policy outputs. Their conceptualization improved the


138
which was to have paid for a performing arts center and convention
center.
Last year, there was a one cent penny sales tax referendum that
would be used to build a theatre for the performing arts and a
convention center. Farber was the key art representative. We
were assured by everyoneFarber said they would raise money and
provide workers for phone calls etc. to assure passage. They
didn't raise much money and didn't deliver. Farber didn't
deliver. He didn't have time. He was out of town. If you are
going to do it, do it.
Certainly the fact that the Workshop has gone through three
executive directors since its inception has contributed to the problems
it has faced. Yet, it seems that the effort to centralize Broward's
power structure through the Broward Workshop has been only partially
successful. While many in Broward have pointed to the Workshop's less
than total success as evidence of Broward's pluralist system of
decision making, they overlook the fact that the creation of the
Broward Workshop has centralized the power structure over what it was,
even if it is still less centralized than they may have desired. In
addition, the workshop has had some very impressive results. Perhaps
the best example of what the Workshop is capable of is the case of the
Broward County tax revolt in 1981 which threatened a recent bond issue
by spawning a recall petition against several county commissioners.
Several business leaders, most of them involved in the Broward
Workshop, came to the aid of the commissioners and put a stop to the
recall petition.


elite. Policy, he finds, is made not by elected officials, but by
businessmen. He describes these leaders as follows:
38
Most of the leaders are persons of power status. In some cases
they control large industries in which they reign supreme in
matters of decision affecting large numbers of the citizenry.
They are persons of dominance, prestige, and influence. They are,
in part, the decision makers for the total community. They are
able to enforce their decisions by persuasion, intimidation,
coercion, and if necessary, force. Because of these elements of
compulsion, power weilding is often a hidden process. (Hunter,
1953, p. 24)
Hunter finds these leaders are drawn disproportionately from the
business community, and that among the forty or so top leaders, four or
five are at the center. Hunter thinks it is often not possible to
separate government decisions from private sector decisions.
Where do public politics end and private politics begin? There is
a very thin line between the two categories as they were observed
in the study of power relations in Regional City. In the normal
course of events the actions of the private citizen, at least on a
policy-making level of power, are almost indistinguishable from
those of formally designated officials. The dual relationship
between government and economic operations tends to blur into one
process. Yet many community activities which affect the total
citizenry cannot be properly called processes of government.
(Hunter, 1953, p. 171)
This is an important section of Hunter's analysis, for he makes a
distinction between government decision making proper, and policy
making in the community. Hunter's emphasis is on policy making for the
overall community, not the formal outputs of government. This point is
often missed by his pluralist critics.


32
To underline this point, the reader is directed to the fourth
proposition Polsby says elite researchers assert: "The upper-class
'power elite' rules in its own interests." This proposition denies the
possibility of an elite that rules in the public interest due to its
sense of noblese oblige. Would Polsby accept the reverse proposition
that elected officials act only for self-interests, as a tenet of
pluralist theory? Agger, Goldrich, and Swanson (1964) identify the
importance of ideology as a determinant of elite behavior.
There are problems with the other propositions of stratification
theory provided by Polsby, as well. For instance, if the elite has to
be a "single power elite," then one cannot talk about factions within
the elite, as this denies elite cohesion. The notion of a
counter-elite also is not possible, as this suggests power may be held
outside of the elite and that the elite may not always win. Finally,
the idea that if elite theory is to be given credence, it must be shown
that political leaders are subordinate to economic leaders means that
we may not conceive of the political leaders as part of the elite. In
fact, did not Mills claim that the "power elite" was composed of three
parts, the military elite, political elite, and industrial elite.
The version of elite theory advanced by Dahl and Polsby is found
lacking on several counts. First of all, it overly simplifies the
major premises of elite theory. Secondly, it is a straw man, in that
once the crude version of elite theory was discredited, all elite
theory was discredited. However, there is no reason to believe that
the propositions of Dahl and Polsby are the only acceptable version of
elite theory. Only their version was disproved. Finally, and just as
important, the work of elite theory researchers, as well as others,
does not logically lead to Dahl's and Polsby's propositions. That is,


theories. Many differences in their explanations are traced to
incomplete conceptualizations of community decision making.
In a case study of Broward County, Florida, the dynamics of
business-government relations are examined. This study reveals that
the structure of decision making does matter, affecting the quantity
and quality of policy outputs in the community. Leaders have attempted
to centralize the governmental authority structure and private power
structure in an effort to overcome what they believe are severe
deficiencies in operating in a pluralist system. A typology of
community decision making is introduced based on the research findings
depending on the degree of centralization of the power structure and
the authority structure. Decentralized decision making structures are
seen to disadvantage communities competing in an era of mobile capital.
A trend towards increased government-business cooperation based on
mutual dependence is identified.
vxi


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Bert E. Swanson, Chairman
Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
LjJiC-CU-t C,
William A. Kelso
Associate Professor of Political
Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
' Associate Professor of Political
Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
/r/)sJZzL'
Deborah Baumgold J
Assistant Professor'of Political
Science


94
development in the community. Let us take a closer look, then, at how
the county grew.
Broward County was created in 1915, carved out of Dade and Palm
Beach County. In 1920, the City of Fort Lauderdale had a population of
2,065 with another 3,070 people living in the rest of the county, for a
total population of 5,135. By 1981, Broward County had 29
municipalities and a population of 1,047,313 (Fort Lauderdale/Broward
County Chamber of Commerce, 1983, 3-2). Table 5-1 should help give
some perspective to Broward's rapid growth. Between I960 and 1970,
Broward was the fastest growing county in the nation, practically
doubling in size. Between 1970 and 1980, Broward's growth rate was 64
percent. The medium projected population of Broward County in 1990 is
1,314,300 (Florida Statistical Abstract, 1983, p. 46, Table 1.84).
Thus, Broward's growth rate of approximately 29 percent is still
relatively high in the eighties.
The pattern of development in Broward County was largely the
result of market forces. Development occurred in large tracts. Old
farms and large pieces of property held by one or a few owners provided
developers with the opportunity to develop large scale projects. In
the past, as a developer built a large development, he would go to
Tallahassee and incorporate the area. This served the developer's need
to control development and put needed infrastructure in place by
drawing on municipal taxing powers without an aggressive city council
regulating the types of development permitted. Developers could also
avoid the need to comply with the county's or city's (if it were
annexed) planning and zoning requirements. As development occurred and
sufficient population moved in, a council would be set up. These


22
because of the shared experiences which will cause elites to support
the same policies. The pluralist version of this is that all groups
are potentially organizable and therefore exert indirect influence on
decision makers [1]. Neither of these arguments has been proven,
though both make sense theoretically. If it is incorrect to accept one
notion, then how can it be all right to accept the other in the absence
of any clear evidence (Ricci, 1980, p. 470). Ricci concludes:
In the field of community power, as we have just seen, the
acceptance of ideas was far less a matter of applying objective
rules than of applying subjective values, whatever these might
have been. For that field, at least, it is best to speak of
"conversion experiences," "acts of faith," and "gestalt switches,"
as Kuhn did. (Ricci, 1980, p. 470)
Ricci is unsure whether this problem is limited to the community power
field or has wider application to the political science discipline. He
does, however, point out that the problems faced by the community power
field are present in any are of social science research including the
policy sciences.
What Do We Know?
After more than fifty years of study, one would expect that we
know quite a bit about the structure of urban decision making and the
role of power in the community [2]. This, unfortunately, is not the
case. While we have many theories, hypotheses, ideas, suspicions, and
hunches, our actual understanding of the community processes is slight.
We can say very little with certainty.
In answer to the first question, "who governs?" the evidence is
still far from clear. About all we do know is that some communities


31
an elite is usually left little choice but to reject the existence of
an elite.
There is nothing in the work of Mills and Hunter to suggest that
there cannot be many variants of elite theory. Thus, Dahl and Polsby
identify one variant of elite theory and find it false. They have not,
however, disproved elite theory, only a single variant of elite theory,
and one which many would argue was a straw man to begin with. In fact,
neither Hunter nor Mills claimed the elite was all powerful or even
necessarily always cohesive. Hunter never even used the term "elite"
in his famous work. He was also very careful to point out that there
was not a single hierarchy in Atlanta.
In fact, one passage of Hunter's work could just as easily been
written in a pluralist account of the community. He states;
Actually the discussion here is primarily concerned with the
structuring of power on a policy-making level. Only a rudimentary
"power pyramid" of Regional City will be presented. One may be
content to do this because I doubt that power forms a single
pyramid with any nicety in a community the size of Regional City.
There are pyramids of power in this community which seem more
important to the present discussion than a pyramid. (Hunter,
1953, p.62)
While Polsby would point to this statement as contradicting Hunter's
elite arguments, it really suggests that Hunter had a much more
sophisticated view of elite theory than he has been given credit for.
Most of the criticism of Hunter's work centers on the reputational
method and not his conception of an elite. The point, however, is not
to defend Hunter's work, but to suggest that the view of elite theory
propagated by Dahl and Polsby is very narrow and not always consistent
with the views of other researchers, particularly within the elite
orientation.


142
to build greater cohesiveness and organization amongst themselves in
their efforts to create a more unified power structure.
Leadership Broward
While the Broward Workshop was the most significant effort to
centralize business leaders, another effort deserves mention. A
concerted effort was undertaken to recruit, train, and place new
leaders from the private sector into community decision making
positions. Following the example of other Chambers of Commerce,
including Dallas, Houston, and Tampa, the Fort Lauderdale/Broward
County Chamber of Commerce has instituted a Leadership Broward program.
The program is designed:
to assist the leadership potential currently existing in our
community. Through the exposure of a ten-month program of highly
structured activities, participants become familiar with current
issues, community resources and other factors influencing the
direction of Broward County's future. (Chamber of Commerce
Brochure)
According to the Chamber's literature:
The program is designed to bring together individuals from diverse
backgrounds and experiences from the public and private sectors
who have demonstrated both talent and interest in community
leadership. Through face-to-face discussions with established
community leaders and experts from a variety of local
organizations and institutions, participants have a unique
opportunity to examine the dynamics of social, political and
economic changes affecting community life. (Chamber of Commerce
Brochure)
The Leadership Broward program was intended not just to train
future leaders and aquaint them with community problems, but to create
leadership networks and place new leaders into positions of decision


LEADER
Houston
Farber
Rush
Whiddon
Forman [Ham]
McTigue
Jenne
Gustafson
Josias
Lippman
Lochrie
Shaw
Grossman
Perez
Adams
Chambers
Campbell
Sullivan
Smith
Leonard
Stahl
Horvitz
Forman [How]
Scott
Rosenkrantz
Fischler
Beach
Brescher
Hall
Lomelo
Platt
Thompson
Cowan
Fried
Millsaps
Young
72
TABLE 4-1
BROWARD COUNTY COMMUNITY LEADERS
NOMIN
ATIONS POSITION 1234567
23
18
14
13
13
12
12
9
9
8
8
7
7
7
6
6
6
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
Barnett Bank South
X
Leonard Farber Inc.
X
ACR Electronics
X
Causeway Lumber
X
United Federal S & L
X
M.R. McTigue & Co.
X
State Senator/Attorney
X
X
State Legislator/Attorney
X
X
Attorney
X
State Legislator/Pharmacist
X
X
Sun Bank South
X
Congressman
X
County Commissioner
X
AFL-CIO
Broward Community College
Gulfstream Development
X
Ft. Lauderdale News
X
Florida Power & Light
X
Congressman
X
Attorney/Board of Regents
X
X
Broward Federal S & L
X
Hollywood Inc.
X
County Commissioner
X
State Senator/Attorney
X
X
Condominim Leader Lauder
X
dale Lakes Councilman
Nova University
County Commissioner
X
Sheriff
X
Arvida Corporation
X
Mayor, City of Sunrise/
X
Democratic Party Chair
Attorney
X
County Commissioner
X
County Commissioner
X
County Commissioner
X
Retired [Landmark Bank]
X
Fort Lauderdale City
X
Commission
x
X
X
X
14 17 71 1 3 1


73
Table 4-1 continued
KEY: 1=BUSINESS
2=PUBLIC OFFICIAL [Public or Private]
3=PR0FESSI0NAL [Lawyer (only practicing lawyers were put in this
category), Pharmacist]
4=LAB0R
5=MEDIA [also treated as business]
6=EDUCATION
. 7=CONDOMINIUM
NOTE:
Several leaders' positions changed during the course of the study which
could have affected their rankings. Houston left his position at Barnett
Bank, though most respondents felt this would not affect his position in the
community. He and Farber are now collaborating on a bank.
Campbell was promoted to the Los Angeles Times in the middle of the
study. Therefore, people stopped selecting him as a community leader and his
overall rank is probably substantially lower than it otherwise would have
been. His replacement was not yet known to respondents.
Lomelo was ousted as chairman of the Democratic Party and replaced by
George Platt shortly after field work was completed. Platt would probably
rise in the rankings as a result and Lomelo would drop. (Actually, Lomelo is
probably no longer a factor in Broward politics. He was indicted and
convicted of extortion, and is presently serving time in prison.)
SOURCE:
The data presented here were collected between June and December of
1983. Thirty of the 36 leaders who received two or more nominations were
interviewed. Two did not respond to the question of who the most influential
persons in the community were. Three of the 28 who answered the question
said there were too many influential leaders in the community to talk of just
ten. These results are based on 25 respondents who answered the question.
Twelve individuals received one vote each.


102
intracounty population patterns and to plan and coordinate the
delivery of services. (DeGrove and Lawrence, 1976, p. 9)
By giving the county responsibility for this area, clearly the charter
w as centralizing authority to act for the community. There is little
doubt that any differences of opinion between the cities and the county
would be decided in favor of the county. Aiken underlines this point.
Possibly anticipating city-county conflict, the Charter Commission
drafting the document also included the following statement"The
powers granted by this Charter shall be construed liberally in
favor of the county government." (Aiken, 1976, p. 4)
Gortmaker comes to a similar conclusion, though she believes the
charter does not go as far as it could have in terms of centralizing
power. The cities are still left with a great deal of independence.
After weighing what was politically feasible in Broward County,
the Charter Commission produced a document that many said later
came out stronger that they ever anticipated. One of the most
controversial parts establishes a countywide land use planning
council that strips the 29 cities of this power and lets a county
agency make these ultimate decisions. If a city creates a land
use plan that conforms to an overall county scheme, however, the
city can handle its own zoning provided it complies with its
original land use plan. The charter also allows muncipal
ordinances to prevail, except in areas of land use and pollution.
(Gortmaker, 1975, p. 12)
Third, the new charter provides the county with a greater degree
of autonomy than that accorded most counties in Florida. The Florida
Constitution, as revised in 1968, allows counties which adopt a charter
form of government (which requires voter approval) greater leeway in
running their own affairs. In Florida, counties without charters must
frequently go to their local legislative delegation and ask it to


63
In criticizing the ruling elite model, Dahl (1958) implicitly
criticizes the reputational and positional approaches to identifying
decision making structures. Essentially, he is critical of three
aspects of these two approaches. First of all he says that each
"confuses a ruling elite with a group that has a high potential for
control." What he means is that while those identified as members of
the "power structure" may have the capability to control the community,
this is quite different from saying they actually control the
community. Which is to say that the reputational and positional
methods ignore the possibility that an elite group may actually have a
"low potential for unity" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). In his view, actual
decisions must be studied as it is possible that a "group with a
relatively low potential for control but a high potential for unity may
be more politically effective than a group with a high potential for
control but a low potential for unity" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465).
Furthermore, Dahl believes that using these two approaches leads
the researcher to mislabel a group found "to have more influence than
any others in the system" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). In other words, just
because a group may have more influence over some decisions than others
does not prove the existence of an elite. Ultimately, this is because
the vote is so widely dispersed, that the masses retain enough power to
thwart an elite group's influence in the long run. Also, other groups
may change the balance of power at any point in time.
Finally, Dahl most vehemently objects to methods which "generalize
from a single scope of influence" (Dahl, 1958, p. 465). He states:
Neither logically nor empirically does it follow that a group with
a high degree of influence over one scope [of influence] will
necessarily have a high degree of influence over another scope


170
always running for reelection. They are only responsive to
constituents. While in office, they are effective, but once out,
they are not.
Q: Are elected officials part of the power structure?
A: The power structure rarely includes elected officials, not
current commissioners or those running for office. When he runs
for office, he responds to his constituency. He is no longer a
free agent.
Q: Who is in the power structure?
A: Successful businessmenrarely elected officials. They have a
capability that one rarely finds in political figures.
Q: Why doesn't someone like you ever run for office?
A: I have engagements in business that I enjoy and that are very
lucrative. . .Financial disclosure is a serious problem. I
would never want to spread out all of my finances on the front
page of the Fort Lauderdale News. This limits the available
candidates for the public.
Q: Where does the public fit in? Is it business versus voters?
A: The group of 10 [that he selected] is very sensitive to public
opinion. A politician is sensitive to his constituents. He must
take a narrow view.
Underlying the businessman's comments is a notion that the power
structure has a better sense of the public interest than elected
officials who are constrained by their need for reelection.
In fact, there was a tendency for businessmen to ignore or
deemphasize elected officials in their discussion of community
influentials. Another businessman explained.
Q: Why didn't you pick any politicians in answering?
A: I treat politicians differently than other leaders. Political
people's influence is felt through the political process, no one
of which carries more than another. Jenne perhaps is at the top
of the pack. He is a full time senator for $12,000 to the
detriment of his law career. Political office is secondary for
many.
Q: Who affects us more, the county commission or business leaders?


41
pluralist theory from elite theory, let alone from other variants of
pluralist theory. To some extent, both theories differ only in their
emphasis. The elite theorist emphasizes the concentration of power and
the locus of decision making at the top of organizations and
institutions. There may be bargaining among the participants, but the
relevant factor is who has control of the decision (not necessarily
individuals, but institutions). This is where researchers should focus
their attention according to elite researchers. On the other hand,
pluralists emphasize the way or process by which decisions are reached.
Thus the focus is on what resources were used in what way to effectuate
what result. Bargaining among participants becomes the major defining
characteristic of pluralism. Both orientations may be consistent with
each other, but stress different aspects of the same question. This
may explain in part why it is so difficult to test the models against
one another.
Classifying Communities Using the Theories
A problem related to the difficulty of distinguishing the theories
from each other let alone the numerous variants of each is
classification of communities based upon the theories. Investigators
wishing to make use of the operational concepts of researchers like
Mills and Hunter or Dahl and Polsby find that though it is fairly easy
to distill oyt of their works the essence of their views on how the
system operates and whether it is elite or not, they do not make clear
how to classify a system. In other words, after reading Hunter, we
know Atlanta is run by economic elites, and we even know how to
identify the elites or power structure (i.e.,
a reputational analysis),


135
was conceived as an organization which could bring together all of the
separate leaders in the private sector who went their own way. It was
to provide some unity to decision making that had previously been
absent, by serving as an umbrella organization to coordinate activities
and move toward common goals. Its concerns were the problems raised in
the newspaper series published the previous year including growth,
education, and economic development. Projects of special interest to
members included construction of a Performing Arts Center, a convention
center, and creating a viable downtown. As one member of the business
community put it:
The Workshop as a group has 20 to 25 leaders. They concentrate
their efforts. It brings the leadership under one umbrella.
There is a cooperative spirit between leadership.
The Workshop was not just intended to unite the private sector
behind a common program or agenda, but also to take the lead in
community decision making. Since government was unable to address the
community's problems as was abundantly clear by the "Trouble in
Paradise: Broward in the 80s" series, the informal power structure
would have to get its act together and get the community moving.
Implicit in the creation of the Broward Workshop was the notion that
business leaders had a better sense of the public interest than
government leaders. This belief is reflected in the comments of the
businessman who said, "The difference between elected officials and us V.
[the Workshop] is we say 'what is best for Broward County?' and they
[elected officials] say 'what is best for Broward County but I must be
reelected.'"


3
A second response to the community power impasse was to abandon
the field of inquiry all together. Polsby (1980) has questioned the
utility of further research in this vein, given the inability to say
anything more than we could when the elite-pluralist debate was at its
height in the early sixties. Yates (1977, pp. 86-90) argues that
community power structures are misleading because they suggest that
power is structured in the community. Instead, he argues that we
should study issue networks which transcend community boundaries. He
states that every policy has its own power structure, taking in
communities, states, and the national government, as well as other
actors in society.
To abandon community power studies because of the difficulties
encountered in research and the lack of a cohesive body of knowledge in
favor of a policy approach devoid of a community framework is
premature. As Ricci (1980) points out, all of the problems encountered
in the community power research are also present in policy studies.
People live and work and act in communities. This does not mean that
vertical linkages should be ignored, only that we should not lose sight
that power is still structured in the community. If in recent years,
power has shifted more toward Washington, Reagan's New Federalism
ensures that the community leadership will have greater control over
local policy for many more years.
The rest of this chapter traces the development of the community
power field over the years. The major controversies are identified and
the two major theories of political power, elite and pluralist, are
introduced. The movement away from case studies to large-scale
aggregate analysis is examined. Also, the policy outputs approach of
Terry Clark and others is described. The chapter addresses the


181
pointed out that splintering in the authority structure (creating new
cities) can also splinter the power structure.
Hyperpluralism is disliked by leaders in communities because it
does not facilitate, but instead hinders, community decision making.
If government and business are splintered internally, they cannot act
for themselves, let alone the community. This becomes a particular
problem in growing communities which require the introduction of new
services and the rapid placement of a capital infrastructure. Business
privilege itself may be threatened under hyperpluralism because neither
government nor business is in a position to ensure a good business
climate is maintained or that the quality of life does not so
denigrate, that the source of growth itself dries up. Thus, business
may push for government to centralize in order to coordinate policy
making and implementation. In the process, business may centralize its
own structure even to the point of formalizing informal relationships.
Economic Elite
This pattern of community decision making occurs when leaders in
the private sector are centralized (i.e., cohesive and organized),
while leaders in the public sector are decentralized. A vacuum occurs
due to the inability of the government to set policy and deal with
problems. The power structure fills this void by providing policies to
follow that the authority structure then adopts.
The economic elite label is given to this pattern to indicate that
economic leaders dominate the community decision making by setting the
agenda and seeing that government acts, when necessary, to maintain a
good business climate and ensure some minimal quality of life. In this


77
-diverse population with differing interests
-lots of entry points
-no ongoing structure
-very fragmented
It will be helpful to look at some of the statements made by
leaders in characterizing the community's decision making structure
[2]. A developer put it this way:
There is no structure in Broward like elsewhere. People do not
trust each other herejealous of control, suspicious. There are
tiny empires, vested interests. Ineffective and inefficient as a
result. Broward is about as uncontrolled a situation as you would
find. As the city gets bigger, it's out of control.
A banker described Broward's decision making in a similar fashion:
It's very fragmented. Everybody has his own interests. Sometimes
they overlap. Sometimes they ask help of each other. I do not
always know what the others are up to, nor them, me. . .In most
instances, there is a different mixture of groups in each issue.
In the county commission, interplay, conflict, debate, and the
answer to solve the problem comes out.
Another businessman summed it up this way:
People come together for only short term durations on issues.
There is no ongoing continuous power structure. These people come
together, work on projects and disassemble. Some give time to the
community because they want to live and work in a stable
community, any benefits are secondary. While for others, the
benefits are more direct. Power in Broward is dispersed. That is
not a problem if there is good leadership. . .In Broward there
is no cohesiveness. In Broward you can accomplish something that
is pretty obvious. The issue itself has to be one that will
attract a favorable response. It borders on the least common
denominator. For example, the bond issue to provide capital
improvements was structured to include something for everyone,
blatant.


87
lack of a permanent on-going leadership, identifying a number of
specific problems associated with pluralist decision making in which
they operated. In spite of these problems, leaders do act and
decisions do get made. Exactly how do leaders operate in a pluralist
system? This question was put to a number of community leaders
identified in the reputational analysis.
In interpreting their answers, one sees that the clarity of the
two separate theories breaks down. While Broward County is not
necessarily an average community, there is little reason to expect that
Broward is atypical in this respect. Whatever differences exist
theoretically between the two schools of thought, elite and pluralist,
seem to be blurred in the community. Almost every description of
leadership behavior can be interpreted equally well by either theory
without distorting the leaders' responses. Without ideological
predispositions to interpret the findings, it becomes difficult if not
impossible to say one is correct and the other false.
How Do They Operate?
A banker explained that "there is a nucleus of individuals who are
involved, but they must expand beyond that to go anywhere if they want
county-wide support." This phrasing is important if we are to make any
sense of the conflict between elite and pluralist theory. For the
elite theorist, this suggests that there is an inner core, while the
pluralist emphasizes that this "nucleus" must "expand beyond" that to
gain "county-wide support." Obviously, the pluralist would say, there
is little sense in talking about an elite that is not powerful enough
to act on its own. Other groups and the people must be brought in to


62
rely on the interviewee's subjective account of events and assessments
as to who exercised the most influence over the outcome of decisions.
Positional Approach
The positional method was popularized by C. Wright Mills (1956).
It involves identifying major institutions and leadership roles which
exercise political power. Once these have been identified, what
remains is to trace the interconnections among these positions and
relationships (sometimes referred to as network analysis). The
positional approach may be used as the sole method of identifying a
decision making structure, or may be combined part with the decisional
and reputational approaches. Critics of the positional method point
out that leaders, whether elected or not, may be figureheads and not
truly the exercisers of power. Pluralists object to the positional
approach because one is not studying actual behavior, which they claim
is necessary to demonstrate that the holder of a position actually
participates in decisions or exercises power in some way.
Reputational Approach
Finally, there is the reputational approach, used by Hunter (1953)
in his study of Atlanta. It involves identifying knowledgeable sources
in the community (usually by the positional method) and asking them who
the most powerful individuals in the community are. The greatest
drawback to the reputational approach is its reliance on the
interviewee's subjective assessment as to who is powerful, as pointed
out above.


47
in the community, while elite theorists see businessmen as the dominant
group. The result is an impasse between the two theories which has
stalled progress towards a theory of community power.
As the last chapter illustrated, competing conceptualizations over
key terms such as "elite" and "power structure" have led to a situation
in which testing is impossible. Elite and pluralist theorists are
focusing on different aspects of community decision making. The
political economy approach is offered as a way out of the conceptual
impasse of the elite-pluralist debate because it synthesizes the two
theories. It does so by emphasizing the importance of leaders in both
the governmental authority structure and the informal business power
structure. As David Garson has written:
American politics are neither the marketplace of group theory nor
the conspiracy of simple elite theories. If America is elitist,
it is elitist in a pluralistic way, or if pluralist, then
pluralist in a way that benefits an elite. Political scientists
would benefit from shedding these terms entirely in favor of a
concept of political economy as a system of power that integrates
production, culture, and power. This concept has been latent in
the writings of the more sophisticated authors in both camps for
some time now. Perhaps some convergence can be derived from
rendering this viewpoint explicit. It is misleading to speak of
elite domination when governing policies are consensual in the
main. Equally pluralist theorists obscure the manner in which
government policies systematically favor a business-based elite.
America is neither a participatory democracy, nor is it dominated
by a political-economic elite. It is, nonetheless, an elitist
political economy. By emphasizing this point, political economy
can be the basis of critical social theory that transcends the
now-sterile debate between group theorists and their critics.
(Garson, 1978, p. 207)
Just what is the political economy approach and how can it help
synthesize elite and pluralist theories? According to Martin Staniland


198
WALTON, JOHN (1970)
"A Systematic Survey of Community Power Research," in Michael
Aiken and Paul Mott, eds. (1970), The Structure of Community
Power. New York: Random House.
WALTON, JOHN (1976)
"Community Power and the Retreat From Politics: Full Circle
After Twenty Years," Social Problems, 23: 292-303.
WARREN, ROLAND L., ed. (1977)
New Perspectives on American Communities. Chicago: Rand
McNally.
WHITT, J. ALLEN (1982)
Urban Elites and Mass Transportation. Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press.
WIRT, FREDERICK M. (1974)
Power in the City: Decision Making in San Francisco.
Berkeley: University of California Press.
WOLFINGER, RAYMOND E. (1960)
"Reputation and Reality in the Study of Community Power,"
American Sociological Review, 25: 636-644.
WRONG, DENNIS (1979)
Power: Its Forms, Bases, and Uses. New York: Harper & Row.
YATES, DAVID (1977)
The Ungovernable City. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.


128
the community influentials identified through the reputational method
was associated with any of these companies. This would seem to support
the proposition that absentee companies withdraw from community
politics in favor of more "civic" type activities including the Chamber
of Commerce.
TABLE 6-2
BROWARD COUNTY'S TEN LARGEST MANUFACTURING EMPLOYERS
NAME PRODUCT ESTABLISHED EMPLOYEES
1. Motorola, Inc.
Electronics
1973
3100
2. Gould Inc., S.E.L
Computers
1961
1600
(Computer Systems Div.)
3. Bendix Corporation
Avionics
1966
1492
(Avionics Div.)
4. Modular Computer
Computers
1970
1426
Systems Inc.
5. Harris Corp.
Computers
1967
1000
(Computer Systems Div.)
6. Racal-Milgo
Data
1955
in Dade 700
Communications
1966
in Broward
7. Sensormatic
Electronic
Surveillance
Systems
1968
600
8. Westinghouse Corp.
Relays and
Instruments
1979
530
9. Burroughs Corp.
Electromechanical
1968
500
10. Visual Graphics Corp.
Photo
Typesetting
Equipment
1973
500
SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce,
Statistical, 1983, Table 9-4.
When asked why leaders of the top manufacturers seem not to be
involved in community politics, one observer said, "they have
representatives in the Chamber of Commerce, usually middle to high
level management. The presidents are so busy, they haven't got time


100
all municipal land use plans within the county will conform with the
county plan, the intent of the charter is unmistakably to provide for
areawide control of growth" (Aiken, 1976, p. 4). Third, the charter
reduced the reliance of county government on the state legislative
delegation, because charter governments in Florida are accorded greater
autonomy over their activities.
Each of these changes centralized and strengthened county
government authority. The move to a county administrator coupled with
the elimination of some constitutional officers (e.g., the tax
collector and county comptroller) was intended to create a governmental
structure capable of coordinating the administration of policy and to
provide a mechanism that could identify and respond to the problems
facing Broward County in the 1970s and 1980s. The latter included the
adoption of professional management practices and regular audits. As
Kenneth Jenne, chairman of the county commission, and former executive
director of the charter commission, put it in his State of the County
Message: "The County Commission had functioned since 1915 wearing two
hats, those of the policy-maker and the administrator of day-to-day
affairs" (Jenne, 1977, p. 1). He continued elsewhere in his message:
On the management side, County government was unevenly
administered, and lacked the necessary structure for strong and
consistent adherence to the policies of the governing body.
Professional management was unknown to County government. With
Florida as one of the nation's fastest growing states, no state
audits of County spending had been published since 1964, and there
was no systematic provision for outside audit by professional
firms. As might be expected under these circumstances, citizen
involvement in County government was minimal, and there were few
attempts to act cooperatively or even to coordinate with the
municipalities. (Jenne, 1977, p. 2)
Thus under the new structure of government it would be possible to


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65
It can be argued that the reputational method should be regarded
as merely a systematic first step in studying a city's political
system rather than a comprehensive technique for discovering the
distribution of power. Under this modest construction the
researcher would not rely on the method to identify and rank all
of decision makers but would use it as a guide to knowledgeable
persons who would in turn give him leads to other informants until
he had a complete picture of the political system under study.
Viewed in this unambitious light, the reputational technique is
little more than an elaborate variant of the older procedure of
asking political insiderscity hall reporters, politicians, and
so onfor a quick rundown on the local big shots in order to
identify potentially useful interviewees. (Wolfinger, 1960, p.
637)
His objection is that
reputational researchers do not make such modest claims for their
method, nor do their critics take such a limited view. While I am
not aware of any explicit published statement to this effect, the
reputational studies give the impression that the technique is
regarded as considerably more than a ritualized introduction. The
putative validation of findings yielded by this method, the
assumption that a 'power structure' consists of those persons most
often given high rankings by panels of judges, and a tendency to
limit descriptions of decision makinng to the activities of the
top ranked leaders all point to a belief that this method is a
sufficient tool to study the distribution of power in community.
(Wolfinger, 1960, pp. 637-38)
Certainly the reputational method is effective as a technique to
identify knowledgeable persons in the community and solicit their views
about community decision making, though care must be taken that one
does not have a biased sample of sources which would give an incomplete
view of the system. However, Wolfinger overstates the case against the
reputational method as a means to identify community decision makers.
It is true that a decisional approach would be complementary and help
to refine and delineate the decision making structure. However, if
time and resources are limited the reputational method can give a much
better overview of community decision making. The danger is if one
attempts to classify the community with reference only to the


175
anti-growth coalitions are permanent or only temporary and whether
business has indeed lost its favored status. In communities where the
anti-growth coalition displaces the growth machine, we would expect
conflict between the two systems, the economic and authority, to be
quite high.
Given our discussion about business privilege, some might conclude
that the relationship between business and government is largely
irrelevant, since business privilege will always occur given the
present political-economic structure. This conclusion is unwarranted,
however, as the evidence in Broward County suggests. Leaders in
Broward County, in both the authority structure and the power structure
have attempted to centralize their decision making apparatus to
overcome difficulties in attaining policy outputs. Both sets of
leaders seek greater coordination in policy making, something they
believe is lacking. While there is not total agreement about how best
to improve their structures, coordination within and between the two
sectors is seen as critical for community improvement. This
coordination has been attempted through efforts to centralize both the
authority structure and the power structure. While business privilege
certainly causes policy outcomes to advantage the economic sector in
selective areas, it would be incorrect to ignore how the two sectors,
the political and economic, interact and how this effects policy
outputs and outcomes. Research in this area could then tell us when
and where business privilege can be overcome, if desirable.


122
Lauderdale News reporter John de Groot Jr. (1973). The study found 20
leaders "reported as men who get things done" (de Groot, 1973, p. 2E).
Power was shared between the old guard who "came to town in the 1920s
and 30s," and the new guard, "the majority of them hav(ing) risen
through the workings of companies created by the old guard, or working
with and earning the respect of the old guard" (de Groot, 1973, p. 2E).
While at one time Broward was run by five or so members of the old
guard, "in talking with those said to have power in Fort Lauderdale,
one finds it a shifting and elusive thing" (de Groot, 1973, p. 2E).
Table 6-1 gives the names of the leaders identified in this study, as
well as two other newspaper studies.
The next article appeared in the Fort Lauderdale Sun,Sentinel in
1979 and is titled "The 'Powerful 10'They're Broward's Influential
Elite" (Macnow, 1979). According to the author, "the group was
selected after consulting more than 100 politicians, bureaucrats,
educators and leaders in business finance and media" (Macnow, 1979, p.
IB). The following excerpts suggest that Broward County's power
structure was pluralistic due in part to deaths in the old guard and
rapid growth experienced in the county.
"Anything that happened here before 1970 is ancient history," said
one Broward leader. Broward history started when the people moved
down en masse.
Beyond the selections came a debate about the effectiveness of
county leadership. Some said the deaths of power houses J.P.
Taravelia and Stephen Alexander Calder [founders of Coral Ridge
Properties] along with other long time leaders had created a local
power vacuum.
"Broward just doesn't have an identifiable power structure," said
Sen. Ken Jenne, DHollywood. "Things have not yet come together
because of a lack of continuity and a lack of time."