Government in the Twilight Zone

Volunteers to Small-City Boards and Commissions

John R. Baker
eISBN-13: 9781438456324

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While 97 percent of all American cities are smaller than 50,000 and millions of Americans experience civic life in these communities, what we know about their politics and governance is limited, particularly how local board systems operate, who the board members are, what motivates them to serve, and what they think about their experiences. Drawing on a unique and extensive set of survey data from board members, mayors, and city councilors in sixty cities across six states, Government in the Twilight Zone significantly expands our knowledge of small city boards and politics. By embedding the empirical research in the historical trajectory of small towns, John R. Baker provides a rich narrative that discusses the role of entities such as planning commissions, parks and recreation boards, and zoning appeals boards. He also clarifies how board and commission members are recruited in small cities, explains how these organizations work to make the decisions required of them, and reveals what they and their city councilors and mayors think about their importance and effectiveness.

ISBNs 9781438456324, 1438456328, 9781438456300
Language English
Number of Pages 204