The Local Agency Formation Commission is one of the least known and least understood government bodies.
The five-member commission meets monthly and considers matters such as municipal services reviews — evaluations of whether special districts and others are up to the tasks they face — and small jurisdictional boundary changes. The average resident cannot be faulted for having no idea what LAFCo does or who sits on its board. Then every so often an issue comes along that highlights how much power LAFCo has in determining annexations and land use. Several such issues have been in the news in recent months, such as the LAFCo decision in the fall to require farmland mitigation before approving annexations for more housing and the delay in a major annexation proposed in Patterson.
LAFCo has five regular members: two members of the Board of Supervisors and two city representatives and one public representative. When there's a conflict between city and county perspectives, the public member is the key vote. We offer this explanation as a preface to the fact that the public position soon will be open and applications are being invited. This is an appointed position.
Applicants must be Stanislaus County residents who are not elected officials or employees of the county, any city or any special district board. More information and application forms are available at the LAFCo website, www.stanislauslafco.com or by calling or emailing executive officer Marjorie Blom at (209) 525-7660 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply is April 1.