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Will a bigger L.A. County Board of Supervisors mean more bosses and bureaucracy?

Will a bigger L.A. County Board of Supervisors mean more bosses and bureaucracy?
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, right, talks to Supervisors Mark Ridley Thomas and Sheila Kuehl, left to right, in 2015. A proposal in Sacramento would expand the board from five to seven members. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: What's not to like about a larger board of supervisors in Los Angeles County with more proportional representation? ("Voters said no, but state lawmakers are still pushing to expand the L.A. County board of supervisors," July 18)

A lot.

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Expanding the board would make sense if its members were legislators only, but they are also executives. Department heads report to and serve five bosses now. A larger board with both legislative and executive powers would create more kings.

The state proposal to expand the board includes a single elected county-wide executive (hopefully with real executive powers) and a separate and larger legislature. The latter would be more representative of and accessible to the people. The separation of powers and redefinition of function must occur prior to enlarging the board, or the confusion and ineffectiveness of county governance will continue. The separation of powers would also make it easier to focus responsibility and have accountability.

Further, the budgets of the supervisors should be reduced to reflect that they have only one function: that of legislators.

George H. Wolkon, Pacific Palisades

The writer is a retired deputy director of the L.A. County Department of Mental Health.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

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