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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

the re-election and,

the re-election and, hence keep responsive to the political demands from communities. However, manager-council form structure keeps managers from the powerful political demands (Lineberry and Fawler 1967; Feiock 1999). In land use policy, political demands are divided into two categories: environmental and developmental. These demands can be easily articulated through a certain institutional structure. For example, if a city is with high environmental conservation demands, and that city has an institutional structure that may not effectively respond to those demands, it is difficult for those demands to be articulated through the policy making processes. Extant research suggests that mayor-council governments are more responsive to pressures for change in policy than cities with council-manager systems, particularly in the area of economic development (Fleischmann et al. 1992; Lubell et al. 2005). This can be explained in a different logic. In the growth management policy arena, then, we could expect city governments with the mayor-council form are more responsive to local growth management pressures than the governments with the reformed form. Environmental interests are diffused and hard to be organized to be a powerful political demand, because it needs too much transaction costs to overcome collective action problems (Lubell et al. 2005). However, if an institution is responsive to the political demand, then it needs less transaction costs to articulate the political demand through the policy decision making process. Clingermayer and Feiock (1994) argue that citizen’s preferences may not matter because the reformed government may reduce the citizen participation in government decision making process, and consequently elected officials are not sensitive to the political goals 41 . Different but another supporting theoretical explanation comes from Maser (1998). He argues that direct election and mayor’s appointment power (some of components of strong mayor-council form of government) can limit the deviation from the preferences of the median voter and keep mayors in commitments to the median voters’ preferences. Therefore, the environmental interests could be articulated easily through the strong mayor council government structure. If anti-growth interests are dominant in a community, mayor should be supportive to pro-environmental land use 41 They argue that elected officials in reformed governments are usually part-time and volunteer style. Those natures of elected officials influence their behaviors. 55

policy because the political incentives of mayor could be higher. As I discussed earlier, wealthy, and homogeneous communities tend to prefer pro-environmental policies. Thus, I expect those pro-environmental interests could be easily articulated through strong mayor council institutions. H4-1: The influence of the environmental interests on the pro-environmental amendments to the local comprehensive plans will be increased in the cities which have mayor-council form of government. Legislative institution and environmental interests. As I discussed earlier, how council member represents in the election has its own incentives and constraints that articulate pro- or anti-environmental interests. District election increases the likelihood of shared policy preferences and reduces transaction costs for representation, while at-large election forces local legislators to a much broader set of political interests and represents a citywide constituency, in which they are more likely to prefer aggregate welfare. Council members elected by district election may contact more with residents within their jurisdiction than those elected by at-large because at-large election may not have a “clear cut link to any identifiable portion of the community” (Clingermayer and Feiock 1994 p.454). Many land use policies are geographically specific in the sense that they designate particular uses for specific parcels of land (Gerber 2001). Therefore, the benefits of land use policy are heavily geographic while the costs are diffused through the whole community. In terms of aggregate welfare, development might be more preferred in atlarge election system. Meanwhile, because collective action problems are easier to overcome in smaller constituencies than in larger ones, I believe that cities using district elections rather than at-large elections will be more likely to provide opportunities for articulation of pro-environmental interests. Maser (1998) also argues that the district election system can increase the responsiveness to the community demands and decrease the risk of division problems in the community. Therefore, the pro-environmental interests such as homogeneity and wealth could be more easily articulated in case that the local governments have a district election system. 56

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