ERIC Number: ED175607
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug-23
Reference Count: 0
Decision-Making and Extra-Community Assistance to Rural Local Officials.
Hickey, Anthony Andrew
As rural communities strive to meet the demands of both their citizens and of higher levels of government for increased local services, they must rely more and more on outside assistance. The maze and complexity of federal and state mandates forces officials to seek technical assistance from a network of public and private agencies. The dynamics of this dependence was the focus of a study of eight rural localities in Virginia where local officials were questioned as to the decision making and technical assistance they received in such areas as fiscal planning and management. Areas in which help was most needed included (1) evaluation of the cost effectiveness of programs, (2) planning capital projects (including education and recreational facilities), (3) assistance in sewerage and water activities, and (4) determining future operating costs. Although dependent upon outside sources for both financial aid and planning assistance, the officials were concerned with the quality of assistance available and the strings that were sometimes attached. Sewerage and water development as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency were seen as the most threatening interference from the federal sector. In order for local officials to preserve their independence and autonomy, they must become more proficient in dealing with higher levels of government; they must seek to modify and reinterpret bureaucratic regulations to secure maximum group benefit. (DS)
Descriptors: Administrative Problems, Bureaucracy, Community Control, Community Leaders, Decision Making, Development, Federal Aid, Federal Programs, Financial Problems, Government Role, Local Government, Planning, Rural Areas, Rural Economics, Self Determination, State Aid, State Programs, Technical Assistance
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Virginia State Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Richmond, VA.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Burlington, Vermont, August 23-26, 1979); Not available in hard copy due to poor print quality of original document