ERIC Number: ED234955
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Quality of Community Governance and the Impact of Energy Development.
Copp, James H.
Communities with a flexible, open leadership structure may weather energy booms better than communities with old-guard leadership cliques, according to a study of community governance in two small Texas towns. Although similar in location, ethnic composition, population, access to transportation, economic base, and importance in the county, Biscayne and Egerby (pseudonyms) differed significantly in leadership. Biscayne's entrenched, elite, aging leaders, who followed policies of staunch fiscal conservatism and minimal municipal services as they attempted to preserve the past, were completely unprepared when the oil boom hit. The town grew 42% between 1970 and 1980 and crime rates soared in the face of inadequate fire and police protection. Biscayne's leaders, who reacted with depression and withdrawal into personal or energy-related business, were supplanted by leaders who engineered substantial changes and who, in effect, created a new community. In contrast, Egerby, already subjected to slight but consistent growth for 20 years, had new, sophisticated, young leaders who were accustomed to change and who had already upgraded city, medical, educational, and financial services when the boom hit. Despite a 28% population rise, Egerby experienced a stronger economy, healthy community growth, and little change in community morals or leadership. (SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Boomtowns; Energy Development; Impact; Small Towns; Texas
Note: Paper presented at the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (Atlanta, GA, February 6-9, 1983).