The Changing Environment of Local Government
The issues that local governments will be required to address during the twenty-first century promise to be significantly different from those of the past. To prepare for these challenges, the public sector must attempt to identify the important features of this changing environment. This chapter focuses on four of the most important trends that must be systematically evaluated: New Federalism, legal issues in the public workplace, evolving collective-bargaining requirements, and health issues--especially those pertaining to the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic.
Changing relationships among national, state, and local government have been characterized by many analysts as the New Federalism ( Elazar, 1984). This term has been utilized to emphasize the shifts in responsibility and funding for many domestic programs. No unit of government has been more profoundly affected by New Federalism than local governments. Over the past decade local governments have assumed a great deal more of the responsibility for public-sector service delivery and regulation. Accompanying these increased burdens have been dramatic