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Floodplain Management SESSION 24 Rivers as a Legal Battleground Local Politics Prepared by Elliot Mittler, PhD Local Politics Objectives: 24.1 Identify the major players in determining water policy. 24.2 Explain what characterizes a successful local water policy.

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floodplain management session 24

Floodplain ManagementSESSION 24

Rivers as a Legal Battleground

Local Politics

Prepared by Elliot Mittler, PhD

local politics
Local Politics


24.1 Identify the major players in determining water policy.

24.2 Explain what characterizes a successful local water policy.

24.3 Explain how local governments implement mandates.

24.4 Explain how citizen participation affects local programs


24.5 Discuss local politics within the context case study floodplains

characterizing local politics
Characterizing Local Politics
  • “All Politics is Local” - Tip O’Neill
  • “All politics are based on the indifference of the majority” - “Scotty” Reston
  • The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry - Robert Burns
forms of local municipal government
Forms of Local Municipal Government
  • Weak Mayor - Strong Council
  • Strong Mayor - Weak Council
  • Council - Manager
city departments regularly deal with floodplain management
City Departments - Regularly Deal with Floodplain Management
  • City Planning
  • Public Works
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Risk Management
stakeholders floodplain management
Stakeholders - Floodplain Management
  • Federal agencies
  • State agencies
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Local businesses
  • Building contractors
  • Real estate agents
  • Local environmental groups
  • Neighborhood associations
  • Land owners
  • Informed citizens
5 th amendment to the u s constitution
5th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution

No person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”.


An action by a government depriving a person of private property without the payment of just compensation:

  • physically occupying it and preventing others to enter upon it;
  • exercising the power of eminent domain; and
  • regulating its use to such a degree that it no longer has any economically viable use (a regulatory taking).
national floodplain management strategic goals
National Floodplain Management Strategic Goals
  • Reduce the vulnerability of the nation from the dangers and damages that result from flood, and
  • Preserve and enhance the natural resources and functions of floodplains.
community floodplain management goals
Community Floodplain Management Goals
  • Move those currently at risk from the floodplain,
  • Avoid new development when risk reduction is not appropriate,
  • Strive to eliminate threats to life, property, and the environment, and to the mental health and well being of floodplain occupants,
  • Ensure the viability of critical infrastructure and the regional economy,
  • Treat the floodplain as part of a physical and biological system that includes the floodplain within the larger context of its watershed,
  • Seek to identify and enhance the cultural, historic, and aesthetic values of floodplains,
  • Where appropriate, restore and enhance bottomland and related upland habitat and flood storage,
  • Acquire environmental interest in these lands from willing sellers, and
  • Ensure the consideration of social and environmental factors in all actions relating to the floodplain.
benefits of mandates
Benefits of Mandates
  • They set community goals that promote healthy floodplains and reduce vulnerability from floods.
  • The staffs of the new programs often become champions of future related programs.
  • They increase the capacity of communities to deal proactively with floodplain issues.
  • Successful programs reinforce principles of appropriate floodplain management.
  • They speed up the diffusion of floodplain management programs in the country.
policy adoption theory kingdom
Policy Adoption Theory -Kingdom
  • Three Pre-existing conditions:
    • Problem exists
    • Potential solution is politically viable
    • Potential solution is worthy of a local government
  • Window of Opportunity
  • Policy entrepreneur - person who pushes a program but is willing to negotiate and compromise to achieve success
council actions to sustain a local policy or program
Council Actions to Sustain a Local Policy or Program
  • Establish commissions and review panels made up of local officials and community members to keep the issues in front of the public,
  • Place programs as line items on the annual budget, essentially making them visible and acceptable,
  • Introduce long-term elements in the community capital budget or in propositions voted on by the community to establish a long-term commitment,
  • Co-locate community departments that need to work together to accomplish policies or program goals and avoid turf wars.
  • Teams to discuss local politics within the context case study floodplains Requirements
  • Students should base their discussion on the case studies of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Boise, Idaho.