Good Management The Secret To Successful Communities

<p>Cerritos, California, has become one of the more successful suburbs of Los Angeles by applying superb management techniques.</p>
August 23, 2007, 9am PDT | Zvi Leve
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Cerritos, California cannot boast a glorious history, old money or natural beauty, but it has been extremely successful at creating a well-run livable place to live.

"Like an increasing number of suburbs, Cerritos is both a bedroom community and an economic engine."

"Local officials attribute the city's success to fiscal discipline and the ability to follow a long-term plan. That, in turn, is the result of its political culture. Cerritos has a tradition of powerful, long-serving city managers, to whom local politicians frequently defer."

The key to Cerritos's success may be the timing of its investments. Cities such as Cleveland and Baltimore poured money into museums and other grand projects in the vain hope that they would lure businesses and young, creative folk. Cerritos began by building pipelines and roads, then moved on to business parks, policing and schools (including California's best high school). Only when it was rolling in money did it break out the titanium.

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Published on Thursday, August 16, 2007 in The Economist
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