Can politics and administration ever be completely and truly separated?

Can politics and administration ever be completely and truly separated?

Module 1  

 1) Keeping in mind the four definitions of public administration (Political, Legal, Managerial, Occupational), list and explain ways in which public administration has affected your life on the local, state, and federal level in the last year. 

2) Explain how rules expand our understanding and compliance with the law. Sharitz, note that public legislation and its administration is continuously undergoing cycles of reform.  What do you believe is most in need of reform in government in present times? (See Notes for Module 1 on separate sheet)

 Estela’s Gift Shop

Case Study

Module 2

 Estela Ramirez is the owner of Estela’s Arts & Crafts and Gift Shop at the La Mesa Shopping Center in Riverside, California.  It is a thriving small business, catering to clients who want to purchase original crafts.  Estela has done well enough in her eight years doing business here to buy a stylish condominium and take a yearlong vacation to Europe.

This was not always the case for Estela.  Prior to opening her shop, she was a municipal employee at the neighboring town of Casa Merino.  She did janitorial work for a living.  In 1995, the township privatized its cleaning and garbage-hauling workforce.  The new company used a variety of mechanical cleaning devices, and dismissed half of the cleaning staff in the municipality.  Estela, a single mother of two was let go.  Falling back on her crafts skills in working with polymer clay, Estela went into business for herself at home.  Polymer clay crafts are baked in domestic ovens, and hence Estela’s only investment was in the clay and paints.  She began to be noticed and was soon making sales to Nordstrom in San Diego, and other high-end stores.  Within a year her business had expanded to a retail store in a shopping mall in Riverside, California.  She says that privatization in the township of Casa Merino was the best thing that happened to her.

Such is not the case with Miguel Ortiz and Graciela Ramos.  Both are still unemployed.  Miguel has developed a drinking problem and Graciela is now making plans to move in with relatives across the border in Mexico.

  1. Do you think that privatization of public services is a good thing?
  2. When government turns over its responsibilities to the private sector, which takes care of the least-advantaged in a given society?
  3. In this case study, what could the administrators do to help those who would lose their jobs?

1Source: Coates, B.E., 11/04/03, PA600, Scope of Public Administration, San Diego State University—IVC. g

Module 3

Can politics and administration ever be separated from public bureaucracies?  Click here Politics and Administration (   and read the article “Wilson’s View on Politics and Administration”

Consider the question which has been considered by both politicians and public administrators alike–Can politics and administration ever be completely and truly separated?  In your response explain the reasons behind your rationale

Module 4
April 22, 2009

Facing pressure to crack down on crime amid a record budget deficit, Oakland is joining other U.S. cities that are turning over more law-enforcement duties to private armed guards, says the Wall Street Journal.
The City Council recently voted to hire International Services Inc., a private security agency, to patrol crime-plagued districts. While a few Oakland retail districts have pooled cash to pay for unarmed security services, using public funds to pay for armed guards would mark a first for the city.
Yet, hiring private guards is less expensive than hiring new officers, says the Journal: • Oakland — facing an $80 million budget shortfall — spends 65 percent of its budget for police and fire services, including benefits and salary, on each police officer.
• In contrast, for about $200,000 a year the city can contract to hire 4 private guards to patrol the troubled East Oakland district where 4 on-duty police officers were killed in March. Oakland police say they consider unarmed guards acceptable, but don’t support armed guards. However, some local leaders say that they have few other options to reduce the city’s violence. And they are not alone in seeking to improve public safety while reining in spending, says the Journal: • Districts in downtown Los Angeles with guards register significantly less crime than areas without them; from 1994-2005, violent crime dropped an average 8 percent more compared with the rest of the city during that period.
• Some areas of New Orleans have used armed private patrols since 1997 and neighborhood committees are seeking to expand special tax incentives to pay for private security for neighborhood patrols.
• The Chicago City Council, facing a possible $200 million budget deficit, proposed expanding the responsibilities of private armed security forces by authorizing them to write traffic citations. Source: Bobby White, “Cash-Strapped Cities Try Private Guards Over Police,” Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2009.
For text:
– See more at:( Questions:
1. Do you think that privatization of public services is a good thing? Why or why not?
2. What are the ethical and political questions at stake in the privatization of the police?
3. Is the privatization of police forces comparable to the privatization of other public services, say, mail delivery, or food services,? Why or why not?


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