5. Treat People Fairly

                  LongTrust and OpenCollectiveSet RulesTreat People Fairly


Leadership strategies & Institutionalize Design Principles engaged by this support:

  • Institutional Design Principle #6: Proportional Equivalence between Benefits and Costs​: Local governments are more financially sustainable when people get what they pay for and pay for what they get. This means that people must perceive that they are receiving value for their tax dollar. It also means people should contribute resources to local government when they receive benefits from it. 
  • Institutional Design Principle #7: Conflict-Resolution Mechanisms​: Final decisions are subject to dispute. Institutions should prevent destructive conflict and promote constructive conflict. 
  • Institutional Design Principle #8: Minimum Recognition of Rights​: Local governments need autonomy to make local decisions. Local governments can develop policies and procedures to maintain local choice and address unfunded mandates and grants.


The perceived fairness of a system is elemental to people’s decision to support that system. If they feel unfairly treated, they will not be willing to cooperate or respect the rules. For example, the public must feel they are getting a beneficial exchange of taxes and fees for public services.  More generally, decision-making processes must be generally regarded as fair and should handle conflicts constructively. Finally, local government itself must have its decision-rights recognized by other levels of government. Local governments must preserve enough independence from state and federal government to make choices that best fit local conditions. The objective is to treat individuals fairly under an established set of rules in order to encourage respect and cooperation.

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YouTube Interview with Shane Kavanagh at 2018 GFOA Conference

YouTubeInterview with Laura Allen at 2018 GFOA Conference 


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