My Plan for Building the Perfect California City

Welcome to 'Joeville,' Where the First Rule Is Not to Play by the Rules

Recently a startup founder in San Jose asked me a question: What would you do if you were starting a California city?

My first answer: Get my head examined.

For 40 years, the state government and California voters have steadily reduced the revenues and limited the discretion of municipal governments; anyone who starts a new city in such conditions is insane by definition. Our newest cities—like Jurupa Valley and Menifee in Riverside County—have struggled to survive.

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Then I reconsidered. No, I don’t believe in …

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