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What is a CSD?

A Community Services District (CSD) is a governing body that can be formed by residents of an unincorporated area to ensure that basic service needs are met. Some Community Services Districts provide water, sewer, police and fire services, garbage collection, recreation, landscaping, street lighting, mosquito abatement, graffiti abatement, library services and more. All services not handled by the CSD are managed by the County.

There are approximately 2,300 independent special districts in California, meaning they are governed by an independent board of directors elected by the districts’ voters or appointed to a fixed term of office by either the city council or board of supervisors. Dependent districts are governed by other existing legislative bodies like a city council or board of supervisors. Larger independent districts have a professional manager, similar to a city manager or county administrator, to assist the governing officials. The governing boards adopt policies that the general managers carry out. Nearly 85% of California’s special districts perform a single function such as sewage, water, fire protection, pest abatement or cemetery management. Multi-function districts, like community services districts, provide two or more services.

Special districts are primarily accountable to the voters who elect their boards of directors and the customers who use their services. However, although they are not functions of the state, the state also provides critical oversight to special district operations. Special districts must submit annual financial reports to the State Controller and must also follow state laws pertaining to public meetings, bonded debt, record keeping and elections.

In the Town of Discovery Bay, our CSD oversees water, sewer, landscaping and recreation. In addition, the CSD Board can advise the County on other services and issues impacting the community. By forming a CSD, Discovery Bay residents ensured that the essential services of Discovery Bay would be managed locally and independently of the County, enabling our community to have a stronger voice in the type and level of service the Town receives.

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