Collections > Carolina Planning Journal > Carolina Planning Vol. 9.1: North Carolina's Small Cities > Building Rural Officials' Capacity: Circuit Riders and Technical Assistance

Recognition is growing in the literature of the last decade that rural local government is being left behind and sorely needs help. City government has full-time employees and has usually been able to evolve to match the growing complexity of both society and the political system. On the other hand, rural local officials are mostly part-time people with other full-time jobs. Their pay is usually in the lower four figures for twenty hours a week or more of effort. It's no wonder then that small communities are found to lack the ability to anticipate potential problems and take preventive action. They are often crisis oriented because their elected officials can just barely keep up, let alone look ahead. And when they do foresee problems they often do not know where to turn for needed information and consulting help.