We've seen the trend toward strong mayoral control in many large cities in recent years, with Richmond, San Diego, Oakland and many others taking big or little steps away from the council-manager format.

Will counties be next? Los Angeles is abuzz with the idea of creating a county mayor. (Counties in California have elected boards of supervisors, with executive duties carried out by county administrators.)

The arguments sound familiar from strong-mayor campaigns -- having one person in charge who is politically accountable.