In most states such plans involve three levels: state, county (or parish), and municipal (or city). Each is prepared in a spirit of cooperation. They are similar, yet each has its own uniqueness.
For a city plan the city OES Coordinator or Civil Defense Director, the city Radio Officer and the county Radio Officer are the ones who normally sign approval.
For a county plan it is the county OES Coordinator, the county RACES or ACS Radio Officer, and in California, the State OES Region Radio officer, the OES Region Communications Coordinator and the State ACS/RACES Radio Officer and Coordinator.
A state plan is signed by the state Chief Radio Officer, state ACS/RACES coordinator, the state communications and warning officer and state CD director or deputy.
In some jurisdictions a supplemental process may occur, in that either a signature of an elected official is required such as the chairman of the board of supervisors, or the official body may approve the action by a resolution, in which case a copy should be attached to the plan.
For obvious reasons, a city and its county cannot develop communications plans independent of one another, any more than can a state and its counties. Such plans are the basis of emergency communications mutual aid and are jointly developed in a spirit of cooperation. For that reason they bear signatures of approval or concurrence by officials of both jurisdictions. The purpose is for each jurisdiction's plan to provide cooperation with the other -- not for one to dominate the other.
Nowhere does this discussion, or any ACS - RACES plan, intend to infer that a state can direct a county or that a county can direct a city in the application of an ACS or RACES program. Plans need be compiled and issued in a spirit of mutual benefit and cooperation , working together to provide emergency communications when needed. An aspect of this is a standardized plan format which makes cooperation easier. A further aspect is that concurring signatures notifies other governments that an OFFICIAL action was taken to approve the plan.
Emergency communications plans that fail to reflect the necessary inter-relationships described above are almost certainly doomed to failure. Unfortunately, history dictates that there have been some otherwise responsible government officials who believed that all of their communication was as close as their telephone, hence they failed to develop an emergency communications reserve and then suffered the debilitating results personally.
ACS/RACES relationships are based on leadership and cooperation, NOT on hierarchical power positions. Hence, no one level of ACS or RACES Radio Officer has more authority than another, such as a county RACES Radio Officer over a City RACES Radio Officer, or a State Radio Officer over a County Radio Officer. Each Radio Officer serves the one government for which he/she is the unpaid government public safety communications employee. Each has the responsibility and authority only for THAT specific jurisdiction, state, county or city. These three levels of government involved with RACES plans work on the basis of mutual aid and cooperation, NOT authority. Part of that cooperation is submitting city plans to the county and county plans to the state for approval-concurrence. As a matter of self protection a jurisdiction may reasonably require official signatures on a plan before it concurs.
The level of communications nets for an ACS/RACES plan are basic. A city plan addresses city to county, intracity, and maybe inter-city communications. A county plan addresses county to state, intracounty, and possibly inter-county communications. A state plan addresses state to counties, intrastate government, interstate, state to Federal government, and possibly state to public utility and other essential communications. There is no FEMA or Federal RACES. However, a Federal government radio station may enter a RACES net. Such net levels are graphically depicted in the new California State plan. An emergency communications reserve plan should reflect current conditions, not plans long out of date. A communications plan does not discuss what might be or what is planned for the near future. Remember the old saying about the best laid plans of mice and men?