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Features Archive

Title Issue
City Managers: The Next Generation — A Look at MPA and MPP Programs in California

City Managers: The Next Generation — A Look at MPA and MPP Programs in California

Teaching something as complex as city management presents a challenge. It’s not only public finance and organizational behavior, it’s also a delicate balance of practical skills, political savvy, on-the-job experience and service. Many top-tier institutions in California are geared to instill the basics, but debate continues about how and what to teach aspiring city managers. Should we acknowledge that not every student will eventually step into the role of city manager? What is the best way to identify potential and nurture it? Can good city management be taught?

April 2015
From City Hall to the Capitol: Making the Transition, Part 2 of 2

From City Hall to the Capitol: Making the Transition, Part 2 of 2

Ten of the 2014 freshman state legislators are alumni of the League’s California Civic Leadership Institute® (CCLI) or have participated in aspects of it. This is the largest class of CCLI graduates to win seats in the Legislature in the program’s 10-year history. CCLI is a League Partner-sponsored educational program designed for local government elected officials who are interested in running for the Legislature. Western City recently checked in with the 10 new members to ask what they bring to state office from local government, how CCLI was helpful and what issues are priorities for them in their districts.

April 2015
The Future of SB 375 Implementation and Regional Planning

The Future of SB 375 Implementation and Regional Planning

All 18 metropolitan planning organizations in California will have adopted their first Regional Transportation Plans under SB 375 by May 2015. This article looks at what SB 375 has accomplished and things local officials should keep in mind going forward.

March 2015
From City Hall to the Capitol: Making the Transition, Part 1 of 2

From City Hall to the Capitol: Making the Transition, Part 1 of 2

Freshman legislators with backgrounds in local government explain what they bring to the state Capitol and describe their districts’ priorities.

March 2015
A Growing Risk: Oil Trains Raise Safety and Environmental Concerns

A Growing Risk: Oil Trains Raise Safety and Environmental Concerns

An oil boom in North Dakota and Canada from the Bakken shale formation and a lack of pipeline infrastructure have led to a dramatic increase in oil-by-rail shipments nationwide. As the volume of oil being transported by rail has swelled, train derailments have also increased.

February 2015
2014 Legislative Year in Review

2014 Legislative Year in Review

League actions in 2014 included sponsoring and supporting legislation on infrastructure, economic development and the redevelopment dissolution process. Other efforts focused on improving the regulatory framework for medical marijuana and restoring local control over massage establishments.

January 2015
Electronic Transparency and Open Data: A Movement Worth Joining

Electronic Transparency and Open Data: A Movement Worth Joining

Taking information that local agencies already have and making it open to the public reduces in-house costs and builds efficiencies for both staff and constituents. In the past the public typically had to request this data through a public records request, which could take days or weeks to produce results. Cities can now share that data online proactively and let others analyze and use it in various ways.

December 2014
On the Record

On the Record

December 2014
League Provides Municipal Financial Health Diagnostic Tool

League Provides Municipal Financial Health Diagnostic Tool

California’s economy is improving, and local revenues are picking up. But fiscal challenges remain, especially in the area of escalating costs. More cities are heading into financial peril. This new tool helps a city identify areas of fiscal concern that should be addressed to avert fiscal crisis.

November 2014
The Balanced Triangle and the City Clerk’s Role in Local Government

The Balanced Triangle and the City Clerk’s Role in Local Government

The clerk’s role is to ensure proper process and open, transparent government. As professional managers, clerks are uniquely qualified to do just that.

November 2014