City Forum

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City Forum

Article City Forum Eva Spiegel

Survey Shows High Ratings for the League and Grassroots Regional Network

Eva Spiegel is communications director for the League and managing editor of Western City. She can be reached at espiegel@cacities.org.


In just five years, the Grassroots Regional Network (GRN) has become an integral part of the League’s effort to restore and protect local control for California cities. This innovative program put 15 regional representatives in communities throughout the state in 2002 to increase cities’ impact on the legislative process and statewide ballot measures. The GRN strengthens the connection needed between city officials and the League to accomplish common objectives. The League has a collaborative relationship with city officials, working to help them focus their message and ensuring an effective role for them in shaping public policy that affects cities at the state and national levels.

Article City Forum

Keep California Beautiful: Join the Proud Community Program

Keep California Beautiful (KCB), an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is a nonprofit environmental organization established in 1990. KCB’s goals are to promote litter prevention, recycling and beautification by developing public-private partnerships at the state level as a way to provide necessary resources to local communities.

Article City Forum Jim FergusonJohn Phillips

The Palm Desert Energy Partnership Focuses on a Sustainable Energy Future

Jim Ferguson is a council member for the City of Palm Desert and can be reached at info@govlaw.com. John Phillips is executive director of the Energy Coalition and can be reached at john@energycoalition.org. For more information about the Energy Coalition, visit http://energycoalition.org.  


It seems everyone’s talking about greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. In California, public officials are taking a hard look at the fact that electricity generation is one of the biggest offenders; it’s one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the state.

Article City Forum James Grundman

Defending Your Agency Against Spam, Spyware and Other Techno Threats

James Grundman is information systems manager for the City of Rohnert Park. He can be reached at jgrundman@rpcity.org.


Did you know that while your agency is defending its information technology (IT) from spam, spyware and other threats, it could actually be saving money too?

Article City Forum Lillian Henegar

Seeking More Accountability: A Fresh Take On Economic Development

Lillian Henegar is director of policy and outreach for the California Redevelopment Association. She can be reached at lhenegar@calredevelop.org.


Greg LeRoy, founder and director of Good Jobs First, spoke at the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) Annual Conference held Feb. 28–March 2, 2007, in Long Beach. LeRoy is author of The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation. In his speech, he shared several ways California’s local governments could better drive job creation and economic development in their communities.

Article City Forum Michael KarpmanClifford M. Johnson

Network of California Cities Shares Gang Prevention Strategies

Reprinted with permission from the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Nation’s Cities Weekly. Michael Karpman is program associate for outreach at NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families (IYEF). Clifford M. Johnson is executive director of IYEF.


Municipal leaders, law enforcement officials and community partners from 13 California cities came together in Oakland on Jan. 24–25 to identify and share strategies for reducing gang violence and victimization in their communities.

Article City Forum Curt Hagman

Cities and County Work Together To Share Tax Base

Many cities formed in the 1980s and ‘90s were at a distinct disadvantage when negotiating their original tax split with counties. Recently, Chino Hills and San Bernardino County found a way to…

Article City Forum Maria AlegriaChris Mckenzie

Thanks to Our “No on Proposition 90” Partners

Maria Alegria is mayor of the City of Pinole and president of the League. Chris McKenzie is executive director of the League.

Article City Forum

League Honors Two Individuals As 2006 “Legislator of the Year”

The League’s lobbying strength relies on cultivating and maintaining effective relationships with legislators both in Sacramento and their districts. When legislators make extra efforts to assist the League, they deserve our recognition and thanks. 

Article City Forum Arne CroceJan PerkinsJoanne Speers

Assessing the Ethical Culture of Your Agency

Article City Forum Michael Coleman

Is Your City in Good Financial Shape?

A safe and secure community depends on fiscally healthy local governments that can provide public services for the community, with a balance of revenues and costs over time – even as the…

Article City Forum Tony Ferrara

Preparing for a Worst Case Scenario: California Energy Commission Offers a Set-Aside Program for Petroleum Fuels

Tony Ferrara is mayor of the City of Arroyo Grande and chief of State Agency Training and Support for the California Specialized Training Institute, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He can be reached at Tony_Ferrara@oes.ca.gov.


What would your city do if fuel was not available — at any price? Imagine that your contract supplier tells you that your regular fuel delivery will be delayed “indefinitely” due to a market disruption, refinery shutdown or the occurrence of a major disaster. Given the volatile nature of today’s petroleum markets, local government emergency plans must address potential fuel shortages.

Article City Forum

San Bruno Partnership Builds Affordable Senior Housing at Former U.S. Navy Facility

For more information about California Communities’ affordable housing programs, contact: Michael LaPierre, program manager; phone: (925) 933-9229 ext. 212. For more information about KDF Communities, contact: Ray Harper, principal; phone: (949) 622-1888.


In a model public-private partnership, the City of San Bruno has teamed with KDF Communities and its partner, Citizens Housing Corporation, to develop Village at The Crossing (“the village”), an amenities-enriched senior housing community due for completion in early 2007. Set within San Bruno’s The Crossing, a mixed-use master-planned development on a 20-acre former U.S. Navy facility, the 228-unit project features 159 one-bedroom and 69 two-bedroom apartments designed for seniors at several affordability levels.

Article City Forum Gary Sandy

Building Bridges With Local Universities

Gary Sandy, a former mayor of Woodland, is the director of local government relations for UC Davis. He can be reached at gasandy@ucdavis.edu.

Article City Forum

Santa Rosa Encourages People to “Build It Green”

Growth and environmental protection are often at odds, but not in the City of Santa Rosa, where city leaders decided three years ago to bring the two into balance. The result was the voluntary Santa Rosa Build It Green (SR BIG) program.

Article City Forum Terry Amsler

New Technology Informs and Engages Residents

Terry Amsler is program director of the Collaborative Governance Initiative for the Institute for Local Government (ILG) and can be reached at tamsler@cacities.org. The Local Government Commission also contributed to this article. For additional information on ILG’s Collaborative Governance Initiative, visit www.ca-ilg.org/cgi.


Public officials are finding that information technology can enhance their communication with constituents and expand ways to engage the general public in planning and problem solving. Some of the most successful tools and techniques are described below.

Article City Forum James Hamill

SCIP Helps Cities Finance Infrastructure Needs

The Statewide Community Infrastructure Program reduces the cost of bond issuance and improves interest rates for projects of any size.

Article City Forum Don Schatzel

Fighting Obesity: Recreation, Parks and Community Services Department Leaders Join Forces

Don Schatzel is administrator for the Rio Linda and Elverta Recreation and Park District and president of the League’s Recreation, Parks and Community Services Department. He can be reached at dons@rcip.com. Special thanks to the California Parks and Recreation Society, which also contributed to this article.


Obesity presents a growing threat to the health and well-being of California’s children and adults. One of the major contributing factors to obesity is a lack of physical activity, and for many people, getting enough exercise can be a challenge.

Article City Forum Amanda Rose

California Housing Finance Agency’s HELP Boosts Affordable Housing

In 2006, approximately $10 million in low-interest loans will be available to California cities for affordable housing programs.

Article City Forum

Resources for Disaster Preparedness

Careful planning is the best way to prepare your city for a disaster, whether it’s natural or manmade. Your toolbox should include a crisis communications plan, protocols for declaring a state of emergency, procedures for securing vital public records and techniques for educating the public about what to expect and how to be ready when a disaster strikes.