Article Special Series Al Savay

The Public Engagement Toolbox

Al Savay, AICP, is community development director for the City of San Carlos and can be reached at

Meaningfully engaging the public requires planners and government officials to develop a public participation toolbox that can be used in a wide variety of situations. Local governments may use several effective approaches, depending on whether the project is an ongoing planning initiative or a public input process.

Article Features Gus CaravalhoCraig ChavezDavid Pierce

Inspiring Leadership: Next Generation Update – A New Opportunity

Article Sustainable Cities Kathleen Les

Greener Buildings Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Communities are increasingly embracing green building measures.

Article President’s Message Jim Madaffer

Building the League’s Momentum

In terms of shaping statewide public policy, the League’s expanding leadership role at the ballot box is its most significant accomplishment.

Article City Forum Larry Owens

Santa Clara Builds a Solar Community

Under the umbrella of the neighborhood Solar Program, Santa Clara is creating a solar community.

Article Legal Notes Timothy H. IronsElizabeth M. Del Cidattorney

SB 97: The “Other” Global Warming Act

Article Features Scott SummerfieldSheri Benninghoven

Telling Your Story Through Effective Media Relations

Article Features Frederick C. DockJoaquin T. Siques

Traffic, Transit, Technology and the Rose Parade

Article Features Joanne HallRob Wilson

Pleasanton Saves Time and Money Through Technology

Work that preciously took up to two days to complete is now finished in a matter of minutes, thanks to software that integrates computerized maintenance management systems with geographic information.

Article Features Lillian Henegar

Sustainable Redevelopment Builds Better Communities

By promoting urban-centered growth and restoring contaminated areas to viable use, redevelopment helps preserve the environment and open space while reducing sprawl and commute times.

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Why the League Supports Honest and Responsible Eminent Domain Reform

The League and its coalition partners are working to build support for Proposition 99 and to educate voters about the great harm that Prop.98 could do to our communities.

Article Legal Notes Christi Hogin

Building Green With Carrots and Sticks

Cities are increasingly using regulations and incentives to develop new greener building practices that reduce development’s short-and long-term environmental impacts.

Article City Forum Laurence Wiener

Tips for Reading an Environmental Impact Report

Laurence Wiener is an attorney with Richards, Watson & Gershon and can be reached at

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was conceived in the 1970s to promote the goal of ensuring that local government decision-makers understand the environmental impacts of their decisions. To implement this goal, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research developed CEQA implementation guidelines, which stated that Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) should be no more than 150 pages and written in plain language that can be readily understood by decision-makers and the public.

Article Features Ken LomanCharles Summerell

Planning for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions

Ken Loman is a policy consultant for the California Climate Action Network, a program of the Institute for Local Government (ILG), and can be reached at Charles Summerell is a program analyst for ILG and can be reached at Special thanks to the following individuals who contributed to this article: Betsy Strauss, special counsel to the League; Beth Gabor, public information officer, Yolo County; Jill Boone, sustainability consultant to the City of San Mateo; and Nancy McKeever, PLACE3S program manager, California Energy Commission. For more information about ILG’s climate change program, visit

An increasing body of scientific research links greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with rising land and ocean temperatures, changes in storm and rainfall patterns, seasonal temperature variations, rising sea levels and other evidence of climate change.

Article Features Brian HeatonBill Higgins

The Housing Element Process: How California Cities Are Faring

Brian Heaton is former communications specialist for the League. Bill Higgins is the League’s housing and land use legislative representative and can be reached at

At first glance, drafting a new housing element may not seem that complicated. The housing element requires a city to plan for its fair share of housing for each income category: very low, low, moderate and above moderate. The city must identify the land where this housing will be located. To the extent that communities cannot complete this inventory, they must develop a program so that all the land will be identified and appropriately zoned by the end of the five-year planning period.

Livermore’s Advance Team Expedites Planning

The City of Livermore won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Internal Administration category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit

Article Features Jude Hudson

Planning with Fire: Balancing Growth and Safety in Fire Hazard Areas

California’s catastrophic fires raise a number of questions about fire safety and land use planning.

Fairfield Improves Quality of Life for Residents With Special Needs

The City of Fairfield won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Housing Programs and Innovations category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit

Hemet Involves Landlords to Revitalize Neighborhood

The City of Hemet won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Housing Programs and Innovations category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Sustainability Offers the Biggest Bang for Your City’s Buck

Increasing energy efficiency and promoting sustainability reduce a community’s carbon footprint and also provide long-term cost savings of taxpayer dollars.

ILG Launches Local Government 101 Project and Seeks Your Ideas

Does your city want to help its residents understand how local government works? Are you frustrated when people complain about how city revenues are raised and spent? Do you wish you had an easy way to explain the Brown Act and Public Records Act to the public and your newly elected and appointed officials?

Article Legal Notes Michael JenkinsHelyne MesharHernan Molina

Domestic Partner Rights in California

Michael Jenkins is a partner with the law firm of Jenkins & Hogin and serves as city attorney for the City of West Hollywood and several other Southern California cities; he can be reached at Helyne Meshar is principal of Helyne Meshar & Associates and legislative advocate for the City of West Hollywood; she can be reached at Hernan Molina is deputy to West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and can be reached at

It has been three years since California’s Domestic Partner Law was enacted. This article traces the law’s history, explains California cities’ role in its development and implementation and includes specific recommendations to ensure that your city is in compliance with the law.

Article City Forum Terrence Murphy

New Programs Provide Funds for Street and Road Improvements

Two new programs for California local governments leverage current sources of funding to finance road improvement projects.

Article Features Darrell Steinberg

SB 375 Explained

Senator Steinberg (D-Sacramento) offers insights into the thinking behind his bill.

Article Features Eva Spiegel

Legislators from Local Government Weigh In

The 2007-08 Legislature is a special class because former local government officials now constitute a majority in both the Senate and Assembly. When these new members took office in January 2007, they brought fresh ideas and a local perspective to statewide policy-making.

Cathedral City Neighborhoods Vote to Build Infrastructure

Cathedral City won a Grand Prize for this project in the Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit

Article Features Joshua W. Shaw

Why Funding Public Transit Is Critically Important

Joshua W. Shaw is executive director of the California Transit Association (CTA). He can be reached at For more information about CTA, visit .

Public transit vehicles carry millions of Californians, providing traffic congestion relief and vital access for residents. But state policy-makers are not investing adequately in public transit. Since FY 2001, they have shifted, loaned or just plain cut $2.94 billion in transit funding.

Article President’s Message Jim Madaffer

Infrastructure, Vital Services and More: 2008 Priorities

The League’s strategic priorities for 2008 include expanding infrastructure investment.

Article Everyday Ethics for Local Officials

Semper pro Populus: Fiduciary Duties and Public Service

This column is a service of the Institute for Local Government (ILG) Ethics Project, which offers resources on public service ethics for local officials. For more information, visit ILG thanks the following individuals for their contributions to this article: Buck Delventhal, San Francisco City Attorney’s Office; Joe Pannone, Aleshire and Wynder; Richard P. Shanahan, Bartkiewicz, Kronick & Shanahan; and Louis Leone, Stubbs & Leone.


As the chief executive for a local government agency, I have seen elected officials become bogged down in the details of various ethics laws. Instead of examining the proper thing to do in a specific situation, the focus shifts to whether a certain course of action will get an official in trouble with the law.

Article City Forum

League Honors Assembly Member Anna Caballero as 2007 “Legislator of the Year”

In 2007, the League awarded Assembly Member Anna Caballero (D-28, Salinas) its “Legislator of the Year” award, in appreciation of her support for local government on a variety of issues throughout the legislative session.

Article Features Eva Spiegel

An Interview With Assembly Member Hector de la Torre

Eva Spiegel is communications director for the League and can be reached at

Proposition 90, the eminent domain reform initiative on the November 2006 ballot, was a Trojan horse measure that included provisions unrelated to eminent domain. Prop. 90 would have cost California taxpayers billions of dollars annually and would have eroded basic laws protecting the state’s economy, environment and communities. The measure would have also undermined cities’ land use authority and local control. It was part of an effort to capitalize on public outrage over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kelov. City of New London, which affirmed its previous ruling that government can use eminent domain to acquire private property for economic development purposes.

Article Features

Legislators Who Supported Local Government in 2007

The League’s lobbying strength relies on cultivating and maintaining effective relationships with legislators, both in Sacramento and at the local level. When legislators take extra steps to help California cities, they deserve our recognition and thanks. Assembly Member Anna Caballero (D-28, Salinas) was honored by the League as “Legislator of the Year” in September 2007.

Article Features Dan Carrigg

Highlights of the 2007 Legislative Year

Dan Carrigg is legislative director for the League and can be reached at

In his 2007 State of the State address, Governor Schwarzenegger called for an era of “post-partisanship.” Recently reelected, the governor was eager to build upon the legislative achievements of 2006, which included voters’ approval of the state infrastructure package, the enactment of AB 32 (Nuñez) climate change legislation, the increase of the minimum wage and other accomplishments. The governor maintained that 2006 proved politicians could set aside their differences and tackle California’s problems.

Walnut Creek Mobilizes the Community for Health and Wellness

The City of Walnut Creek won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit

Santa Maria Takes Steps Toward a Healthier Community

The City of Santa Maria won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit

Chino Shapes Up With a Healthy Coalition

The City of Chino won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Daniel K. Whitehurst

Leading Isn’t Easy; You Might Want Some Help

Daniel K. Whitehurst is incoming president of the Institute for Local Government. He is a former mayor of Fresno and past president of the League’s Mayors and Council Members Department. He can be reached at

People don’t want their public officials to be “leaders.” Marty Linsky, a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, makes this point, and I think he’s right. Voters say they want strong leadership, but what many really want is the opposite: someone who will protect them from having to change their minds or their ways. And they often get their wish; there is no shortage of candidates who run for public office not to lead, but to be popular or important.

Article Sustainable Cities Steve Sanders

Preparing For a Warmer World

Global warming has the potential to threaten California’s economy, environment, communities and residents in many different ways. This article presents an overview of these impacts.

Article Legal Notes Kourtney BurdickJoanne SpeersPatrick Whitnell

The Origins of California City Powers

Kourtney Burdick is deputy general counsel for the League and can be reached at JoAnne Speers is executive director of the Institute for Local Government and a former general counsel for the League; she can be reached at Patrick Whitnell is general counsel for the League and can be reached at

This column offers a brief and very general historical look at California cities’ constitutional history and powers. This information sheds light on some of the struggles cities face in protecting local control in the courts and the Legislature.

Article Everyday Ethics for Local Officials

Understanding the Role of Ethics Commissions

This column is a service of the Institute for Local Government (ILG) Ethics Project, which offers resources on public service ethics for local officials. For more information, visit ILG is grateful to these individuals for their assistance in preparing this article: Dan Purnell, executive director, Oakland Ethics Commission; Heather Mahood, assistant city attorney, Long Beach; Jennifer Sparacino, city manager, City of Santa Clara; and Carol McCarthy, deputy city manager, City of Santa Clara. Generous funding for the development of this column was provided by the International City-County Management Association (ICMA) Retirement Corporation (, whose mission is to build retirement security for the public sector.


We have a citizens’ group in our community considering whether to propose establishing an ethics commission. We have looked for information about ethics commissions but have not really found much. Can you help?

Article Special Series Bill Higgins

California’s Growth Demands Vision, a Long-Term Plan and Clear Policy Direction

Bill Higgins is a legislative representative for the League and can be reached at Previously he was director of the Land Use Program for the Institute for Local Government.

California is in the throes of massive population growth — it has doubled in size since 1965 and is expected to be home to more than 50 million people by 2040.

Article City Forum Maria Rivera

The Rule of Law

Maria Rivera is an associate justice for the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four, where she has served since January 2002. From January 1997 to January 2002, she was a judge of the Superior Court in Contra Costa County. She can be reached at

This article is excerpted and condensed from a speech given by Justice Rivera to the League’s City Attorneys Conference on May 3, 2007, in Monterey, California.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A good public servant becomes so at a high cost of personal sacrifice. We need such men and women; when we find them we owe them our gratitude and, above all, our respect.”

Article Features

On the Record

This article appears in the December 2007 issue of Western City
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Article Features

2007 Annual Conference Review League Celebrates “Cities Shaping California’s Future”

Special thanks to the following California Association of Public Information Officials members who contributed to the on-site conference newsletter and this article, and helped staff the conference media room: Ann Erdman, public information officer, Pasadena; Brad Rovanpera, public information officer, Walnut Creek; Judy Franz, retired deputy city manager, Santa Monica; Mark Mazzaferro, public information officer, Vacaville; Mike Maxfield, public information officer, Yorba Linda; Scott Summerfield, principal, SAE Communications; Sue Schlerf, assistant city manager, Reno, Nev.; and Tom Manheim, public outreach manager, San Jose.

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence Rod Diridon Jr.

Santa Clara Infuses Ethics Into Campaigns

Rod Diridon Jr. was a founding member of both the Santa Clara Campaign Finance Reform Committee (chair) and the Ethics Ordinance Committee. He is a former two-term city council member and currently the city auditor and elected city clerk for the City of Santa Clara. He can be reached at

The City of Santa Clara won the Grand Prize in the Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics and Community Involvement category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit

For many, “ethical government” is an oxymoron. At all levels of government, too many disappointments in promising candidates have made voters skeptical and cynical about the ability of government officials to achieve a high professional standard of ethics.

Pittsburg CARES About Neighborhood Improvement

The City of Pittsburg won an Award for Excellence in the Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics and Community Involvement category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Pittsburg is a historic city in the east San Francisco Bay Area with many older established neighborhoods, some of which are showing their age and have fallen into disrepair and blight. In 2004, the city launched a major redevelopment effort aimed at various commercial and industrial areas — but primarily focused on downtown. Longtime residents expressed dismay that they were being left behind and the city didn’t care about their issues or improving older neighborhoods. Although various municipal departments were working to address these issues, there was no uniform action plan among the various departments to effectively demonstrate these efforts to residents.

Article Legal Notes Kourtney Burdick

Living Wage Ordinances

Kourtney Burdick is the League’s deputy general counsel. She can be reached at

In response to the rising cost of living in California, 21 cities have enacted living wage ordinances (LWOs). Included in this group are large cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and Oakland; small cities such as Sonoma and Fair-fax; and medium-sized cities like Berkeley.1 These ordinances vary in some respects, but in general, their purpose is the same: They set a wage requirement that is higher — often much higher — than federal and state minimum wages.2

Article Special Series

California ’s Infrastructure: A Legacy in Peril

This article is excerpted from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) California Infrastructure Report Card 2006. Reprinted with permission. For more information about ASCE, visit Special thanks to Yazdan Emrani, president, ASCE Orange County Branch, and Mike Kincaid, past president, ASCE San Francisco Section, co-chairs of the California Infrastructure Report Card 2006, for their assistance.

The magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, the dams and water systems of the west, our transcontinental railroads and unparalleled network of modern interstates, and the airports, seaports, tunnels and transit systems that serve our cities — all of these are part of California’s infrastructure.

Article Special Series

Why We Must Invest in California’s Water Infrastructure

Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor of California.

As everyone reading this magazine knows, a solid infrastructure system is the key to a strong economy and a high quality of life.

Article City Forum Ronald O. Loveridge

Helping Green Homeowners Hang Onto Their Green

Ronald O. Loveridge is mayor of Riverside and a past president of the League. He can be reached at

Riverside recently became the first city in the state to offer incentives to builders who meet the strong, measurable requirements of the California Green Builder (CGB) program. This cost- effective, turnkey program improves the environment without increasing the city’s workload or costing its taxpayers a penny.

ILG Launches Civic Engagement Survey and New Services for Cities

The James Irvine Foundation and the Community Technology Foundation of California have provided financial support to the Institute for Local Government to help increase local governments’ capacity to more successfully implement inclusive public involvement processes. The goal is to help cities and counties successfully involve their diverse communities in civic engagement efforts. With an initial focus on the Central Valley, participating cities to date include Lodi, Madera, Selma and Stockton.

Article Features Mike Madrid

Winning Local Revenue Measures: Tips for City Leaders

Prudent moves to make before moving forward with a local revenue measure.

Article Features Michael MorelandDennis Kneier

The New Role for Council Members in the Audit Process

A heads up for city councils on new requirements related to their city’s financial statements.

Article Features Michael Coleman

The Road Ahead for Funding City Infrastructure Needs

Michael Coleman is fiscal policy advisor to the League. More information on city finance is available on his website at

In the coming months, cities will see the first substantial influx of all locations of street and road, housing and other infrastructure funds from the November 2006 bond measures. With this, California’s much needed public works improvements will be under way. In FY 2008-09, it is likely these allocations will continue. Voters have responded to pleas for infrastructure funding, and the state is making good on the commitment to fund local projects. Local governments now have a great responsibility to produce results and, down the road, cities will be asked for greater action and participation in meeting California’s infrastructure needs.

Article Everyday Ethics for Local Officials

Making a List and Checking It Twice: Preparing for the Season of Giving

This column is a service of the Institute for Local Government (ILG) Ethics Project, which offers resources for local officials on public service ethics. For more information, visit ILG is grateful to the cities of Los Gatos, West Hollywood and Petaluma for contributing materials to this column. Generous funding for the development of this column is provided by the ICMA Retirement Corporation (, whose mission is to build retirement security for the public sector.


The holidays are coming up, and this year our agency wants to do a better job of handling issue of gifts from outside sources. It has generally had a no-gifts policy, but we haven’t actively enforced it, and there is a kind of unwritten exception for gifts of nominal value (for example, plates of homemade cookies from residents or logo items from vendors). What are your thoughts, and what do other agencies do?

Article Special Series Ellen Hanak

Delta Blues: What Troubles in the Delta Mean for California

Ellen Hanak is an associate director of research at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her recent report (co-authored by Jay Lund, William Fleenor, Richard Howitt, Jeffrey Mount and Peter Moyle), Envisioning Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, is available online at

On any given day, a visitor to California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta might see acres of verdant cropland, meandering boaters, recreational anglers and some Swainson’s hawks or sandhill cranes. Being there, it’s hard to imagine that this peaceful region is in deep trouble and that its fate will have serious consequences for residents throughout the state.

Article City Forum Phil Coleman

New Ideas for Solving the Police Chief Recruitment Crisis

Phil Coleman is a retired chief of police for the City of Davis and can be reached at

In the 1980s and ’90s, a California police chief vacancy would attract at least 60 to 80 applicants. Larger and more politically stable communities could anticipate twice that number, and vacancies for police chief were relatively rare (about one a month on average).

Article Features Tracy Jarman

San Diego Partnership Thinks Outside “The Box” to Enhance Emergency Medical Services

Tracy Jarman is chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and can be reached at

San Diego Medical Services Enterprise (SDMSE) is a public-private partnership formed as a limited liability company between the City of San Diego’s Fire-Rescue Department and Rural/Metro, a private ambulance company. Since its founding in 1997, SDMSE’s paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) have worked hand-in-hand with city fire department responders on the scene of more than 90,000 emergency calls per year.

Article Features Eden Dabbs

Getting a Grip on Graffiti

Eden Dabbs is a communications consultant and an associate editor for Western City. She can be reached at

Graffiti is a challenge for many California cities. In addition to being an eyesore, it can negatively impact the quality of life in a community and affect people’s perceptions about safety.

Article Features Steve Hofbauer

Going After Gangs: What’s Working

Steve Hofbauer is a council member for the City of Palmdale and chair of the League’s Gang and Graffiti Subcommittee. He can be reached at

Gang activity is on the rise throughout California and the nation. In Los Angeles alone, gang membership is estimated at 40,000. FBI and California Department of Justice statistics show that violent crime rose 3.7 percent nationally and 4.1 percent in California in the first six months of 2006 compared with the same time period in 2005. And according to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s National Youth Gang Survey, in 2004, approximately one-fourth of all homicides in 171 cities with populations of more than 100,000 were considered gang related. These numbers exclude Los Angeles and Chicago, where more than half of homicides involved gangs.

Palmdale Fights Identity Theft with Community Education

The City of Palmdale won an Award for Excellence in the Public Safety category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Elk Grove Targets Street Racers

The City of Elk Grove won the Grand Prize in the Public Safety category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Santa Rosa Residents COPE with Emergencies

The City of Santa Rosa won an Award for Excellence in the Public Safety category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Santa Clarita Fights Back Against Graffiti

The City of Santa Clarita won the Grand Prize in the Internal Administration category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Building Public Support For Affordable Housing: A New Toolbox

The nuts and bolts of winning community support for affordable housing is the subject of a new Institute for Local Government (ILG) publication, Building Public Support for Affordable Housing: A Toolbox for California Officials.

Article Legal Notes Michael ZischkeBradley Brownlow

State Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Water Supplies and CEQA

Michael Zischke and Bradley Brownlow are attorneys specializing in the California Environmental Quality Act and land use law with the San Francisco office of Cox Castle & Nicholson. Zischke is co-author of the treatise Practice Under the California Environmental Quality Act, published and updated annually by California Continuing Education of the Bar. He can be reached at Brownlow can be reached at

Last February, the California Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated ruling in Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth v. City of Rancho Cordova,1 a case that has significant implications for water-strapped cities considering the approval of large development projects.

Article Special Series Julie Spezia

Strategies and Tools for Meeting California’s Affordable Housing Needs

An alarming trend is appearing in California’s communities: We are losing our young adults (age 20 to 34). It’s not surprising that when young couples decide to start a family and create a home, they look outside the state for an affordable place to live and work. This is happening throughout the nation in areas where home prices and rents have far out paced take-home pay. Not coincidentally, these same communities have not allowed much in the way of new home production in the past 20 years. Meanwhile, young adults are finding them selves priced out of their hometowns and are forced to move farther away from their families.

Article Special Series Tom Adams

The Road Less Traveled: Why Fewer Miles Are Better

Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 32, California’s landmark law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The largest single sector of greenhouse gas emissions comes from cars and light trucks, much of which is attributable to our land use patterns.

Article Special Series Gilda Haas

Are We Growing Together or Growing Apart?

4 Questions to Consider

Last year, my hometown of Los Angeles was awarded the dubious distinction of being the most unequal city in the country. The gap between L.A.’s richest and poorest residents is greater than in any other U.S. city. In 1970, according to the Brookings Institute, 52 percent of L.A. neighborhoods were middle income. By 2000, that dropped to 28 percent, ranking lowest among the top 100 metropolitan areas in the country. In the process, Los Angeles had achieved an economic inequality index equivalent to that of Mexico.

Article Special Series Ray Kerridge

Growing Up Versus Growing Out: Sacramento’s Infill Challenges

4 Questions to Consider

Something big is looming in Sacramento. Projected to expand by more than 200,000 residents — nearly 50 percent of its current population — by 2030, California’s capital is facing significant growth.

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

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 Features Kristen Anderson

Strategies for City Involvement in Child Care and Early Education

Kristen Anderson has been Redwood City’s child care and preschool coordinator and planner for more than 20 years. She is a planning and policy consultant and author of Planning for Child Care in California. Anderson can be reached at

California cities are investing in child care and early education as they recognize the economic, social and educational value of such programs to their communities. Expanding workforce participation of mothers over the past several decades — whether by choice or welfare reform mandate — has increased the demand for these programs from dual- and single-parent households of all income levels. While not everyone chooses licensed child care (centers or family child care homes), most people want their children to attend preschool for its school readiness and socialization benefits.

Article Features

The Exposition Offers Myriad Municipal Solutions

More than 250 private firms, nonprofit organizations and public agencies at the Exposition will showcase new products and innovative programs that deliver results for cities. Explore the Expo for new ideas and information that you can take back to your city and use right away.

Article Features

2007 Annual Conference Preview

Sacramento Welcomes The Annual Conference
Sept. 5–8, 2007

Each year, more than 2,000 elected officials, city staff and professionals come together at the League of California Cities Annual Conference to network, learn and reignite their passion for public service in municipal government. This year, California’s capital hosts the conference.

Westminster Collaborates to Solve Parking Problem

Several government agencies worked together to develop and implement a solution that serves the needs of all their customers.

Ridgecrest’s Youth Energize City Government

City leaders wanted to give kids options for recreation and alternatives to getting in trouble.

Long Beach Youth Services Provides Opportunities

In 2003, the City of Long Beach created a comprehensive Youth Services Program, involving the Long Beach City Council, city departments, Long Beach Unified School District and local agencies serving youth, to provide equal-access recreational and educational opportunities for youth. In 2005, the America’s Promise Alliance named Long Beach one of its “100 Best Communities for Young People.” The judges noted that Long Beach supports the alliance’s goals for youth, which include having caring adults in their lives, safe places in which to learn and grow, a healthy start and future, an effective education and opportunities to give back to their community.

Carlsbad – Introduces Students To City Government

The City of Carlsbad, recognizing an opportunity to create a connection between the municipal govern ment and residents through its children, developed the CityStuff elementary school curriculum for third-graders, who were not being taught about local government in the public schools.

Santa Clarita – Mentors City Employees

It’s no secret that government agencies will soon be facing an employment crisis as the baby boomers begin to retire. How are public sector leaders preparing the next generation to succeed them? As city department managers are nearing retirement, fewer young professionals are in line waiting to fill their positions.

Article Everyday Ethics for Local Officials

Badges for Officeholders and Prominent Members of the Community: A Bad Idea

This column is a service of the Institute for Local Government (ILG) Ethics Project, which offers resources for local officials on public service ethics. For more information, visit ILG is grateful for the input of Martin J. Mayer, attorney, Jones & Mayer law firm, on this article.


I’m a newly appointed police chief, and I’m getting requests for law enforcement-type badges from our newly elected officials, which I find perplexing.

Article Special Series Lester Snow

Meeting California’s Future Water Needs

Lester Snow is director of the state Department of Water Resources (DWR). For more about DWR, visit .

A clean and reliable water supply fuels California’s economy, landscape and population. The Golden State is the nation’s top exporter of computers, electronic products and food. With more than 36 million people, California is also the most populous state in the nation. Redwood forests, sandy beaches, wild rivers, mountains and deserts make up the state’s landscape, and this diverse natural environment is home to many endangered species.

Article Special Series Gary A. Patton

Water and Growth in California

Gary A. Patton is the executive director of the Planning and Conservation League, a statewide organization that has been working on land use and environmental issues in the California Legislature for more than 40 years. From 1975-95 Patton served as a member of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. He is the author of that county’s successful growth management program. He can be reached at <>. For more about the Planning and Conservation League, visit .

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) makes it a legal requirement for local governments to study the impacts of any proposed action before they make growth-related decisions. In recent years, state legislation has emphasized that local governments must fully explore water supply issues in connection with their development-related decisions (see Government Code section 66473.7).

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 President’s Message Maria Alegria

How California Cities Are Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change

The issue of climate change presents some robust challenges for California city officials and their communities. At the same time, it offers numerous opportunities for leadership and innovation.

Santa Barbara Uses Co-Generation For Renewable Energy

The City of Santa Barbara won an Award for Excellence in the Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Article Features Tracy Petrillo

2007 Annual Conference Preview
Don’t Miss It!

The League of California Cities 
109th Annual Conference 
Sept. 5-8, 2007 
Sacramento Convention Center

Tracy Petrillo is director of education and conferences for the League and can be reached at <>.

Attend the upcoming annual conference and be part of League history in the making! This conference is the only event that brings together city officials, city staff, dignitaries, policy-makers, subject matter experts, and private and public sector leaders from throughout California. Filled with workshops and learning opportunities, policy development meetings, networking events and the Expo showcase of municipal products and services, the annual conference is packed with extraordinary value.

Article Features Michael Peevey

California Leads the Way on Solar

Michael Peevey is president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

As part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Solar Initiative (CSI), the state has set a goal to create 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2017 — moving the state toward a cleaner energy future and helping to lower the cost of solar photovoltaic systems for consumers. The program’s goal is to help build a self-sustaining photovoltaic market.

Article Features Kit ColeJeffrey Brown

Reducing Greenhouse Gases in City Operations and Services: Best Practices From the Private Sector

Kit Cole is director of external affairs and sustainability initiatives for Waste Management and can be reached at <>. Jeffrey Brown is director of environmental affairs for Safeway and can be reached at <>.

Business leaders are embracing policies and practices designed to reduce green house gases, and many of these efforts can easily be replicated in city operations. Some of these practices are presented here.

Article Features Steve Sanders

California Cities Tackle Climate Change

Steve Sanders is program director for the California Climate Action Network program of the Institute for Local Government. He can be reached at <>.

Global warming poses a real threat to California and the rest of the planet. Local communities can implement the following strategies to reduce carbon emissions and combat global warming, both in their own operations and throughout the community. In most cases, these strategies not only help the environment but save money and make great economic sense as well.

Article Features Mark Leary

Making It Easier to Buy Green

Mark Leary is executive director of the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

The Golden State is becoming much greener. Government offices throughout the state are finding it easier to buy green products, thanks to the efforts of the California Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Task Force, a collaborative effort led by the California Integrated Waste Management Board and state Department of General Services, along with 20 other state agencies.

Article Features

Climate Change: Responding to Climate Change – Action Steps for Cities

Climate change is receiving unprecedented attention at local, state, national and worldwide levels, and the State of California is at the forefront of innovative action to slow the emissions of greenhouse gases. In response to the intense interest in these and related environmental topics, Western City is devoting a section of its July and August issues to climate change. These articles examine how cities can help reduce carbon emissions and slow the impact of global warming by taking action, such as investing in energy efficiency, engaging in sustainable planning, and adopting green purchasing programs and deconstruction ordinances.

California Climate Action Network Launched

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) is launching a new program, the California Climate Action Network (CalCAN).

Article Legal Notes Craig Labadie

Frequently Asked Questions About the Public Records Act

Craig Labadie is city attorney for Concord and president of the League’s City Attorneys Department. He can be reached at Labadie gratefully acknowledges the assistance provided by Kourtney Burdick, the League’s deputy general counsel, in drafting this article.

The purpose of the Public Records Act (PRA) is to give the public access to information that enables them to monitor the functioning of their government.1 Its fundamental precept is that governmental records shall be disclosed to the public, upon request, unless there is a specific reason not to do so.2 Most of the reasons for withholding a record are set forth in the PRA.

Article Special Series Hans Johnson

The Amazing, Changing California Population

Hans Johnson Ph.D. is a demographer and research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. He is the author of numerous reports on the state’s changing population, all of which are available at

Any number of superlatives could be used to describe California’s astounding growth. The state’s population, which has doubled since 1965, consists of more than 37 million people today. That growth sets California apart from the rest of the developed world. During the 20th century, California grew at a faster rate than any other large developed region on earth. The state’s population now exceeds that of all but 32 countries. To put it another way, California’s population is larger by several million than all of Canada’s, and within the next 10 years it is likely to surpass that of Spain.

Article Special Series Carol Whiteside

Examining Options for Growth in California

Carol Whiteside is executive director of the Great Valley Center based in Modesto. She can be reached at For more information about the Great Valley Center, visit

The California story is about growth. Since the Gold Rush, people have come to California from every corner of the earth, seeking wealth and opportunity, fleeing long winters and harsh governments, and looking for the chance to build a new life. The population has doubled, redoubled and doubled again. Looking ahead, demographers at the state Department of Finance project that our population will continue to grow from 37 million today to more than 50 million by 2040.

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 John Phillips is executive director of the Energy Coalition and can be reached at For more information about the Energy Coalition, visit  

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.

Irvine’s Community Energy Partnership Program Focuses on Changing Behavior

The City of Irvine won an Award of Excellence in the Planning and Environmental Quality category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Glendale’s Trash Exclusion Program Helps Keep Downstream Beaches Clean

The City of Glendale won an Award of Excellence in the Planning and Environmental Quality category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Article Features Annette Puskarich

Climate Change: Deconstruction – A Practice Worth Salvaging

Annette Puskarich is recycling coordinator for the City of Palo Alto Public Works Department and can be reached at

As a nation, we’re generating a lot of waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), materials discarded from building-related activities, known as construction and demolition (C&D) debris, account for one-third of the total waste generated in the United States.

Article Features Craig W. HoellwarthJohn DeakinLeslie Kramer

Climate Change: Increasing City Buildings’ Energy Efficiency – Nine Questions City Officials Should Ask

Craig W. Hoellwarth is principal of GREEN INQ, a consulting firm that provides green/sustainable planning and design services, and can be reached at John Deakin is senior energy and sustainability manager for HDR/Brown Vence & Associates, which specializes in solid waste management planning and energy management consulting, and can be reached at Leslie Kramer is vice president of HDR/Brown Vence & Associates and can be reached at

As energy costs rise and widespread concern about climate change increases, cities can limit their greenhouse gas emissions and save money by reducing energy use in municipal buildings and investing in energy efficiency. This article explores questions city officials should ask about energy use and efficiency so they can make informed decisions about city buildings.

Article Features Linda Adams

Climate Change: California Leads the Fight Against Global Warming

Linda Adams is the State of California’s secretary for environmental protection.

California has a long history of environmental leadership. When Gov. Schwarzenegger asked me to head the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), he told me, “I want clean air, clean water and no excuses.”

How Your Agency Counsel Should Advise You When Agency Contracts Represent a Conflict of Interest


We are upset with our new agency counsel. She has advised us to stop purchasing vehicles through our local car dealership, which is owned by one of our elected officials. We are in a remote area, and this dealership is the only one within 20 miles (which is important for servicing vehicles under warranty, for example). Before the dealership opened four years ago, our staff spent a great deal of time traveling to the dealer in the next community to purchase and service cars. And because the dealer is public minded, the agency usually gets a good discount on products and services.

Article Special Series William Fulton

Plotting a Course for the Next Generation of Growth

William Fulton is president of Solimar Research Group, Inc., and a council member for the City of Ventura. He is the author of several landmark books on land use and cities, including Guide to California Planning, The Reluctant Metropolis and The Regional City. Fulton can be reached at

Here’s one of the most amazing facts I’ve ever heard: California has been adding more than 1,000 people to the state’s population every day for almost 70 years.

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

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?

Livermore Looks at Street-Level Imagery

The City of Livermore won the Grand Prize in the Internal Administration category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Article Features Ken Hampian

Keeping an Eye on Video Monitoring

Ken Hampian is city administrative officer for the City of San Luis Obispo. He can be reached at . This article is adapted with permission from the April 2007 issue of Public Management (PM) magazine published by ICMA, the International City/County Management Association based in Washington, D.C.

Last year, I was in a city hall conference room discussing with staff members the options for dealing with persistent and costly vandalism at city facilities; in this case, at a park and in city hall restrooms. The discussion led to the idea of video monitoring as a strategy to discourage vandalism. Like many people, I’m of the generation that grew up reading George Orwell’s book 1984, and so my first reaction to this idea was that it gave me the creeps! At the gut level, I just hated the idea of video monitoring for anything other than legitimate police work, and I didn’t want to see a lot of cameras in public places.

Article Features

Mayors and Council Members: Don’t Miss Monterey Events!

Next month, more than 500 elected officials will gather in Monterey for an unparalleled educational opportunity at the Mayors and Council Members Executive Forum and Advanced Leadership Workshops. These sessions provide the latest information and tools to enhance elected officials’ effectiveness.

Article Features Laura Peabody

10 Things Your Information Technology Director Wants You to Know

Laura Peabody is president of the Municipal Information Systems Association of California (MISAC) and chief information officer for the City of Walnut Creek. She can be reached at For more information about MISAC, visit

Recently, I asked participants in the Municipal Information Systems Association of California (MISAC) listserv what they wished their elected officials, city managers, department heads and other decision-makers knew about technology. The topic struck a chord, and a lively discussion of a “Top 10 List” ensued.

Grant to ILG Allows Cities and Counties to Help Uninsured Children Get Coverage

Many city officials understand the link between health insurance for kids and some of the specific issues their communities are currently tackling, such as childhood obesity, at-risk youth, teen pregnancy, nutrition, truancy and public safety. But approximately 800,000 children in California do not have health insurance.

Article Legal Notes Liane Randolph

17 Tips for Running Your Campaign Committee

Liane Randolph was chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission from 2003–07. She can be reached at liane.randolph.pra@

Now that you’ve decided to run for office, you need to know the basics of running a campaign committee. This article provides a short overview of the requirements of the Political Reform Act.


How Cities Nurture Economic Development

DOWNEY Puts Contaminated NASA Property to Economic Reuse 

In 1999, the federal government closed the 160-acre Downey NASA Industrial Plant. This ended 70 years of pioneering aerospace activities that encompassed construction of the Apollo moon modules and the nation’s space shuttle fleet. The site had significant soil contamination and faced an uncertain future.

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

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 Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Climate Change at a Tipping Point

Every few hundred years an individual or idea comes along that focuses the lens through which we see our world and our role in it. For scientists this is known as a “scientific revolution.” 

Porterville Revitalizes Orange Avenue Neighborhood

In the mid-1990s, the City of Porterville was searching for solutions to the problems in its Orange Avenue area. The avenue, a gateway to the city’s downtown area, had become known for drugs, crime and vagrants. Its infrastructure was substandard, with crumbling sidewalks and no traffic signals to help pedestrians cross the street. Decaying buildings dotted the area. Orange Avenue was desperately in need of repair. 

Sonoma Cultivates Small Business Growth and Economic Development

Home of the last Spanish Mission, the Bear Flag Rebellion and world-class wines, the City of Sonoma has long partnered with the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau to sustain tourism, its number one industry. But small businesses, which make up the majority of the city’s economy, were on their own.

Article Features Lou Paulson

Firefighters Offer Their Perspective on Public Pension Reform

Lou Paulson is a 20-year fire captain with the Contra Costa County Fire Department. He currently serves as president of California Professional Firefighters, representing 30,000 rank-and-file first responders.

There is a looming retirement crisis in California and around the country that — if left unattended — will impose untold millions of dollars in additional costs to state and local government, and threaten vital services such as police, fire, transportation and parks.

Article Features Rod GouldBob Lasala

Public Pension Reform: What’s Next?

The spike in public pension costs fueled the call for reform.

Article Everyday Ethics for Local Officials

Freebies: Friend or Foe?


Our agency recently was criticized in the press because our elected officials receive season tickets to our local sports venue, which our agency owns but is operated by a private contractor. No laws have been broken because the operator of the facility provides these passes to the agency. Our attorney has advised us this means that the passes do not need to be reported under the gift rules and are not subject to the gift limits. This explanation did not satisfy the press.

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.

Long Beach’s Health Education Center Serves a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community

The City of Long Beach won an Award of Excellence in the Community Services and Economic Development category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Livermore Connects Families with Vital Services to Help Children Succeed in School

The City of Livermore won a Grand Prize in the Community Services and Economic Development category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

La Mesa Makes a Project Out of Parks

The City of La Mesa won an Award of Excellence in the League Partners category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Fairfield’s Community Heroes Provide Fun on the Run

The City of Fairfield won an Award of Excellence in the League Partners category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit

Article Features Richard James

Community Service Providers: Plan Now — The Boomers Are Coming!

Richard James is director of community services for the City of Palo Alto and can be reached at Lisa Hendrickson of Avenidas Adult Services also contributed to this article and the original report for Palo Alto.

It’s no secret that California is graying. Newspaper, television, government and scholarly reports tell us that the first wave of the Baby Boom generation is now entering into their retirement
years and we are on the threshold of a major shift in demographic characteristics. In the next
30 years, our state’s “senior” population will double due to the sheer size of the Boomer group and — thanks to medical and health advancements — live longer than any previous generation. 

Article Features Christine LarsonJoan M. TwissThea Perrino

Connecting the Generations: How Cities are Fostering Understanding and Trust

Christine Larson is a freelance writer in Sacramento and can be reached at Joan M. Twiss is executive director of the Center for Civic Partnerships and can be reached at Thea Perrino is program coordinator of Healthy Cities and Communities and can be reached at

In the next 25 years, the number of California residents over age 65 will more than double, swelling to nearly 18 percent of the population. Meanwhile, the number of children will grow faster than the working adult population.

Institute Housing and Land Use Program Charts New Directions

Last year, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) Board of Directors engaged in a period of reflection concerning future directions for its housing and land use program. After hearing from local officials and others, the board concluded that the program had a solid reputation for quality products in its key areas of focus: regulatory takings; housing; open space/farm- land issues and assisting planning commissioners.

Article Legal Notes Melanie M. PoturicaDavid A. Urban

A City Council Member’s Role With Respect to Individual City Employees

Melanie M. Poturica is managing partner at the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore in Los Angeles, and can be reached at David A. Urban is an attorney with the firm, and can be reached at

In the public eye, city council members are at the top of the city’s government structure, presiding over large and small bureaucracies that may include police officers, firefighters and many other types of employees charged with serving the public interest. Accordingly, when residents are aggrieved by or interested in the conduct of a particular employee, they may view their council member as that employee’s ultimate “boss” or de facto CEO of the city, who can cause the employee to be disciplined or even terminated, and who could certainly take such lesser actions as communicating with the employee’s direct supervisor or reviewing the employee’s personnel file for information relevant to the issue.

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…

Roseville Makes Smart Choices to Reduce Sprawl

By 2050 the population of the Sacramento region, including southwest Placer County, is expected to double to almost 4 million people. If traditional low-density development continues, this growth is likely to reduce the quality of life as open space and agricultural land is lost, traffic increases and air quality declines.

Signal Hill Revives a Failing Neighborhood

Las Brisas, a vibrant and attractive neighborhood in the City of Signal Hill, now thrives where dispiriting conditions once made any notion of improvement difficult to envision. This small but decisive urban victory was orchestrated by the Signal Hill City Council and redevelopment agency, which set their sights high and developed a clear plan to improve their community.

Eureka’s Multiple Assistance Center Maximizes Support for Homeless

The concept of a multiple assistance center (MAC) aims to break the cycle of homelessness by successfully transitioning program participants toward stable employment and permanent housing. The City of Eureka’s MAC project was first introduced in 1996 as a new approach to solving issues of homelessness. By integrating on-site specialized care and support services with on-site transitional housing and multiple-step programs, the MAC is designed to help families and individuals achieve self-sufficiency.

Article Features

Spotlight on Housing

California’s serious shortage of affordable housing located close to jobs affects residents and cities throughout the state.One of the League’s continuing goals is to work for expanded housing supply and affordability, consistent with “smart growth” and environmental principles. The League has worked with builders, environmentalists and other groups on achieving these goals and actively shares information about housing.

Article Everyday Ethics for Local Officials

Let’s Not Make a Deal: Vote-Trading and Similar Practices Raise Legal and Ethical Issues

This column is a service of the Institute for Local Government (ILG) Ethics Project, which offers resources for local officials on public service ethics. For more information, visit


I am a newly elected official. When I ran for office, I pledged to support a certain policy I’ll call “X.” After working with staff at our agency, a resolution to do X is now pending before our governing body.

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.