California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence

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 rdiridon@ci.santa-clara.ca.us.


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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.


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.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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.

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.

Ridgecrest’s Youth Energize City Government

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

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.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

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 www.cacities.org/helenputnam