Features

Overview

Features

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 www.californiacityfinance.com.


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 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 tjarman@sandiego.gov.


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 edendabbs@comcast.net.


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 shofbauer@cityofpalmdale.org.


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.

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 kmanderson@redwoodcity.org.


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.

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 <tpetrillo@cacities.org>.


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 <kcole@wm.com>. Jeffrey Brown is director of environmental affairs for Safeway and can be reached at <Jeff.Brown@safeway.com>.


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 <ssanders@ca-ilg.org>.


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

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.

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 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 annette.puskarich@cityofpaloalto.org.


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 craig@GreenInq.com. 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 John.Deakin@hdrinc.com. Leslie Kramer is vice president of HDR/Brown Vence & Associates and can be reached at Leslie.Kramer@hdrinc.com.


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.”

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 khampian@slocity.org . 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 peabody@ci.walnut-creek.ca.us. For more information about MISAC, visit www.misac.org.


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.

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.