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Overview

Features

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 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.

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.

Article Features Rod GouldBob Lasala

Public Pension Reform: What’s Next?

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

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 Richard.James@CityofPaloAlto.org. 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 christine.larson@comcast.net. Joan M. Twiss is executive director of the Center for Civic Partnerships and can be reached at jtwiss@civicpartnerships.org. Thea Perrino is program coordinator of Healthy Cities and Communities and can be reached at tperrino@civicpartnerships.org


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.

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 Features Dan Carrigg

Locals Are a Growing Force in the Legislature

Dan Carrigg is legislative director for the League and can be reached at carriggd@cacities.org.


The beginning of each two-year legislative session brings with it fresh hopes and opportunities as a new group of legislators enters the Capitol. For local governments, the 2007–08 Legislature is a special class. A full 16 years after the passage of term limits in 1990, what has long been envisioned is finally happening: Former local elected officials – most with a city council background – will constitute a majority in both houses of the Legislature.

Article Features Liisa Lawson Stark

Infrastructure Bonds Are a Positive Investment for California, But Long-Term Needs Require Additional Resources

 Liisa Lawson Stark is a legislative representative for the League. She can be reached at lstark@cacities.org. Bill Higgins and Genevieve Morelos also contributed to this article. Bill Higgins is a legislative representative for the League and can be reached at higginsb@cacities.org. Genevieve Morelos is a policy analyst for the League and can be reached at gmorelos@cacities.org.


As Californians, we are fortunate to live and work in the Golden State. We boast the fifth largest economy in the world and are visited by millions of people each year, who come to experience the unique cultures of our cities and our diverse natural resources. California is “Hollywood,” and we represent what so many others think is the ideal life. The world looks at California as a leader in economic prosperity, employment opportunity and recreational activity for a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.

Article Features G. Wayne EgglestonFred Smoller, Ph.D.

Using Citizen Surveys to Give Residents A Voice in City Government

G. Wayne Eggleston is a council member for San Clemente and can be reached at egglestonw@san-clemente.org. Fred Smoller, Ph.D., is an associate professor of political science at Chapman University and can be reached at fsmoller@socal.rr.com.


One way local officials show they value their residents’ opinions is to conduct a survey regarding local issues and city services. The City of San Clemente conducts a resident survey every few years to track and improve the delivery of services, generate discussion about community issues, and get feedback on specific policy initiatives the city council is considering.

Article Features Dan Carrigg

Highlights of the 2006 Legislative Year

Dan Carrigg is legislative director for the League and can be reached at carriggd@cacities.org.


Many people thought the Legislature would accomplish little or nothing in 2006, but that was not the case.