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Features

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Special Recognition for Legislators Who Supported Local Government in 2006

Throughout 2006, many legislators offered assistance to the League or were supportive of city issues in various ways. The following 10 legislators, selected by the League’s lobbying team, are individuals who stood out during the 2006 legislative session for their efforts in working with the League and supporting local government. 

Article Features

2006 Annual Conference Review

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: Randy Bachman, Redding; Ann Erdman, Pasadena; Judy Franz, Santa Monica; Bill Gay, El Centro; Mike Maxfield, Yorba Linda; Mark Mazzaferro, Vallejo; Kevin Melin, Roseville; Bill Polick, County of San Diego; Sue Schlerf, Reno, Nev.; Scott Summerfield, consultant; Tom Manheim, San Jose; and Krista Lemos, University of Minnesota, Crookston. 

Article Features Anna Caballero

Engaging the Community in Salinas: How Residents Saved the Libraries

Faced with a budget deficit and library closures, Salinas residents took a proactive approach.

Article Features Michael G. Colantuono

Metered Utility Rates Are Subject to Proposition 218

The state Supreme Court has determined that metered rates for water, sewer service and government-provided waste collection are “property-related fees” under Proposition 218.

Article Features Robert Locke

How GASB 45 Will Affect Your City or Agency: What You Need to Know

Many cities that have begun implementing the new accounting requirements of GASB 45 have discovered that the results can be shocking. What are your agency’s options?

Article Features Janice Rutherford

Hurricane Katrina’s Lessons for California Cities

As a native Californian, I’m accustomed to the aftermath of earthquakes. I have seen my own belongings cracked and smashed, and concrete turned to powder by the Northridge quake. A friend saw her kitchen knives fly out of their storage block and embed themselves in the opposite wall during the Landers quake in 1992, which had a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale. Despite these experiences, I was not prepared for the devastation I saw along the Gulf Coast in May 2006, when I joined a group of Rotarians on a relief work trip to the town of Pass Christian, Mississippi.

Article Features Jerome Hauer

Television Series Is Fiction, but Chemical Nerve Agent Threat Is Real

For five seasons of Fox’s television series “24,” protagonist Jack Bauer and his colleagues at the Counter-Terrorism Unit have struggled to protect the United States from threats ranging from bio-terrorism to nuclear attack. This program may be great entertainment, but it also reflects real threats that we face in the world today. 

Article Features

California Cities Adopt National League of Cities’ Platform for Strengthening Families

Every day, mayors and city council members are reminded that strong cities are built on a foundation of strong families. Local officials recognize that public safety, economic development, workforce strength and fiscal stability are intricately linked to the well-being of children and families.

Article Features Tracy Petrillo

All Politics Is Local

Tracy Petrillo is director of education and conferences for the League and can be reached at tpetrillo@cacities.org.


Attend the League’s 108th Annual Conference and learn alongside more than 2,000 peers, colleagues and friends. Join us in shaping policies that affect cities and experience renewed excitement for your role in municipal government. Registration is available onsite.

Article Features Brad Rovanpera

CAPIO: The Nurturing Network for Public Information Officers Turns 35

Brad Rovanpera is public information officer for the City of Walnut Creek and can be reached at rovanpera@walnut-creek.org.


It seems like a logical assumption: A government of the people, by the people and for the people should inform the people. But four decades ago, only a smattering of cities in California actually employed full-time public information officers (PIOs) to do just that. Mayors and city managers were largely responsible for disseminating public information, if it was done at all. For most cities, the concept of actually budgeting funds to hire a full-time staff PIO was an unfamiliar one.

Article Features Yvonne Hunter

Resolutions: How the League Makes Policy

Yvonne Hunter is a legislative representative for the League and can be reached at huntery@cacities.org.


Do you have an idea for a new policy direction for the League? Do you want to get cities informed and energized about a particular issue? Is there a late-breaking issue that needs attention? You — or your city, division, department or policy committee — can take that idea and sponsor a resolution based on it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that any half-baked policy idea will suddenly become new League policy. Successful resolutions have a compelling statewide municipal impact.

Article Features Thomas E. Robinson

“Healthy Parks” Program Promotes Healthy Cities

Parks in the City of La Mirada, as well as other communities in Los Angeles County and throughout California, are playing a key role in the battle to reduce the alarming rise in numbers of unfit and obese children and adults.

Article Features Tracy Petrillo

The League of California Cities Annual Conference

In 1898, officials from 13 cities came together to form the League of California Cities. They traveled by train and ferry, riding on 55 miles of double track cable car lines operated under 10 separate franchises in the city of San Francisco, and they bought a choice steak dinner at the Palace Hotel for a dollar.

Article Features Connie A. Busse

Leadership for Healthy Living: Los Angeles Tackles the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity

 A bright beautiful Los Angeles day contrasted recently with some bleak and stunning news -— weight gain by adults in Los Angeles County in the past eight years has been 44 million pounds. This is a gain of six pounds for the average person with one in every five adults in the county now considered obese, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Health survey.

Article Features Margo Reid Brown

Rubberized Asphalt Concrete: When the Rubber Is the Road

Margo Reid Brown is chairperson of the California Integrated Waste Management Board.


California currently generates more than 40 million scrap tires annually. These are tires that have lived out their purpose and can potentially threaten California’s environment and our health if not managed properly. While more than 75 percent of this amount is recycled, the state still faces the challenge of handling more than 10 million surplus tires annually, the majority of which end up in landfills or, in some cases, illegal stockpiles.

Article Features Yvonne Hunter

Eight Important Questions City Officials Should Ask About Flood Control in Their City

Yvonne Hunter is a legislative representative for the League. Numerous individuals from the public, private and nonprofit sectors also contributed to this article, and their assistance was invaluable.


In the aftermath of the horrific floods and devastating damage in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities last year, California is taking a hard look at its own flood management infrastructure and laws. This articlepresents questions city officials should ask about flood issues in their city so they can make informed decisions and be prepared in the event of a flood. These questions are a starting point for discussion and should not be considered all-inclusive or complete.

Article Features Judy CorbettJake Mackenzie

Ahwahnee Water Principles Provide a Blueprint for Ensuring Future Clean Water Supplies

Judy Corbett is executive director of the Local Government Commission (LGC) and can be reached at jcorbett@lgc.org. Jake Mackenzie is a council member for the City of Rohnert Park and can be reached at blumacjazz@aol.com. For more about LGC, visit www.lgc.org.


California’s growing population, $1.4 trillion economy and natural resources all depend on clean, reliable and affordable water. Many cities and counties are facing major challenges related to water pollution and stormwater runoff as well as concerns about whether there is enough reliable water for current and future residents.

Article Features

Locally Made Animated and Documentary Films Inspire and Entertain

The Greenlight Earth Day Film Festival, held in Palo Alto on April 22, 2006, featured animated cartoons, documentaries and dramas that illustrated how individual actions can reduce overall environmental impacts and improve the quality of life for everyone. 

Article Features Tom HendersonJames Hettrick

Loma Linda’s Connected Community Program Sets A New Standard

Tom Henderson writes for Network World and can be reached at thenderson@extremelabs.com.  James Hettrick is director of information systems for the City of Loma Linda and can be reached at jhettrick@lomalinda-ca.gov.


Today, many communities have multiple broadband provider choices. These include phone companies offering DSL, cable TV companies providing broadband cable, wireless providers of Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi mesh hotspots or cellular broadband, and dial-up access services. Each of these vendors can wire a residence or commercial space to receive their services.

Article Features Scott SummerfieldSheri BenninghovenKaren George

How Technology Can Dramatically Improve Customer Service

Scott Summerfield is the former public information officer for the City of Newark and former communications director for the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. Sheri Benninghoven served as the first communications director for the League of California Cities, after working as public information officer for the City of Anaheim. Benninghoven and Summerfield, principals of SAE Communications, now consult with cities on their communications planning and messaging. Karen George is the former public information officer for the cities of Claremont and Fremont and now serves as public information coordinator for the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Anoka, Minn.


Your city probably has an impressive website – and maybe an advanced phone information system, too.  But are you using these electronic tools in a strategic way or just jumping on the “latest and greates” bandwagon?