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.

Article Features

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.