The 2007-08 Legislature is a special class because former local
government officials now constitute a majority in both the Senate
and Assembly. When these new members took office in January 2007,
they brought fresh ideas and a local perspective to statewide
Joshua W. Shaw is executive director of the California Transit
Association (CTA). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more
information about CTA, visit www.caltransit.org .
Public transit vehicles carry millions of Californians, providing
traffic congestion relief and vital access for residents. But
state policy-makers are not investing adequately in public
transit. Since FY 2001, they have shifted, loaned or just plain
cut $2.94 billion in transit funding.
Cathedral City won a Grand Prize for this project in the Public
Works, Infrastructure and Transportation category of the 2007
Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information
about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.
This column is a service of the Institute for Local Government
(ILG) Ethics Project, which offers resources on public service
ethics for local officials. For more information,
visit www.ca-ilg.org/trust. ILG
thanks the following individuals for their contributions to this
article: Buck Delventhal, San Francisco City Attorney’s Office;
Joe Pannone, Aleshire and Wynder; Richard P. Shanahan,
Bartkiewicz, Kronick & Shanahan; and Louis Leone, Stubbs & Leone.
As the chief executive for a local government agency, I have seen
elected officials become bogged down in the details of various
ethics laws. Instead of examining the proper thing to do in a
specific situation, the focus shifts to whether a certain course
of action will get an official in trouble with the law.