Ken Hampian is city administrative officer for the City of San
Luis Obispo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.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
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
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’
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 email@example.com.
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.
We are upset with our new agency counsel. She has advised us to
stop purchasing vehicles through our local car dealership, which
is owned by one of our elected officials. We are in a remote
area, and this dealership is the only one within 20 miles (which
is important for servicing vehicles under warranty, for example).
Before the dealership opened four years ago, our staff spent a
great deal of time traveling to the dealer in the next community
to purchase and service cars. And because the dealer is public
minded, the agency usually gets a good discount on products and
William Fulton is president of Solimar Research Group, Inc., and
a council member for the City of Ventura. He is the author of
several landmark books on land use and cities,
including Guide to California Planning, The Reluctant
Metropolis and The Regional
City. Fulton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s one of the most amazing facts I’ve ever heard: California
has been adding more than 1,000 people to the state’s population
every day for almost 70 years.