Local control, or home rule, provides the foundation for city
governance. This article examines the state’s history and the
Legislature’s tradition of meddling in local affairs.
The 311 Customer Service Center operates 24 hours a day, 365 days
a year to provide access to City and County of San Francisco
government information and services. The goal is to assist
Local governments use a wide variety of technology options in their efforts to connect with their communities. While some technology may be costly, many options are reasonably priced and the range…
Local governments can access free resources and borrow equipment,
including keypad polling devices and translation gear, to enhance
public meetings and engage the community.
The issues related to refraining from participation in an agency
decision can be vexing. It may be tempting to abstain because of
concerns about making an unpopular decision or simply not
New resources offer practical tips to enhance cities’ economic prosperity and fiscal health.
Cities are not just the laboratories of democracy; they may well
also be its salvation.
Innovation requires risk-taking — not wild gambles, but
calculated risks. Unless council members and top management
create an environment that encourages “smart” risks, there will
The municipal budget process typically begins in the spring. City
officials and staff can find a wide range of free materials
online to assist in budget creation, financial management and
The issue of when to refrain from participating in an agency
decision can be vexing. This is an area where the law provides
some but not all of the answers.
What impact does the public’s distrust of government officials
have on how people perceive leadership? Why do some unpopular
leaders later achieve prominence while other more popular
Romantic relationships in the public agency workplace raise a
number of ethical issues and carry significant risks. This
article explores the problems such relationships can create for
Approximately 2.5 million “lawful permanent residents” living in
California are eligible to become U.S. citizens. Local officials
can leverage their leadership to encourage naturalization…
Most residents want to know how decisions — particularly budget-related decisions — are made at the local level and how much a particular course of action is going to cost the city and its…
In the wake of the Bell scandal the League condemned the breach
of public trust and took steps to facilitate public access to
critically important city government information, such as the
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission recently
reorganized and — in some instances — relaxed the rules on when a
public official may accept free or discounted travel. The
The competency of both local officials and staff provides a basis
for establishing public trust and confidence. Elements of ethics,
public input and transparency also play a key role.
Artist and speaker Erik Wahl’s performance at the League’s recent annual conference inspired city officials to think creatively about the skills they may have that can be put to work in serving…
The city did something dramatically different with its budget
report to capture the community’s attention about a looming
Many cities are experiencing very painful financial difficulties. Elected city officials grapple with budget challenges nearly every day. But cities are using a number of innovative approaches to…