This is Part 1 of a series of stories about tax increases passed throughout California in the November 5 elections. Originally posted at Cal Watchdog. By Adam O’Neal. Earlier this month, local governments throughout California passed more than two dozen […]
Advocates for cash-strapped municipalities want Washington to clean up their mess. Detroit’s July bankruptcy filing, prompted in part by its huge worker-retirement debts, has led to calls for a federal bailout of the beleaguered city—and also, by extension, of retirement […]
When a city is bankrupt, judges have a big say in whose bills will be paid. For now, all eyes are on Detroit and San Bernardino, Calif. Originally posted at GOVERNING. By Frank Shafroth. Two battles over public money promises […]
Former City Councilman Marcelo Co has been at the center of a number of scandals plaguing the East Riverside County community of Moreno Valley. On Tuesday, authorities reported that Co has agreed to plead guilty to a federal bribery charge […]
The Communities for a Better Environment—an Oakland-based nonprofit environmental watchdog group—filed a lawsuit in the Alameda County Superior Court on Monday, in an effort to halt the establishment of a new crematorium in East Oakland.
The group is concerned about the toxins that will be released into the air by the crematorium, alleging that East Oakland is already polluted enough thanks to its proximity to major freeways and the Oakland airport.[...]
A final settlement has been reached in a legal challenge presented by the City of Cerritos – leading a consortium of 47 local agencies – against the County of Los Angeles regarding the charging of property tax administration fees.[...]
Originally posted at CSAC Bulletin.
Surely you’ve heard the saying “when the state sneezes, local governments catch a cold.” When it comes to municipal bankruptcies, cities and counties across the country may begin to experience flu-like symptoms as federal judges in California and Michigan begin to chart the courses of three high-profile city bankruptcies in Stockton, San Bernardino, and Detroit.[...]
Editor’s Note: the following is a Police Bulletin from Best Best & Krieger. Originally posted here.
Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuana Program Do Not Preempt a Municipality’s Police Power to Prohibit the Cultivation of Marijuana[...]
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) recently relaxed the rules on when a public official may accept free or discounted travel. The article below discusses the change and some tips for public agencies to consider.
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Originally posted at the Institute for Local Government.[...]
Originally posted at Cal Watchdog.
By Dave Roberts.
There have been a number of efforts to increase the tax on sugary beverages in California in recent years, with little to show for it so far. But the next battle in the soda tax war, in San Francisco next November, could make or break the sour-on-sugar movement.
Proponents argue that increasing the tax on sodas by one or two cents per ounce will prevent obesity, thereby saving millions of people from diseases like diabetes, and the government millions of dollars in health costs. Opponents consider it a Nanny State tax grab that will do nothing except transfer more money from the people to the government.[...]
Originally posted at Public Sector Inc.
By Steve Malanga.
A recent story in the New York Times noted that Stockton was exiting bankruptcy and returning to solvency but without addressing its crushing pensions debt. What exactly does that mean in terms of the city’s budget? The Times story doesn’t quite say, but it’s easy enough to see from Stockton’s budget documents.
Pension debt has remained prominent on Stockton’s balance sheet. In 2009, before the city declared a fiscal emergency, it spent $27.9 million paying Calpers, the California retirement system, and another $6.9 million on pension obligation debt. Since then those Calpers payments have risen to $33 million in fiscal 2012, while the debt service on the bonds increased to $7.2 million. Pension spending rose from 21 percent payroll to 31 percent for public safety workers, and from 13 percent to 17 percent for everyone else.(click chart at right to expand)[...]
Originally posted at CA Fwd.
By Cheryl Getuiza.
Tis the season of giving and one Fresno County Supervisor has taken that statement to heart. After a surprise pay raise, Supervisor Andreas Borgeas has decided contribute said pay raise to the county.
“The pay raise caught me off guard when I heard about it,” said Supervisor Andreas Borgeas. “It’s pretty disturbing for a number of reasons.”
You see, Fresno County Supervisors’ pay checks are tied to Superior Court Judges. So, if a decision is made, in Sacramento, to give those judges a bump in pay, it happens automatically for those on the local county level.[...]
Originally posted at Voice of San Diego.
By Liam Dillon.
Monday’s long-awaited discussion on San Diego’s illogical sidewalk rules ended with a promise for another long wait.
Council members on the city’s infrastructure committee pledged to deal with the policy once a team of engineering students finishes walking San Diego’s 5,000 miles of sidewalks to evaluate their condition. Currently, the sidewalk rules give neither the city nor property owners incentive to fix busted sidewalks.[...]
Originally posted at Capitol Weekly.
By Samantha Gallegos.
Property theft in California increased in the first year of correctional realignment, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California highlighting the policy’s possible effect on future crime rates.[...]