The past half-dozen years have not been kind to local government agencies in California. Amid declining revenues, it should come as no surprise that many leaders throughout California have pursued—or at the very least considered—the idea of consolidating core services. […]
By Steven M. Anderson and Lucas I. Quass, Best Best & Krieger LLP Like private development, public projects must frequently obtain and comply with a variety of state and federal regulatory permits. Too often developers, under pressure to complete projects as […]
Originally posted at CalPensions. By Ed Mendel. A federal appeals court last week gave Sonoma County retirees another chance to show that an implied contract gave them vested rights to retiree health care, preventing the benefit from being cut to […]
Originally posted at East Bay Citizen. By Steven Tavares. During one of the most heartbreaking, riveting and longest Alameda County Board of Supervisors meetings in recent memory, a long-discussed proposal to approve the early stages of a court-ordered treatment program […]
City leaders are cracking down on repugnant behaviors in the library, amounting to a clampdown effort that some are saying largely targets San Francisco’s homeless population.
Earlier this year Mayor Ed Lee encouraged the SF Library Commission to institute penalties for those who violate the code of conduct. Previously, patrons who caused a ruckus among the stacks would be dealt with by receiving a stern, yet often fruitless verbal warning.[...]
Originally posted at Cal Watchdog.
By Wayne Lusvardi.
It is being widely touted in the media that water conservation obviously not only saves water but also saves energy. Water is free, but the cost to capture, convey and treat it is not.
It’s worth asking, and answering: Which sector has the greatest potential for water energy conservation?
- Municipal water;
- Agricultural water;
- Environmental water.
Originally posted at East Bay Citizen.
By Steven Tavares.
A resolution package giving Oakland renters some power to limit landlord’s ability to pass on capital improvement costs to tenants was moved in its entirety to the full City Council next week. A motion by Councilmember Libby Schaaf also allows for landlord and tenants groups to continue refining the proposal over the next week.[...]
Originally posted at New Geography.
By Joel Kotkin.
Third-generation venture capitalist Tim Draper believes he has a solution for California’s problems that will make the Silicon Valley safe for its wealthy: secession. In a recent interview, Draper suggested that California be divided into six states, including one dominated by the Valley and its urban annex, San Francisco.
By jettisoning California’s deeply troubled components – the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, Los Angeles – the Silicon Valleyites can create their own enclave, where incomes will be far higher – $63,288 per capital compared with the $46,477 for the whole state. If adopted, Draper’s proposal would mean our self-styled cognitive leaders wouldn’t have to deal with interior California’s massive poverty, double-digit unemployment, farmer demands for scarce water supplies or manufacturers seeking reasonable energy prices.
Yet, for some in the Valley, Draper’s proposals don’t go far enough.[...]
Amid recent allegations of police brutality, trials of misconduct and departmental cutbacks, it can seem at times like there is little positive news surrounding law enforcement in California.
Readers of PublicCEO know that the vast majority of our law enforcement officials are hardworking and honorable folks; a recent heartwarming story from Humboldt County only proves this to be the case.[...]
Originally posted at the Project for Public Space.
By Matt Bradley.
Widely read articles published recently in The New York Times Magazine and The Guardian affirmed the importance of detailed observation and measurement tools developed by PPS for analyzing public spaces and update their application to the digital age. The Guardian piece, “Cities and their psychology: how neuroscience affects urban planning,” describes a set of experiments using sophisticated head-mounted displays and precise motion tracking to create 3D models of people-friendly streetscapes.
The Times story, “Technology is not driving us apart,” includes the counterintuitive research finding that people using cell phones are five times more likely to linger in a public space.
The past half-dozen years have not been kind to local government agencies in California. Amid declining revenues, it should come as no surprise that many leaders throughout California have pursued—or at the very least considered—the idea of consolidating core services.
Fire department mergers are particularly attractive to the fiscally prudent. There is significant potential for cost savings through reductions in service redundancies by organizing to provide standardized regional responses.
Given the interest surrounding these consolidation arrangements, I sat down with the state’s foremost fire merger expert, Chief Stewart Gary. Chief Gary is the Fire Services Principal for Citygate Associates, a professional consultancy based in Folsom that provides a wide range of services to local governments.[...]
For nearly three months, members of the Merced chapter of the Brown Berets have been recording the actions of police as they pull over citizens or respond to emergency calls.[...]
By Steven Maviglio.
The nation’s largest association representing public pension systems is weighing in on the battle over pensions in California, today filing an amicus brief in the Sacramento County Superior Court in support of state Attorney General Kamala Harris and her title and summary for San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s ballot initiative designed to eliminate constitutional protections for California’s public employee retirement benefits.[...]
Originally posted at Halfway to Concord.
By Richard Eber.
It has become plain that California mafia tactics are being used to impose costly mandates on taxpayers and local communities. Paying for protection, and its first cousin racketeering, are terms which describe the manor for which a criminal element extorts money from a business in order to receive monetary considerations in return. One would think this type of activity would be used only by organized crime, but this apparently is not entirely the case.
The State of California has passed laws in the legislature to take away sovereignty from local communities which fits the textbook description of racketeering.[...]