Posted August 4, 2009

Stepping in horse manure is one thing, having it contaminate your water is another.

In an effort to protect the environment and the health of its residents, the city of Santa Clarita has partnered with Waste Management in a program to properly recycle horse manure.

Through this program, the city protects against harmful urban run-off contamination and local groundwater pollution.

The program works with a mandate at the state and local level to recycle 50 percent of all generated greenwaste.

Protestors Rally in Support of Prayer at City Council Meetings

The Lodi City Council begins each of its weekly meetings with a prayer. But in May that tradition became controversial, when the Freedom from Religion Foundation claimed that those prayers need to stop.

A rally will be held on Thursday to support the Council’s continuing of prayer.    More than 5300 have signed an online petition to the Mayor and City Council of Lodi to keep the use of prayer in meetings.

Video can be seen here:

Joan Phillipe Talks About Leaving Position of City Manager

We broke news last week about Joan Phillipe leaving as the City Manager of Colfax. She’ll be replaced be former Placer County Supervisor Bruce Kranz who will serve as Interim City Manager.

After announcing in March that the city would not renew Phillipe’s contract as it was written, the two sides agreed last week to end contract negotiations.

In an e-mail exchange, Phillipe told me it was a mutual decision. On her experiences with the small city outside of Sacramento, she said she was pleased with her accomplishments including the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant.

Phillipe said she didn’t have anything lined up for her personal future at the moment, but is looking at several options.

She said of Kranz: “Bruce brings to the city a tremendous amount of background and knowledge of the community having been the Placer County Supervisor for this area.  His contacts at the state and federal level and throughout the area will be an asset that will serve the city well.“

Even Barn Cats Are Looking for Work …

As if there wasn’t already enough competition to find work in this current economy.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services is seeking homes for feral cats, which they claim will work as rodent control in barns or safe ranch habitats.

Interesting tidbits for the blog? E-mail James Spencer at

Posted July 31, 2009

Wednesday’s posting of a video of a young women making a fool of herself at a Santa Cruz City Council meeting was incredibly popular with our readers.

Inspired by that popularity, enjoy more public comment bloopers in these videos.

This one includes our favorite young lady once again, but includes a deeper montage of recent public comment at Santa Cruz City Council and the County Board of Supervisors. Pay particular attention to the guy at the 2:01 mark of the video.

This great montage of City Council meetings includes a dental hygiene section.

If you missed this video in our “It Could be Worse” section, check it out here:

The following link is raw video of a fuming Allen Fennell, the City Manager of Braswell, Ga., as he irately confronts a news reporter.

The small community is dealing with a dispute on the spending of taxpayers’ money.

Posted July 25, 2009

One of our writers here at passed along this diamond in the rough. The following is a great example of what City Council members and County Supervisors have to deal with on a consistent basis.

It’s video from the public comment portion of a Santa Cruz City Council meeting in May of 2008. This evokes great memories of Miss South Carolina in the Miss Teen USA Contest in 2007.

She makes so many great points. It’s amazing the Council didn’t think of this before.

Alex Leo’s piece about the video on The Huffington Post picked out some favorite quotes from the young lady in the video, including this gem:

I think that we should make a perfect pesticide for the crops but it’s good for people and healthy and keeps the crops preserved too because we need the food because it’s food and stuff.

The “thanks, now go away please” style response from the City Council is a nice little highlight as well.

See things like this? Please e-mail

Posted July 24, 2009

The Sacramento Bee posted just after 3 p.m. that state lawmakers have approved budget fixes.

The plan will borrow heavily from local governments. Local Governments have vowed to sue over parts of the plan they call illegal.

Posted July 24, 2009

A brief AP News Alert went out Friday morning just after 6 a.m. that the California Senate has approved the budget plan to close the state’s $26 billion deficit. Now, legislation goes to state Assembly. ran an editorial on Thursday, calling for Legislature to vote no on the budget. Looks like it’s too late.

We’ll continue watching this throughout the day and keep you updated on the local government fallout.

Posted July 23, 2009

A sign displayed at City Hall in Pittsburg reads, “Wanted: For Grand Theft of $17.5 Million and Extortion of HUTA Funds.”

The blog also notes the “Big Five” is refered to as the “Gang of Five” around Pittsburg City Hall.

The blog note in the Political Blotter section of the Contra Costa Times can be read here.

Posted July 22, 2009

Only Hollywood Roosters Shine in LA
Roosters … they’re so Hollywood.

The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance earlier this week that will allow just one rooster per property.

Of course, exceptions have been made for film-star roosters. Yes, those leading role roosters continue to get it all.

Thanks to famous rooster superstars such as Foghorn Leghorn and the cast of Chicken Run, a golden road has been paved for all rooster stars.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood-bound birds – roosters used for film and television – are spared the limit with a permit.

The goal of the public safety ordinance is to address nuisance complaints, the spread of disease and to battle cockfighting. Fines are $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense and $250 for the third offense.

“Little Jerry” from Seinfeld, was unavailable for comment.

Oakland to Make Money Off Green?

The City of Oakland continues to be acknowledged for “Going Green.” So it may not come as a surprise that the city will be the first in the United States to have a business tax category for marijuana merchants.

Voting closed on Tuesday to pass Measure F, which will impose a special tax on sales of medical marijuana in local dispensaries.

Time to Figure it Out: Just Delete the E-mail

Back in March, PublicCEO ran an editorial about the poor decision-making of former Los Alamitos mayor, Dean Grose, who sent a racially derogatory e-mail depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons.

He made a colossal misjudgment and paid for it with his job.

Now, another prominent city official has disgraced his position. Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago sent e-mail to city staff and members of the community containing racist jokes aimed at Presdent Barack Obama.

Frago told the Modesto Bee that he has no regrets sending out the e-mails and didn’t mean them to show any disrespect or cause any harm.

But the bottom line is this: If you are a leader, act like it.

Fargo isn’t racist, but he shows terrible judgment. As a public official, you simply need to be smarter than that. That’s what is scary.

To read more about public officials acting out of line, click here.

Naked Mayor?

This sounds like more of a California thing. The “Naked Cowboy” of New York’s Time Square is setting his sights on the position of New York City’s mayor.

No news if Michael Bloomberg has any interest in stripping down and playing guitar. Stayed tuned.

James Spencer can be reached at