This is one of those reflective columns. Please, give me a moment to be candid, maybe more than usual.

As editor of, I’ve covered a great deal of California’s local government news. I’ve also developed hundreds of relationships with those who work for the cities, counties and special districts in California.

The site has played different roles for different people. Some want the daily aggregation of headlines and others come for our commentary. Others just want access to staff reports or a chance to check out the jobs board.

Lately, the feedback has never been louder. The city of Bell has struck a nerve with those in local government, the media and the everyday taxpayers who suddenly seem to care about local government. In turn, it’s been a time of growth for

The month of July capped’s highest readership month ever. Already, August is off the charts, pacing towards 100,000 page views for the month. For our niche audience, that’s pretty incredible.

In addition, has been asked to do a number of interviews regarding local government issues, including an interview with the Los Angeles Times and with Los Angeles TV affiliate, ABC-7. We are in partnership with The Sacramento Bee and their Sacramento Connect feature. This is all in addition to the incredible evolution of other media sites linking to our content.

We’ve also had our frustrations. Running a Web site, despite what Google will tell you, is not an incredibly lucrative business. This endeavor has been a test of patience and a test of nerves. I’ve watched media outlets disband across the nation and have seen the struggle firsthand. Yet, I still have pressed on with the confidence that is innovative enough to succeed.

Our service is free to our readers. Those who work in or with local governments can simply subscribe by entering their email address and clicking through to a headline of interest. The other option is typing into the URL bar. We survive through jobs board ads and the support of our loyal sponsors. has made it through the “I don’t know how we can make it another month” moments. We’ve dealt with slow traffic on furlough Fridays and slow news weeks.

But now, the true vision of the site grows with a surge of readership, a surge of writing contributions from local government officials and a surge in our email subscriber list to 21,000 daily.

As we go, I learn more about what kind of site is. Are we a news site? A blog? A newsletter? Maybe a little bit of everything.

We aggregate California’s relevant local government news so our readers don’t miss a beat. We provide commentary on statewide issues and their effect on our reader’s respective home turf. Perhaps more important than anything, we seek to provide the tools for local government leaders to succeed – including information on the best practices around the state and inventive governance procedures and trends.

Let’s be honest, sometimes our content is sensational – our traffic statistics don’t lie that a scandal often beats a quality conversation regarding sustainability best practices.

But the goal is to give a variety of it all. I wake up especially early each morning to make sure our daily email is waiting for you while you take those first sips of coffee.

I want to personally thank each of our readers, contributors and even those who send me nasty emails. Without you, this whole thing would be quite introspective.

Please, keep helping us along the way. Recommend to your staff, or even those above you, that they should be subscribed to our emails. You can even send them this link. (If your emails seem to being blocked, tell your IT department to free the address from spam restraints.)

Even better, if you know an organization that is looking to market to the decision-makers in cities, counties or special districts, please tell them to email me at or call me at 916.333.5285. Our rates are relatively cheap and our target audience is unbeatable in that area. We’d love the business.

And please, continue to provide me with your feedback and I will promise to listen. We will continue to get better. Keep sending us your writing contributions to publish – they’re informative and much appreciated. If anything, just drop me an email and introduce yourself as a reader.

Mostly though, keep reading.

James Spencer