The CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government has announced three educational courses for April. Promoted as a practical, professional source of continuing education for California Counties, the Institute’s classes will be held in Sacramento and will include lunches. The dates are April 13, 20, and 26th.

When Things Go Bad: Managing Crises from Realignment — Friday, April 13
With the 2011 public safety realignment comes broad collaboration among county agencies, community organizations and the courts. There also comes the likelihood that some things will go wrong. Is your County prepared? How will all the partners come together quickly when bad things happen? This course will help you be prepared. A specific set of checklists and steps will be examined to prepare your communications response, including gathering the right set of officials, designing strategies and tactics which target affected audiences, preparing key messages which tell the county’s story, and delivering your response via the news media and other important communications vehicles. A case study with Napa County Community Corrections Partnership is highlighted. Counties will have an opportunity to begin work on their own plans.

Instructors:  Sheri Benninghoven, APR is President of SAE Communications and former Communications Director for the League of California Cities. Scott Summerfield is an expert in public agency strategic communications and former Public Information Officer for the City of Newark.

Managing Conflict (even Hostility) and Disagreement in Comfort — Friday, April 20
Conflicts and disagreements are a fact of life in counties. They can contribute to better outcomes or can lead to an escalating situation. This course helps county supervisors and executives identify constructive approaches to positively managing conflict whether from the dais, in a meeting, or in one-on-one encounters. Participants develop tools to quickly analyze and respond to difficult situations and create practical, positive outcomes.

Instructor:  Dr. Laree Kiely is president of the Kiely Group, which specializes in organizational effectiveness, and a professor at the USC Marshall School of Business. She regularly appears on PBS in her management communications series and is a popular CSAC Institute instructor.

Financing California Counties: A History of Funding Sources  Thursday, April 26
Have you found yourself overwhelmed trying to understand the financial reports from county programs? Or worse yet, trying to explain county finances and revenues to your constituents? This course provides an in-depth examination of the federal, state and local county funding sources and how those funds are typically spent. The class examines the history and consequences of major legislation and propositions in county funding streams over the last 50 years, including: Propositions 13, 172 and 1A, Realignment (1991 and 2011), ERAF, VLF triple flip, CalWORKS and the impact of state budgets on counties.

Instructor:  Diane Cummins is Special Advisor to the Governor on State and Local Realignment. For over 30 years she served in key Senate and Gubernatorial advisory roles on budget and fiscal issues that shape the county-state financial relationship.

All courses are held in Sacramento from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Institute courses are $75/person (includes materials and lunch). Discounts apply for multiple registrations.

To register for courses or to learn more about the Institute, credential programs, and courses, please visit, or email and request an informational packet.