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AUGUST 2018 |

The Monthly Magazine of the League of California Cities®


Join the League in Long Beach: 2018 Annual Conference & Expo Preview p.10 Loaded Questions: Local Regulation of Businesses Selling Firearms p.41 Strategies to Manage Increasing Pension Costs p.27

Meaningful transportation improvements Keeping your community moving through innovative solutions that work

Omni-Means is now GHD

CONTENTS Calendar of League Events 2  3 Executive Director’s Message  November Ballot Measure Attacks Bridge and Road Safety: Mobilize Now

By Carolyn Coleman

 roposition 6 would repeal the Road P Repair and Accountability Act.

7 City Forum

Invest in Your City by Participating in League Policy Development

By Eva Spiegel

 elp shape the statewide policies H that directly affect your city.

Join the League in Long 10 

Beach to Celebrate Its 120th Anniversary: 2018 Annual Conference & Expo Preview

By Katie Pebler

 earn the latest and hear speakers L with inspiring ideas.

Strategies to Manage 27 

Increasing Pension Costs

By Steven M. Berliner

 xplore ways to tackle this E daunting task.

Newly Proposed CEQA 31 

Guidelines Are Coming to Your Town

By Charity Schiller

 ey facts and trends city officials K need to understand.

South San Francisco Gives 35  Youngsters’ Literacy a Big Lift

Junior Beach Runners Focus 37  on Fitness in Long Beach

 essons from one of the worst fire L years in California history.

Winning the War for Talent: 19  The Elected Official’s Role

By Frank Benest

Talent is mobile and in short supply.

Keys to Successful Local 23 

Sales Tax Measures: Competent Leadership, Community Engagement and Experienced Advice

By Jared Boigon

 ips to make your case to T voters effectively.

Loaded Questions: Local

Regulation of Businesses Selling Firearms

By T. Peter Pierce

 look at local zoning and safety A regulations that cities may adopt and apply to firearms retailers.

California Wildland Fires: The New Normal

 he city is changing the lives of T local youth at risk for obesity.

41 Legal Notes

Expo Exhibitors p.13

Before, During and After 16 

 n innovative program targets A young children.

Job Opportunities 43  Youths DARE to Pay It 50  Forward in Tracy

 igh school students serve as H mentors for younger students.

Setting the Standard for Cooperative Purchasing Solutions The U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance is a nonprofit purchasing cooperative that reduces the cost of goods and services by aggregating the purchasing power of public agencies nationwide. » Best overall government agency pricing » Competitively solicited by a lead public agency » Free registration — no user fees or commitments

Visit the U.S. Communities Zone at the League’s 2018 Annual Conference and Expo and discover products and solutions for your city.

Professional Services 51  Directory

 Cover photo: LordRunar

Sponsored by


President Rich Garbarino Council Member South San Francisco

1400 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 658-8200 Fax (916) 658-8240

First Vice President Jan Arbuckle Council Member Grass Valley

Second Vice President Randon Lane Council Member Murrieta

Immediate Past President JoAnne Mounce Mayor pro Tem Lodi

Executive Director Carolyn Coleman

For a complete list of the League board of directors, visit

Magazine Staff Editor in Chief Jude Hudson, Hudson + Associates (916) 658-8234; email: Managing Editor Norman Coppinger (916) 658-8277; email: Contributing Editor Eva Spiegel (916) 658-8228; email: Advertising Sales Manager Pam Maxwell-Blodgett (916) 658-8256; email: Administrative Assistant Savannah Cobbs (916) 658-8223; email: Contributors Rony Berdugo Dan Carrigg Dane Hutchings Rebecca Inman Melissa Kuehne Corrie Manning Bismarck Obando Jason Rhine Jennifer Whiting Patrick Whitnell

leaguevents SEPTEMBER 12

Policy Committee Meetings, Long Beach The League’s policy committees review issues of interest to cities statewide and make recommendations to the League board of directors.


Legal Advocacy Committee Meeting, Long Beach The committee reviews and recommends friend-of-the-court efforts on cases of significant statewide interest to California cities.


League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo, Long Beach The conference offers dozens of educational sessions, numerous professional development opportunities, hundreds of exhibits and a chance to participate in the League’s policymaking activities.


Associate Editors Carol Malinowski Carolyn Walker


Fire Chiefs’ Leadership Seminar, San Francisco The seminar covers challenging leadership topics such as succession planning, labor relations, emergency response, late-breaking issues and more.

Design Taber Creative Group Advertising Design ImagePoint Design


For photo credits, see page 44. Western City (ISSN 0279-5337) is published monthly by the League of California Cities, 1400 K St., Sacramento, CA 95814. Subscriptions: $39.00/1 year; $63.00/2 years; student: $26.50; foreign: $52.00; single copies: $4.00, including sales tax. Entered as periodical mail January 30, 1930, at the Post Office, Los Angeles, CA 90013, under the Act of April 13, 1879. Periodical postage paid at Sacramento, Calif.




Postmaster: Send address changes to Western City, 1400 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Western City Trademark Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. ©2018 League of California Cities. All rights reserved. Material may not be reprinted without written permission. This issue is Volume XCIV, No. 8.









Supplied by Community Energy

Municipal Finance Institute, San Francisco This conference provides essential information for city officials and staff involved in fiscal planning for municipalities.


City Clerks’ New Law & Elections Seminar, San Francisco The seminar covers laws affecting elections as well as other aspects of clerks’ responsibilities.

Event and registration information is available at For the latest information on League conferences and events, follow us on Twitter @CaCitiesLearn. For legislative and policy updates and more, follow @CaCities. Follow Western City @WesternCityMag. Join us on Facebook.

FSC ® is an independent, not-for-profit organization that promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management worldwide. Products with the FSC label are independently certified to ensure that they come from forests managed to meet the needs of present and future generations.


League of California Cities

Executive Director’s Message by Carolyn Coleman

November Ballot Measure Attacks Bridge and Road Safety: Mobilize Now In 2017, we celebrated the passage of the state’s unprecedented $5.4 billion per year transportation funding package — the Road Repair and Accountability Act — that includes $1.5 billion in new funding for cities and counties to invest in streets, roads and bridges. It provides the first significant, stable and ongoing increase in state transportation funding in more than two decades. And it doubled the amount of road maintenance funds available for every city to fix our local streets and roads.

Phenomenal Effort Required to Secure Funding This achievement was over a decade in the making, with the League and the California State Association of Counties documenting the declining conditions of our roads and bridges through a biennial study of local street and road conditions. We used this study to make the case for more funding to residents and policymakers. Our residents also experienced the decline firsthand, encountering more potholes and cracks every year while incurring an estimated $762 per year in related vehicle repairs.

Ignoring the problem only made things worse because it costs eight times more to rebuild a road than to properly maintain it. In the world of politics where differences of opinion are the norm, we encountered widespread consensus on the desperate condition of our infrastructure — it was deteriorating and getting worse every year. In addition to providing much-needed funding to address the conditions of our transportation system, the funding package also wisely included a constitutional measure, which became Proposition 69, that would prevent the Legislature from diverting these funds to non-transportation uses. In June 2018, over 80 percent of the voters in the state voted to support this measure. With the funding package now law, city officials in every region of the state wasted no time and went to work identifying and prioritizing projects for these new resources, which are already flowing into their communities. Currently, resources made


Western City, August 2018


November Ballot Measure Attacks Bridge and Road Safety: Mobilize Now, continued

available by this package are funding more than 6,500 vitally needed projects that are underway in every community — improving road safety, upgrading bridges and overpasses to make them seismically sound and structurally safe, easing traffic congestion, fixing potholes and improving public transportation. For a list of current projects, visit

Irresponsible Ballot Measure Threatens to Eliminate FUNDING FOR These Projects These projects are now under attack. While the League will be focused between now and November on generating public support for the housing bond (Prop. 1 and Prop. 2) and water infrastructure investment (Prop. 3) measures on the November ballot, we are also now focused on a serious threat on the ballot that would eliminate funding for these transportation projects. That measure is Prop. 6, and it is nothing more than a baseless attack on bridge and road safety in our communities.

What Happens if Proposition 6 Passes Prop. 6 would repeal the Road Repair and Accountability Act and eliminate funding for transportation projects like the 6,500 such efforts now underway in your communities. It qualified for the November ballot with funding largely from partisan politicians who have no backup plan to fix our bridges and roads if this dangerous proposition passes. We cannot let that happen.


League of California Cities

Our state has more than 1,600 structurally unsafe bridges and overpasses, and thousands of miles of crumbling roads threaten the safety of every driver. Furthermore, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,600 fatalities occurred on California roads in 2016, many of them caused by poor road conditions. Having to eliminate these types of projects if this measure passes will make our roads, bridges and transportation system more dangerous and lead to more traffic accidents and fatalities. It is imperative that we defeat this measure.

What’s Being Done to Stop the Attack on Bridge and Road Safety The League joined forces with the California State Association of Counties, the Alliance for Jobs and the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California to form the No on Prop. 6 campaign committee earlier this year. The sole purpose of the committee is to build voter opposition to this measure. Other organizations have joined our coalition, including the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the California Chamber of Commerce, California Special Districts Association, firefighters, paramedics, local transportation agencies, cities, counties, environmental groups and business and labor organizations throughout the state. Governor Jerry Brown is also actively involved in our campaign to stop the attack on bridge and road safety.

What You Can Do Besides these organizations coordinating efforts to stop this attack, our success depends on the engagement of every city official — on their own time and without the use of public resources — to educate their residents about what is at stake. Talk to as many people as you can reach — on your own time and without using public resources. Explain how the measure will set your community back by stopping planned projects to improve safety in your community from moving forward, and urge them to say “No” to this measure. The League’s regional public affairs managers can also help you with talking points and other tips. Their support is key to your success, and they are very involved in this effort. On your own time, find tools and information at www.cacities. org/NoProp6 to help you inform your residents about how to vote against the attack on your community’s bridge and road safety. Thanks so much for your commitment to our common agenda to build better cities and a stronger California. No one can doubt our ability to make a difference when we pull together and focus on the goal line. That is exactly what it will take to defeat Prop. 6, and I am confident that together we can do it. ■

Related Resources For tips on the types of activities permissible by law, see “Ballot Measure Activities and Public Resources” at Visit to read these articles about transportation issues and priorities. “Transportation Funding, Transparency and Accountability” June 2018 “Pushing Back on Infrastructure Issues: Key to Our Local and State Economies” May 2018 “Local Streets and Roads Remain a League Priority in 2018” February 2018 “Transportation Funding Will Begin Flowing Soon” August 2017 “Local Infrastructure Conditions: A Crisis Situation” February 2017

Prop. 6 would repeal the Road Repair and Accountability Act and eliminate FUNDING FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS LIKE the 6,500 SUCH EFFORTS NOW underway in your communities. We cannot let that happen.

“In Desperate Need: California’s Crumbling Streets and Roads” February 2017 “Grappling With the Challenges of Transportation Infrastructure Financing” February 2015 “New Study Reveals Nearly $7.3 Billion Needed Annually to Make Streets and Roads Safe” February 2015 “New Report on Roads: Fix Problems Now or Pay More Later” February 2013 “The Impact of Our Crumbling Infrastructure on California’s Economy” February 2013 “Assessment Shows California’s Local Streets and Roads at Risk Statewide” February 2010

Western City, August 2018


Thousands of Public Entities. Tens of Billions of Taxpayer Dollars.

Safe, Smart, Flexible Solutions for Managing Public Funds. Across the United States, thousands of local and state governmental organizations use the Insured Cash Sweep®, or ICS®, and CDARS® services to access multi-million-dollar FDIC insurance through a single bank relationship, safeguard taxpayer money, keep the amount of their deposit in the community to support local lending, and eliminate the burden of ongoing collateral tracking. What could be easier? See if your bank offers ICS and/or CDARS, or find one of the thousands that do. Placement of funds through the ICS or CDARS service is subject to the terms, conditions, and disclosures in the service agreements, including the Deposit Placement Agreement (“DPA”). Limits apply and customer eligibility criteria may apply. In the ICS savings option, program withdrawals are limited to six per month. Although funds are placed at destination banks in amounts that do not exceed the FDIC standard maximum deposit insurance amount (“SMDIA”), a depositor’s balances at the relationship institution that places the funds may exceed the SMDIA (e.g., before ICS or CDARS settlement for a deposit or after ICS or CDARS settlement for a withdrawal) or be ineligible for FDIC insurance (if the relationship institution is not a bank). As stated in the DPA, the depositor is responsible for making any necessary arrangements to protect such balances consistent with applicable law. If the depositor is subject to restrictions on placement of its funds, the depositor is responsible for determining whether its use of ICS or CDARS satisfies those restrictions. When deposited funds are exchanged on a dollar-for-dollar basis with other banks in the network, the relationship institution can use the full amount of a deposit placed through ICS or CDARS for local lending, satisfying some depositors’ local investment goals/mandates. Alternatively, with a depositor’s consent, and in states where this is allowed by law, the relationship institution may choose to receive fee income instead of deposits from other banks. Under these circumstances, deposited funds would not be available for local 05/18 lending. ICS, Insured Cash Sweep, and CDARS are registered service marks of Promontory Interfinancial Network, LLC.

Voting delegates from cities statewide ask questions about a pending resolution at the General Assembly during the League’s annual conference.

Invest in Your City by Participating

in League Policy Development The League’s strength lies in its members, and city officials’ voices are integral to shaping League policy on issues affecting local government in California. Busy city officials can choose from numerous ways to engage in League advocacy efforts and contribute on a statewide level to major policy debates with implications for California cities. Activities range from helping your city take positions on legislation and contacting your legislator to serving on a policy committee or the League board of directors to establish the organization’s positions and direction. City officials who participate in the League’s policy development and advocacy join forces with their colleagues in cities throughout the state and the League’s team of professional lobbyists in Sacramento.

Learn About the Issues Education is the first step in preparing to participate in policy development because municipal policymaking is complex. The League’s communication channels keep city officials up to date on developing issues, legislative updates, breaking news and upcoming policy briefings. CA Cities Advocate, the League’s weekly electronic newsletter, features articles on important bills, calls to action and upcoming policy briefings, professional development conferences and specialized webinars. Western City, the League’s monthly magazine, provides in-depth analysis of key issues affecting cities, with articles written by experts in state policy and California municipal services.

by Eva Spiegel

The League website,, offers extensive resources on a wide range of issues that cover every facet of city operations. In addition to conducting its regular conferences geared toward the major municipal professional departments, the League hosts legislative webinars. These either address a single bill or topic or cover all priority legislation, such as the pre-Legislative Action Day webinar in the spring and the summer bill briefing webinar that prepare city officials to engage on legislation in the final weeks of the legislative session. Division meetings provide another opportunity to learn about issues of importance to cities. And the League’s regional public affairs managers frequently give a legislative update or policy briefing as part of monthly events in their divisions.


Eva Spiegel is communications director for the League and can be reached at

Western City, August 2018


Invest in Your City by Participating in League Policy Development, continued

Fiercely Protecting Our Clients Since 1927 Public Law Labor & Employment Litigation Education Law Real Estate & Business Construction Law Environmental Law Insurance Law

Law offices throughout California | 800.333.4297 |

Every one of our city officials can make a difference.

Use Your Voice to Influence Legislation Throughout the legislative cycle, the League calls on city officials to work with the organization to support or oppose legislation and policy proposals. The unified voices of California cities have power — effective advocacy by League members moves positive bills forward and stops legislation that would harm cities and Californians. The regional public affairs managers send action alerts on the most urgent issues to mobilize League members. Action alerts also go out through the League’s Advocacy App during key times when city officials are asked to contact their legislators immediately to weigh in on pending legislation. Taking action involves a combination of phone calls and letters to your legislators to explain the ways in which a particular bill would affect your city, using real-life examples and data. The League creates sample letters and talking points that you can tailor to reflect your city’s experience. You can track legislation and locate the League’s position letters and sample letters on legislation at billsearch by entering a bill number into the search engine.

Annual Conference Resolutions League members consider policy positions proposed by member cities each year during the General Assembly at the League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo. Cities put forward resolutions in advance to be considered by League policy committees and, ultimately, the voting delegates who represent each city at the General Assembly. July 14 was the deadline to submit resolutions for consideration at the 2018 conference, but city officials can still be part of the policy process this year by representing their city as a voting delegate. Each city can designate one voting delegate and two alternates. The voting delegate form is due to the League by Aug. 31, 2018. Learn more at ACResDirections.


League of California Cities

Resolutions to address late-breaking issues may be introduced by petition at the annual conference. To qualify, a petitioned resolution must be signed by 10 percent of the voting delegates and submitted at least 24 hours before the beginning of the General Assembly. All qualified petitioned resolutions are forwarded to the General Assembly for consideration. For more information, visit

Join a Policy Committee and Help Make Recommendations to the Board One of the most effective ways to participate in policy development is by joining one of the League’s seven standing policy committees for: • Community Services; • Environmental Quality; • Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations; • Housing, Community and Economic Development; • Public Safety; • Revenue and Taxation; and • Transportation, Communication and Public Works. Each year, these policy committees bring together over 350 elected and appointed city officials to review legislation, debate issues and make policy recommendations to the League board of directors. Participating city officials contribute their expertise, experience and perspectives to these discussions. Policy committees meet up to four times a year, and the meeting locations typically rotate between Northern and Southern California. Because policy committee members comprise city officials who are appointed by their divisions, departments and the League president, there are several ways to serve on a committee that matches your interests. Appointments for the upcoming year’s policy committees occur each fall between October and mid-December, so now is the time to consider a committee

above The

League offers numerous ways to participate in policy activities, including voting on policy resolutions at the General Assembly, left.

and seek an appointment. Divisions appoint two members to each committee. Departments appoint one member to each committee. The League president may also appoint up to 16 members to each policy committee.

Serve on the Board and Become a Leader in Shaping Statewide Policy Consider becoming a member of the League board of directors if you are interested in making a major contribution by taking action and determining final positions on important legislation, policy proposals and qualified ballot measures. The board attracts city officials who often have been active for several years in the organization and have experience either on policy committees or in their divisions and municipal department activities. This previous experience prepares them for the high-level policy discussions and debates during which board members take action that sets the organization’s direction. A city official can pursue several paths to become a member of the League board of directors. The board comprises members from each of the 16 divisions, 11 municipal departments, the mayors (or mayors’ designees) of the 10 largest cities by population and 12 at-large positions. At least one of the at-large positions is held by a city official who represents a small city with a population of 10,000 or fewer residents. In addition, city officials who serve on the National League of Cities Board of Directors have a seat on the League board.

If you are interested in representing your division on the board, talk with your regional public affairs manager to find out how your division handles these appointments. Departments hold elections for their League board representative. Each year, six at-large director positions become vacant with notification going out to city officials in the spring to apply.

City Officials Are Key to the League’s Influence on Statewide Policy This year the League celebrates its 120th anniversary. The organization’s longevity is testament to the power of elected and appointed city officials working together to ensure that legislators and lawmakers take city priorities into consideration when passing legislation. The League’s inclusive policymaking process brings as many voices as possible to the table as part of effectively advocating for California cities. Because there are so many different ways to help shape policy, the League encourages all members to contribute and help advocate with its team of professional lobbyists. The League’s strength lies in its numbers and the unified voices of California cities. Every one of our city officials can make a difference by helping to shape the statewide policies that make a critical difference in the quality of life for our residents and communities. Invest in the future of your city by getting involved with the League’s advocacy and policymaking activities. ■

Western City, August 2018


20 18

Join the League in Long

Celebrate Its

Annual Conference & Expo Preview

Next month, California city officials will gather in Long Beach to gain useful information, hear speakers with inspiring ideas, develop valuable contacts and participate in crafting League policy. The 2018 League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo, Sept. 12–14, brings together leaders and those engaged in local government. Don’t miss this opportunity to develop your professional skills and improve your understanding of critically important issues affecting local government.

financial viability of annexations. Find out how to implement economic development activities while complying with state housing and sustainability mandates. Discover how to attract land uses that thrive in a digital economy.

This year, the League is celebrating its 120th anniversary. The City of Long Beach hosted the conference during the League’s 50th anniversary in 1948 and again in 1998 when the League commemorated its centennial. Long Beach is planning a special welcome for conference attendees at the Host City Reception on Wednesday evening, Sept. 12.

before the November 2018 election. Educational sessions provide city officials an opportunity to connect with colleagues from throughout California while learning from experts about the latest developments on some of the most important issues facing California cities today. Sessions cover a wide range of topical themes, including the following.

Leadership. Understand what can happen when a lack of transparency leads to a multimillion dollar judgment. Become familiar with actions that organizational leaders can take to create future success. Participate in discussions about challenges and opportunities in rural California cities. Dive into the concept of unconscious bias.

Conference Sessions Cover a Wide Range of Timely Issues

Disaster Preparedness. Explore best practices to help cities become more resilient before, during and after devastating emergencies.

With over 45 sessions to choose from, the conference is a great place to refocus and re-energize as you head into the final weeks


League of California Cities

Economic and Community Development. Get tips on how to restore the

Finance. Learn about major developments in California city revenues, spending and financing. Discover how to overcome obstacles and pass your city’s sales tax measure.

Housing. Hear from four major state agencies working to help create and preserve affordable housing for very low-, low- and moderate-income Californians. Explore how you can tackle the homeless crisis in your city. Cannabis. Get the latest update on critical aspects related to implementing

Beach to

120 Anniversary th

by Katie Pebler California’s regulatory structure for legalized cannabis sales. Pension and Other Post-Employment Benefit (OPEB) Costs. Identify strategies to consider within the labor relations framework and pension regulations to mitigate pension rate cost increases and avoid diverting funds from other important priorities and projects. Gain an understanding of the impending cost increases of providing active and retiree health benefits and the means to minimize liabilities for OPEBs. Personnel. Discover how to make your city’s workplace a strong, diverse and inclusive community by making a cultural shift in practices and breaking down barriers. Explore recommendations from the California chapter of the International City/County Management Association (Cal-ICMA) Talent Initiative Report and discuss best practices that help cities optimize their talent. Explore how to overcome challenges in adopting flexible workplace policies. Planning. Hear how proposed California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

Guidelines may affect municipal efforts to implement the newly enacted affordable housing package, plan for energyefficiency and amend General Plan elements. Join officials from coastal cities as they focus on current trends in Local Coastal Plans recently approved by the California Coastal Commission. Public Engagement. Learn how cities are inspiring homegrown talent and community connection by increasing civic engagement through model programs like Summer at City Hall, Youth@CityCouncil and Foster Youth@Work. Technology. Discuss emerging planning technologies and how cities use them to convert documents into interactive websites, enhance public outreach and enable innovative and cost-effective delivery of municipal services.

Expo Highlights This year, the Expo showcases more than 250 cost-saving services and state-ofthe-art products, including 60 first-time exhibitors. The Expo will be open

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 5:00–7:00 p.m. and Thursday, Sept.13, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Check with your city departments and purchasing staff in advance to learn which items they might find helpful for saving money while improving services, and schedule time now to meet with these vendors at the Expo, making note of the products and services that can benefit your city. Visit for more information. In the Expo, you’ll also find displays of city projects that have won the League’s prestigious Helen Putnam Award for Excellence. Each year, the award program honors and promotes the outstanding work of member cities statewide that have developed innovative solutions to increase efficiency and deliver quality services. Valuable new information about developments affecting cities will be presented in the Speaker Theater in the League Partner Village on the Expo floor. These presentations will be listed at before the conference. continued

Katie Pebler is a conference program manager for the League and can be reached at

Western City, August 2018


2018 Annual Conference & Expo Preview, continued

Gather with city officials and staff for a unique learning experience.

City Attorneys’ Track With topics geared toward city attorneys and covering trends and issues affecting public law, the City Attorneys’ Track at the conference is an educational element open to all attendees. We invite you to check the schedule for this track in advance, which features legal updates in four litigation areas: general municipal law, labor and employment, land use and CEQA, and municipal torts and civil rights. This popular track offers minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) credit for all attending attorneys and will also include specialty credit during the sessions offered. The League is a State Bar of California MCLE-approved provider. Materials for this track consist of session papers and presentations, which can be found at when available prior to the conference.

State-Mandated Training While educational sessions will focus on a variety of topics ranging from pensions to fiscal stability, planning and housing, the conference will also offer state-mandated training for attendees. For elected and appointed officials, state law requires training in specified ethics laws and principles every two years. Newly elected and appointed officials must receive this training within one year of becoming a public servant. Hear advice from a panel of experts on navigating ethics laws and principles. California law now also requires basic training in workplace harassment

prevention for officials, managers and supervisors. Local agency officials are required to receive two hours of sexual harassment prevention training and education within the first six months of taking office and every two years thereafter if the agency provides a type of compensation, salary or stipend to those officials.

Make Plans Now for the Conference Join us at the conference to learn, network and celebrate the League’s 120th anniversary. Make it your chance to be part of League history. For more information, visit and plan your time at the conference. ■


BUILD BETTER BUILD SAFER BUILD The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) partners with public and private entities, elected officials, community groups, and responsible contractors to safely build and maintain the infrastructure needs of communities throughout California while providing residents a career in the construction industry.





League of California Cities


2018 Annual Conference & Expo Preview

Expo Exhibitors League Partners appear in purple. Companies exhibiting in the U.S. Communities area of the Expo appear in bold. Accela2



ADA Consultant Services


George Hills Company, Inc.

Adherence Compliance

Center for Public Safety Excellence

GeoStabilization International


Charles Abbott Associates2


Agenda Online

Cintas Corporation


Alliance Building Solutions

Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program


Alliance Resource Consulting LLC

City Ventures


Allied Pavers LLC


Graphic Solutions

Amazon Business

Climatec LLC2

Greenfields Outdoor Fitness


Colonial Life

ANP Lighting

Columbia Vehicle Group

HAI, Hirsch & Associates, Inc. Landscape Architects

Aquam Pipe Diagnostics

Contractor Compliance and Monitoring, Inc.



Artistic Resources Corp

CPR1 - AED Total Solution

Asphalt Zipper

Crown Castle International, Inc.

Avalon Amenities, Inc.

CSG Consultants, Inc.

Avery Associates2

CXT Prefabricated Concrete Buildings


Cyclone Lighting

AyerTel Communications

Cyclone Technology LLC

Best Best & Krieger LLP1,2

Dapeer, Rosenblit & Litvak LLP

Blais & Associates

Dart Container

Iteris, Inc.

BMLA, Inc.

Davey Resource Group, a Division of the Davey Tree

Jamboree Housing Corporation JAS Pacific

David Taussig & Associates, Inc.

Johnson Controls2


Jones & Mayer



Bob Murray & Associates Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. Burke, Williams & Sorensen LLP1,2 Burrtec Waste Industries, Inc.2

HB Staffing HdL Companies1,2 HEAL Cities Campaign



Holman Capital Corporation HR Green, Inc.2 Indoor Environmental Services2 Inframark Interwest Consulting Group2 ISES Corporation

DGS Statewide Travel Program

Kaiser Permanente

California Association of Code Enforcement Officers

Dividend Finance

Keenan & Associates2

DLR Group

Keyser Marston Associates, Inc.

California Association of Public Information Officials


Kosmont Companies2

California Building Officials

Earth Systems

Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard1


LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

C Below, Inc.

California Coast University California Consulting, Inc California Department of Water Resources California High Speed Rail Authority California Joint Powers Insurance Authority California Specialized Training Institute California State Water Resources Control Board California Statewide Communities Development Authority CalPERS


EMG Energy Upgrade California Engie Services U.S. Ennis-Flint Enterprise Rent-A-Car e-PlanSoft EPM Solutions LLC FATHOM Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc. ForeFront Power

LaneLight/ITEM, Ltd. LECET Southwest Library Systems & Services Liebert Cassidy Whitmore1 Los Angeles City Employees Association LSL CPAs Lumca, Inc. Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP Matrix Consulting Group


1 — Institute for Local Government Partner; 2 — CitiPAC supporter. List current as of June 18, 2018. Visit us at

Western City, August 2018


2018 Annual Conference & Expo Preview, Expo Exhibitors, continued Meyers Nave2


Michelson Found Animals Registry

Neptune Coatings Corporation

MNS Engineers, Inc.

NexLevel Information Technology


NLC Service Line Warranty Program


NO-DES, Inc.

Northern California Carpenters Regional Council NUUO, Inc. NV5 Omni-Means, A GHD Company

MyCivic Apps


1 — Institute for Local Government Partner; 2 — CitiPAC supporter. List current as of June18, 2018. Visit us at

Pacific Gas and Electric Company1,2

Otto Environmental Systems North America, Inc PARS PERC Water Periscope Holdings Piper Jaffray PMA Financial Network PowerFlare - PF Distribution Center, Inc. Powersmiths International Corp. Precision Concrete Cutting PReMA CORP Procure America Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California Public Financial Management Group Public Restroom Company QLess, Inc. QuickCaption Radarsign LLC Ralph Andersen and Associates RealTerm Energy Regional Government Services Authority Renew Financial Renne Public Law Group1 Renovate America (HERO Program)1,2 Republic Services2 Retail Marketing Services Revize Government Websites Richards Watson Gershon1,2


RJM Design Group, Inc. RKA Consulting Group RSG, Inc. SA RECYCLING SAFEbuilt LLC SafetyPlusWeb Safetysteptd, Inc Schaefer Systems International, Inc. Schneider Electric2 ScholarShare Investment Board

SeamlessGov by SeamlessDocs SECURITY LINES US Seneca Systems



League of California Cities

SERVPRO2 Siemens2

Silver & Wright, LLP Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong, LLP SmartCitiesPrevail.org2

The Expo offers services and products for cities of all sizes.

SoCalGas2 Sol By Carmanah SolarMax LED South Coast Lighting and Design Southern California Edison (SCE)2 Southern California Library Cooperative SouthTech Systems Spohn Ranch Skateparks Sportsplex USA Sprung Structures SSA Landscape Architects, Inc. Stalker Radar State of the City Presentations Superion Superior Property Services, Inc. Superior Tank Solutions Swagit Productions LLC SyTech Solutions TAPCO TBWB Strategies Technisoil Global, Inc. Terracon Consultants, Inc. The Code Group, Inc., dba VCA Code TKE Engineering, Inc.

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Western City, August 2018


Before, During and After California Wildland Fires: The New Normal Historically, the month of August marked the peak of California’s fire season; however, that is no longer the case. Drought-like conditions and dry vegetation persist year-round, and experts refer to this 12-month fire season as the “new normal.” Last year was one of the most destructive fire years in California’s history, causing the deaths of 44 people and over $10 billion in damage. Cities such as Santa Rosa and Ventura are still grappling with the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires that swept through their communities. Officials from these cities will present sound advice from the local perspective in a session titled “Before, During and After California Wildland Fires: The New Normal” at the upcoming 2018


League of California Cities

League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo.

Ventura Responds to the Thomas Fire Strong east winds pushed the Thomas Fire, now acknowledged as the largest in California history, through Ventura County on Dec. 4, 2017. The fire attacked over 1,300 structures, caused the evacuation of more than 100,000 people and severely damaged the watershed. Firefighting costs exceeded $60 million. Though local agencies anticipate receiving reimbursements for the majority of those costs from both the state and federal governments, the City of Ventura still has a potential financial exposure of over

$5 million. The Ventura City Council committed funds to assist residents whose insurance policies did not cover the total cost of debris removal and adjusted water bills for residents who had abnormally high bills because they tried to protect their property. As the fire subsided, city staff worked overtime to meet the needs of the community. “The council’s normal goals were immediately put on the back burner as the devastating effects of the fire became apparent,” says Deputy Mayor Matt LaVere. “The city’s number one priority immediately became fire recovery and getting residents back in their homes.”

The city streamlined the permitting process for residents who lost their homes and passed an emergency ordinance that provided an expedited path forward for homeowners seeking to rebuild. Although these steps were essential to moving forward, ongoing communication was key to the recovery effort. The council held community meetings early and often to ensure that the public was as informed as possible. “Weekly community town hall events to update the public on the fire and recovery efforts ended up being one of the most important things we did in the immediate aftermath of the fire,” says LaVere. “I heard from dozens of community members who were so thankful we held those meetings.”

Tubbs Fire Wreaks Devastation in Santa Rosa While the Thomas Fire in Ventura has the distinction of being the largest in California’s history, the Tubbs Fire that burned through Santa Rosa was the most destructive. The Tubbs Fire consumed 36,807 acres and destroyed or damaged more than 5,900 structures, including nearly 3,000 homes in Santa Rosa. The city lost 5 percent of its housing stock and 400,000 square feet of commercial space. Of the $3 billion in damage the fire caused to Sonoma County, $1 billion occurred in the City of Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey is a former public information officer very familiar with the importance of communication. To get a better understanding of what his community needs and to advocate for support and collaboration, Mayor Coursey has appeared at dozens of events since the Tubbs Fire struck his city. The City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County immediately joined forces to provide information and comfort members of the community. The city and county held meetings and created a Sonoma County Recovers website, an official page for all things concerning the unprecedented disaster. Although the city and county were criticized for shortcomings in how they issued emergency notifications during the fire’s onset, many have applauded the agencies for their communication, collaboration and processes during and after the firestorm. “It doesn’t matter how well we are working together or how efficient our processes are. If the community doesn’t feel like things are going smoothly, we need to do better,” says Mayor Coursey. Within two weeks of the fire, the Santa Rosa City Council adopted a Resilient City Urgency Ordinance to streamline and expedite review for housing permits. The ordinance also waived fees for discretionary planning, demolition and

temporary housing permits. The city’s ordinance not only allowed but encouraged the construction of new accessory dwelling units, also known as “granny flats,” prior to the construction of a single-family residence. The mayor says the city is offering incentives to build in a more sustainable way to help the community become stronger and more resilient in the future. Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore will join Santa Rosa Mayor Coursey and Ventura Deputy Mayor LaVere to share additional details about their experiences and lessons learned in the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires. Attendees will participate in a facilitated discussion and learn: • Which policies and practices are essential before wildfires strike; • Communication and community engagement strategies to employ during the crisis; and • How to address environmental and economic recovery in the aftermath. ■

Don’t Miss This Session at the Annual Conference Attend the “Before, During and After California Wildland Fires: The New Normal” session at the League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo. The session will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, from 8:15–9:30 a.m. See the conference program or app for location details.

Western City, August 2018



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Winning the War for Talent: The Elected Official’s Role City governments are in a war for talent, and we are losing the war. City agencies face a continuing “retirement wave” of baby-boomer managers and professionals exiting careers in local government, resulting in a leadership crisis and brain drain.

2. Young people are not pursuing city government careers. Survey research of university students indicates that at best they know little of local government work and at worst, they view this work as bureaucratic and unexciting.

This talent crisis features two challenges:

To exacerbate matters, talent is mobile. In our competitive job markets, talent can easily leave for a better job elsewhere.

1. We have not adequately prepared professionals in the city government pipeline to advance and take over major management responsibilities; and

by Frank Benest

Why Elected Officials Should Care As an elected official, you may have a great policy agenda that will enhance your community. However, your policy agenda is powerless without talent to implement those ideas and make them come to life. As Thomas Edison is attributed with saying, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” continued

Frank Benest, Ph.D., is former city manager of Palo Alto and currently serves as the International City/County Management Association liaison for Next Generation Initiatives; he can be reached at

Western City, August 2018


Winning the War for Talent: The Elected Official’s Role, continued

Certainly your ability as an elected official to make a positive difference in your community is based on your policy ideas and direction, yet it is also based on attracting, retaining and “growing” talent to achieve your agenda. In terms of putting your policy goals into action, it is all about talent.

lot of attention to the political culture of particular city governments. For example, after reading the announcement of an enticing vacant position in your city, talented professionals will typically attend a city council meeting or two and/or watch videos of several council meetings. Will they see:

The Dimensions of the Talent Challenge

• Disrespectful interactions and infighting among council members?

To explore the nature and scope of the talent crisis, Cal-ICMA (the California affiliate of the International City/County Management Association) conducted research that included: • A survey of 272 city managers, human resources directors and emerging leaders; • Eleven focus groups throughout California involving 372 senior managers; and • A series of interviews with thought leaders from the corporate high-tech and nonprofit sectors. The research found that: • In the face of the baby-boomer retirement wave, local governments have not adequately built a talent pipeline; • Local governments can no longer rely on “stealing” talent from other agencies. More than ever, public agencies need to cultivate talent from within; • Talent retention is largely about learning, challenge and engagement. Employees who are learning and growing are more likely to stay with an organization; • Winning the war for talent is more about organizational culture, including political culture, than money (assuming that an agency pays competitively); and • Elected officials play a key role in helping their city governments attract, retain and foster talent.

The Impact of a Toxic Political Culture The senior managers and emerging leaders in the statewide survey and focus groups indicated that talented professionals pay a


League of California Cities

• Community members attacking staff who present professional recommendations that may be unpopular? • Council members talking issues to death without taking any action? • Council members adding yet another priority to staff’s full plate without considering other priority projects already underway? • Council members showing no appreciation for staff’s efforts to address difficult problems in the community? If these forms of toxic political culture characterize council meetings in your city, why would a talented professional join you? Why would a talented professional stay with you? Furthermore, are you and your elected colleagues driving talent away? Department managers certainly have a responsibility and role in helping the city council improve the political culture. For example, managers can work with the council to: • Schedule priority- and goal-setting sessions with the council; • Remind the council about focusing on established priorities; • Recommend actions that allow staff to take “smart risks” and promote innovation; and • Propose — with the council’s support — protocols for civic discourse at council meetings. However, elected officials ultimately must own their political culture and commit to better behavior. Otherwise, a negative political culture will undercut efforts to

accomplish community goals and the city’s efforts to attract and retain professional talent.

Starting the Conversation About Talent Because attracting and retaining talent is about organizational culture, the CalICMA Talent Initiative recommends that city councils begin to address their talent challenges by engaging top management in a discussion of the organization’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) — the unique set of rewards and benefits employees receive in return for the skills, capabilities and commitment they provide to the organization. To start the conversation about the organization’s EVP, the council and top management must address three questions. Why would a talented professional want to join our organization and stay with us? Possible answers include: Our city government provides challenging opportunities to make a difference; we provide training and professional development opportunities to promote staff advancement; we demonstrate appreciation for the work of staff; and as a council-staff team, we get things done. Why would a talented professional be reluctant to join our organization and remain with us? Possible answers include: Our city government does not provide flexibility on when or how to do the work; our legacy technologies are out of date and we have not invested in new technologies; council members have “zero tolerance” for mistakes and therefore undercut innovation; and there is much conflict and infighting among council members. What are a few action steps that we must take to enhance our EVP and become more competitive for talent? Possible answers include: The council will support flexible scheduling and telecommuting when appropriate; we will invest in new technologies to enhance the way staff members do their work; and we will support measures promoting civility in the council chambers.

Interested in Learning More About This Topic? Want to hear more about positioning your city to win the war for talent? Attend the session “Bringing CuttingEdge Talent Strategies to Your Organization” at the League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo. Frank Benest will join a panel of city officials addressing this issue.

Available Talent Development Resources for Your City

The session will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, from 2:45–4:00 p.m. See the conference program or app for location details.

The Cal-ICMA website features the following resources to help your city government attract talent: • The full report and an executive summary from its Talent Initiative “Talent 2.0”; • “10 Ideas to Better Attract, Retain and Grow Talent”; • A best practices compendium; and • “Stay Interview” questions. Visit and click on “Talent Initiative.”

How Elected Officials Can Better Attract, Retain and Nurture Talent

3. Do not allow community members, other stakeholders or other governing board members to attack staff at governing board meetings or community meetings (disagreements about policy recommendations are fine, but not personal attacks);

Although retooling “stodgy” organizational cultures requires the active involvement of your city manager and other senior managers, it must also involve elected officials’ active participation.

4. Encourage professional staff to take smart risks to promote innovation. If staff are committed to excellence, treat mistakes or missteps as opportunities to learn and get better;

Consider these 10 ideas for elected officials — in partnership with top management — to help the organization better attract, retain and nurture talent:

5. Take action after a thoughtful discussion of different perspectives and then give staff direction, recognizing that everything may not be perfect. Allow staff to make adjustments along the way;

Of course, after the conversation, the city council and top management must take action to enhance the EVP.

1. Conduct a conversation with the full governing board and top management about your local government’s EVP; 2. Ensure that governing board meetings are conducted in a business-like manner, even if major policy disagreements occur;

6. Express appreciation in public and in private for good staff efforts in executing the governing board’s policy agenda; 7. Ask how top management is providing learning opportunities to develop inside talent and adequately fund employee development;

8. Ensure that the organization is offering internships and management fellowships to “hook” younger talent on careers in local government; 9. Make governing board meetings a “safe” place for mid-level staff to present reports, improve their presentation skills, interact with governing board members and otherwise stretch and grow; and 10. Ask how top management provides flexibility in scheduling and determining where and when work is done. Support flexibility and wellness proposals.

Got Talent? As an elected official, if you want to achieve your policy agenda and make a positive difference in your community, you need talent. Without talent, it is all just policy talk. ■

Western City, August 2018


Celebrating generations of CaCities empowering and innovating communities yesterday, today and tomorrow.

We congratulate the League of California Cities on 120 years of strengthening California cities through advocacy and education. Thank you for 30 years of valued partnership with CSCDA. Created in 1988, the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) is a joint powers authority that enables local government and eligible private entities access to low-cost, tax-exempt financing for projects that provide a tangible public benefit, contribute to social and economic growth and improve the overall quality of life in local communities throughout California.

Keys to Successful Local Sales Tax Measures: Competent Leadership, Community Engagement and Experienced Advice by Jared Boigon

Asking voters to approve a local sales tax increase can present challenges for city officials. Voters are naturally skeptical about revenue proposals, and city officials are often unsure about how to explain their city’s revenue needs to local voters in ways that resonate — however, it’s possible to overcome these challenges. Most voters want government to work effectively, and they generally have more faith in local government than in state or federal agencies. And voters have a solid track record of supporting local tax measures in California; between 2001 and 2016, voters

approved nearly 75 percent of general taxes for cities. The keys to obtaining voter approval of a local sales tax measure include: • Demonstrating the effective job your city is doing, despite challenges, with the revenues you have; • Engaging community members early in the discussion; and

Tip 1. Demonstrate competent leadership. It may seem counterintuitive, but most voters don’t need to be threatened with impending disaster such as lost city services or other bad outcomes. Instead, they respond best to competent leadership. Show your efforts to achieve responsible budgeting, including pension reform and successful efforts to maintain services, despite unreliable support from state government.

• Establishing a team of advisors experienced in local ballot measures. continued

Jared Boigon is a partner in TBWB Strategies, a strategy and communications consulting firm specializing in public finance ballot measures supporting programs, services and facilities. He can be reached at

Western City, August 2018


Keys to Successful Local Sales Tax Measures: Competent Leadership, Community Engagement and Experienced Advice, continued

Cities seeking revenue should reward voters’ natural civic instincts by showing themselves to be good stewards of existing funds. In most cases, voters are more inclined to reward sound decisionmaking than they are to “bail out” local agencies that present themselves as struggling to survive outside factors. Tip 2. Engage community members. Take time to engage community members in a deeper discussion of your city's

needs and challenges, through a budget advisory committee or blue-ribbon task force. Demonstrate your city’s commitment to transparency and patience with tough questions. You will never be able to engage every voter. But you may be able to inspire one or two dozen committed citizens — who are interested in solving problems and supporting their community — to become involved.

Frame your need in terms supported by your poll, using language that voters can easily understand.


League of California Cities

Many cities have used this approach to successfully embrace skeptics — and even turn critics into advocates for additional local funding. Over time, these community members can become some of your best allies and defenders. Tip 3. Retain experienced advisors. To succeed with a local tax measure, it’s just not possible to move voters to where you are in terms of complex understanding of your city's budget and funding needs. Voters have busy lives, and your local tax measure will get only a tiny slice of whatever attention they are willing to devote to politics and local affairs. When communicating, you have to meet them where they are.

Take time to engage community members in a deeper discussion of your city's needs and challenges.

Learn More at the Annual Conference

Start by contracting for a scientific opinion survey conducted by a reputable polling firm, one with experience and a solid track record of talking to local voters about taxes. The poll will tell you what services and programs voters already prioritize and perceive as needing more funding. In most cases, voters’ existing perceptions will match up with some of your city’s high-priority needs, like public safety or street and road repairs.

The session will be held Wednesday, Sept. 12, from 3:45–5:00 p.m. See the conference program or app for location details.

Frame your need in terms supported by your poll, using language that voters can easily understand. A political consulting firm can help you use the poll to translate your budget needs and communicate effectively with the average voter and general public. It is also helpful to include robust transparency and accountability measures, such as an extra layer of local citizen oversight. ■

Want to learn more about strategies for winning local revenue measures? Attend the session “How to Overcome Obstacles to Passing Your Sales Tax Measure” at the League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo. Jared Boigon will join a panel of city officials to share their experiences, insights and advice.

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Western City, August 2018


Strategies to Manage

Increasing Pension Costs by Steven M. Berliner

In California, increasing pension costs are already starting to crowd out any discretionary spending for many cities. Recent news from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) offers little hope for relief for agencies that contract with CalPERS. Changes in the actuarial assumptions used by CalPERS in the past few years will lead to even higher employer rates over the next few years. One significant change is the reduction in CalPERS’ “discount rate” (the assumed investment rate of return) from 7.5 percent to 7 percent, meaning that to pay for a defined benefit, employers must contribute more to the fund. Other changes are having similar impacts.

Legal Framework Managing these cost increases is a daunting task for cities. CalPERS agencies are bound by the Public Employees’ Retirement Law

(PERL) and Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), which place limits on an employer’s options for reducing costs. Cities are also bound by the constitutional principles related to vested rights. In addition, cities must be familiar with the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) and their obligations to notify and/or bargain with employee associations regarding changes to pension benefits. Before PEPRA, negotiating a second tier of benefits was a common tool available to employers. This typically would involve all existing employees remaining with their current retirement benefits, while future employees could expect a lower benefit when they retired. (For example, existing or “Tier 1” safety employees receive the 3% @ 50 retirement benefit formula, but any future or “Tier 2” safety employees receive only benefits

based on the 3% @ 55 formula). Negotiating a second tier of benefits is no longer an option. It is true that PEPRA instituted a lower tier of benefits for those new hires (generally, those who became CalPERS members on or after Jan. 1, 2013, also known as “New” members) subject to the law’s lower tier. However, any new hires after PEPRA who were not subject to the law’s lower tier (known as “Classic” members), such as lateral hires from other cities, must receive the retirement benefits they would have received had they been hired Dec. 31, 2012 (the day before PEPRA became effective). For cities that did not negotiate a second tier for Classic employees before PEPRA, that is no longer an option. With this backdrop, it is no wonder that cities have grown frustrated in trying to manage their increasing pension costs. Public employees are very resistant to changes that could reduce their benefits. continued

Steven M. Berliner is a partner in the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore and can be reached at

Western City, August 2018


Strategies to Manage Increasing Pension Costs, continued

Although juggling all these obstacles is difficult, it is not impossible — but it requires a lot of creativity and strong leadership.

Strategies to Consider Share more of the burden with employees. To some extent, PEPRA attempted to do this legislatively by eliminating employer-paid member contributions for New members and requiring that these employees pay at least 50 percent of the “normal cost.” For Classic members, cities can start to reduce employer-paid member contributions and have employees pay more of the employee contributions required by statute. This is usually one of the first things cities do when trying to reduce costs, as it can impose these changes upon represented employees after exhausting the meetand-confer process and any applicable impasse procedure. For both Classic and New members, employers and employees can agree that employees will pay some or even all of the employer’s portion as well (cost sharing under California Government Code Section 20516). On Jan. 1, 2018, Government Code Section 20516.5, which was part of PEPRA, became effective. For the first time, it allows employers to impose, in limited amounts, the equivalent of cost sharing after the meet-and-confer process. It applies only to Classic members



League of California Cities

and for many non-sworn employees, those limits render Government Code Section 20516.5 irrelevant. The highest rate that non-sworn employees can be forced to pay is 8 percent. For cities that adopted one of the enhanced non-safety formulas (2.5% @ 55, 2.7% @ 55 and 3% @ 60), employees are already paying an 8 percent member rate. Government Code Section 20516.5 will likely have its greatest impact on Classic safety employees, because the statutory maximums are higher (up to 12 percent or 50 percent of normal cost, whichever is lower). Employee groups are savvy and may agree to cost sharing in exchange for salary increases to offset them. Employers must be careful to accurately consider the cost of the offsets. A 1 percent salary increase in exchange for a 1 percent employee cost share is not cost neutral. Rather, all the “roll up” costs associated with the salary increase (for example, additional CalPERS contributions, higher overtime costs, etc.) are not recovered by the 1 percent cost share. To be truly cost neutral, the cost share amount will need to be higher than the salary increase, in an amount that will allow the employer to recover the roll up costs.


Reduce “PERSable” items. Employers can negotiate modifications to compensation and benefits with employees to reduce the amount that

qualifies as “PERSable” compensation (forms of compensation used by CalPERS to calculate retirement benefits and on which contributions are owed). For example, instead of more PERSable salary, employers could provide more paid time off or additional health benefits. Another creative strategy is to purposely structure specialty pays so that they do not comply with CalPERS’ regulation on special compensation, making them nonPERSable. CalPERS has indicated via a Circular Letter that whenever a contracting agency provides an across-the-board salary increase to a group of employees (such as a bargaining unit as part of a Memorandum of Understanding) in the same fiscal year as a lump sum payment, the lump sum payment is not PERSable. Consequently, when salary increases are already agreed to, providing any additional amounts as a lump sum payment is a strategy that could allow the parties to reach agreement and limit additional CalPERS costs. Another way to limit the amount of PERSable compensation is to create specialty pays that have requirements associated with two or more items of special compensation. For example, a specialty pay that is available only to employees who have a master’s degree and have been with the city for 10 or more years would not be PERSable. This is considered a “hybrid,” containing the elements of two

Managing these cost increases is a daunting task for cities. recognized special pay items (education pay and longevity pay). However, when combined for purposes of one specialty pay, it is not PERSable. Certain forms of pay that could be PERSable for Classic members if all the requirements are met are specifically excluded by statute for New members. For example, while Classic members who receive uniform allowance, one-time payments or bonuses could see them reportable to CalPERS and used in calculating retirement benefits, these payments are not PERSable under any circumstances for New members. Cities with a high percentage of New members might want to focus compensation increases toward those items.


Restructure retiree health benefits. Cities could also attempt to lower their current and future retiree health benefit costs. Many cities are considering reducing the employer contribution and others have already done so. Employers have seen publication of many pro-employer court decisions on this issue in the last few years. The courts have determined that employees have a very high threshold to reach to show that retiree health benefits are vested and therefore subject to significant protections under the law. This has emboldened employers to reduce retiree health benefits.

However, employers must approach these strategies with caution. A vested rights analysis should be done to determine whether these benefits are constitutionally protected in their current form. Although the courts have indicated that proving that retiree health benefits are vested is difficult, it is not impossible. Cities that participate in the CalPERS medical program have additional statutory constraints limiting their ability to reduce these benefits. For example, there is a statutory minimum contribution that employers must provide to retirees for health insurance for cities that participate in the CalPERS health plans. Consequently, for those cities, reducing retiree medical to zero will not be possible while the city participates in CalPERS medical. Your city should work with legal counsel to analyze these specific issues to determine if this is a viable option. ■

Learn More About This Topic at the Annual Conference Attend the “Strategies to Manage Increasing Pension Costs” session at the League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo. The session will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, from 4:15–5:30 p.m. See the conference program or app for location details.

Western City, August 2018


Newly Proposed

CEQA Guidelines

Are Coming to Your Town by Charity Schiller


League of California Cities

In the alphabet soup of municipal law, four letters are likely to appear together again and again: CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act. Join us and our public agency and CEQA consultant co-panelists at the League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo, where we will discuss changes to CEQA and how they will impact the entitlement and CEQA processes for future projects. Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek at those changes.

Fundamentals of CEQA CEQA is intended to protect the environment while furthering public disclosure. The law requires that state and local agencies identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and mitigate those impacts whenever possible. When conducting CEQA review, agencies can start by asking these three questions: 1. Is it a “project”? A project is a discretionary approval by a California public agency that may result in direct or reasonably foreseeable indirect environmental impacts. If the action doesn’t qualify as a project, then the action is not subject to CEQA. 2. Is it exempt? Exemptions can be statutory, such as those granted by the Legislature, or categorical (classes of projects that have been determined not to have effects on the environment). Projects can also fall within the commonsense exemption, when it can be seen with certainty that no possibility of a significant impact on the environment exists. 3. What level of CEQA review is needed? There are many options depending on a project’s circumstances. The most common routes are: • A negative declaration — when there is no substantial evidence supporting a fair argument that the project will have significant environmental impacts;

• A mitigated negative declaration — when the potential impacts can be mitigated to a level of less than significant; or • An environmental impact report (EIR) — when there is substantial evidence supporting a fair argument that a project will have significant impacts. Subsequent and supplemental EIRs, addenda, subsequent mitigated negative declarations and other options may also be appropriate.

The Overhaul: CEQA 2.0 The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a proposed, comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines in November 2017. According to OPR, the proposed changes to CEQA “consist of refinements and clarifications of existing requirements.” Several of the proposed changes focus on efforts to account for and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in response to SB 743 (2013), which required a CEQA update to address transportation impacts. While not yet adopted, these changes are moving through the formal rule-making process and will likely become law later this year. (For the status of the updates, visit With that in mind, agencies should take note of the proposed guidelines and what these changes may mean in terms of future CEQA compliance. Although the proposed guidelines include too many changes to list here, the following major changes may interest municipalities and private developers alike. 1. Thresholds of Significance: Changes to CEQA Guidelines Sections 15064(b)(2) and 15064.7(d) would increase the emphasis placed on thresholds of significance. Agencies would be encouraged to explain, with substantial evidence, why a threshold was selected and how compliance with that set threshold means a project’s impacts are less than significant. continued

Charity Schiller is a partner in the law firm of Best Best & Krieger and can be reached at This article is adapted from an earlier feature that appeared in the PublicCEO newsletter.

Western City, August 2018


Newly Proposed CEQA Guidelines Are Coming to Your Town, continued

2. Water Supply: Updates to Guidelines Section 15155(f ) would require agencies to consider water supply with a degree of certainty throughout the project’s life span. Agencies would also be required to evaluate the pros and cons of a project based on water demand and evaluate potential supply alternatives if water supply cannot be determined for the life of a project. 3. Remedies on Remand: New Guidelines Section 15234 would elaborate on the courts’ existing authority to void or partially void project approval using equitable powers. The rule would also confirm that agencies can continue project activities during a remand period under certain circumstances. 4. Appendix G: The Initial Study Checklist includes many proposed changes that would eliminate duplicative questions (though the issues will still need to be analyzed), reorganize issues, make minor clarifications and add two new categories for impact analysis:


League of California Cities

• Energy — The proposal would require agencies to expressly consider a project’s construction and operational energy usage as part of the Initial Study Checklist process for all projects. This is a change from the existing Appendix F energy analysis, which focuses on EIRs. • Wildfire Impacts — The proposal would also require agencies to expressly consider a project’s potential impacts to wildfire hazard impacts. While general wildfire hazards would still be considered as part of an agency’s hazards analysis, more specific impacts related to wildfire impacts would be evaluated in their own category of impact. 5. Transportation: Proposed new Guidelines Section 16064.3 and changes to Appendix G would present a major policy-based paradigm shift from analyzing transportation impacts based on levels of service (LOS) to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). As with other types of CEQA impacts, the shift would require agencies to establish, and support, a VMT

threshold with substantial evidence and will make the application of VMT in lieu of LOS mandatory beginning in 2020.

Courts Weigh in on CEQA CEQA is a self-executing statute requiring direct compliance by public agencies. Therefore, perceived violations of CEQA are often enforced through citizen-suit litigation. Although the legal standard of review limits court review of an agency’s fact-based determinations to whether those determinations are supported by substantial evidence, courts are applying the substantial evidence test with ever-increasing rigor. Agencies need only look to the Newhall Ranch California Supreme Court decision to see courts are asking the question of “why” factual conclusions were reached as part of judicial review. Further, CEQA litigants are pressing for an increasingly broad approach to which documents are included in an agency’s administrative record (that is to say, the

Annual Conference Session Dives Into This Topic To learn more about this important issue, plan to attend the “Newly Proposed CEQA Guidelines Are Coming to Your Town” session at the League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo.

evidence relied upon in court) under California Public Resources Code Section 21167.6. Often, CEQA litigants press to obtain documents through Public Records Act requests or discovery demands that are arguably outside the statutorily defined CEQA record and even seek evidence beyond what was before the agency at the time its decision was made. Given these litigation trends, agencies should take note of the following: • Saying “why” in detail — Agencies are being asked to provide ever-increasing levels of detail as to how their conclusions were reached. By laying out all the evidence in administrative records, agencies can better address why a decision was reached. • Laying out the reasons — Courts are looking behind expert opinion and seeking to probe the underlying facts and technical details behind those expert opinions. This makes it vital for agencies to thoroughly explain their decisionmaking process. • Managing the evidence — Petitioners often seek materials from public agencies under distinct laws (CEQA, the Public Records Act, civil discovery statutes, etc.). The standards for which documents are producible — and what an agency’s obligations are — vary under each law. Thus, it is important for an agency to be clear regarding which law it is responding to before providing materials. • Knowing what is privileged — Certain items (trade secrets, privileged items, the detailed location of cultural artifacts, etc.) do not have to be included in the administrative record. Agencies should carefully review any documents they are proposing to produce to ensure that all privileges and other applicable production exemptions are preserved. ■

The session will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, from 8:15–9:30 a.m. See the conference program or app for location details.

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Western City, August 2018


South San Francisco Gives Youngsters’ Literacy

a Big Lift


League of California Cities

Children benefit from activities focused on reading; below U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) visits the program.


he City of South San Francisco (pop. 65,451) is known as the Industrial City, a reflection of its steel mill and ship-building past. Today the city is home to over 200 biotech companies. South San Francisco comprises an extensive public parks system, popular library and learning programming and a dynamic, engaged community. The city is located in affluent San Mateo County, one of the wealthiest areas in the nation, but nearly 50 percent of children living in the county do not read proficiently by the third grade. Education experts agree that third-grade reading proficiency is one of the best indicators of

academic achievement in subsequent years. In response, San Mateo County launched a program in 2015 called the Big Lift to address the literacy gap for children.

South San Francisco Unified School District and the nonprofit agency Peninsula Family Service to administer and implement local Big Lift activities.

Three agencies — the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), San Mateo County Office of Education and San Mateo County — lead the Big Lift and are partnering with dozens of county leaders and community-based organizations to close the achievement gap and improve third-grade reading proficiency.

Peninsula Family Service Chief Executive Officer Heather Cleary says, “Investing today in the education of our children is critical to ensure they reach their full potential. Thanks to the Big Lift, we’re not only addressing the literacy gap, but we’re also leveling the field so that economic, cultural or geographic barriers do not prevent the children in our community from achieving success.”

South San Francisco is currently the only city in San Mateo County participating in the Big Lift. The city partners with the


The City of South San Francisco won the Award for Excellence in the CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award category of the 2017 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit

Western City, August 2018


South San Francisco Gives Youngsters’ Literacy a Big Lift, continued

Children and parents play together at the Little Steps Preschool Program at the South San Francisco Library; a high quality preschool program is a central part of the Big Lift, left.


Addressing the Literacy Gap The Big Lift is a collective impact program with the underlying premise that there is no single solution to complex social problems and no single organization alone can create large-scale, lasting social change. Through the unique opportunity provided by the Big Lift, ambitious communities are working together to improve educational outcomes for children in San Mateo County. The key components of the Big Lift program include: • Two years of high quality preschool; • An inspiring summer program designed to prevent summer learning loss; and • A family engagement program that supports reading and the importance of regular school attendance. Funding for the program came via an initial grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which provided $7.5 million over three years. Since then, the Big Lift has raised over $30 million from public and private sources to support its ongoing efforts. South San Francisco Unified School District Board President Rosa Govea Acosta says, “Our school district is fortunate to participate in the Big Lift program, which


League of California Cities

has been very successful in our community and prepares young children for academic success. I had an opportunity to visit the classroom and witness firsthand the high quality care and instruction given to our children. Our teachers are engaged with their students and the children are eager to learn.”

sary to contribute to a changing global society. Thanks to the Big Lift funding, we have expanded our child development programs and provide engaging and enriching programs during the summer for our families. It is a blessing that our families and students have access to such high quality early education programs.”

“South San Francisco is pleased to be at the forefront of this countywide initiative to address and improve the third-grade reading proficiency of our young residents,” says South San Francisco Mayor Liza Normandy. “The adage that ‘reading is fundamental’ still holds true. Reading is one of the basic building blocks to systemic academic change in our community. By participating in the Big Lift and collaborating with the county, its Office of Education and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, we are working to bridge the literacy gap for our children — our city’s future leaders. Together, we have what it takes to make this happen.”

Praise From Parents

South San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Shawnterra Moore adds, “South San Francisco Unified School District is truly honored to be a part of the Big Lift — it supports our district’s mission of collaborating with home and community to graduate responsible, productive and environmentally aware residents who have the academic and social skills neces-

Parents whose children are participating in the Big Lift frequently express their gratitude for its programs. One mother says, “We are a family of four living in San Mateo County, and it is expensive. Without the Big Lift, my 4-year-old daughter would not have gone to preschool. We are so blessed to have this opportunity. My husband and I are seriously stressed about how to afford our children’s education, keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table. My outgoing, happy daughter absolutely loves going to school, and it just makes my day to hear everything that she learned after my long days at work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Contact: Laura Armanino, recreation & community services supervisor, Recreation Division, Child Care, City of South San Francisco; phone: (650) 875-6951; email: ■

The city launched the Junior Beach Runners program to fight childhood obesity.

Junior Beach Runners

Focus on Fitness in Long Beach In Long Beach (pop. 480,173), residents enjoy both the amenities of a large city and the small-town feel of diverse neighborhoods. With access to the city’s 170 parks and miles of beaches and bike paths, all residents enjoy opportunities to live healthy, active lives. Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (LBPRM) in partnership with Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) set a goal to change the lives of local youth who were at risk for becoming obese and developing Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The staff

wanted to design a program that would improve the scores of fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders in the state-required physical fitness test used by Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to measure the students’ fitness levels. Only about one in four children in Long Beach is assessed in the “healthy fitness zone” designated by the test.

Program Counteracts Sedentary Lifestyles In 2007, in an effort to improve these scores and counteract the trend toward

sedentary lifestyles, LBPRM and DHHS collaborated with the operators of the annual JetBlue Marathon to create Junior Beach Runners (JBR), a program of games and activities focused on the sport of running. DHHS added nutrition classes to the program, providing easyto-follow recipes that would improve the health of children and their families. “The program develops kids’ lifelong healthy habits through fun, endurancebuilding games and nutrition education,” says Joy Warren, recreation superintendent and JBR supervisor. continued

The City of Long Beach won the the Award for Excellence in the Health & Wellness Programs category of the 2017 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit

Western City, August 2018


Junior Beach Runners Focus on Fitness in Long Beach, continued

The program focuses on fitness and nutrition, with a classroom component that introduces children to new foods and recipes.

Students participate in JBR at eight Long Beach Unified School District Winners Reaching Amazing Potential (WRAP) After-School Programs that offer homework assistance, academic enrichment and recreational activities. Funding for JBR comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered through the Long Beach DHHS Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Grant Program.

Achieving One’s “Personal Best” The program evolved in 2013 to a curriculum with overall fitness and achieving one’s “personal best” as the primary goal, with time spent on activities besides running. JBR is conducted in three sessions held in the fall, spring and summer.


League of California Cities

The eight-week fall season begins with the youths participating in the Aquarium of the Pacific Kids Fun Run, an event of the annual JetBlue Long Beach Marathon. Participants focus on overall fitness with exercises and stretches that build core strength and an increased range of motion using tag games, hula hoops and jumping rope. The 12-week spring season focuses on preparing youth to pass the school district’s physical fitness test. Fun activities improve aerobic capacity, strengthen abdominal muscles, and improve upper body strength and flexibility. During the eight-week summer session, JBR staff use the Network for a Healthy California Children’s Power Play curriculum, which includes activities that inspire youths to consume three to five

cups of fruits and vegetables and exercise for 60 minutes each day. Each session of JBR provides 60-minute lessons with fitness activities and a nutrition education component designed by DHHS to increase youths’ awareness of healthy food choices and encourage them to try new fruits and vegetables. The lessons cover various nutrition topics and exercises, using a consistent structure: • Welcome — provides a reminder of the ground rules and reviews the previous session; • Warm-up exercises; • Nutrition education component — employs bingo nutrition games and crossword puzzles to make lessons fun and memorable;

Youngsters who participate in Junior Beach Runners also take the program’s key messages home to their families.

Long Beach set a goal to change the lives of local youth who were at risk for becoming obese and developing Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

• A “Taste It!” section — introduces new fruits and vegetables with staff serving as role models by sampling food alongside children; • Wrap up — kids share what they learned and record their thoughts in a food journal; and • Letter home — each child writes a letter to take home that explains the new physical activities and foods that they tried and includes a request for a fruit or vegetable the family can try together. Staff tells JBR students that they count on them not only to sustain their outlook on exercise and eating, but also to spread the message to family and friends. The program reaches out to parents and guardians by providing printed materials, cutting boards and jump ropes.

Measuring the Results JBR has changed the lives of over 4,000 youths and their families for the better since the program began. Launched as a single 12-week program in 2007 for 200 youths, JBR is now serving 600 youths per year in three eight- or 12-week sessions. At the end of the 12-week session, preand post-participation surveys showed improvements in reaching nutrition goals. Participants understood the benefits of Vitamin C and fiber and often identified water as their “healthiest” beverage option. Students reported increased preferences for red onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, mandarin oranges, cucumbers and jicama. Many recipes provided by the program, such as a strawberry-pineapple-lemonade smoothie

and a mandarin salad, became student favorites. The end-of-season fitness component saw an increase in the number of days the participants were moderately or vigorously active for at least 60 minutes and the number of days spent playing outdoors for at least 30 minutes. “You see kids realize that they can,” says Lara Turnbull, Healthy Active Long Beach coordinator and division officer for Long Beach DHHS. “Gaining strength in a 1K race leads to a 5K race — and that teaches kids that they can achieve something if they put their minds to it.” Contact: Jane Grobaty, community information officer, Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine; phone: (562) 570-3233; email: ■

Western City, August 2018



League of California Cities

As the national debate about gun regulation continues, tough questions are arising, even at the local level. Constituents may be turning to their local elected officials for answers to questions such as: Can our city regulate businesses that sell firearms? If so, what types of regulations may our city adopt? And how will our city enforce those regulations? Any local regulation of firearms must be consistent with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The law is clear (per a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling) that “the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for selfdefense within the home.” Local regulations also must not conflict with federal statutory law or California statutes. This article addresses the issues of local zoning regulations and local safety regulations, consistent with the Second Amendment, that cities may adopt and apply

to firearms retailers. It also sets forth the different types of zoning and safety regulations that local agencies may adopt without violating federal or California laws.

Adopting and Applying Zoning and Safety Regulations to Firearms Retailers In 2017, in Teixeira v. County of Alameda, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an Alameda County zoning ordinance that: • Requires firearms retailers to obtain a discretionary use permit to sell guns; and • Prohibits sales of firearms within 500 feet of any residential zone, school, other firearms retailer or store that sells liquor. The plaintiffs in the case wanted to open a gun shop less than 500 feet away from the closest residentially zoned property. After Alameda County denied their application for a conditional use permit,

the plaintiffs sued, seeking to vindicate the Second Amendment right of their potential customers to acquire firearms and their own Second Amendment right to sell firearms. With respect to the asserted right to acquire firearms, the court recognized that the “core” right to keep and bear arms for self-defense would be hollow without a subsidiary right to acquire firearms. However, the court declined to define “the precise scope of any such acquisition right under the Second Amendment.” Noting that at least 10 gun stores already operated in Alameda County, one less than 600 feet away from the plaintiffs’ proposed site, the court readily concluded that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim that the zoning ordinance violated that subsidiary right. The court held that “gun buyers have no right to have a gun store in a particular location, at least as long as their access is not meaningfully constrained.” continued

T. Peter Pierce is a shareholder in the law firm of Richards, Watson & Gershon in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices; he can be reached at

About Legal Notes This column is provided as general information and not as legal advice. The law is constantly evolving, and attorneys can and do disagree about what the law requires. Local agencies interested in determining how the law applies in a particular situation should consult their local agency attorneys. Western City, August 2018


Loaded Questions: Local Regulation of Businesses Selling Firearms, continued

With respect to the asserted right to sell firearms, the court, in contrast, definitively concluded that no stand-alone Second Amendment right to sell firearms exists — at least not in California and in the other eight states within the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction. In light of the court’s rejection of a Second Amendment right to sell firearms, some have wondered whether a local government could outright ban within its borders the retail sale of firearms. No court appears to have answered that question directly. A ban on sales would burden any right to acquire firearms, and therefore may be carefully, if not skeptically, scrutinized by a court. Indeed, a dissenting judge in the Teixeira case opined, “All would agree that a complete ban on the sale of firearms and ammunition would be unconstitutional. History supports the view that the Second Amendment must contemplate the right to sell firearms if citizens are to enjoy the core, fundamental right to own and possess them in their homes.” Whether a ban on firearms sales imposed by a local jurisdiction would be unconstitutional on its face remains an open question after Teixeira. Even if a local ban was

found to be constitutional on its face, it could very well be ruled unconstitutional as applied to a particular set of facts and circumstances. Teixeira clarifies that local governments within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit may regulate the location where firearms may be sold, as long as any right to acquire firearms is not “meaningfully constrained.” However, the parameters of that phrase are not immediately clear, and in Teixeira the court did not address them. Teixeira resolves that it was permissible for Alameda County to adopt minimum distance requirements between a firearms retailer and other uses. However, Teixeira also suggests that the resolution depends on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. It is possible that the same ordinance adopted by Alameda County might not be upheld when applied under different circumstances in another jurisdiction. Whether a particular requirement infringes a Second Amendment right depends on the specific circumstances. Regarding local regulations that are intended to protect public safety, other Ninth Circuit case law establishes that local governments may regulate certain operational aspects of gun stores to protect

public safety without running afoul of the Second Amendment: for example, prohibiting sales of certain types of ammunition such as hollow-point bullets or specifying that firearms offered for sale at gun shows must be secured to prevent unauthorized use.

Federal and State Laws Leave Room for Local Regulation Neither federal statutory law nor California law regulates the zoning of businesses that sell firearms. Federal and California laws also leave open for local regulation the operational aspects of those businesses — regulations intended to ensure the safety of the community. Generally, local governments may apply safety regulations to existing firearms dealers; for example, in Suter v. City of Lafayette, the California Court of Appeal upheld a local law affording existing firearms dealers 60 days to comply with a new law requiring them to obtain a discretionary police permit and liability insurance. Local governments also may apply new zoning restrictions to existing firearms dealers as long as they provide “a reasonable amortization period commensurate with the investment involved.” continued on page 46

Looking for Footnotes? For a fully footnoted version, read this article online at


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Call Pam Maxwell-Blodgett at (800) 262-1801 to place a display (boxed) ad or for rate and deadline information, or email Website Job Postings Display ads are posted on our website at no additional charge. But if you miss the deadline for getting your job opportunity ad into the magazine, you can post it on the Western City website right away. To post your job opportunity ad on our automated website, visit or contact Savannah Cobbs, Western City’s administrative assistant; email: scobbs@; phone: (916) 658-8223.

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Police Chief

City of Tustin, CA


he City of Tustin is known for its exceptional quality of life and ideal location in the heart of Orange County, California. Serving a population of approximately 80,000 across 11 square miles, the Tustin Police Department is one of the few accredited departments in the state and is supported by a staff of 150 full-time and 18 part-time sworn and civilian personnel. The Department is organized across two bureaus – Administrative Services and Community Policing. The ideal candidate will display a sophisticated understanding of contemporary community policing within a community governance model. An exceptional track record of internal and external partnership building along with demonstrated success as an effective mentor will be expected. Substantial and progressively responsible local law enforcement management experience in a comparable agency with a history of diverse assignments is desirable. Service at the rank equivalent to captain or above and a bachelor’s degree is required. A master’s degree and/or formal leadership training is preferred. Current salary range up to $214,783 (under review). Salary is supplemented by an attractive benefits package. Visit for latest information and to download detailed recruitment brochure. Teri Black • 424.296.3111 Bradley Wardle • 650.450.3299

Western City, August 2018


















City of Westlake Village City Manager


CITY MANAGER The City Council in the City of Mendota is conducting a search for an experienced public sector executive that has a passion for local government and serving the public to become the next City Manager. The City of Mendota needs a City Manager with skills and experience to enhance economic development and recreational opportunities as well as manage a city with increasing growth potential. The City Manager is responsible for an All Funds Budget of $6.8 million and a General Fund Budget of $2.1 million. This position requires a minimum of five years of progressive management responsibility in municipal government. Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is preferred. Salary will be dependent on qualifications with a high value placed on the level of responsibilities for this executive position. Complete application packets are to be submitted to Director of Administrative Services, Jennifer Lekumberry, City of Mendota, 643 Quince Street, Mendota, CA 93640. For more information, please see the complete recruitment brochure at employment/.


League of California Cities

Renowned for its outstanding quality of life, spectacular views, and all around beauty, the City Council of Westlake Village (pop. 8,358) is seeking a dynamic and accomplished executive to join this financially healthy and well-managed organization. This position is the result of the retirement of a long-tenured and highly regarded individual. Revenues are in excess of $20 million with healthy reserves and a small complement of full-time staff. The ideal candidate with be an engaging leader with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills with a strong passion for public service. This top professional will thrive in an environment that embraces an entrepreneurial approach to local government, sets high expectations, and demands a high level of customer service and responsiveness. The selected City Manager will also bring an inclusive management style combined with a hands-on approach to day-to-day activities, continuing to build on the extremely positive culture in the organization. Experience working for a contract city in California is highly regarded by the City Council. Salary will be highly competitive plus CalPERS Retirement (3%@60-Classic; 2%@62-New) and may include relocation assistance. Submit resume and compelling cover letter by Friday, September 21, 2018 to References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Confidential inquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Heather Renschler, Ralph Andersen & Associates at (916) 630-4900.

Ralph Andersen & Associates

City Manager

City of San Mateo, CA


ity of San Mateo is the second largest municipality in San Mateo County and home to a population of approximately 104,000 on the scenic San Francisco Peninsula. A dynamic regional hub, San Mateo offers an excellent quality of life in a highly desirable Silicon Valley location. This full-service municipality is supported by 707 FTE and a FY2018-19 total budget of $170.9 million ($119.4 General Fund). The ideal candidate will be a highly regarded results-oriented local government professional with the proven ability to execute. He/she will be a visionary leader who is committed to continuous modernization and maximizing organizational performance. A history of building and maintaining exceptional teams will be expected. The ideal candidate must also be an exceptional communicator and active listener who is accessible to the community. Substantial management experience in a comparable setting and a Bachelor’s degree are required. A Master’s degree is preferred. Salary will be competitive; salary is supplemented by an attractive benefits package. This recruitment will close at midnight Sunday, August 26, 2018. Visit for detailed brochure and to apply online. Teri Black • 424.296.3111 Suzanne Mason • 562.631.2500

Photo/art credits Cover: LordRunar Page 3: MikeCherim Page 4: left, CDH_Design; right, amygdala_imagery Page 5: Steve Debenport Pages 7 & 9: photos, Jeremy Sykes, courtesy of League of California Cities; texture, VolodymyrSanych/ Pages 10–11: LordRunar Pages 12 & 15: Jeremy Sykes, courtesy of League of California Cities Page 16: top, ChiccoDodiFC; bottom, JPhilipson Page 17: JPhilipson Page 19: People Images Page 21: top, JGalione; bottom, Alvarez

Page 23: AdShooter Pages 27–29: DrAfter123 Pages 30–31: 4X-image Page 32: Vm Pages 34–36: Courtesy of the City of South San Francisco and the League of California Cities Pages 37–39: Courtesy of the City of Long Beach and the League of California Cities Page 40: top, Sampsyseeds; bottom, Gabe9000c Page 41: IPGGutenbergUKLtd Page 42: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto Page 47: Vuk8691 Page 50: Courtesy of the City of Tracy and the League of California Cities

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Loaded Questions: Local Regulation of Businesses Selling Firearms, continued from page 42

Permissible Areas of Local Regulation

safety regulations for businesses that sell firearms. California’s regulatory landscape not only leaves many areas open to local regulation but also expressly authorizes local regulation.

Short of banning the sale of firearms within their jurisdictions — which would be vulnerable to legal challenge as discussed earlier — local governments may adopt many types of zoning and

















Summer openings . . .

Police Chief

City of Pasadena

Local governments may require a person who plans to open a business selling firearms or the owner of an existing business (given proper amortization) to obtain a discretionary land-use permit — typically a conditional use permit. Through this process, the local government may impose conditions such as: • Limiting the zones in which the business may operate; • Limiting the operating hours of the business; • Requiring the business to obtain all licenses and permits required by federal, state and local laws; and • Requiring compliance with all applicable building, technical and safety codes.

Housing & Community Development Program Manager

Local governments may also require a business selling firearms to comply with specified safety standards. Those standards may be imposed through a separate permitting process that involves review by law enforcement, though local governments are free to include some standards at their discretion as part of the discretionary land-use permit process.

tel. 424.296.3111

To ensure that a firearms retailer operates safely, local governments may require submission of information such as:

Risk Manager

City of Santa Clara

Director of Planning & Community Environment City of Palo Alto

City of Vallejo

• Whether the owner or applicant is prohibited by any law from possessing a firearm; • Whether any employee of the business is prohibited by any law from possessing a firearm; • Proof of compliance with all licensing laws applicable to firearms dealers; and • Information about previous applications for firearm licenses or permits made by the owner or the employees. Local governments may also impose certain conditions to further ensure safe operation of businesses selling firearms. Examples of such conditions include: • The owner or applicant and all employees of the business must pass a background check and submit their fingerprints;


League of California Cities

Cities may prohibit sales of certain types of ammunition, such as hollow-point bullets.

• The owner or applicant or any employee must deny entry to anyone whom the owner or applicant or any employee knows (or has reason to know) is prohibited from possessing or buying firearms under federal, state or local laws; • The owner or applicant or any employee must consent to inspection of the premises by local law enforcement before any local permit is issued and to further inspections to be conducted periodically without notice if a permit is issued;

governments may consider other conditions depending upon the particular circumstances. Before doing so, it is best to inquire whether any proposed condition would be consistent with the Second Amendment and whether federal and state laws leave room for local agencies to impose such a condition. ■ J















Police Captain

• The owner or applicant must be insured against liability for any damage to property and for injury or death caused by any operation of the business, and the owner or applicant must indemnify, defend and hold harmless the local agency, its elected and appointed officials and all employees against all claims arising from operation of the firearms business;


• Firearms must be secured in a certain manner or in certain locations when the business is open;

A progressive community oriented policing professional, the ideal candidate will be accustomed to delivering exceptional service and adhering to superior standards. This working manager will be a results-oriented role model who thrives in a dynamic environment. At least three years of supervisory experience equivalent to level of sergeant and a Bachelor’s degree is required. A Master’s degree and/or formal leadership training preferred.

• Firearms must be stored in a locked fireproof safe or vault when the store is closed; • The premises must be secured with an alarm system and/or a video surveillance system meeting certain requirements; and • Persons under a certain age must not be permitted on the premises. Finally, local agencies may find that an owner or applicant is ineligible to open a business selling firearms under certain circumstances, including when an owner, applicant or employee has: • Been convicted of certain crimes; • Had a previous application for a similar permit or license denied for cause; or • Had a previously issued similar permit or license suspended or revoked.

Other Considerations The preceding lists of requirements, conditions and disqualifying factors are not exhaustive. They include conditions that several municipalities in California have imposed on firearms retailers. Local

City of Morgan Hill, CA ocated in the southern part of the Silicon Valley, the City of Morgan Hill (approx. pop. 44,000) is one of the most desirable communities in Santa Clara County. The Morgan Hill Police Department (MHPD) is dedicated to delivering the highest quality of professional police services in proactive partnership with the community. MHPD is organized across four divisions – Administration, Field Operations, Special Operations, and Support Services. The department is supported by 41 sworn, 6 paid reserve and 23 civilian team members.

Salary range $131,544 - $173,700 and up to $178,044 with performance pay; salary supplemented by attractive benefits package. This recruitment will close on Sunday, August 12, 2018. Visit for brochure and to apply online. Teri Black • 424.296.3111 Bradley Wardle • 650.450.3299


Renowned for its beauty and outstanding quality of life, the City of Auburn is seeking a dynamic and accomplished Police Chief to lead a high performing team of police professionals. Located at the crossroads of Interstate 80 and Highway 49, Auburn’s location provides the advantage of being above the valley fog and below the Sierra snow line. The Department is comprised of 20 sworn personnel and 8 non-sworn personnel. The new Chief will need to be comfortable working under a management style that encourages creativity, innovation, accountability and strategic thinking as well as collaboration, community partnerships, teamwork, communication and transparency. This position requires a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in criminal justice, police science, business or public administration, or a related field. Possession of a POST Management certificate, ten years of increasingly responsible law enforcement experience, including attendance at the FBI Academy or Post Command College and five years of management/ administrative responsibility. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. The current annual salary range is $103,000 – $175,000. Recruitment closes at 5:00pm Friday, August 31st, 2018 send resume and cover letter to

Western City, August 2018


PeckhamMcKenney &

Hayward Area Recreation & Park District, CA

The Hayward Area Recreation & Park District, known locally as “HARD,” is an independent special district created in 1944 to provide park and recreation services. Located in Alameda County, the District encompasses over 100 square-miles and serves 290,000 residents in the City of Hayward and the unincorporated communities of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and San Lorenzo. Since its creation, HARD has provided residents with numerous unique facilities and parks that are treasures in the region, many of which have received national and state recognition for their design, innovation and beauty, as well as hundreds of educational and recreational classes and programs. Today, HARD is the largest recreation district in California with over 140 parks, school parks, open space areas, and facilities. HARD provides services through 128 full time staff members with an overall budget of $33.6 million for Fiscal-Year 201819. Additionally, in November of 2016, voters of the District overwhelmingly passed Measure F1 for H.A.R.D. Clean, Safe and Local Parks to issue $250 million in General Obligation Bonds for park and facility improvements. HARD is experiencing a renaissance of significant magnitude and these two Director opportunities (both vacancies created by the retirement of long tenured employees) are incredible opportunities to join a high performing team providing state-of-the-art facilities and programs to a very appreciative public.

Recreation, Arts and Community Services Director Reporting directly to the General Manager, with a budget of $11.6 million and 32 full-time equivalent employees, the Recreation, Arts and Community Services Director plans and directs the activities and operations of the Department with functional areas including after school and camps, aquatics, arts, amusements/concessions, events, facility operations, golf, nature, pre-kindergarten, rangers, seniors, special interest classes, sports, theatre, therapeutic recreation, and volunteers; participates as a member of the District’s Leadership Team; and coordinates department activities with other District Departments and outside agencies. The ideal candidate will be an engaging, solution oriented Director with considerable knowledge of contemporary recreation, cultural arts and social programming, facility operations and administration, community services, and public information and engagement. The new Director will also have the ability to take initiative, develop new ideas and solutions, and be open to suggestions from the residents of the District. A Bachelor’s degree in recreation, arts administration, human development, public administration, or a related field, and six years of professional and responsible experience developing and managing programs in recreation and the arts, including at least three years in a supervisory capacity, are required. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. The salary range is from $142,340 to $173,088 DOQE with attractive benefits. Filing deadline is August 13, 2018. Contact Phil McKenney.

Parks and Facilities Maintenance Director Reporting directly to the General Manager, with a budget of $16.8 million and 62 full-time equivalent employees, the Parks and Facilities Maintenance Director plans and directs the activities and operations of the Department including the repair of the District’s parks, landscaped areas, recreational areas, and buildings. The Director is responsible for developing strategies, goals and objectives to improve departmental services; will participate as a member of District’s Leadership Team; assists the Capital Department Program Manager in the planning and design of new parks and facilities; and will coordinate departmental activities with other District Departments and outside agencies. The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader who has the ability to manage the day-to-day operations of the department all while keeping their eye on the future and continuously looking for ways and partnerships to improve upon what the department offers to the residents of the District. A Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, ornamental horticulture, park management, construction management, forestry, architecture, engineering, public administration, or a related field, and six years of professional and responsible experience developing and managing programs in parks and facilities maintenance, including at least three years in a supervisory capacity, are required. The salary range is from $133,024 to $161,702 DOQE with attractive benefits. Filing deadline is August 13, 2018. Contact Phil McKenney.

“All about fit” Assistant City Manager City of Glendale, AZ The City of Glendale, AZ (pop. 237,000) is a dynamic, desirable desert community located on the western edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area, in the Valley of the Sun. Hosting Super Bowls, college national championships, and world class concerts, Glendale boasts one of the most dynamic sports and entertainment districts in the country. Reporting to the City Manager, the Assistant City Manager is Glendale’s second ranking administrative officer. She or he is responsible for 565 FTEs and $269.6 million in budget (operating and CIP) and oversees Development Services, Engineering, Transportation, Water, and Field Operations (facilities, landfill). Master’s in public administration, business administration, management, or related field, plus ten years progressively responsible experience in municipal government, including five years of management experience required. Candidates with strong public works experience, especially management of major capital projects, preferred. Annual salary range $137,758 to $206,637. Filing deadline is August 13, 2018. Contact Drew Gorgey.

Chief Economic Development Officer City of Bothell, WA The City of Bothell, WA, population 44,000, is located in the Seattle metropolitan area, in King and Snohomish Counties, just northeast of Lake Washington. With the approval of the City Manager, and following consultation with her, the Chief Economic Development Officer (CEDO) will be appointed by and report to the Community Development Director at the deputy or assistant director level. Bothell’s first CEDO will establish economic development as a professional discipline in house. The CEDO will be the chief point of contact and manager of Bothell’s economic development efforts, and will drive downtown revitalization by facilitating the private purchase of city-owned parcels there. A Bachelor’s Degree (economics, marketing, planning, business or public administration, or related field) and five years of senior or executive level economic or community development, or related experience required. Master’s Degree preferred. Comprehensive benefits. Annual salary range $111,996 to $149,604 DOQE. Filing deadline is August 28, 2018. Contact Drew Gorgey.

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Youths DARE to Pay It Forward in Tracy The City of Tracy (pop. 90,890) is a bedroom community located in San Joaquin County approximately 60 miles south of Sacramento. Its residents typically commute to other cities to work. During the past several years, as in most communities, staff in law enforcement and schools have seen an increase in the use of social media among young people, who can now learn quickly about new trends and fads. The downside of this activity is an increase in drug abuse, bullying and poor decisions. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer in Tracy took a proactive approach in addressing these issues and worked with high school students to create the DARE to Pay It Forward program in 2012. Through the program, high school students serve as mentors for younger students who are being bullied. Since its inception, over 35 high school students have served as mentors and have assisted more than 1,500 students.

Building on the Original DARE Program DARE is a 10-week program taught to local fifth-grade students. The curriculum covers decisionmaking skills, resisting peer pressure, dealing with bullying, building self-esteem, the consequences of drug abuse and the benefits of community service. Established in 1983, the DARE program is currently conducted in over 40 countries.

The DARE program is a collaboration among the police, schools and parents. The police officers provide the curriculum. Every DARE officer must attend a two-week training to become a certified instructor and must also attend annual update training. The school districts provide the setting for the officer. The classroom teachers give the officer 50 minutes of class time each week, and parents play a role in offering support to their children for participating in the program. The parents attend a celebration at the conclusion of the DARE program, which acknowledges the accomplishments of the participating students with various awards for community service, being a role model, having outstanding writing skills and demonstrating leadership skills.

How the Programs Dovetail The DARE to Pay It Forward program conducts monthly meetings at the Tracy Police Department. The mentors also meet after school with the younger students. These meetings are sometimes held at the schools, local parks or eating establishments. The locations are intended to help the younger students feel comfortable when meeting with their mentor. The DARE to Pay It Forward mentors speak at the DARE concluding celebrations and share how the things they learned in fifth grade helped them in high school and later in life.

The City of Tracy won the Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government category of the 2017 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit


League of California Cities

Students celebrate their accomplishments at a graduation ceremony.

Lauren Widner is a former high school student and member of DARE to Pay It Forward. She says, “I was a part of the DARE to Pay It Forward program for four years. I enjoyed helping others and mentoring the kids involved in the DARE program made me happy. I spoke at the DARE graduations, and each time was special to me because I knew my message would resonate with the students for years to come.” The DARE to Pay It Forward program aims to provide children with knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and to develop safe and healthy lifestyles. Topics covered include tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, volatile substances, bullying, antisocial behavior and different types of peer pressure. The children examine cultural attitudes and beliefs about alcohol and tobacco. The sessions are interactive and offer a range of learning opportunities through individual activities, teamwork, discussions, storyboards and appropriate role playing. High school graduate Simran Grewal says, “I enjoyed talking to the younger students about staying away from the negative temptations in life. I hope I impacted them in a positive way.” The students who participate in DARE to Pay It Forward also organize and assist with several community service projects. This provides another opportunity to bond with the younger children. These projects include donating food and clothing to the needy, writing letters of support to military personnel, visiting patients at a memory facility, cleaning local parks and inviting local police officers to lunch. Such projects give the students a better understanding of Tracy’s broader community. It also allows them to help others while building their self-esteem. DARE Officer Steve Abercrombie says, “It’s important for the students to realize that they need to play an active role in their community. Part of being a good citizen is caring for others.” Every year, participants and staff celebrate the DARE to Pay It Forward program. Students receive awards for participating in community service and for being role models and leaders, which reinforces their accomplishments in the program. The students















who participate in and help with the greatest number of community service projects receive a pin and recognition at a city council meeting. Teachers also honor participating students for being good role models for their fellow classmates. In addition, the group selects one student from their class — who continually demonstrates the characteristics of respect, responsibility, caring, trustworthiness, citizenship and fairness — to receive the DARE leadership award. One student from each class is selected as the top essay winner. The students then share their report on the leadership award with the audience.

Funding for the Program The DARE to Pay It Forward program receives financial support from the Tracy DARE nonprofit organization. The DARE officer works directly with the Tracy DARE Board of Directors in providing community service projects. These projects include building libraries in Africa, assisting with Brighter Christmas of Tracy, visiting local senior centers, donating toys to the patients in local children’s hospitals and more. The mentors are also encouraged to create new community service projects.

Making a Difference The DARE program has played a key role in fostering a positive relationship among local children, their parents and law enforcement personnel. The interaction between the youths, parents, families and law enforcement helps to create an awareness that police officers are not “the enemy.” Through the program, members of the community appreciate that each and every day, the officers put their own lives on the line to protect and serve. As a result, the students who participate in DARE and DARE to Pay It Forward are not only more supportive of the system, but they are also more likely to continue to obey the laws, respect their community and care for others, thus building a stronger, safer community. Contact: Steve Abercrombie, police officer, Tracy Police Department; phone: (209) 831-6647; email: ■




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