M AY 2019 |
The Monthly Magazine of the League of California CitiesÂŽ
City Economic Development in 2019: Resources, Options and Prospects p.15 Community Choice Aggregation Drives Economic Development p.10 Opportunity Zones: Is Your City Ready? p.19
CONTENTS 2 Calendar of League Events 3 Executive Director’s Message
Peninsula Division 22
Explores Ways to Build Workforce Readiness
Cities Adapt as Tools for Economic Development Evolve
By Carolyn Coleman
ity leaders are pursuing new and C innovative ways to enhance their community’s economic well-being.
By Barrie Hathaway and Larry Moody
usinesses are struggling to find B the talent they need.
26 California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence
Milpitas Initiative Targets Workforce Development
8 City Forum
Economic Development Tools Make Community Investment Possible
he city helps local manufacturers T attract qualified young workers.
28 California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence
Register Today! www.cacities.org/events
MAYORS & COUNCIL MEMBERS Executive forum June 19–20, 2019
Newport Beach Marriott Space is limited to the first 400 registrants
Why attend? Designed for elected officials who are interested in cutting edge approaches to challenges facing cities. Learn about a wide range of topics, and network with your peers from throughout the state!
Long Beach Public Advanced Leadership Art Festival Spurs
By Amanda Cadelago
mped Kitchens blends innovation A and economic development.
Friday, June 21, 2019
Community Choice 10
30 California Cities Helen Putnam
NEWPORT BEACH MARRIOTT
Artists create murals and other
Aggregation Drives forms of art in a week-long event. REGISTER EARLY! Space limited to the first 100 registrants for each workshop. Economic Development
By Karalee Browne
Award for Excellence
Los Angeles Santa Barbara San Francisco Stockton Marysville Sonora Oakland City Alameda Placerville San Luis Obispo Eureka Nevada City Yreka Arcata Petaluma Temecula Santa Cruz Ventura City Santa Rosa Watsonville Vallejo Colusa Suisun City San Bernardino Gilroy Trinidad Woodland Chico Antioch Jones San Leandro Napa Hollister San Rafael Visalia Salinas Wheatland Ukiah Hayward Anaheim St. Helena
his option reduces electricity costs, T provides cleaner energy options, National City South Pasadena Lake Elsinore San Jacinto Paso Robles Pacific Grove offers economic opportunity and Redondo Beach Grass Valley Bakersfield Mill Valley Porterville Mountain View increases transparency. Santa Maria Sacramento San Diego San Jose Benicia
Santa Clarita Takes a Sustainable Approach to Economic Development
Livermore Etna Dixon Berkeley Sonoma Riverside Modesto Fresno Calistoga Willows Santa Ana Pasadena Los Gatos
Redding Monrovia Pomona
Escondido Willits Redlands
Emeryville Belvedere Long Beach Sebastopol
Fort Bragg Monterey Lincoln Coronado
Selma Ferndale Sausalito Rio Vista Palo Alto Pleasanton San Mateo
Winters Whittier Azusa Lemoore Susanville
Bishop Pittsburg Pinole Biggs Oxnard Alhambra Arcadia Fairfield
Vernon Gridley Jackson Oroville Dinuba Fortuna Glendale Coalinga Upland Tehama
Park Newport Beach Morgan Hill
Lodi Hermosa Beach Piedmont Sierra Madre
Los Banos Corning
Inglewood Turlock Larkspur Brawley Calexico El Centro Kingsburg Burlingame Newman Fowler Holtville
Roseville Dunsmuir Tehachapi Orland Hemet Colfax Chino Lindsay
San Fernando Glendora Rialto El Cajon El Monte Beaumont Manhattan Beach Sunnyvale Banning Sutter Creek Reedley San Gabriel
Tracy Taft King City Exeter Daly City Sanger Perris Burbank
City Economic Development 15 Camp
La Mesa Clovis
Fillmore Corcoran Firebaugh Walnut Creek San Bruno Delano
El Segundo Plymouth Brea Davis El Cerrito
Seal Beach Gustine
Ceres Manteca Calipatria
o build prosperity, the city develT ops and supports local talent.
Williams Montebello Soledad Torrance Lynwood Ojai Parlier Hawthorne Atwater Riverbank Livingston South Gate Chowchilla
in 2019: Resources, Options and Prospects
Signal Hill Colma Maywood La Habra San Carlos Belmont Placentia Laguna Beach Tustin Bell Menlo Park San Clemente Westmorland Dos Palos Tulelake Shafter Palm Springs Palos Verdes Estates Woodlake Mendota Ripon Wasco Folsom Kerman Galt Coachella Greenfield Gonzales Live Oak Barstow Millbrae Orange Cove Brentwood Port Hueneme San
Indio Gardena Fairfax
Del Rey Oaks Milpitas Lakewood Seaside Newark Cupertino La Palma Anderson Fremont Baldwin Park Los Altos Hills Cerritos Montclair Stanton Garden Grove Imperial Beach Cypress La Puente Saratoga Woodside Downey Rolling Hills Paramount Escalon Westminster Monte Sereno Santa Fe Springs Fountain Valley City of Industry
Pablo Capitola Huron Campbell Fontana Carlsbad Los Altos Buena Park Ione Costa Mesa
McFarland Bradbury Irwindale Duarte Norwalk Bellflower Del Mar
By Dan Carrigg Half Moon Bay
Rolling Hills Estates
Pico Rivera South El Monte
Walnut Union City Artesia
Grover Beach Lawndale Novato City of Commerce Los Alamitos La Mirada Temple City Sand City San Dimas Farmersville San Juan Capistrano Bell Gardens Hidden Hills Pleasant Hill Brisbane Villa Park Palmdale Rohnert Park Victorville Vista San
Desert Hot Springs Ridgecrest Clayton Hawaiian Gardens Tiburon Lomita Portola Valley Morro Bay Thousand Oaks Camarillo Norco Yountville Rio Dell Carpinteria South Lake Tahoe California City Scotts Valley Indian Wells Yorba Linda Carson Lafayette Simi Valley Waterford Loma Linda Adelanto Foster City Irvine Hughson Rancho Mirage Rancho Palos Verdes Palm Desert Moraga Marina La Cañada Flintridge Lemon Grove Lancaster Rancho Cucamonga Grand Terrace La Habra Heights Atascadero Avenal Paradise Clearlake Big Bear Lake Santee Poway Cathedral City Westlake Village Dublin Orinda
Job Opportunities 32 Professional Services 40
esources are available for R Agoura Hills Mammoth Lakes West Hollywood Moreno Valley those with the determination to Solana Beach Twentynine Palms Santa Clarita Mission Viejo Apple Valley Diamond Bar Laguna Niguel Canyon Lake Murrieta Yucca Valley Laguna Hills Lake Forest American Canyon Shasta Lake Citrus Heights Laguna Woods Aliso Viejo new Rancho Cordova understand and use the tools and funding options. La Quinta Danville
East Palo Alto San Ramon Moorpark
Encinitas West Sacramento
Buellton Windsor Truckee
Oakley Elk Grove
Wildomar Menifee Eastvale
Opportunity Zones: Is Your 19 City Ready?
By Larry J. Kosmont
ver 100 opportunity funds with O more than $23 billion are searching for investment-worthy projects of all types.
ADVANCED LEADERSHIP Tuesday, May 28, 2019
REGISTRATION AND HOUSING DEADLINE:
June 21, registration, 2019 go to www.cacities.org/events h For online and select “Mayors & Council Members Advanced Newport Beach Marriott Leadership Workshops”.
h To is request a mail-in registration form, contact Space limited to the first 100 registrants email@example.com.
Cover image: Deliormanli
Three premium workshops: • City Finances — What You Need to Know • Cannabis Regulation: Best Practices For Your City • Level Up Your Leadership: Mastering Your Role as a Council Member, Community Leader and Colleague REGISTRATION AND HOUSING DEADLINE: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
President Jan Arbuckle Council Member Grass Valley
1400 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 658-8200 Fax (916) 658-8240
First Vice President Randon Lane Mayor pro Tem Murrieta
Second Vice President John Dunbar Mayor Yountville
Immediate Past President Rich Garbarino Vice Mayor South San Francisco
Executive Director Carolyn Coleman
For a complete list of the League board of directors, visit www.cacities.org/board.
Magazine Staff Editor in Chief Jude Hudson Lemons, Hudson + Associates (916) 658-8234; email: firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Norman Coppinger (916) 658-8277; email: email@example.com Advertising Sales Manager Pam Maxwell-Blodgett (916) 658-8256; email: firstname.lastname@example.org Administrative Assistant Savannah Cobbs (916) 658-8223; email: email@example.com Contributors Melissa Kuehne Erica Manuel Seth Miller Kayla Woods
leaguevents may 8–10
City Attorneys’ Spring Conference, Monterey This meeting covers trends and issues affecting public law practitioners and provides an opportunity to connect with colleagues.
Policy Committee Meetings, Sacramento The League’s policy committees review issues of interest to cities statewide and make recommendations to the League board of directors.
Associate Editors Carol Malinowski Carolyn Walker
Legal Advocacy Committee Meeting, Sacramento The committee reviews and recommends friend-of-the-court efforts on cases of significant statewide interest to California cities.
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For photo credits, see page 34. 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.
Mayors and Council Members’ Advanced Leadership Workshops, Newport Beach The workshops offer local elected officials who attended the preceding Executive Forum an opportunity to explore in greater detail topics such as managing municipal finances and resources.
Board of Directors’ Meeting, Newport Beach The League board reviews, discusses and takes action on a variety of issues affecting cities, including legislation, legal advocacy, education and training and more.
ED US IN G
Postmaster: Send address changes to Western City, 1400 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Western City Trademark Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. ©2019 League of California Cities. All rights reserved. Material may not be reprinted without written permission. This issue is Volume XCV, No. 5.
Mayors and Council Members’ Executive Forum, Newport Beach The forum’s sessions keep elected officials up to date on key issues.
Event and registration information is available at www.cacities.org/events. W
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Executive Director’s Message by Carolyn Coleman
West Gateway Place, West Sacramento’s transit-oriented workforce housing development, is one of the first in California to use cap-and-trade funds. left to right City of West Sacramento Housing Program Manager Louise Collis, Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas, Housing Program Manager Raul Huerta-Castro, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Economic Development and Housing Director Aaron Laurel, West Sacramento City Council Member Quirina Orozco, Community Investment Manager Katy Jacobson and West Sacramento City Manager Martin Tuttle.
Cities Adapt as Tools for Economic Development Evolve For years, city officials, state legislators, members of the business community and others have lamented the state’s decision in 2011 to eliminate redevelopment, a vitally important financing tool that cities used to revitalize urban cores, support economic development and build affordable housing.
schools and special districts) would continue to receive the amounts they received during the base year when the project was established plus 2 percent annual growth. In some cases, property tax pass-through agreements were negotiated to allow some tax growth to flow to a specific entity.
Under redevelopment, financing projects to redevelop an area of a city with tax increment was based on two principles:
After a redevelopment plan was adopted, however, and as improvements were made, all property tax growth increment was dedicated to the project and repayment of debt secured to finance the project. This was the heart of redevelopment financing and the core of the debate that led to its demise. Counties and special districts disliked not being part of the decision to form redevelopment agencies in cities and had other funding priorities. And state budget drafters complained because Proposition 98 (1988) required the state to backfill schools’ losses from
1. Improvements could be made to a deteriorated area and the increased property values would pay for the improvements; and 2. Improvements to that deteriorated area increased property tax revenue for all taxing entities. Using the redevelopment tool, the property tax base was frozen within a designated project area. Other taxing entities (counties,
redevelopment diversion, which by 2011 amounted to about $2 billion per year. At its peak, redevelopment generated over $6 billion a year to cities for investments within a designated project area. Although the redevelopment financing tool as we knew it is gone, economic development remains a priority for city leaders. They are pursuing new and innovative ways to develop and implement projects to strengthen their community’s economic well-being, create and retain the region’s workforce and grow the city’s tax base, enhancing the quality of life for all residents. City leaders also understand that economic development is vital to the livelihood of a community, as it fosters an environment that attracts the interest of new families, businesses and visitors. continued
Western City, May 2019
Cities Adapt as Tools for Economic Development Evolve, continued
Whether small or large, north or south, coastal or inland, cities today are using new development tools and strategies and are pursuing new opportunities to help local economies grow.
Collaborating to Compete: “Innovate78” Unites Five Cities to Boost Economic Development In an attempt to find a creative strategy to spur economic development in a postredevelopment world, Innovate78 is an effort that leverages regional resources and encourages businesses, academic institutions and a multitude of industries to join in partnership to strengthen the economy and attract more investment. Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista — five cities along the State Route (SR) 78 corridor in San Diego County — often felt they were overlooked and not considered serious contenders when trying to recruit businesses seeking to expand or relocate in San Diego County, partly because the area lacked a cohesive regional economic development plan. Although the region is known throughout the state and country as a desirable place to live due to its high quality of life, well-performing schools, wide range of workforce skill levels and attractive lifestyle, the individual cities were often unsuccessful in their economic development efforts. As is often the case, the five neighboring cities viewed each other as competitors rather than collaborators. The cities rarely shared information and often attempted to attract businesses from one another. In 2012, the five cities decided to set aside their competitive approach and collaborate on developing a collective plan to boost economic prosperity along the SR 78 corridor. After several years of brand development and campaign implementation, Innovate78 is now putting its economic development plan and brand strategy
League of California Cities
“Streamline Riverside” Fosters Collaboration and Improves Planning Process for Businesses
into action to attract new companies and talent. The partnership is promoting the area as an innovative region to businesses, families and educational institutions. Since its launch, the program has helped persuade businesses to move to the region, assisted with site selection for businesses looking to expand and collaborated with new businesses on workforce development and recruitment.
The Streamline Riverside program was created in spring 2016 through a collaboration among the City of Riverside, Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, design professionals, developers, the Building Industry Association and business owners.
Collaboration among cities in the region ensured success for Innovate78 and increased the area’s economic vitality. As a collective unit, the five cities were more successful in unlocking new funding and attracting and retaining businesses within the SR 78 corridor.
This city-initiated program seeks to: • Facilitate investment by removing obstacles at all levels of the development review process; • Develop and implement new business practices to improve the customer experience; and
In 2018, the partnership visited more than 100 businesses and facilitated robust discussions about helping individual businesses grow, collaborating with Innovate78 and exploring potential incentives the program can help the businesses secure. In the first quarter of 2019, Innovate78 conducted 27 business visits and helped three businesses secure tax credit funds through the Cal Competes Tax Credits, which will allow them to create 204 new jobs over the next five years.
• Foster a culture of continual improvement within the city’s development review departments. The redesigned planning process allows every project to be reviewed within two to four weeks, depending on complexity. Under the program, Riverside amended hundreds of zoning codes to streamline the development review process, eliminate outdated use restrictions and development standards and reduce entitlement processing times.
Vista San Marcos Escondido
The five cities participating in the Innovate78 partnership joined forces in a collaborative effort to boost regional economic development.
The cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad are part of the five-city Innovate78 partnership focused on attracting and retaining jobs.
The city also created a Development Review Committee that places representatives from nine departments involved in the development review and permitting process at one table to meet with the business owner or homeowner to answer questions about their project. In addition, Streamline Riverside implemented a state-of-the-art permitting software system that coordinates all department reviews and allows customers to remotely check the real-time status of projects (such as inspections and plan reviews) 24/7 via a customizable dashboard. The Streamline Riverside program offers a great example of the innovation that can emerge from creating partnerships both within and outside city departments and fostering communication among professionals with diverse experience and backgrounds. The effort involved individuals from both the private and public sectors who considered a range of ideas and incorporated honest feedback into a complicated program.
West Sacramento Finds Creative Ways to Secure Funding for an Affordable Housing Project In the City of West Sacramento, West Gateway Place is one of the first transitoriented workforce housing developments in California to receive the state’s capand-trade funding, but the path to receive that funding was not an easy one. The high-density housing project was first conceived more than a decade ago when the city secured a $23 million grant from the state’s Prop. 1C Infill Infrastructure Grant program. The project was developed as a partnership of Jamboree Housing and the West Sacramento Housing Development Corporation. The city provided a significant gap financing loan, which included the value of the land plus most of the dedicated funding the city had available for affordable housing.
In 2015, the city successfully secured cap-and-trade funds through the state’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant program. The state’s Strategic Growth Council administers the grant program and coordinates the activities of state agencies and partners with stakeholders to promote sustainability, economic prosperity and quality of life for all Californians. The funding included $2.6 million for West Gateway Place and an additional $4.1 million for surrounding infrastructure and streetscape improvements. This impressive West Sacramento project has supported the transformation of the city’s urban riverfront. It comprises 78 housing units with affordability levels between 30 to 50 percent of area median income, a 4,000-square-foot retail space and transportation improvements in transit-oriented development and infill development districts. A second phase of the project is underway on a city-owned site immediately to the east. continued
Western City, May 2019
Cities Adapt as Tools for Economic Development Evolve, continued
“As a city, we believe it’s important to provide housing and services for people who may not have higher paying jobs, such as store clerks or warehouse workers, but who want to live in our community,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon when the project was completed. “West Gateway Place represents the type of high quality, mixeduse housing that these residents will be able to afford and where they can live a comfortable life. It also underscores the progress we are making as we reclaim our industrial waterfront as one of the region’s best opportunities for urban, sustainable living — connected to jobs, shops and community facilities by walking, biking and future streetcar service.”
New Tools and Opportunities on the Horizon In an effort to help fill the funding void left after the loss of redevelopment, the
League of California Cities
League has supported and helped shape several new tools for economic development, and opportunities are on the horizon for more to add to the mix. In the past five years, the state has created several tax-increment tools, including Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts (EIFDs), Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIAs), Affordable Housing Authorities (AHAs) and others. EIFDs, for example, provide an opportunity for local agencies to use tax increment to finance an array of projects in their communities, such as infrastructure, affordable housing, transit-oriented development and light rail. To learn more about these tools, visit the tax-increment section of the League website at www. cacities.org/Policy-Advocacy/Hot-Issues/ New-Tax-Increment-Tools. These tools are a step in the right direction, but they all have their limitations
and are less fiscally robust than the former redevelopment tax-increment tool. That situation may soon change. In the current legislative session, Sen. Jim Beall (D-San José) and Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), chairs of the Senate committees on transportation and governance and finance, have introduced SB 5 to create an Affordable Housing and Community Investment Program that would fill the financing void left by redevelopment’s elimination. This new tax-increment financing tool would restore a robust financing mechanism that would incentivize the production of housing, spur investment in infrastructure and revitalize neighborhoods. The League is a sponsor of SB 5 and urges cities to send letters of support to their legislators. At the federal level, the U.S. Investing in Opportunity Act (passed in 2017 as part of the new federal tax bill) created tax incentives for investment in desig-
nated census tracts called Opportunity Zones. The new law was designed to spur growth in low-income communities by encouraging reinvestment of capital gains into certified Opportunity Funds. Investments made by individuals through special funds in these zones would be allowed to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains. Opportunity Zones are probably best understood not as a new grant program but as a new federal investment tool that creates tax preferences, which then drive individual and market behavior.
City leaders are pursuing new and innovative ways to develop and implement projects to enhance their community’s economic well-being.
More than 8,700 Opportunity Zones have been designated throughout the nation with 879 zones in California. To view the areas that have been designated as Opportunity Zones in California, see the map on page 21 or visit https://opzones. ca.gov. Though the program’s first year was marked by ambiguity and uncertainty, many cities remain committed to working to ensure their Opportunity Zones are used to improve the lives of their residents and the communities they call home. (See “Opportunity Zones: Is Your City Ready?” on page 19 for more information.) The U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS are the lead federal agencies in developing the rules of the program. The rules have yet to be finalized but you can follow the status on both the National League of Cities website (www.nlc.org/topics/ economic-development/opportunityzones) and the California State Department of Finance website (www.dof. ca.gov/Forecasting/Demographics/ opportunity_zones/index.html). The League will continue monitoring the development of the regulatory framework for these rules so cities with designated zones know how to capitalize on the use of this new tool that, coupled with state financing tools, has the potential to bring significant new resources to invest in economic development in communities statewide. ■
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Western City, May 2019
Economic Development Community InvesTment “Amped Kitchens L.A. South” Ignites Job Creation and Unique Business Solutions by Amanda Cadelago Creating sustainable, living-wage job opportunities in underserved communities is a cornerstone of economic development. Amped Kitchens L.A. South is a multi-tenant food production facility located south of the downtown area in Los Angeles. Civic Enterprise Development (CED), a company focused on emerging neighborhoods, created this unique solution for aspiring small food manufacturers that will generate hundreds of permanent new jobs, positively affecting the neighborhood’s economic vitality. CED worked with financial and public agency partnerships to launch Amped Kitchens. The League-sponsored California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) provided $14 million of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) allocated to the project — crucial funding made possible through a competitive federal program. The developers also collaborated with local city and county agencies to help expedite the government approval process for small food manufacturers.
Breaking Through Barriers Amped Kitchens, which opened in April 2019, blends innovation and economic development. Approximately 250 new permanent jobs are expected to result from this project — 75 percent of the new jobs will likely be filled by residents from low-income communities in and surrounding South Los Angeles. The facility also provides pre-inspected, ready-to-occupy, private kitchen spaces with access to shared amenities to help small food manufacturers scale production faster in a highly regulated industry.
Facility costs, infrastructure and permitting pose significant barriers to new and emerging food businesses. CED teamed up with the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety and the L.A. County Department of Public Health to help streamline the permitting processes. Many tenants can get up and running in a fraction of the time at a lower cost than doing it alone. CED co-founder Mott Smith says, “Food regulation is more intense than ever. This is great for public health, but it’s a real challenge for small and growing businesses that don’t have the resources of the bigger players. We founded Amped Kitchens specifically to give these small firms a leg up. We’re excited to be a part of this company’s growth and to see what a difference this makes to the community.” In selecting the location for Amped Kitchens, CED looked to neighborhoods with potential for opportunity and growth and prioritized communities with a solid workforce, close to public transportation and trucking routes. In addition, CED opted to renovate an existing structure rather than build from scratch. The developers ultimately chose to convert a nearly 100-year-old warehouse into 62 food production spaces in Los Angeles’ Ninth District. Amped Kitchens’ future success supports the Ninth District’s economic development initiatives to boost the community’s health and vitality. The impact goes beyond job creation and bolstering a growing tax base by improving the landscape of the neighborhood to make it more attractive to potential businesses. “A vacant warehouse has been transformed into a center of food enterprise, innovation and employment,” says Council Member Curren D. Price Jr., who chairs the Economic Development Committee of the Los Angeles City Council. “Civic Enterprise Development is investing in the incredible talent, community and history that’s so abundant in the Ninth District, and I’m excited to support innovative projects like Amped Kitchens L.A. South, which breathe new energy into our historic communities.”
Amanda Cadelago is marketing manager for the League and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cacities.org
Tools Make Possible Underserved communities have the potential for reinvigoration through creative business investments. However, funding is often a challenge for developers and investors who must seek various sources of loans and grants to finance projects. Without the NMTC funding allocated by CSCDA, Amped Kitchens may not have become a reality.
The facility provides support for fledgling small food manufacturers.
CSCDA programs for government financing include:
New Markets Tax Credit Program Plays Key Role in Financing NMTC is a federal program that creates an investment tax credit, encouraging and providing incentives for investments in qualifying low-income census tracts. Qualifying entities can apply for available NMTC allocation for projects that create significant community impacts for low-income individuals and families. NMTC offers a viable economic development tool, though the nationwide process is highly competitive with a demand that is well over 10 times the available allocation. Conventional financing based on traditional underwriting standards was not possible for this project. CED worked with CSCDA’s community development entity affiliate to undergo the extensive process for NMTC allocation. In 2017, CSCDA provided $14 million of NMTC allocation to Amped Kitchens L.A. South. CSCDA also worked with other community development entities that provided an additional $11 million in NMTC allocation to complete the financing for Amped Kitchens L.A. South. Mott Smith says, “The New Markets Tax Credit program was the lynchpin that made Amped Kitchens L.A. South possible. We’re providing 62 spaces for emerging companies — many of whom don’t have traditional credit — in an emerging neighborhood. That’s solid economic development. But it’s not a model that attracts conventional financing. Thanks to New Markets Tax Credits, though, we could finance the project and bring 200 to 300 new jobs to this community.”
Additional Tools for Community-Based Public Benefit Projects In addition to the NMTC program, a variety of tools can be used to finance community-based public benefit projects. CSCDA provides public and private entities access to financial mechanisms that promote economic development and help build community infrastructure, provide affordable housing, create jobs and more.
• Total Road Improvement Program (TRIP); • Statewide Community Infrastructure Program (SCIP); • CaLease (tax-exempt lease-purchase financing); • Water and Wastewater Bond Program (WWBP); and • Gas Tax and Proposition 42 Securitization. CSCDA programs for private sector and nonprofit financing include: • Industrial development bonds; • Multifamily and senior housing bonds; • Nonprofit revenue bonds; • Exempt facilities/solid waste; and • Taxable bonds. CSCDA programs for energy financing include: • Sustainable energy bonds; • CaliforniaFirst and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program; and • Open and commercial PACE clean energy projects. To learn more about NMTC and CSCDA’s other bond financing programs, visit www.cscda.org or contact Jon Penkower, managing director, CSCDA; email: email@example.com; phone: (925) 476-5887. The California Statewide Communities Development Authority is a joint powers authority (JPA) sponsored by the League and the California State Association of Counties. The JPA was organized in 1988 and now has more than 500 members, including over 350 cities, 57 counties and a number of special districts. CSCDA was created to give local governments and private entities access to low-cost, tax-exempt financing for projects that create jobs, help communities prosper and improve the quality of life in California. ■
Western City, May 2019
Community Choice Aggregation Drives Economic Development by Karalee Browne The concept of community choice aggregation (CCA) has gained a lot of momentum since the enactment of Californiaâ€™s CCA-enabling legislation, AB 117 (Chapter 838, Statutes of 2002). Under the CCA model (also known as a community choice energy model), cities and counties buy and/or generate electricity for local government, residents and businesses and make key decisions about rates, what types of electricity to purchase and which programs to offer customers. Though reducing electricity costs and providing cleaner energy options for residents and businesses were the initial drivers leading cities to pursue CCA, elected leaders are now also looking at it as a means of economic opportunity and job creation for their communities.
CCAs Use Two Basic Models Two main CCA models currently operate in California. The first is a joint powers authority (JPA) model where cities and/or counties join to form a JPA, an independent public agency that operates the CCA on behalf of its member agencies. MCE (formerly Marin Clean Energy), Monterey Bay Community Power, Peninsula Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Valley Clean Energy all operate using this model. When a JPA is formed, participating jurisdictions typically are represented on the JPAâ€™s board of directors, which is made up of elected leaders from participating cities or counties. Many CCAs also have a community advisory committee,
Karalee Browne is a program manager for the Institute for Local Government and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
League of California Cities
which often comprises volunteers who represent the participating agencies and labor and commercial, agricultural, industrial or other stakeholders. The second option is a single jurisdiction model whereby a city or county individually establishes and operates a CCA as an enterprise fund within the jurisdiction. This model has the same benefits of the JPA model but differs in that the jurisdiction retains full program autonomy and control over all of the revenue. The single jurisdiction model offers more autonomy but it also has an inherent risk, as the single jurisdiction is responsible for any future liabilities. The City of Lancaster uses this approach.
In both models, the investor-owned utility (IOU), such as Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric Company, collaborates with the CCA to deliver the electricity that the CCA purchases through the IOUâ€™s transmission and distribution system. The IOU most often provides meter reading, billing, infrastructure maintenance and outage response services, while the CCA is solely responsible for the source and price of the electricity flowing to the residentâ€™s home. Currently, under California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) rules, a CCA can apply to administer its own energy efficiency programs to customers in its service area using ratepayer funds generated from the public goods charge (CPUC Code Section 381.1). Though residents and businesses are automatically enrolled in a CCA when it is formed, existing law allows customers to opt out and remain with the existing IOU. CCAs are required to inform customers of the option to opt out.
Monterey Bay Community Power Offers Attractive Rates and Rebates Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP), one of the newest community choice energy providers to launch in California, operates using a JPA structure. MBCP started serving customers in spring 2018 and was explicitly designed as a carbon-free electricity service aimed at lowering energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in the areas it serves: Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. MBCP procures all of its electricity from carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power. The JPA does not contract for any power produced from nuclear energy or any fossil-based sources. MBCP automatically enrolls its customers in a plan that provides them with 30 percent renewable energy at rates that match those of the incumbent utility, PG&E. The other 70 percent comes from large hydroelectric power stations, which are carbon-free but not considered
renewable sources. MBCP also offers its customers a 100 percent renewable energy option for just one cent more per kilowatt-hour than PG&E rates. In both options, customers receive a 3 percent rebate at the end of the year for savings realized during the year, which they can apply as a credit on their bill or donate back to MBCP to use for environmentally friendly programming. In its first year, MBCP returned over $4.4 million in rebates, with more than 65 percent going to commercial customers. MBCP assumes that these commercial customers will use the additional savings to bolster community and economic development by reinvesting in their businesses, employees or community. In addition to the rebate monies donated back by customers, MBCP sets aside 2 percent of its gross annual revenue for community programs. Initial community programming includes funding an electrification strategic plan, electric vehicle incentives and a partnership with GRID continued
How Community Choice Aggregation Works
CCA procures clean energy sources
Investor-owned utility delivers energy and maintains the grid
Gets cleaner energy, local control and competitive rates
Western City, May 2019
Community Choice Aggregation Drives Economic Development, continued
Alternatives, a nonprofit organization that provides solar installations and solar job training to low-income communities. Santa Cruz County Supervisor Bruce McPherson, one of the driving forces behind MBCP, says phase two of the community programming will focus on distributed energy and microgrids that will help drive economic development in the region. He says, “Monterey Bay Community Power is community-owned and operated, so our residents directly benefit from the employment opportunities, rebates and clean power projects we provide.”
Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy Uses a Hybrid Approach The City of Pico Rivera’s demographics are very different from that of many other
CCA communities — as is its rationale for starting its CCA, called Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy (PRIME). It uses a hybrid combination of the JPA and single jurisdiction models, whereby PRIME receives buying power and general advice from the City of Lancaster’s CCA. Ninety percent of Pico Rivera’s community is Hispanic or Latino, with the median household income roughly 25 percent below the state average. In addition, Pico Rivera has a large senior and veteran population, most of whom are on fixed incomes. Mayor pro Tem Gustavo Camacho says that providing residents with much-needed financial relief was one of the major motivations behind creating PRIME. “The ability to have local control of our rates and provide customized local programming is very important to us,” says Mayor pro Tem Camacho. “We
are constantly reinventing ourselves and looking for innovative ways to provide lasting value to our community.” According to Camacho, a renewable energy business development director, the City of Pico Rivera has been proactive in promoting power alternatives, resource conservation and smart energy consumption, and now it seeks to showcase the benefits of these efforts to its residents through the city’s PRIME programs. Pico Rivera is focusing much of its programming on education, with an emphasis on youth. The city has also recently contracted with a consulting firm to conduct an energy assessment of its service territory. PRIME General Manager Katherine Hernandez says the assessment will “help map out the next 15 to 30 years of projects in Pico Rivera,
Hydroelectricity generated by facilities such as Shasta Dam offers one source of clean power for community choice aggregation.
League of California Cities
ranging from distributed energy resources to virtual power plants and innovative collaborative procurement strategies.”
Challenges and Opportunities Nineteen CCA programs now operate in California, serving more than 10 million customers. Many more are in the planning stages. The growing popularity of CCAs in California has affected the traditional IOU-based model of providing electricity services and the IOUs. A major issue facing both CCAs and IOUs is the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA). The PCIA is effectively an exit fee set by the CPUC that all departing customers would pay the IOUs when they leave the utilities’ services and become part of a CCA. The purpose is
to make the utility whole or “indifferent,” so that customers leaving an IOU do not burden the remaining customers with costs that were previously incurred to serve those who left the IOU. This fee is set each January and fluctuates depending on the difference between the IOU’s actual portfolio costs and the market value of the IOU’s portfolio. The subject of some disagreement over the methodology used to establish the PCIA, this growing uncertainty and the PCIA’s recent increases could have a major impact on the low rates CCAs have been able to offer customers and the extra money they are able to set aside for local programming that supports economic development. The second issue is the Resource Adequacy (RA) requirement, established by the
CPUC, that both IOUs and CCAs must meet. The IOUs and CCAs are required to procure adequate resources in advance to ensure reliability of the power grid. In 2018, the CPUC adopted a resolution to resolve the problem of “double procurement.” Both the CCAs and the IOUs were purchasing RA for the same customers due to out-of-sync regulatory processes. That has now been resolved and the CCAs, along with many other stakeholders, support the CPUC adopting a multi-year RA framework that will bring greater certainty to the RA market and allow the state to forecast reliability.
continued on page 36
How to Establish a CCA Cities and counties must follow a specific process set forth in law and regulation to establish a CCA, which ultimately must receive certification from the California Public Utilities Commission. This process starts with the adoption of an ordinance to establish a CCA, followed by the creation of a business plan or feasibility study. The city or county must then submit a statement of intent and an implementation plan to the CPUC. Within 90 days from filing, the CPUC will certify the plan, and a start date will be set by which the CCA can launch. At the time of launch, all CCAs are required to have sufficient funds to compensate ratepayers for IOU re-entry fees should the CCA have to terminate services for some reason. Some cities are also joining CCAs already in existence. For example, the cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay recently joined Monterey Bay Community Power.
Litigation Retirement Public Safety Wage and Hour Labor Relations Employment Law Public Records Act
Cities and counties considering whether to form a CCA often first establish an advisory committee and conduct a thorough analysis of the feasibility, costs and benefits. This enables local elected officials to make informed decisions about whether and how to proceed.
Western City, May 2019
City Economic Development in 2019:
Resources, Options and Prospects by Dan Carrigg
League of California Cities
Ten years ago, identifying the major economic development tools available for cities was simple: they consisted of local redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones. Both are gone. Now city officials must sort through smaller puzzle pieces with an array of new programs and acronyms when seeking to address their community’s needs. Nevertheless, resources are available for those with the patience and persistence to understand and use the new tools and funding options.
Existing Funding Resources SB 1 Transportation Funding (Beall, Chapter 5, Statutes of 2017). After 10 years of work, the League and other key stakeholders helped secure the largest augmentation in transportation funding in decades at $5.2 billion per year, which included doubling the amount that cities receive to fix their streets and roads. In November 2018, voters rejected Prop. 6, which attempted to repeal this funding source. City officials can now put these funds to work on much-needed projects in their communities. SB 2 Funding for Updating General, Specific and Community Plans (Atkins, Chapter 364, Statutes of 2017). Updated plans are critical both to getting the community on board with your city’s development plans and reducing uncertainty for developers. The problem for many cities, however, is that planning efforts are costly and often take a back seat to public safety and other more urgent priorities. New ongoing funding is now available from SB 2 to help communities update their plans and streamline future development, including housing. Proposition 68 Park Funds. Cities will receive minimum $200,000 grants to improve local parks from Prop. 68 (a $4 billion parks and water bond approved in June 2018). Several big cities will get larger amounts. Cities are also eligible to apply for over $1 billion in additional
funding for parks, safe drinking water, recycling and flood protection. Prop. 1 Housing Funds. With the elimination of redevelopment in 2011 and no state housing bond since 2006, Prop. 1 — a $4 billion housing bond approved by voters in November 2018 — represents the first infusion of new housing funds in nearly a decade. Gov. Gavin Newsom has committed to expediting the allocation of these funds in 2019. Cities should be partnering now with local developers and nonprofits and prepare to apply for funding to build affordable housing. Prop. 2 and Emergency Homelessness Housing Funds. Pervasive homelessness undermines local efforts to improve quality of life and attract and retain jobs. Prop. 2, which voters approved in November 2018, authorizes $2 billion to build up to 10,000 housing units with services for homeless individuals with mental illness. Gov. Newsom has committed to expedite the allocation of these funds in 2019. The FY 2018–19 state budget approved $500 million for emergency shelters, and Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget would double that amount. Make sure your city takes advantage of these funds to help people experiencing homelessness get off the streets. Doing so will both assist those in need and improve your local business climate and economic development prospects. Billions of Dollars in Cap-and-Trade Funding. City officials need to take advantage of the opportunities to access cap-and-trade funds. The state has adopted aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals that are accompanied by a major funding source derived from private industry purchasing emissions from auctions conducted by the California Air Resources Board. Billions in funding are available annually through the state Strategic Growth Council to fund a variety of local projects. Some cities have been very creative and aggressive in pursuing these funds, but others are not paying sufficient attention to the opportunities. The Institute for continued
Dan Carrigg is deputy executive director and legislative director for the League; he can be reached at email@example.com. www.westerncity.com
Western City, May 2019
City Economic Development in 2019: Resources, Options and Prospects, continued
Local Government, the League’s nonprofit research affiliate, is focused on helping cities understand how to take advantage of these opportunities. Visit www.ca-ilg. org for more information. California Competes Tax Credits. This income tax credit is available to businesses that want to locate or stay and grow in California. Tax credit agreements will be negotiated by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and approved by a statutorily created California Competes Tax Credit Committee; $180 million is allocated for these credits in each fiscal year through 2022–23. City officials should become familiar with this program as they work to attract employers and retain high quality jobs. Film & TV Tax Credits. The California Film Commission allocates $330 million in annual tax credits to attract and retain film production in the state. Additional incentives are provided to productions that film outside Los Angeles. Ensure that your community is positioned to be considered as a location for future film productions. Federal New Markets Tax Credits. This existing federal program offers tax credits to private investors to incentivize community development and economic growth in distressed communities. Federal Opportunity Zones. This new program, authorized by the 2017 Federal Tax Reform Act, provides investors relief from capital gains if they make investments for up to 10 years in various low-income census tracts designated by the governors of each state. Gov. Newsom’s budget proposes to offer conforming state tax benefits for investments in green technology or affordable housing projects located in Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts.
New Tax-Increment Tools The elimination of redevelopment was devastating for many communities, and the replacement tools approved by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, while helpful in some instances, pale in comparison with the former tool. Still, it is worth
League of California Cities
the effort to learn about them; they offer opportunities for creative city officials. Enhanced Infrastructure Finance District (EIFD) law (beginning with Section 53398.50 of the California Government Code) is the most popular tool so far. It provides broad authority for local agencies to use tax increment to finance a wide variety of public infrastructure. Private projects can also be financed, including affordable housing, mixed-use development and sustainable development, industrial structures, and facilities to house consumer goods and services. No public vote is required to establish an authority, and though a 55 percent vote is required to issue bonds (which Gov. Newsom has proposed in his budget to eliminate), other financing alternatives exist. There are some benefits to EIFDs. Unlike former redevelopment, the EIFD imposes no geographic limitations on where it can be used and requires no blight findings. An EIFD can be used on a single street, in a neighborhood or throughout an entire city. It can also cross jurisdictional boundaries and involve multiple cities and a county. Property tax that cities receive from former redevelopment agencies and property tax received by cities in lieu of former Vehicle License Fee funds can be also dedicated to an EIFD and used with fewer legal restrictions than apply to city financing. Though a city can form an EIFD without participation from other local governments, the flexibility of this tool and the enhanced financial capacity created by partnerships will likely generate creative discussions among local agencies on how the tool can be used to fund common priorities. Recent changes allow sales tax to be used, but with many conditions and limitations. Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIAs) law (beginning with Section 62000 of the California Government Code) gives these authorities all the former powers of redevelopment agencies — including eminent domain for redevelopment purposes. A CRIA focuses on assisting with the revitalization of poorer neighborhoods and former military bases. While similar to redevel-
opment, establishing a CRIA is more streamlined. Some restrictive accountability measures were included to ensure that the use of the CRIA remains consistent with community priorities — but these will likely need to be modified by the Legislature to make the tool more useful. A 25 percent set-aside is included for affordable housing. Although an initial protest opportunity exists, no public vote is required to establish a CRIA, and bonds and other debt can be issued without a public vote after a CRIA is established. Affordable Housing Authority (AHA) financing law (beginning with Section 62250 of the California Government Code) is a new statute that authorizes a city or county to create by resolution an affordable housing authority (coterminous with its boundaries) with various powers and to dedicate a portion of its property tax increment, sales tax and other revenues to develop affordable housing (up to 120 percent of area median income). This is a very flexible law for cities seeking to establish an ongoing funding mechanism for affordable housing. An AHA may: • Issue bonds; • Borrow; • Receive funds from and coordinate with other entities; • Remove hazardous substances; • Provide seismic retrofits; • Loan funds to owners and tenants to repair, improve or rehabilitate buildings in the plan area; and • Take other actions. The AHA has broad property acquisition and disposal authority. Creating an AHA or bond issuance does not require a public vote. Annexation Development Plan (ADP) law (Section 99.3 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code) authorizes consenting local agencies (a city and/ or a county or special district) to adopt tax-increment financing to improve or upgrade structures, roads, sewer or water facilities or other infrastructure as part of
A CRIA focuses on assisting with the revitalization of poorer neighborhoods and former military bases. annexing a disadvantaged unincorporated community. An ADP can be implemented by a special district either formed for this purpose or incorporated into the duties of an existing special district. After the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) approves the annexation, the special district can issue debt without an additional vote. Seaport Infrastructure Financing Districts (SIPDs) law (Section 1710, Harbors and Navigation Code of California) establishes a financing tool for seaport infrastructure based on a modified form of the EIFD law. Infrastructure and Revitalization Financing Districts for Former Military Bases (IRFDs) law (beginning with Section 53369 of the California Government Code) creates infrastructure and revitalization financing districts separate and apart from existing law that established infrastructure financing districts, authorizes a military base reuse authority to form a district and allows these districts to finance a broader range of projects and facilities.
Key Funding Proposals in Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Gov. Newsom proposed additional funding for affordable housing programs, homelessness and community planning and development. The Legislature is
currently reviewing the details of these proposals and will likely alter some aspects prior to the adoption of the final budget by July 1. The proposed funding includes: • $500 million annually in low-income housing tax credits; • $500 million to the California Housing Finance Agency for moderateincome housing production; • $500 million for homeless emergency shelters and environmental streamlining for construction; • $250 million for updating local plans to accommodate additional housing allocations, and $500 million in rewards for local agencies that achieve “milestones” yet to be defined; and
ented development, affordable housing and other priorities via a state approval process to enable the dedication of additional bondable property-tax streams to help local agencies finance large community development projects; • AB 11 (Chiu) seeks to re-establish a community redevelopment tool; • SB 128 (Beall) removes the existing 55 percent vote requirement from EIFD bond issuance and may be a vehicle for additional changes; • AB 1259 (Luz Rivas) seeks to establish a California New Markets Tax Credit with the goal of attracting additional investments from the federal program to the state; and
• Identifying Caltrans property that can be used for homeless housing and allowing demonstration housing developments on excess state property.
• ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry) would reduce the local vote threshold for proposed local bonds and taxes to invest in infrastructure and affordable housing from two-thirds to 55 percent.
Legislative Economic Development Proposals
It is too early to predict the outcomes of the 2019 legislative session; however, the League encourages city officials to support and track the following bills: • SB 5 (Beall, McGuire) seeks to restore more robust and ongoing financing for community development, transit-ori-
The League encourages city officials to learn more about the funding opportunities and tools listed here that are currently available or soon may be — and to continue supporting the League’s efforts to increase options and resources available for city community development. ■
Western City, May 2019
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Is Your City Ready? by Larry J. Kosmont Throughout the United States, city officials, property owners and investors are buzzing about Opportunity Zones (OZs). An OZ is an economically distressed community where new investments may be eligible for preferential tax treatment under certain conditions. Communities qualify as OZs if the state nominates them and the U.S. Treasury certifies them via the Internal
Revenue Service. Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, OZs are a new tool designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities by providing tax benefits to investors. California has 879 OZs. Delayed regulations from the IRS haven’t stopped the OZ frenzy: communities and investors are building plans to catalyze
growth in low-income communities, and they are ready to pounce. Competition will be fierce. Over 100 Opportunity Funds with more than $23 billion are searching for investment-worthy projects of all types. Communities cannot assume that investors will come or that continued
Larry J. Kosmont is chairman and CEO of Kosmont Companies, a real estate and economic development services firm specializing in public-private transactions; he can be reached at email@example.com. Robert Valenti is a senior project analyst with Kosmont Companies and provided research assistance.
Western City, May 2019
Opportunity Zones: Is Your City Ready?, continued
investments will match their city’s goals. Smart communities are preparing and marketing their prime prospects. In Placentia, City Administrator Damien Arrula is focused on revitalizing the city’s Old Town and transit-oriented district areas through infill and transportationrelated projects. He says, “OZ investment has the potential to take our existing revitalization efforts to another level. However, since the OZ toolkit is so new, we need to determine how to best market Placentia’s OZ to the investment and development community. We also need to determine the best ways to illustrate that we are one of the unique California communities with an OZ, especially considering the competition and timing complications.” Despite Placentia’s economic development initiatives, Arrula notes that because OZs are so new, many questions remain unanswered. He says, “What information is critical for OZ funds? We are nearly
complete on the first city-county Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) partnership in California — how can we best use that tool to attract OZ investors and essentially double down on our economic development efforts?” For all cities with OZs, preparation is the key to success.
Four Vital Steps to Prepare for OZs Step 1. Get Your House in Order. Your community’s planning and approval processes could make or break an Opportunity Zone investment. Review and update your city’s zoning, economic development plans and Specific Plans: • Do they meet current priorities and needs? • Do they consider housing and transit priorities? • Do current and future infrastructure needs align with planning changes?
• Can any approval processes be streamlined for target OZ projects? Give your community an advantage over other cities by building cohesive, current and comprehensive plans, and pair those plans with fast-tracked approvals for your city’s targets. Step 2. Educate Your Community — Spread the Word. Community engagement, input and support are vital for future OZ success. Projects require support from citizens and stakeholders throughout your community; given the tight timelines for OZ benefits, the last thing you want is a surprise development that generates confusion, controversy or complaint. Educate your city council, staff, external stakeholders and community on the merits of the OZ program and your city’s goals for OZ development. Early engagement can generate buzz, and it will help OZ investments meet tight timelines.
A city can use the OZ program to create jobs, stimulate economic activity and jump-start projects.
League of California Cities
Step 3. Know the Strengths and Weaknesses of OZ Investment. OZ investment is a powerful tool in a community’s economic development toolkit, but it is not right for every project. OZ funding is ready to be deployed, and the OZ program’s timing encourages investment sooner rather than later. At the same time, the program’s tight timelines may be difficult for projects that still need California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or entitlement approvals. Consider layering other incentive programs to make good OZ projects look even better. For example, the City of Ontario is considering layering its Opportunity Zone areas with an EIFD, an OZ strategy that was recently identified by state lawmakers. Governor Newsom, in his 2019 state budget address, emphasized that EIFDs are something “we want to pair with Opportunity Zones. That is the big idea.”
This means taking the time to understand all the tools in your economic development toolkit and which types of projects in your community are best served by the Opportunity Zone program. “Ontario’s EIFD strategy is considering linking OZ areas with the airport, using an EIFD as the connection point,” says Scott Ochoa, Ontario’s city manager. “Redevelopment may be gone, but blending the tax increment from EIFDs with OZs is the new world of economic development. If you want to achieve economic viability for your community, these strategies are compelling.” Step 4. Prioritize! In each of your community’s OZs, identify the prime locations and businesses — find the best fit for Opportunity Fund investment that meets your goals. Consider your city’s unique market forces, zoning and land use. Identify priority projects, hunt for Opportunity Funds with objectives that match your city’s goals and actively market your prime opportunities.
Be Proactive: The Building Blocks of OZ Preparation After you understand the OZ program and how you can use it in your community, three activities are critically important in creating an implementation plan.
Create a Prospectus Your community should create an OZ prospectus. This prospectus is a tool the city can use to gather messaging and information in a digestible, user-friendly format. “It is essential that economic development leaders in cities with OZs determine which projects they prefer and match those preferences to the objectives of OZ investors,” says Blake Christian, a tax partner at HCVT, a national accounting firm that specializes in assisting investors continued on page 37
Opportunity Zones in 57 California Counties
San Luis Obispo
Western City, May 2019
Members of the Peninsula Division joined representatives from the local business and nonprofit communities to discuss viable strategies.
Peninsula Division Explores Ways to Build Workforce Readiness by Barrie Hathaway and Larry Moody
the midst of the longest economic recovery in its history, the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing record low unemployment. Though there is much to celebrate, cities in the region are grappling with new and vexing challenges. Businesses are struggling to find the talent they need, and employers report that the lack of qualified workers is limiting Bay Area companies’ ability to grow and
thrive. At the same time, poverty, income inequality and the plight of unemployed and underemployed residents are obscured and largely masked.
escape the cycle of poverty. The meeting included a panel discussion on shared prosperity and featured U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo).
In October 2018, the League’s Peninsula Division convened at Facebook in Menlo Park to better understand the scope and scale of poverty in the region and to explore strategies for empowering economic growth and helping low-income residents
League President and Grass Valley Council Member Jan Arbuckle attended and says, “Our diverse economy is grounded in a wide range of industry and activities, but the tech sector remains integral to the state’s success. Cities are not only places
Barrie Hathaway is president and CEO of JobTrain, a Menlo Park nonprofit organization focused on workforce development; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Larry Moody is a council member for the City of East Palo Alto and president of the League’s Peninsula Division; he can be reached at email@example.com.
League of California Cities
Hidden Poverty in the Bay Area JobTrain, a Menlo Park nonprofit organization focused on workforce development, participated in these meetings and recently published its second annual Broken Pathways report on poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area. The report offers a stark reminder that many Bay Area residents are struggling to make ends meet. Using the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) standard, the research found 487,000 Bay Area residents living below the FPL. When adjusted to reflect the cost of living in the Bay Area, that number almost tripled, with 1.63 million residents — nearly 10 percent of the population — currently living below the Bay Area self-sufficiency level. In addition, close to half are working in one or more low-wage jobs. In some communities, the percentage of the population living below the self-sufficiency standard is even higher. In the City of East Palo Alto, for instance, 17 percent of the population is unable to make ends meet financially.
where people live, but also job centers that serve as the engines of innovation and economic powerhouses. The Peninsula Division is partnering with the business and nonprofit communities to address the needs of employers and is seeking ways to build the workforce that can be replicated in other communities statewide.” A smaller group of 28 elected officials, corporate employers, education and training providers and workforce development professionals followed up on the October discussion by meeting in Menlo Park in March 2019 to consider high-potential strategies for collective action. www.westerncity.com
In addition, the report found that both ethnicity and low educational attainment are significant factors leading to poverty. Racial minorities continue to account for over half of those in poverty in the Bay Area, with many speaking non-English languages in the home. About 50 percent of Bay Area residents over the age of 25 have less education than a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, over 73 percent of those 25 and older in poverty have less than a bachelors’ degree and 50 percent have a high school diploma or less. The vast majority of these men and women do not lack talent but instead lack the skills employers need to hire them for high demand, livable wage jobs and careers.
Peninsula Division Commits to Solutions and New Ideas Workforce development is a priority issue for the Peninsula Division’s 36 cities. The division and its local partners from the business and nonprofit sectors are examining strategies that are gaining support and traction. In partnership
with Facebook and local nonprofits, the division is exploring the concepts suggested by the Laborers’ Construction Fundamentals Union Pre-apprenticeship and Project Build Carpentry Pre-apprenticeship Training Program. The division is working with two groups of trainees participating in the program who are local residents. While the groups are small (16 to 18 people each), the completion rate is 91 percent, and 82 percent of those who finish the program are placed in jobs with clear career ladders. These programs hold great promise for workforce development, and the division hopes to use them as a model for more widespread efforts. In particular, division members are looking at the key components of effective training programs for populations that encounter numerous barriers to increasing their employable skills. The Peninsula Division’s goal is to use the training and skills development capacities of Silicon Valley-based companies such as Facebook and Google to create pathways for local residents to receive the training needed to compete for jobs in both the public and private sectors. The division recognizes that cities can no longer rely on importing talent but must cultivate a workforce from within the region. “The affordability crisis is eating away at the fabric of our peninsula communities,” says Michael Brownrigg, a council member and former mayor of the City of Burlingame. “We need to bring incomes up with more aggressive workforce training, and we need to bring costs down by building more affordable housing, preserving what we have and providing more options for child care, elder care, health care and transit.” Another vital component of this effort involves working with local community colleges and educational institutions to coordinate the classes and programs they offer with the needs of employers and the workforce. Josh Becker, a member of the California Workforce Development Board, has been involved in the Peninsula Division’s work on this topic. He says, “The California Workforce Development Board is focused on closing the wage gap, continued Western City, May 2019
Peninsula Division Explores Ways to Build Workforce Readiness, continued
and community colleges have to be part of the answer. In San Mateo County, we are working to make it easier for all people, including communities of color, to access community colleges and be prepared for the jobs of the future.”
Key Strategies and Approaches Two recently released publications approach the issue of workforce development from different directions but converge around key strategies. The first publication is a study released in October 2018 by Convergence, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports dialogue leading to action on challenging public issues. Working Up – A Convergence Dialogue for Action to Increase Economic Mobility is the final product of a two-year project that brings together the ideas and perspectives of a diverse group representing workers, employers, historically disadvantaged groups, education and job training providers, government service agencies, communitybased organizations and policy advocates from throughout the political spectrum. The second publication is the National Skills Coalition’s 2019 Skills for Good Jobs
Agenda, which aligns with the Working Up strategies and recommends a complementary policy agenda.
particularly with respect to middle-skill jobs that require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree.”
The central theme of these ideas is captured best in a quote from the National Skills Coalition publication: “Don’t just talk about workers as America’s greatest asset — invest in them.”
Similarly, the Working Up report says, “Employers, credentialing systems and training programs improve labor market matching through employer-informed credentialing programs to ensure employers a well-qualified and stable workforce pipeline.”
These publications share at least three key strategies that could become the platform for future workforce development efforts: focus on skills, provide more and longerterm support services and strongly engage the business community.
Focus on Skills Although 50 percent of all jobs in California’s labor market are middle skill, only 39 percent of California workers are trained at this level, meaning that key industries are losing out on economic opportunities — and U.S. workers are being held back from career pathways that lead to good wages. The 2019 Skills for Good Jobs Agenda states, “As the U.S. economy continues to grow, investments in education and training have never been more important. But we’re in danger of falling behind,
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To respond to the needs of businesses, communities must find ways to create more credentialing and skills-based training programs that prepare residents for in-demand middle-skill jobs.
Provide More and LongerTerm Support Services Managing the stresses of food insecurity, child care, transportation, housing and education make it challenging for lowincome adults and families to successfully engage in skills training and advance in their new careers. Providing more support for a longer period can help improve long-term outcomes and create a more stable workforce. In the 2019 Skills for Good Jobs Agenda, the National Skills Coalition writes, “Adults balancing full-time work and family obligations are a rapidly growing segment of today’s community college enrollments. Some states have established strategies that ensure these students succeed, including career pathways models that combine basic and occupational skills training, career counseling and case management, and support services like child care and transportation assistance.” The Working Up report reflects a similar perspective: “Many workers and families with low-income jobs lack key supports and assets needed for stable employment and financial security (child care, sick leave, predictable schedules, transportation). Many employers, including small businesses, would like to do more but face hard choices in competitive markets.” Training providers, employers and government will create a more stable, thriving workforce by strengthening supports that help employees and trainees meet their basic needs.
U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA 14), who spoke at the Peninsula Division meeting, chats with a future member of the workforce.
The Peninsula Division and its partners are examining key strategies with the greatest likelihood of success.
More Resources Online Strongly Engage the Business Community The recommendations to focus on skills and provide more and longer-term support services can be effective only if local governments and nonprofits engage regularly and meaningfully with the business community. All of these strategies require that we understand which skills are needed and that our investments meet business demands. According to the National Skills Coalition, “Industry or sector partnerships reduce the burdens on businesses by convening local stakeholders to develop programs that can enable a broad pipeline of workers to develop the skills businesses need.” The Working Up findings also suggested a need for business engagement: “Building those pathways is hampered by limited engagement between employers, schools and training providers. Employers are critical partners in creating work opportunities, promoting economic mobility, and building workforce capabilities.” The traditional approach to business engagement, in general, is not working. Advisory tables do not thoughtfully represent the scope and diversity of the sector, are local rather than regional and do not involve the full scope of stakeholders such as training and education
providers, industry associations and government. We must adopt and invest in regional, employer-led sector partnership models that help training and education providers to understand the real-world skills that businesses need — and invest in appropriate, high-demand middle-skill career pathways.
Creating a Roadmap for Success “As we continue to see our community members displaced due to the high cost of living, we must ensure access to good job training and good jobs,” says Shelly Masur, a council member for Redwood City. “These meetings were a great start for elected officials and local organizations coming together to work toward solutions.” The Peninsula Division and its partners are examining key strategies with the greatest likelihood of success. Our ability to achieve the desired outcomes depends on a collective, collaborative effort that involves businesses, residents, nonprofits and local governments in training and education. Some of the encouraging results experienced in the Laborers’ Construction Fundamentals Union Pre-apprenticeship and Project Build Carpentry Pre-apprenticeship Training Program are attributed to the full range of support provided that
For additional information and links to related resources, read the online version of this article at www.westerncity.com.
includes child care, training locations that are easily reached with public transit, hours that accommodate the needs of trainees who are working in low-wage jobs — and more. The Working Up report articulates this call to action: “The path forward requires strong engagement from the private sector, lower-wage workers, government and communities. We can innovate to create effective public policy and private practices, based on good data and reflecting our shared and complementary goals. Together, we can create greater opportunity, security and prosperity for the next generation of American workers. We need more dialogue and collaborative problemsolving where stakeholders build trust and deeper mutual understanding. We call for others in government, business, labor, the nonprofit sector, higher education and philanthropy to join us in taking action to make work a powerful engine of economic mobility for all Americans.” ■
Western City, May 2019
Milpitas Initiative Targets Workforce Development Milpitas has an employment paradox. Despite having one of the lowest unemployment rates in California and its perfect location in the heart of Silicon Valley, this diverse city (pop. 74,865) has found that a significant segment of its population has not benefited from the post-recession economic boom. Even as more and more millennials are entering the job market for high-tech and service industries, local manufacturing companies have had difficulty attracting qualified young people to join the workforce. In response, the city created the Milpitas Workforce Development Initiative to address the growing employment gap by connecting youth with local manufacturing and high-paying jobs. The initiative started in 2016 when Milpitas joined with the Milpitas Unified School District, a local high-tech manufacturing services company, Evergreen Valley College and NextFlex (America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute) to launch a four-week entrepreneurship program that introduces high school students to the vast range of professional opportunities in advanced manufacturing and corrects misperceptions about careers and growth in the manufacturing sector.
Program Is Tailored to Needs of Youth and Employers Known as FlexFactor, the program begins with an all-day field trip to facilities in Milpitas that exposes students to the world of advanced high-tech manufacturing. A follow-up field trip to Evergreen Valley College includes a campus tour, an introduction to the automotive technology center and an overview of the college application process.
Throughout the program, each team of students is matched with a local mentor who helps them achieve their project milestones, developing product ideas and business models while promoting their active engagement with the professional workforce. The teams’ final deliverable is a five-minute “Shark Tank-style” pitch where they present their ideas to a panel of business representatives. FlexFactor concludes by providing information about post-course opportunities, including paid summer internships, financial counseling and college credits. Building on the initiative’s momentum, the City of Milpitas reaffirmed its commitment to growing a qualified local workforce in October 2017 by partnering with the Milpitas Unified School District to create the community’s first Manufacturing Day with the goal of helping Milpitas-based manufacturers address the shortage of skilled labor. Three local businesses opened their doors to more than 100 students, educators, elected officials, business professionals and media and community representatives. The event enabled these businesses to connect with their future workforce, enhance the public image of manufacturing and strengthen ongoing prosperity. Activities for Manufacturing Day included a tour of manufacturing facilities in cleanroom suits at a firm that specializes in process control for the semiconductor and related industries; learning about the advanced equipment and production at a company that provides design, engineering, manufacturing and logistics services to companies of all sizes; and hands-on training on medical devices for complex medical procedures at a firm that develops and manufactures devices for medical diagnostics and intervention.
The City of Milpitas won the Award for Excellence in the Community Services and Economic Development category of the 2018 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.helenputnam.org.
League of California Cities
High school students visit high-tech manufacturing facilities and learn about a range of employment opportunities.
“Both FlexFactor and Manufacturing Day enable local companies to show students that there are high-paying careers in advanced manufacturing,” says Council Member Bob Nuñez. “The City of Milpitas and its partners have been creative and effective in connecting manufacturers and the workforce of the future.”
based business, purchased the Manufacturing Day banner. The City of Milpitas funded an ice-cream truck that provided sundaes and hand-dipped cones to all student participants, at a cost of $475. The city staff spent a minimal amount of time coordinating activities with the initiative partners.
Building on Success
Positioning the Future Workforce
The students who have participated in the Milpitas Workforce Development Initiative agree the program was well worth their time. Participants from both programs expressed more awareness of manufacturing jobs in their community, greater certainty that manufacturing provides interesting and rewarding careers, increased motivation to pursue careers in manufacturing and more willingness to tell their friends, family, parents or colleagues about manufacturing.
Silicon Valley continues to create, disrupt and replace technologies and job descriptions at a dizzying pace, which means that communities, employees and job seekers must be adaptable and prepared to meet new opportunities and requirements. The Milpitas Workforce Development Initiative connects nonprofits, schools and manufacturing companies with the workers of the future. The initiative has opened a pathway for students to gain job training in advanced manufacturing, receive academic credit while doing so and then enter a high-wage career — without a college degree.
“Milpitas is unique in part because the city’s leadership and staff understand the tremendous impact that our partnership has on our youth and their families. The nucleus of the city’s work is focused on enhancing a strong sense of connection among the members of our community,” says Milpitas Unified School District Superintendent Cheryl Jordan. “The heart of Milpitas is its people, and our city leaders strive to keep the community’s interests at the core of all decisions. I believe our children will have a better future in Milpitas because the spirit of collaboration is evident in city programs that elevate their learning experiences.” “As we start the third iteration of the Milpitas Workforce Development Initiative, we are expanding our partnerships by collaborating with more Milpitas-based manufacturers, our schools and colleges and our regional workforce development board,” says Steve McHarris, Milpitas deputy city manager who oversees economic and community development. The initiative’s collaborative approach extends to the support and funding needed to back the effort. NextFlex funded the FlexFactor program, and the City of Milpitas led the Manufacturing Day program, which was underwritten by its community partners. The Embassy Suites by Hilton Milpitas-Silicon Valley funded the Manufacturing Day lunch and Wettenstein Insurance, a Milpitas-
“Our goal is to advance the long-term economic vitality for the Milpitas community by providing more opportunities through training services and internships for students who might not choose college but who want to develop their interests and skills for advanced manufacturing,” says Mayor Rich Tran. By connecting youth with employers, Milpitas supports economic resilience that benefits businesses and residents. Higher-paying jobs and economic diversity are desirable results, but keeping the city attractive for business expansion, relocations and entrepreneurs makes workforce development a long-term economic strategy for Milpitas, especially when unemployment rates are low. Both FlexFactor and Manufacturing Day are workforce development programs that can be replicated, adapted and applied in other communities. Although every city’s situation is unique, the power of partnership and commitment to creativity can address job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements, resident opportunities and quality of life in any community. Contact: Daniel Degu, economic development coordinator, City of Milpitas; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: (408) 586-3054. ■
Western City, May 2019
Mural artists and art draw visitors and dollars during a citywide festival.
Long Beach Public Art
Spurs Economic As the City of Long Beach (pop. 478,561) emerged from the Great Recession, its mayor and city council prioritized economic development by adopting the Blueprint for Economic Development, a set of strategic guiding principles focused on efforts to create businesses, well-paying jobs and increased standards of living for diverse residents. One key element to becoming an exceptionally livable, inventive and inclusive city, articulated in the blueprint, was public art. “We want to create a new and exciting, dynamic environment for residents and visitors,” says John Keisler, economic development director for Long Beach. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been looking for ways to activate underutilized spaces in the city.” City staff got the opportunity to do just that when approached by local entrepreneur Julia Huang, who was spearheading an effort to bring the renowned
Pow!Wow! arts festival to Long Beach. Founded by artist Jasper Wong, Pow!Wow! originated in Hawaii as a week-long gathering of local and international artists to create murals and other forms of art. City staff supported Huang’s effort, and a collaborative partnership evolved that included the City of Long Beach, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Downtown Long Beach Associates, Port of Long Beach and a collection of local businesses.
Transforming Public Spaces Pow!Wow! has reinvigorated public art in Long Beach, with more than 50 murals now adorning walls, bridges and buildings. “We’ve seen economic benefits from infusing art into the public space,” Keisler says. “It raises property values and creates venues out of previously underutilized spaces. The Pow!Wow! Long Beach event
has an economic impact and has become a major draw for residents and visitors to come experience different parts of the city and shop at local businesses.” In addition to showcasing artists painting murals, Pow!Wow! Long Beach includes events featuring live music, food and refreshments, held in a pop-up store that sells festival merchandise. Other highlights are panel sessions with participating artists, journalists and festival founder Wong; art exhibitions and live art demonstrations; and social gatherings held in city locales beautified by previous Pow!Wow! participants. Concurrently, the Pow!Wow! School of Music provides an intensive residency for youth and young adults, who perform at events throughout the week. The city supports Pow!Wow! through funding and several other channels, including identifying potential sites for murals, securing right-of-entry permits
The City of Long Beach won the Award for Excellence in the Economic Development Through the Arts category of the 2018 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.helenputnam.org.
League of California Cities
the facility lobby. Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Steve Goodling says the location now “feels like an arts venue, with a juxtaposition between street art and fine art. You feel that you’re in a really great, provocative, vibrant space that conventioneers love.” “Pow!Wow! has really become a community type of project,” Goodling says. “That’s because Long Beach has people who appreciate urban art.”
Activity and facilitating access, providing special events planning and support, and commissioning murals by local artists to coincide with the festivities. During the event, Long Beach also hosts bike tours of Pow!Wow! art and live painting sessions, using bike-share equipment to promote alternative transportation. Numerous volunteers assist in coordinating and staffing the festival, and dozens of local businesses and organizations participate as sponsors and partners.
Event Generates Many Community Benefits “Each year, we get so many businesses on board,” says Pow!Wow! Long Beach Director Tokotah Ashcraft. “People are visiting parts of town they’re not familiar with, and we’re getting people who are coming to Long Beach for the first time — they are all being exposed to these participating businesses.”
Paper programs and a smartphone app serve as a passport for Pow!Wow! attendees to obtain discounts at participating retailers and restaurants. Long after the event, art enthusiasts are drawn to the new spaces created by Pow!Wow! works, and the density of public art in the downtown area near the waterfront encourages exploration on foot or by bike. Spaces outside downtown are activated, too, with works placed in traditionally low-income business corridors. The murals also mitigate blight; for example, one wall was graffitied 103 times before an art installation — and just twice after. “Once a week we get someone asking if we can paint their wall,” Ashcraft says. “People have a sense of respect when a mural goes up.” Pow!Wow! art has beautified the cityscape. At the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, artwork has created an outdoor gathering space and enhanced
Artists also revere the festival and, in turn, the city. Artist Mina Hamada, based in Spain, first visited Long Beach for Pow!Wow! 2017, improvising her mural based on inspiration she drew from the city. “Traveling and painting a mural is how I communicate with the world,” Hamada says. “At each site where I paint, there is always communication with the local people and support from the people who live there. If we can’t understand each other’s languages, we can overcome that with emotions through the mural.” The Pow!Wow! program, now in its fifth year, is so successful it continues to grow in influence and popularity. Founder Wong credits much of the Long Beach program’s success to the “mind-blowing” support of the city and its community and business partners. The city provides $50,000 each year for the Pow!Wow! program out of the Special Advertising and Promotions Fund, which is funded by hotel occupancy tax revenues. The program advances in several ways the priorities in the city’s Blueprint for Economic Development, the 10-year map of economic development objectives and strategies.
Festival Continues Gaining Momentum Long Beach’s abundant public art also attracts media attention. Forbes included Pow!Wow! Long Beach in its list of “The Best Urban Mural Festivals Around the Country.” Thrillist highlighted Long Beach continued on page 35
Western City, May 2019
Santa Clarita Takes a
Sustainable Approach to Economic Development
The incubator creates jobs at a minimal cost to the city.
The City of Santa Clarita won the League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations in the 2018 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visitÂ www.helenputnam.org.
League of California Cities
Located 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles and 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, the City of Santa Clarita (pop. 216,589) is the third-largest city in Los Angeles County. Consistently named one of the “Most Business-Friendly Cities in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, Santa Clarita prides itself on its businessfriendly reputation. With an eye to the future and emerging economic development trends, the city recognized the need to contribute to the budding local startup ecosystem by creating an environment for entrepreneurs that will lead to a sustainable way to spur job creation. Acknowledging that industries and jobs are changing, Santa Clarita identified the need to help develop and support local talent as part of building local economic prosperity in an increasingly technology-focused world. In response, the Santa Clarita Business Incubator program was created.
Strategic Planning for Long-Term Gains After significant research and consideration, the city decided to seek and cultivate creative and technology-focused companies. These types of companies align with the Santa Clarita Valley’s targeted business industry clusters of digital media and entertainment as well as information technology. Such innovative companies are projected to generate employment opportunities that are wellsuited to Santa Clarita’s highly educated and skilled labor force. In addition, typical startup companies in these industries are leaner in size during the initial stages of business development, translating into the opportunity to help more companies in their early stages. This approach is supported by case studies of technology companies that were started in someone’s living room or over a cup of coffee and grew to become an economic powerhouse in the Santa Clarita community. Two such local companies now collectively provide over 600 jobs in the Santa Clarita Valley. “Doing business in Santa Clarita has many benefits,” says Holly Schroeder,
president and CEO of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation. “One is access to a highly skilled labor market that local businesses can tap to develop and train employees who effectively contribute to their company.” When assessing potential business incubator sites, the city considered several locations. Old Town Newhall, Santa Clarita’s premier Arts and Entertainment District, proved to be an ideal fit. This neighborhood provides an excellent mix of historical charm, a walkable environment and access to local restaurants, entertainment, coffee shops and public transportation. The facility, which previously served as a library, now provides an open, co-working floor plan with spacious work stations and a conference room. Startup companies have the freedom to cultivate a work environment that promotes opportunities to engage, network and collaborate.
Teaming Up With Community Partnerships The program helps local entrepreneurs refine their cutting-edge ideas and connects them with the resources needed to thrive. As a result, participating companies would grow and flourish in the Santa Clarita Valley and ultimately bring high quality jobs to the community. But simply providing office space was not sufficient. Involving strategic community partners and experts from a diverse range of business specialties was the key to participant success. The program initially partnered with the local community College of the Canyons and the Small Business Development Center. These two resources provide one-on-one business consultation, access to funding and strategic, customized training programs for tenants. When the city announced plans to launch the incubator program, a local full-service legal firm offered to provide free and low-cost legal services to tenants. After discovering that the tenants needed accounting and financial planning support, the city approached a local accounting firm that immediately agreed to provide free or low-cost services. The opportunity to have business professionals advise each
company on its specific issues increases the likelihood of success. “As a city that constantly looks to enhance our local economy and boost job growth, we know that we cannot do it alone,” says City Manager Ken Striplin. “The incubator program’s robust offerings are in large part due to the strength of our strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts to equip local businesses with the tools they need to succeed.”
Celebrating Sustainable Success The incubator program costs the city a total of $2,550 annually, which is paid from Santa Clarita’s General Fund. The program’s low cost is one of its unique features, made possible by the use of a space that the city already owned and the strategic partnerships that support the effort. The Business Incubator launched in 2014. By the end of 2018, the incubator had created 24 new jobs and three companies had completed its three-year program and transitioned into nearby operating locations. The connections made through the program’s partnerships and access to a local, skilled labor force motivated these companies to stay and grow in Santa Clarita — adding high quality jobs for the community. The incubator currently houses two innovative companies in the creative and technology sectors. Because the program operates at such low cost, it has attracted attention from other cities, chambers of commerce and private organizations interested in replicating the successful model. The Santa Clarita Business Incubator demonstrates the value the city places on prioritizing the needs of its residents and taking strategic action in a collaborative, thoughtful manner. By fostering a supportive environment for the innovative companies of tomorrow, Santa Clarita has found a way to bring sustainable businesses and quality jobs to its community. Contact: Denise Covert, economic development associate, City of Santa Clarita; email: email@example.com; phone: (661) 284-1411. ■
Western City, May 2019
Assistant Chief of Police
Salary: $121, 748.90 – $147,974.61 annually
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.
The City of Santa Paula is seeking an experienced law enforcement leader flexible to adapt to changing conditions and knowledgeable in community oriented policing. The ideal candidate will help oversee a budget of $6.1 million, capable of motivating and developing a staff of 51 sworn and non-sworn personnel. Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice, public administration or a related field. Fifteen years of increasingly responsible full-time sworn officer experience with extensive administrative and supervisory experience. Possession or ability to obtain POST Executive Development Certificate. Master’s degree is highly desirable. Application and resume deadline: Sunday, May 12th, 2019. Visit our website at www.spcity.org to apply and obtain detailed information. Additional questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call Pam Maxwell-Blodgett at (800) 262-1801 to place a display (boxed) ad or for rate and deadline information, or email email@example.com. Website Job Postings
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Current & Upcoming Opportunities Rancho Santa Fe Association, CA – Building Commissioner
The Rancho Santa Fe Association was incorporated in July of 1927 as a California nonprofit corporation for the purpose of managing the planned community of Rancho Santa Fe, a community with a rich history. The exclusive, secure, rural character of the community, combined with its proximity to the ocean, are what sets Rancho Santa Fe apart as being a highly desirable place to live. The Association is seeking a proven leader to serve as the new Building Commissioner. The ideal candidate will have outstanding organizational and planning skills; a strong understanding of the historic architectural significance of Rancho Santa Fe and the community character; demonstrated strength in documentation and mitigation; and experience in Common Interest Developments, including the required legal governing documents. Candidates must have knowledge of principles and practices of urban planning, architectural design, civil engineering, and landscaping. A Bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree, is required from an accredited fouryear college or university with major coursework in planning, architecture, landscape architecture, or a closely related field; and at least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in municipal planning/community development, including one year of project management experience and work on more complex planning issues. Prior planning experience in a California municipality and a background in architecture and design will be highly desirable. The annual salary range for the Building Commissioner position is $120,000-$140,000; placement within this range is dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the selected individual. Contact: Ms. Valerie Phillips, (916) 784-9080 – Filing Deadline: May 15, 2019
California State University, San Bernardino
City of Huntington Beach, CA
California State University, San Bernardino
City of Victorville, CA
Director of Parking & Transportation
Los Angeles World Airports
Deputy Executive Director for Law Enforcement & Homeland Security
Director of Electric Utility Services
City of Roseville, CA
Director of Parks, Recreation & Libraries
If you are interested in these outstanding opportunities, visit our website to apply online.
COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
City of Chowchilla, California
Salary Dependent on Qualifications
City of Chowchilla, California
Salary Dependent on Qualifications The City is seeking a highly motivated, innovative, and results-driven individual to lead the Community & Economic Development Department. The Community & Economic Development Director will be goal-oriented & self-motivated, possessing the skills and abilities to build strategic collaboration and partnerships that achieve success. This senior-level executive will oversee the industrial/commercial development of hundreds of acres of land sitting at the crossroads of two major highways linking together the San Francisco Bay Area with the San Joaquin Valley. The successful candidate will also lead the creative downtown renovation program, as well as direct the focus of a growing housing demand in the City. This is an excellent opportunity for a creative professional who can provide strong support for public-private partnerships. This position requires a Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of six years of relevant economics, business or public administration experience. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. APPLY IMMEDIATELY: This recruitment ends Thursday, June 27, 2019. Email or mail a cover letter, comprehensive resume and five professional references to JMcClendon@ CityofChowchilla.org. The recruitment brochure can be found on the City website: www.CityofChowchilla.org; telephone number: (559) 665-8615 x102.
League of California Cities
Chowchilla is a full-service agency with a population of nearly 20,000, located in the California Central San Joaquin Valley and within an easy two-hour drive to many iconic destinations such as Yosemite National Park, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Coast. The City is seeking an experienced, innovative, results-oriented professional who is prepared to navigate the many exciting capital, residential and large commercial projects on the horizon. The City Administrator will have a tremendous opportunity to build upon the strengths of a skilled and motivated staff, and a visionary and cohesive five-member City Council. This position requires a Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of five years of relevant municipal management experience. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. APPLY IMMEDIATELY: The deadline for submittal of a cover letter and resume is Thursday, May 30, 2019. Electronic submittal is preferred; email JMcClendon@CityofChowchilla.org. The City’s website is www.CityofChowchilla.org and the main line at City Hall is (559) 6658615 x102. Equal Opportunity Employer.
CITY OF MERCED Merced is a dynamic community of about 87,000, with friendly small town living in a mid-size city. The community offers abundant shopping, pleasant neighborhoods and tree-lined streets. Even with recent increases in prices, Merced’s housing remains affordable compared to many other California locations. Merced has historically been the “Gateway to Yosemite,” and residents also enjoy short drives to skiing, beaches, fishing, and other outdoor attractions. The City Engineer is responsible for overseeing all private and public projects within the City of Merced and directs all the operations of the Office of the City Engineer, which is part of the Public Works Department. The City Engineer serves as the primary CITY engineering advisor to the City and reports to William Avery & Associates City Manager through the Director of Public ENGINEER the Management Consultants Works. The primary responsibilities of this role will be planning and executing the City’s numerous Capital Improvement 31/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite A Los Gatos, CA 95030 Projects as well as assisting in the planning and execution of the many large scale development projects taking place in the community. 408.399.4424 Fax: 408.399.4423
The ideal candidate for this role must have a professional background email: email@example.com that includes considerable experience in the direction of varied capital www.averyassoc.net improvement projects and programs as well as graduation from an accredited college or university with specialization in civil engineering, public administration or a related field with eight years of experience in a managerial or supervisory capacity. Possession of current registration as a Professional Civil Engineer in California is required. To be considered, please visit our website at www.averyassoc.net/current-searches/ for a detailed job announcement and how to apply on the Avery Associates Career Portal.
Photo/Art Credits Cover: Deliormanli Page 3: Courtesy of the City of West Sacramento Page 5: Art Wager Pages 8–9: Courtesy of Civic Enterprise Development Pages 10–11: Narvikk Page 12: Slobo Pages 14–15: Deliormanli Page 17: FilippoBacci Page 19: Borchee
Pages 20–21: Photo, Drazen_; map, courtesy of Kosmont Companies Pages 23–24, 25: Courtesy of the Peninsula Division Pages 26–27: Courtesy of the City of Milpitas and League of California Cities; texture, Elena Odareeva Pages 28–29, 35: Courtesy of the City of Long Beach and League of California Cities Pages 30–31: Courtesy of the City of Santa Clarita and League of California Cities Page 37: Drazen_
The mural festival attracts visitors and beautifies the city. Long Beach Public Art Festival Spurs Economic Activity, continued from page 29
as one of the “Most Walkable Cities in the U.S.” and among “Eight American Cities Making Big Improvements in 2018,” in part because of the appeal and accessibility of its murals. This successful economic development tool celebrates Long Beach’s unique culture, fosters urban renewal and promotes a creative economy. “We’re very excited about Pow!Wow! Long Beach and this ongoing relationship,” Keisler says. “We have plenty more walls and opportunities for artists and visitors to come enjoy Long Beach and also leave their own cultural mark on our city.” Contact: John Keisler, economic development director, City of Long Beach; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: (562) 570-6099. ■
More Information Online For links to related resources and additional information, read the online version of this article at www.westerncity.com.
GRANTS COMPLIANCE MANAGER The City of Compton is seeking a Grants Compliance Manager to lead contract compliance with grant funding agencies. The ideal candidate will be a strategic, high-energy, visionary leader, who can work with City staff and/or contracted consultants engaged in securing and monitoring grant-funded activities. The successful candidate will have well-rounded skills in monitoring grant performance to ensure conformance with department goals, and compliance with local, state, and federal codes and regulations. Application Instructions: Qualified candidates are invited to complete a City application by visiting: http://www.comptoncity.org/depts/hr/employ/jobs.asp
Western City, May 2019
Community Choice Aggregation Drives Economic Development, continued from page 13
cally about the value CCAs bring to the community. Being the lower-cost alternative may not be a realistic long-term message. CCA operators may have to adjust their operations and marketing, not only to meet the renewable goals set forth by
What the Future Holds As CCAs grow in number and sophistication, and the complex cost structures and policies continue to evolve, cities engaged in CCAs must continue to think holisti-
Open in May . . .
Information Technology Manager City of Ventura
Workers’ Compensation Administrator City of Burbank
Finance Director City of Tustin
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PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR Salary: $120,000 - $160,000 DOQ Plus excellent benefit package Yucca Valley is a Southern California high desert community that lies between the San Bernardino Mountains and Joshua Tree National Park. The Town is characterized by moderate temperatures, clean air, and amazingly starry nights. With an outstanding operation already in place, the Town is seeking a self-motivated leader who can continue the efforts achieved to date. The position is responsible for planning, administering, and performing the Town’s engineering functions, project management, facilities, parks and streets maintenance; directs,
League of California Cities
The Town of Yucca Valley organizes and administers operations and projects within the Public Works Department; directs preparation and administration of the department budget. This position requires a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering; construction technology; business; public administration or related field; minimum five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in civil engineering and/ or traffic engineering including significant capital improvement program construction and project management experience.
SB 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (Chapter 547, Statutes of 2015) and SB 100, but also to meet the social and economic development goals of the communities they serve. In addition, CCAs bring the benefits of transparency and local control to the communities they serve. Residents and business owners can connect directly with the CCA governing board and staff, eliminating the need to travel to San Francisco and try to navigate the CPUC system for their voices to be heard. CCAs post their board agendas on their websites, and meetings are open to the public. Because CCAs must comply with the Brown Act, their work is transparent. At the same time, CCAs are playing an increasingly critical role in California’s clean energy future. Community choice programs are now the main drivers of new renewable energy projects in California, according to the CPUC, and those projects are creating green jobs and revenue sources for communities statewide. “CCAs are committed to providing reliable service, clean energy at competitive rates, and innovative programs that benefit people, the environment and the economy in communities throughout California,” says Beth Vaughan, executive director of the California Community Choice Association, a CCA trade group. “We look forward to seeing more CCAs launch in California, bringing a host of benefits to communities large and small.” ■
More Information Online For additional information and links to related resources, read the online version of this article at www.westerncity.com.
Please visit our website at www.yucca-valley.org for more information on how to apply. Filing deadline: The position is open until filled.
Opportunity Zones: Is Your City Ready?, continued from page 21
with business and asset dispositions and holistic tax planning strategies, including the analysis and structuring of OZ prospects. “An OZ prospectus can be a key document to help highlight the numerous redevelopment properties, projects and other business opportunities within cities containing OZ census tracts.” Over 100 OZ investor funds are searching nationwide for investment opportunities, and more are entering the market each week. If done properly and used as part of a targeted investor outreach program, the prospectus can make a difference in attracting national investors who would otherwise look at different communities and direct them toward your community’s development targets.
Assemble a Team Your community should assemble an OZ task force to implement the OZ program. Successfully leveraging OZ investment will require quick coordination among offices and agencies. Your OZ team should include leaders and department heads of your city’s economic development offices, technical experts and analysts who understand the mechanics of development and outside consultants who can provide strategic expertise.
Build a Package of Complementary Incentives Your city should identify other incentives that can be coupled with OZ investment. This will improve the feasibility of projects and make your community more competitive. The OZ program does not exist in a vacuum. To increase its potency, it can be layered with other incentives and programs, such as tax-increment financing, transit-oriented development and downtown districts.
The Big Picture The OZ program is a private-sector tax tool, but it quickly connects back to City Hall. Communities that proactively match private-sector investment with publicsector goals will best leverage this tool to accelerate and amplify economic development in their low-income neighborhoods. www.westerncity.com
Resources for Cities The Institute for Local Government is developing an online resource library at www.ca-ilg.org/oppzones with Opportunity Zone content specially curated for local agencies.
A city can use the OZ program as a central component of its economic development strategy to create jobs, stimulate economic activity and jump-start projects in a community. After a city has properly prepared itself for OZ investment, it can hit the ground running to find market opportunities and target investors. ■ J
For additional information and links to related resources, read the online version of this article at www.westerncity.com.
H CITY OF MCFARLAND H
Chief of Police The City of McFarland is seeking a Chief of Police to join the McFarland Police Department. A typical candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree with coursework in criminology, law-enforcement, social science, public administration, or a closely related field and five years of broad and extensive experience in all phases of municipal police work, preferably in a municipal police department. Any combination of training, experience and education that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities may be qualifying. Candidates must possess a valid California class “C” motor vehicle operator license, Advanced POST certificate and/or management certificates and be able to obtain an Executive Certificate; candidates must also be able to meet POST executive background, psychological, and physical requirements. Please submit a City employment application with a 5 year salary history to: City of McFarland, Attn: Claudia Ceja, 401 West Kern Avenue, McFarland, CA 93250. You can request an application by calling (661) 792-3091 or email claudia@ mcfarlandcity.org. Application deadline: May 15, 2019. Salary DOQ. McFarland is an equal opportunity employer.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS City of Orange Cove, California Annual salary range is $80,320 – $97,629
The Director of Public Works must have 5 years of experience in administering public works functions and a BA in Civil Engineering or related field. Director will plan, organize, direct, coordinate and evaluates the activities of the Public Works Department which is comprised of the Water/Wastewater, Parks/Recreation, Animal Control, Streets, oversees the provision of departmental services to City residents; prepares, implements and evaluates capital improvement program and long-range infrastructure development plans; prepares and manages departmental budget; ensures compliance with regulatory requirements; provides technical assistance and liaison with City staff, developers, other agencies. Please fill out an employment application and email a copy of your resume to jvb@cityof orangecove.com. The Director of Public Works job description and employment application can be found on our website under Employment Opportunities. Position Open until filled.
Western City, May 2019
City of Mountain View, CA
Located between the Santa Cruz Mountains and San Francisco Bay, Mountain View (pop. 82,000) spans just over 12 square miles in the center of the Silicon Valley. While leading the region in innovation and ideas, Mountain View remains committed to the values of strong, diverse neighborhoods and resident involvement. This progressive, full-service city operates with a general fund budget of $134M and over 600 employees. Appointed by the seven-member City Council and supported by a staff of eight, the City Attorney receives strong support from the City Council and enjoys an atmosphere of teamwork with the City Manager and leadership team. The ideal candidate brings proven, generalist legal experience in a municipal environment; strengths in legal matters relating to land use, land development, and housing are desired. The annual salary range is $245,000 to $275,000 DOQE with a competitive executive benefits package including 2.7% @ 55 for CalPERS classic members. Filing deadline is May 31, 2019. Contact Bobbi Peckham.
City of Gilroy, CA
The vibrant, family-friendly City of Gilroy, with a population of over 55,000, is located approximately 25 miles south of San Jose. The city’s peaceful residential setting, award winning parks and recreational opportunities, excellent schools and easy access to the entire Bay Area has made Gilroy one of the most affordable and fastest growing communities in southern Santa Clara County. The Gilroy Fire Department currently operates 3 fire stations each staffed with 3 persons 24/7/365, and in 2018 responded to over 5,500 calls for service. The new Fire Chief must be willing to take the lead in implementing positive change with a staff that is looking forward to making the Department the best that it can be. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Public Administration, Business Administration, Fire Science, Fire Management or other related field of study required, Master’s degree highly desirable. Ten (10) years of paid work experience in the fire service including at least 5 (5) years of increasingly responsible experience at the Fire Command level that has included significant management/supervisory, operational and administrative responsibilities also required. California Fire Chief Officer Certification and/or completion of the National Fire Academy are highly desirable. Annual salary range is from $149,040 to $200,160 DOQ, PERS 2% at 55 pension plan for “classic” Fire Safety members and 2% at 57 for “new” Fire Safety members, and excellent benefits. Filing deadline is May 13, 2019. Contact Phil McKenney.
City Manager City of Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff is northern Arizona’s most appealing mountain community, renowned for its diversity, Native American culture, stunning scenery, and active lifestyle. Nestled at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks at an elevation of 6,900 feet, Flagstaff (pop. 72,000, 66 sq. mi.) is surrounded by the largest ponderosa pine forests on earth. Its picturesque snow-capped mountains and prairies provide a welcome contrast to Arizona’s lower elevation deserts. A bachelor’s degree (public administration, business, management, or related field); extensive administrative and management experience that clearly demonstrates the candidate’s ability to lead a municipal organization; or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training are required. A master’s degree is preferred. Initial annual salary range is $200,000 to $230,000, or higher, depending upon qualifications and experience. Comprehensive benefits. Residency within city limits required. Relocation assistance subject to negotiation. Filing deadline is May 6, 2019. Contact Andrew Gorgey.
“All about fit” City of Kent, WA
The City of Kent, WA (pop. 129,000), is located in the scenic Green River Valley, 18 miles south of Seattle and 18 miles northeast of Tacoma, close to Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, and the incomparable Olympic Peninsula. Operating under the Mayor-Council (strong mayor) form of government, the City currently has two exciting career opportunities available:
Seeking visionary, creative, and solution-oriented leader to address significant finance and budget challenges at the City. This position is appointed by, and reports to, the Chief Administrative Officer. Bachelor’s degree in finance, business or public administration, or related field, and seven years of professional management experience in municipal finance to include substantial experience with multiple bargaining units, required. Technical skills should include significant experience with municipal budgets (philosophy, forecasts, preparation, all process steps, drafting, and management), capital project finance, controls, procurement, payroll, union contracts, retirement and benefits costs, and sources of revenue of every kind and type. Comprehensive benefits. Annual salary range is $123,036 to $190,776. Filing deadline is May 22, 2019. Contact Andrew Gorgey.
Human Resources Director
Appointed by, and reporting to, the Chief Administrative Officer, the Human Resources Director has significant public sector experience, expressly including labor negotiations with multiple bargaining units, and experience developing and implementing innovative HR practices. Successful candidate is solution-oriented, and collaborative, with strong ethics, leadership skills, and personality. Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or public administration, or related field. Seven years of professional human resources program management experience. Comprehensive benefits. Annual salary range is $123,036 to $190,776.
Filing deadline is May 20, 2019. Contact Andrew Gorgey.
Upcoming Opportunities City of Belmont, CA – City Manager City of American Canyon, CA – Assistant City Manager Metro, Portland, OR – Environmental Services Director City of Gilroy, CA – Community Development Director To apply, please visit our website at:
Peckham & McKenney
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to Pamela Maxwell-Blodgett, Advertising Manager, Western City Magazine on her retirement!
Bobbi C. Peckham • Phil McKenney
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