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The Monthly Magazine of the League of California Cities

Maximize Your An nual Conference Experience: 10 Ways to Prep Like a Pro p.14 Achieving an Accurate Census Count: Best Practices for Cities p.10 When Wildfires Strike: What to Expect and How to Prepare p.23

CONTENTS 2 Calendar of League Events 4 Executive Director’s Message

 Coming Together to Learn and Celebrate Our Progress

By Carolyn Coleman

 oin us in Long Beach for the J League’s 2019 Annual Conference & Expo.

8 City Forum

 Gauging Your Community’s Capacity to Solve Problems and Thrive

By Doug Linkhart

 xplore the National Civic League’s E Civic Index, a self-assessment tool.

Achieving an Accurate 10  Census Count: Best Practices for Cities

By Maria de la Luz Garcia

 eaching hard-to-count populations R requires a collective effort.

The Sixth Council 12 

Member: Social Media

By Ryder Todd Smith

 ven if you don’t personally use E social media, your constituents do — and they are using it to talk about you and your policy decisions.

14 2019 Annual Conference & Expo Preview

Maximize Your Annual Conference Experience: 10 Ways to Prep Like a Pro

By Katie Pebler

 hese tips help you get the most T out of your time at the conference.

Resiliency Wins: Our 21 

Community’s Response to Two Tragedies

By Andrew Powers

 ow Thousand Oaks coped with H a mass shooting and two major wildfires in a single day.

W hen Wildfires Strike: 23 

What to Expect and How to Prepare

By Dana Carey and Randall Stone

 mergency management is E challenging and dynamic.

The Santa Rosa Story: 25 

ANNUAL CONFERENCE & EXPO | 2019 Explore best practices and innovative solutions Over 40 leadership educational sessions Hundreds of networking opportunities

Housing Crisis to Housing Opportunity

By David Guhin

 hree simple principles drove T the rebuilding and recovery effort.

Villages and Resilient, 27  Age-Friendly Cities

By Charlotte Dickson

 illages build connections, V support and social capital among older adults.

It Starts With Civility: 30  Elected Officials’ Role in Attracting and Retaining Employees

By Nat Rojanasathira and Dominic Lazzaretto

Register Now

Tips for local officials.

Job Opportunities 35  Professional Services 43  Directory

Expo Exhibitors p.17

 over photo: Jeremy Sykes, courtesy C of the League of California Cities

October 16–18, 2019 Long Beach Convention Center

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

Magazine Staff Editor in Chief Jude Hudson Lemons, Hudson + Associates (916) 658-8234; email: Managing Editor Norman Coppinger (916) 658-8277; email: Contributing Editor Jill Oviatt (916) 658-8228; email: Advertising Sales Cici Trino Association Outsource Services, Inc. (916) 961-9999; email: Administrative Assistant Savannah Cobbs (916) 658-8223; email: Contributors Rebecca Inman Melissa Kuehne Melissa Lienau Erica Manuel Jennifer Whiting Kayla Woods

leaguevents OCTOBER 16

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


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


League Board of Directors’ Meeting, Long Beach This brief meeting has an abbreviated agenda tailored to the Annual Conference.


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

Associate Editors Carol Malinowski Carolyn Walker Design Taber Creative Group


Advertising Design ImagePoint Design


For photo credits, see page 36. Western City (ISSN 0279-5337) is published monthly by the League of California Cities, 1400 K St., Sacramento, CA 95814. Subscriptions: $39.00/1 year; $63.00/2 years; student: $26.50; foreign: $52.00; single copies: $4.00, including sales tax. Entered as periodical mail January 30, 1930, at the Post Office, Los Angeles, CA 90013, under the Act of April 13, 1879. Periodical postage paid at Sacramento, Calif.




Postmaster: Send address changes to Western City, 1400 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Western City Trademark Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. ©2019 League of California Cities. All rights reserved. Material may not be reprinted without written permission. This issue is Volume XCV, No. 9.


Fire Chiefs’ Leadership Seminar, Garden Grove This seminar features a variety of sessions for fire chiefs on timely topics important to fire service professionals and offers attendees networking opportunities with their fellow California fire personnel.


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


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







League Board of Directors’ Meeting, Napa The League board reviews, discusses and takes action on a variety of issues affecting cities, including legislation, legal advocacy, education and training and more.



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League of California Cities

Event and registration information is available at Join us on Facebook.

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Executive Director’s Message by Carolyn Coleman

Coming Together to Learn and

Celebrate Our Prog Many of you know that fall is my favorite season. Not only does it bring the changing colors of the leaves, it also means cooler weather in Sacramento. Most of all, the fall season is exciting because it means the League will soon be welcoming city officials from every corner of the state to our 2019 Annual Conference & Expo. Over 2,000 city officials will travel to Long Beach to learn new ideas from each other and experts on how to become stronger city leaders and move their communities forward.


League of California Cities

More than 40 educational sessions will address a wide range of timely topics, including managing “carrots and sticks” in the FY 2019–20 state budget, resiliency in the midst of tragedy and devastation, “the sixth council member: social media” (see article on page 12), reimagining modern policing and how to optimize government outcomes by leveraging technology. The conference also offers interactive sessions on promising new city practices and innovation, and the Expo features hundreds of vendors ready to introduce your city to the latest in

services and state-of-the-art technology. Long Beach in October is the place to be for city officials! Just as communities evolve over time, how city officials serve their residents also evolves in response to changing circumstances and new information. This year’s conference offers an excellent opportunity for city leaders to enhance their knowledge and skills and continue to bring the “best in class” in city services to their communities. The conference also provides a chance to celebrate our progress toward our 2019 strategic goals. To ensure that the League

City officials and staff gather for the opening of the Expo in 2018.

In early January, Gov. Newsom delivered his inauguration speech in which he promised an open-door approach and expressed interest in solutions that work for all communities, including the rural areas of our state. Wasting no time in capitalizing on Gov. Newsom’s interest, within days of the inauguration, the League’s executive officers met in the Capitol with senior officials in the governor’s Cabinet. We also met with legislative leaders from both chambers and from the Democratic and Republican caucuses. In those meetings, we shared our 2019 priorities for cities and our hope for a strong citiesstate partnership.

Progress on the League’s 2019 Strategic Goals

ress hit the ground running when the legislative session commenced in January 2019, leaders from the League’s board, divisions, departments, caucuses and policy committees convened in Garden Grove in November 2018 to develop the League’s strategic goals for 2019. The goals are central to having a strong unified voice and were informed by League leadership and by League members through the annual membership survey. In Garden Grove, the League also prepared for Gavin Newsom’s upcoming term as the state’s 40th governor.

Provide Cities Additional Funding and Tools and Preserve Local Authority to Address Housing Production, Affordability and Homelessness Challenges. Though California is home to the world’s fifth-largest economy, we are also experiencing the housing crisis that’s gripping the nation. Over half of California’s renter households pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent, making them housing cost-burdened. In addition, California has nearly 25 percent of the nation’s homeless individuals, with an estimated 134,000 homeless residents as of January 2017. Every day, cities statewide are taking action to address the costs of housing production — like streamlining the development process, updating local land-use plans and raising resources for local housing trust funds, to name a few. To successfully address these challenges, however, cities also need a strong partner in state government. That’s why the League is calling on the state to: • Provide resources to help cities update local land-use plans; • Restore a robust form of tax-increment financing to advance transit-oriented development to build affordable housing and revitalize local neighborhoods and communities; • Increase resources to assist people of all ages (including seniors) experiencing homelessness; and • Set aside resources to support additional affordable housing construction.

Improve Disaster Preparedness, Recovery and Climate Resiliency. The severity and frequency of California’s recent wildfires is unparalleled. The 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County devastated the Town of Paradise and was one of the most deadly and costly wildfires in California’s history. The wildfire destruction throughout the state highlights the need for more resources and tools to prevent and respond to these disasters. While communities individually and collectively are preparing for the new environment, they need a strong state partner. The League urged the state to provide resources to cities and expand partnerships to better prepare for and recover from wildfires, seismic events, erosion, mudslides and other disasters. And in partnership with the state, the League sought ways to improve community preparedness and resiliency to respond to disasters of all types, whether climate related, natural or man-made. Promote Sustainability of Public Pension and Retirement Health Benefits. With many cities expecting pension costs to jump by at least 50 percent by 2024–25, the League continued to collaborate with employee organizations, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the Newsom administration and the Legislature to increase public awareness of the fiscal challenges cities face as a direct result of growing unfunded pension liabilities and retirement health benefits. It’s increasingly clear that cities need meaningful options and flexibility to address these challenges in order to stabilize local budgets and ensure sufficient funding remains available to provide services to communities. Address Public Safety Concerns of California Cities. In the area of public safety, among other goals, the League is pursuing reforms to recently enacted criminal justice laws that have eroded public safety protections for our residents. The League continues to support the police chiefs and grocers-sponsored criminal justice reform measure, which is eligible for the November 2020 state ballot, and equivalent reforms achieved through legislative action. In addition, the League continues to protect local authority in connection with regulatory and legislative activity involving the adult use of continued

Western City, September 2019


Coming Together to Learn and Celebrate Our Progress, continued

City officials attend a panel discussion at the 2018 Annual Conference & Expo.

cannabis under Prop. 64 (2016) and existing city authority to deliver local emergency services.

Measuring Our Progress With the 2019 legislative session adjourning this month, we’re making significant progress on our strategic goals. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the following highlights about a couple of highly visible efforts in which the League has been very engaged. As expected, our early focus in the Legislature was on housing affordability, homelessness and disaster preparedness.

Housing and Homelessness At the end of June, Gov. Newsom signed into law the FY 2019–20 state budget that included the most significant housing and homelessness-related investments in modern history with nearly $2.5 billion in one-time funds to help with planning grants, housing-related infrastructure, homelessness services, mixed-income loan programs and an expansion of the state’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The budget package also includes AB 101, the housing budget trailer bill that contains incentives for cities that take steps to encourage additional housing development, particularly high-density housing and housing near transit. While AB 101’s accountability provisions — including potential court-imposed sanctions for local agencies with noncompliant Housing Element plans — are substantial, we welcomed language that incorporates meaningful due-process safeguards and opportunities to resolve legitimate disagreements between local and state agencies on matters of interpretation. We also appreciate the recognition that some communities may be facing financial and other hardships that may hinder compliance. It’s important to note that over 90 percent of cities already have state-approved Housing Elements, and the number is increasing. In other housing-related action, Leaguesponsored SB 5 (Beall, McGuire, Portantino), which calls for an ongoing funding mechanism of up to $2 billion annually to support affordable housing and infrastructure investment, has enjoyed widespread support and momentum. The Senate


League of California Cities

passed SB 5 earlier this year, and two Assembly committees have advanced the bill; as Western City went to press, SB 5 was awaiting consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Disaster Preparedness In June, the League partnered with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and the California State Association of Counties on the inaugural Emergency Management Preparedness Summit. Over 500 city, county and state officials attended the summit, which focused on: • Lessons learned from previous disasters about building resilient communities; • Enhanced local-level emergency management capacity; • Recovery best practices; and • Strategies for risk reduction. The summit was heralded as a productive city-county-state collaboration, and resources to support improved preparedness at the local level will be an ongoing focus for cities and counties through the Institute for Local Government. The Legislature and Gov. Newsom also pursued legislation to stabilize investorowned utilities (IOUs) that are regularly in the crosshairs of wildfires. Just before the July recess, the Legislature sent AB 1054 (Holden, Burke, Mayes) to the governor. The bill:

• Makes changes to the cost-recovery standard for utilities at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC); and • Creates a new CPUC safety certification for utilities. The League closely monitored this legislation and, consistent with the League’s position, it does not amend the current inverse condemnation standard of liability. While the League has supported many bills in this session that advance the common interest of cities, as with any legislative session, protecting local authority has also meant opposing bills that would interfere with, undermine and erode local decisionmaking and community input. In cases where the League has opposed legislation, our legislative team has conveyed our willingness to negotiate with the bill’s author on a compromise that respects local authority.

Your Efforts Make a Difference Thank you to the many city officials who made phone calls, wrote letters and visited with legislators in the Capitol and in their district to advocate for the League’s priorities this year. We are making progress on our strategic goals because of your efforts. Join us in Long Beach for an update on our goals, and look for a comprehensive review of our 2019 legislative accomplishments in the January 2020 issue of Western City. ■

• Establishes a $10.5 billion wildfire fund as a liquidity fund for IOUs that can be converted into an insurance fund with IOU contributions totaling $21 billion;

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Gauging Your Community’s Capacity to Solve Problems and Thrive by Doug Linkhart What makes some communities better able than others to solve tough social, political, economic or physical challenges? The National Civic League set out to answer this question over 30 years ago. Founded in 1894, the National Civic League’s mission is to advance civic engagement to create equitable, thriving communities. Our experience working in communities revealed a set of factors that we call “civic capital” — the formal and informal relationships, networks and capacities that communities use to make decisions collaboratively and solve problems. At the National Civic League, we know of many communities with an abundant supply of civic capital. During the past 70 years, our All-America City program has recognized over 500 such communities that use civic engagement and collaboration to tackle tough issues in a lasting manner. Communities that apply to be an All-America City are asked to use the National Civic League’s Civic Index, a self-assessment tool, to describe their community’s civic capital. The Civic Index describes the seven components of civic capital, provides 32 questions to gauge each component and provides ideas on how to use the index.

The Seven Components of Civic Capital Civic capital encompasses seven components: engaged residents, inclusive community leadership, collaborative institutions, embracing diversity and equity, authentic communication, a culture of engagement and shared vision and values. The following list provides a practical example of each component.

Engaged Residents. Residents play an active role in decisionmaking and civic affairs. The Southeastern San Diego Cardiac Disparities Project engages people in African American church congregations to improve cardiovascular health — and offers an outstanding example of resident engagement. The project works with each participant to develop a “heart-healthy plan” to reduce heart attacks and strokes, using nutrition education, exercise, health monitoring and tracking blood pressure and weight. Some congregations take a brisk “Gospel Walk” around their neighborhood once a month. Afterward, a speaker talks about health and participants can have their blood pressure and weight checked. Inclusive Community Leadership. The community actively cultivates and supports leaders from diverse backgrounds who have a wide range of perspectives. The City of Fremont is training local volunteer “ambassadors” to help improve the quality of life for older adults in its large immigrant communities, who were not accessing services to the same extent as other populations. Fremont’s Community Ambassador Program for Seniors has trained about 250 volunteer ambassadors representing all parts of the community to serve as liaisons between residents and various services, hold outreach events in their communities, provide education on how to access community resources and refer older adults to case managers as needed. Collaborative Institutions. Collaboration among the government, business, nonprofit and other sectors is in place along with structures and mechanisms that facilitate such collaboration.

Doug Linkhart is president of the National Civic League and can be reached at


League of California Cities

left to right The West

Hollywood Russian Cultural Festival, Fremont community ambassadors and Healing South Stockton offer excellent examples of civic capital in action.

A 2016 community health needs assessment in San Joaquin County led to the creation of Healing South Stockton, a project that connects residents who have experienced trauma and chronic stress with behavioral health services and community support. The county created a shared governance structure to include health plan partners, government agencies, nonprofit partners and residents — and collaborated with communitybased organizations, schools and faith-based groups to gather input from residents and deliver coordinated services. Embracing Diversity and Equity. Institutions recognize and celebrate the community’s diversity and strive for equity in services, support and engagement. The City of Ontario, which is about 72 percent Latino, launched Healthy Ontario in 2006 to improve health in a low-income neighborhood with a 67 percent obesity rate. The program uses a healthy eating, acting and living initiative. To identify underlying issues in the neighborhood, the city used photovoice, a visual methodology that puts cameras in the hands of community members to record their perspectives. Ontario also created Health Hubs, informal places where residents can gather, and trained local residents as community health outreach workers known as “promotores.” Authentic Communication. Credible, civic-oriented sources of information are presented in a way that residents can use. To reach its Russian population, the All-America City of West Hollywood uses several methods, including a Russian outreach coordinator, Russian-speaking staff in the Police Department and other agencies, a Russian Advisory Board, a Russian Cultural Month, community awards, and year-round musical events and tributes to veterans and Holocaust survivors. A Culture of Engagement. Involvement by residents, businesses, nonprofits and other stakeholders in every aspect of civic affairs is an expected part of the local culture — not an afterthought. Involvement in civic affairs is a way of life in Rancho Cordova, which has won the All-America City designation twice. The

Cordova Community Council works with the city and chamber of commerce to organize activities throughout the year, including holiday celebrations and parades, citywide meetings and a community cultural festival. Hundreds of residents volunteer on a regular basis, performing tasks that range from working on city committees to neighborhood beautification efforts and cleaning debris from storm gutters. Shared Vision and Values. Communities with shared values and civic pride have a common foundation for addressing public matters. In January 2017, the City of Hayward used a broad community outreach process to create a vision and establish a set of community values, titled the Commitment for an Inclusive, Equitable and Compassionate Community. This includes goals and action items to foster greater accessibility to services, dismantle illegal forms of discrimination, enhance community and police relations and “make direct, intentional investments in historically disadvantaged neighborhoods.”

Building a Sustainable Future Nearly 100 years ago, Justice Louis Brandeis (who was also a member of the National Civic League’s executive committee) called states “laboratories of democracy.” That mantle has now been passed to the local level, as cities, counties, towns and other local communities tackle issues like health, climate change, education and economic prosperity. Local governments cannot solve complex problems on their own. Instead, it’s the communities with civic capital — the full engagement and collaboration of their residents, local businesses, nonprofits and other stakeholders — that have the resources and persistence to successfully address difficult issues and build a sustainable future. For a free copy of the National Civic League’s Civic Index, visit For additional information and links to related resources, read the online version of this article at ■

Western City, September 2019


Achieving an Accurate Census Count:

by Maria de la Luz Garcia

The U.S. Census dates back to the nation’s very founding. The Constitution requires a full count to be conducted every 10 years of every single individual living in the United States. No matter where you reside, how much money you have, where you were born, what color your skin is, what language you speak, what faith you practice or whether you’re homeless or housed — the federal government must enumerate how many people live here. In other words, regardless of citizenship status, age, gender, race or creed, everyone must be counted.

What’s at Stake This process couldn’t be more important. The number of people in a given city, county or state determines how many representatives speak on behalf of those areas in Congress. This information delineates how districts are drawn ahead of the next election. And it dictates how precious federal dollars are invested in schools, health care, transportation, infrastructure, affordable housing and more.

This sounds straightforward enough, but it isn’t — because some populations are tougher to reach. They include families of color, low-income households, homeless women and men without an address, renters who move on a regular basis and immigrants afraid of the possibility of deportation. When these people are left behind, they lose out — and so do their cities. And in few places is this challenge greater than in Los Angeles (pop. 4,054,400), the largest city in the nation’s hardest-to-count county. Under the guidance of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City of Los Angeles reopened its census office in 2017 to prepare for the 2020 census. Consider the massive stakes of this project and effort. Based on 2010 census data, the State of California received over $115 billion for key health, education and social welfare programs for fiscal year 2016. These funds underwrite initiatives and programs that affect our residents’ daily lives in numerous ways. Even so, L.A. County lost $650 million in funding between 2002 and 2012 because of a significant undercount in 2000. We can’t let that happen again.

L.A. County sends 18 representatives to the House of Representatives in each election, out of 53 total seats from our state. Now consider this: After the 2010 census, California missed an opportunity to gain a seat in Congress — because roughly 13,000 people were not counted. That’s sacrificing real power. We simply cannot afford it. This challenge isn’t limited to a single city, not even one as diverse as Los Angeles. This is why we’re collaborating with our neighbors in Long Beach and other towns, along with our leaders at the county level, to educate our residents, engage our communities and ensure everyone’s voice is heard. No one should take this task lightly. There is a reason that “hard to count” is a label bestowed on California as a whole and L.A. County in particular. All told, 16.2 million Californians and 4.1 million L.A. County residents fall into this category, which includes communities that historically may be deterred from completing the census for a variety of reasons. Maybe their English is limited and they don’t know that materials are available in their native language

Maria de la Luz Garcia is director of the Census 2020 Initiative for the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation under Mayor Eric Garcetti in the City of Los Angeles and can be reached at


League of California Cities

Best Practices for Cities or they’re immigrants with a healthy distrust of government authorities and therefore won’t respond to the questionnaire. Perhaps they are among the many families who can’t access the new digital forms due to limited internet access; for example, only about half of South Los Angeles residents report having broadband access at home. Whatever the reason, reaching hard-tocount populations will take a collective effort from everyone.

Local Governments Launch a Collaborative Outreach Effort To that end, the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach (pop. 478,561) are joining forces with Los Angeles County (pop. 10,283,729) to focus on efficient and strategic outreach. We’re sharing resources and delivering a single message in a unified voice across jurisdictional lines. This includes collaborating to identify and reach hard-to-count populations, developing stronger communication strategies, trading mapping data and more — so our jurisdictions work together, avoid duplicating efforts and break out of our “information silos.”

This critical work is well underway. For example, in January 2018, the City and County of Los Angeles convened the first local complete count committee in California. Now known as the Countywide Outreach Complete Count Committee, the group has expanded to include over 150 organizations representing local government agencies, community groups and nonprofits, faith-based organizations, businesses and the philanthropic sector — and it continues to grow. To reduce the impact of the new digital census, Los Angeles, Long Beach and dozens of other cities along with L.A. County and hundreds of community partners are launching Census Action Kiosks. Located in places like libraries, schools and worksource centers, the kiosks will be a place where people can respond to the census using a computer or talk about the survey with someone who speaks their language. There’s more on the horizon. Our coalition is recruiting, training and deploying census goodwill ambassadors, volunteers drawn from hard-to-count communities, who are trusted to provide accurate information about the importance of the census. The City of Los Angeles is conducting a pilot program in summer 2019 to ensure a successful rollout later this year.

This is just the beginning. We plan to maintain our momentum every single day from now until the census start date (April 1, 2020) and beyond to ensure a fair, accurate and complete count. That’s imperative for Southern California and our entire state. We are laying the groundwork for a strong count in 2020 because we refuse to be known as the hardest-to-count city forever. By 2030, we want to be able to point to our experience as a model for future efforts. We hope to become recognized as an innovative community that won’t back down from any challenge, that will persevere and succeed in earning accurate representation. That’s a cause we can get behind, and we hope you’ll join us. Be informed. Be involved. Be counted. ■

Learn More About the 2020 Census at the Annual Conference Don’t miss the session on this important topic at the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, “Achieving an Accurate Census Count: Best Practices for Cities,” Thursday, Oct. 17, from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. For location details, see the conference program or the mobile app.

Western City, September 2019


The Sixth Council Member:

Social Media by Ryder Todd Smith

Few topics command more interest on the local government circuit than social media (though emergency communications runs a close second). For the past eight years, I have observed many of California’s public agencies both embracing and despising social media — and becoming innovators within it. The rise of platforms like Nextdoor and Facebook Groups are forcing public agencies and public servants to rethink their definitions of “community engagement.” Criticism of government is not new. But because the internet makes it easy to post rants and diatribes, more people who are critical and outspoken have an easy conduit for voicing their frustration. Local government remains the most trusted form of government — even though trust in the federal government has reached a 60-year low, according to an April 2019 report from the Pew Research Center. As members of the public embrace new digital platforms for communicating with each other, it’s the duty of public agencies and elected officials to make themselves available on these same platforms in the pursuit of community engagement. Building trust is harder to do when your communications travel in only one direction: out. Creating opportunities for constituents to voice their concerns and hopes in settings where they’re most comfortable helps build stronger bridges between a city and its communities. It may even be possible to turn some critics into advocates over time.

The Impact of Social Media on City Operations Assessing city social media programs and the impact of social media on operations, including the city council, is an ongoing concern for many municipalities.

Ryder Todd Smith is president of Tripepi Smith, a marketing, technology and public affairs firm. He can be reached at


League of California Cities

It is not uncommon for city council members to cite conversation threads from a large community Facebook Group when discussing public sentiment about a council agenda item. These community conversations are influencing the way council members vote or consider voting on city policies and business. As a result,

city leaders and administrators may ask, “What is our city’s reach and engagement on social media compared with this large Facebook Group?” The answer is often “Not great.” This situation is compounded by the Facebook algorithms that determine what users see. Current algorithms aren’t doing public agencies any favors, because people are seeing more content from friends, family and Groups rather than public agency Pages. Social media has also upended the world of broadcast media and the global flow of information. Today, a Facebook Group administrator might have the same (or more) power as a newspaper editor. The administrators hold the keys to the community’s digital “watering hole” and can set the rules of moderation and, to a large extent, the tone and direction of the conversation. The other online social network of particular interest to city officials and staff interested in community engagement is Nextdoor, which is designed to facilitate communication within neighborhoods. On the site, neighbors post notices and interact with one another on topics ranging from garage sales to lost pets and Neighborhood Watch. On Nextdoor, a public agency can create an Agency Page (much like a Facebook Page) to post content and reach Nextdoor members. An Agency Page and its administrator cannot, however, view conversations within Nextdoor Neighborhoods. To address this challenge, try messaging the Nextdoor “Neighborhood Leads” in your city and asking them to share concerns with you if they see issues of interest, such as public works or public safety, being discussed in their respective Neighborhoods.

Keeping a Finger on the Pulse of the Community Social media’s pervasive impact underscores the importance of cities and elected officials having their collective finger on the pulse of these online civic conversations. If you’re serious about community engagement, you need to make an effort to listen to your residents in the mediums

League Second Vice President Randon Lane takes a selfie with attendees at the League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference & Expo.

Don’t Miss This Session at the Annual Conference

they consider most convenient and where they’re comfortable sharing their thoughts, reactions and concerns. These conversations in community Facebook Groups and Nextdoor Neighborhoods can serve as canaries in a coal mine, warning that there may be trouble ahead at your next council meeting. City officials and staff who track these online discussions are better prepared to speak to their constituents’ concerns and less likely to be caught unaware of a developing local issue. Of course, some of what you read online may be the skewed opinions of a vocal minority. As the number of court cases related to social media continues to increase and laws become more complex, elected officials may find it increasingly challenging to understand how to draw the line between personal and professional use of social media and comply with the legal requirements related to their use.

Become Social Media Savvy With the potential downsides that can accompany being active on social media, it can be tempting to avoid it or ignore it altogether. However, even if you don’t personally use social media, your constituents definitely do — and they are using it to talk about you, your policy decisions and the community they call “home.” To develop a strategy and become a social media-savvy public official, be sure to attend the upcoming session on this topic at the League’s 2019 Annual Conference & Expo (see sidebar at right for more information.) ■

At the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, attendees will have a chance to learn more about social media's impact on community engagement during a panel session titled “The Sixth Council Member: Social Media.” This session will explore the evolution of community engagement in the internet age through firsthand insights from a government social media expert, a Gen X city manager, a tech-savvy mayor and a free speech/social media legal expert. The panel discussion will cover: • Strategies cities and elected officials can use for leveraging social media to listen to and engage with their communities; • The ways social media is impacting community-government relations; • How to avoid the pitfalls of using social media as both a resident and a public servant; • The legal aspects of social media and how to avoid controversy online; • Why you can’t just block an annoying gadfly on social media; and • How the Brown Act applies to tweets and Facebook comment threads. A mayor will describe the not-so-scary side of using social media to engage residents, share positive content and grow your personal brand. If you are a council member, you will gain confidence about how to interact online without putting yourself or your agency at risk — and your city manager and city attorney will thank you. This session will be held Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 3:45–5:00 p.m.; see the conference program or mobile app for location details.

Western City, September 2019



Maximize Your An nual Conference

10 Ways to Prep by Katie Pebler

Preparing now for your three-day visit to the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center, Oct. 16–18, can help you create a valuable and memorable experience. League staff have compiled 10 tips to help ensure that you get the most out of your time at the conference. 1. Register for Pre-Conference Activities. Several conference-related activities occur before the Opening General Session on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Arrive early to attend the policy committee meetings

or take the AB 1234 Ethics Training, which start at 9:00 a.m. City clerks can earn an extra CMC/MMC Advanced Education Point by attending the City Clerks’ Workshop that morning as well. And if this is your first time attending the

conference, join us at a special orientation from 12:45–1:15 p.m.

2. Download the Mobile App. Have quick access to the conference schedule by downloading the League’s app, and build your own itinerary! This handy tool is free and available on all mobile devices by searching for “CaCities” or “League of California Cities” in your device’s app store. In addition to viewing the conference lineup, you can view session descriptions, speaker information and materials and save your thoughts on the session — right in the app. You can also make use of the maps designed to help you find exhibitors with solutions to the unique challenges confronting your city.

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


League of California Cities

Annual Conference & Expo Preview Experience:

Like a Pro 3. Plan to Attend Your Department Meeting. If you have never attended a department meeting at the League’s Annual Conference, you have been missing out. Department meetings are made up of your colleagues in similar professions throughout California. Attendees gather to discuss the issues they are facing, hear timely updates on legislation and ultimately find common ground that advances their work on unified department goals, setting the course for positive change within their communities. Mayors and council members, city managers, fire chiefs, public works officers, personnel and employee relations managers and fiscal officers conduct department meetings on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. City clerks

meet Wednesday morning during their workshop, and city attorneys will meet Thursday morning during a City Attorney Track session.

4. Review the Session Descriptions and Bookmark the Session Materials Page. It may be hard to choose among the lineup of 45 sessions; spend some time the week before the Annual Conference to make your selections. Take it a step further and coordinate with colleagues who are also attending; seasoned conference attendees typically plan who from their city will attend the most popular sessions to ensure they derive the maximum benefit. Follow up with your colleagues after the conference to discuss what you learned and share useful information.

Beginning in October, all session materials will be posted as they are received by the League on its mobile app or online at www.cacities. org/2019acmaterials. Staff highly recommends bookmarking the session materials page to easily pull up the presentations you will see. Bonus tip: Reviewing the materials is also an excellent way to decide if you want to attend a session.

5. Bring Your Business Cards and Save Time for Networking. This conference is not just about the presentations. Explore abundant opportunities for networking at events such as the Host City Reception, CitiPAC 14th continued

Western City, September 2019


2019 Annual Conference & Expo Preview, continued

City officials and staff meet in Long Beach to learn, network and explore solutions to common problems.

Annual Leadership Reception and events hosted by the League’s diversity caucuses and divisions. Between structured activities, you are certain to meet and exchange ideas with people from throughout California. Plan in advance who you want to network with, and don’t forget to bring a stack of business cards.

6. Register for Your Division Event. Each region of California has unique challenges, and the League’s 16 regional divisions meet during the Annual Conference, providing an opportunity for members to network and reflect on issues impacting their region. City officials, both elected and professional staff, work closely with the League regional public affairs managers to develop and carry out grassroots activities. For information on your division event, contact your regional public affairs manager (find yours at

7. Review the Annual Conference Resolutions. Policy development plays a key part in the League’s legislative effectiveness. Annual conference resolutions are one way that city officials can directly participate in the development of League policy. Resolutions must focus on direct municipal issues of statewide importance. Any elected or appointed city official, individual city, League division, department, policy committee or the board of directors can submit a resolution. The deadline for 2019 resolutions was Aug. 17. All resolutions


League of California Cities

and background information are available at A petitioned resolution can also be introduced during the Annual Conference to address any late-breaking issues. Resolutions will be considered up to three times during the conference: in policy committee meetings, during the General Resolutions Committee meeting and at the Closing Luncheon and General Assembly. Each city council designates a voting delegate to represent your city during the General Assembly. Your city may also appoint up to two alternate voting delegates who may vote in the event that the designated voting delegate is unavailable. If you are a voting delegate or alternate, don’t forget to check in at the Voting Delegates’ Booth in the main lobby of the convention center when you arrive at the conference.

8. Be Sure to Visit the Member Services Desk. League members have access to a wealth of information and opportunities to get involved and better their communities. Visit the Member Services Desk for information on League services available to you and your city.

9. Find Exhibitors, League Partners and Helen Putnam Award Winners, Al l in the Expo. The Annual Conference & Expo is the largest premier event in California connecting city officials with organizations

and businesses that support municipal activities. With over 260 exhibitors, the Expo is a must-see destination during the conference. In addition to the exhibitors, attendees will find a special zone for the League Partners, and an exclusive Speaker Theater is located in the League Partners’ Pavilion. Cities that won a 2019 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence can also be found in the Expo. Stop by their booths and gather some exciting ideas to take back to your community.

10. Pack Wisely and Plan for Getting Around. Attending any conference requires some stamina. You’ll be walking to the convention center to attend your department meeting and navigating to the General Sessions to hear captivating speakers. Add to this cruising from session to session, walking through the Expo, going out to dinner with colleagues and returning to your hotel. You will be glad later you planned ahead. Pack comfortable shoes, chargers for mobile devices and a water bottle that you can refill at water stations during the conference. Watch for updates on the sessions and speakers at or on the mobile app. ■

2019 Annual Conference & Expo Preview

Expo Exhibitors League Partners’ names appear in bold. Institute for Local Government Partners appear in blue. CitiPAC supporters are marked with an asterisk. This list is current as of Aug. 16, 2019. For an updated list, visit

4LEAF, Inc.

Burke, Williams & Sorensen*

ADA Consultant Services

Burnham Benefits

AED Total Solution

Burrtec Waste/EDCO Disposal*

Alliance Resource Consulting

California Association of Code Enforcement Officers

California State University San Bernardino

California Association of Parks and Recreation Commissioners and Board

CentralSquare Technologies

Allied Powers, LLC Ameresco American Ramp Company ANP Lighting Architerra Design Group Asphalt Zipper, Inc. Avenu Insights & Analytics (MuniServices)

California Association of Public Information Officials California Association of Public Procurement Officials California Building Officials (CALBO)


California Consulting, Inc.

Best Best & Krieger* Blais & Associates, Inc.

California Department of General Services

Blount International

California High-Speed Rail Authority

Bob Murray & Associates

California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA)

Bureau Veritas North America, Inc.

California Joint Powers Insurance Authority California Schools VEBA

CannaRegs Charles Abbott Associates, Inc. (CAA) Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program City Ventures CleanStreet Climatec LLC Columbia Vehicle Group CSBA Agenda Online CSCDA CSG Consultants CXT Concrete Buildings Dapeer, Rosenblit & Litvak, LLP Dart Container* Dave Bang Associates, Inc. Davey Resource Group, Inc. Department of Housing and Community Development DGS Statewide Travel Program Diehl Metering, LLC DLR Group DRC Emergency Services/SLS DTA Earth Systems


Western City, September 2019


2019 Annual Conference & Expo Preview, Expo Exhibitors, continued




ECS/Gold Crew

Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc.


First Capitol


EdgeSoft, Inc. Employees Club of California ENGIE Services U.S.* Ennis-Flint Enterprise Fleet Management*

ForeFront Power GameTime c/o GWR & MRC General Code George Hills

GovHR USA Granicus Graphic Solutions Greenfields Outdoor Fitness HAI, Hirsch & Associates, Inc. Hapco HB Staffing HdL Companies* Holman Capital Corporation HR Green, Inc. IBank IES/SitelogIQ* In God We Trust America, Inc. INFRAMARK Intelligent Traffic Equipment Marketing, Ltd. Interwest Consulting Group JAS PACIFIC Johnson Controls* Jones & Mayer JustServe Kaiser Permanente Keenan & Associates Keyser Marston Associates, Inc.

Best Best & Krieger LLP helps cities and counties navigate the affordable housing crisis by providing legal guidance on the ever-changing regulatory landscape, community enhancement programs and other economic development tools available to fund projects and accomplish goals.

Koff & Associates Recruiting KOMPAN Playgrounds Kosmont Companies* LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Language Network Lara International Learn4Life LECET Southwest Library Systems & Services Liebert Cassidy Whitmore LINC Housing


Lincoln Financial Group Mattress Recycling Council Meyers Nave*

Offices throughout California and in Washington, D.C.

MGO MNS Engineers Municibid


League of California Cities

The Expo offers innovative solutions for numerous challenges facing cities.

NASPO ValuePoint Navio International, Inc. Negometrix: eProcurement & Contract Management NLC Service Line Warranty Program Northern California Carpenters Regional Council NV5 Omega II Fence Systems Optimum Seismic, Inc. Otto Environmental Systems North America, Inc. PARS* PARSAC Peckham & McKenney PERC Water Corporation PetData PFM Financial Advisors, LLC Pinnacle Claims Management Piper Jaffray & Co. PowerFlare (PF Distribution Center, Inc.) Powersmiths International Corporation Precision Concrete Cutting

PARS Pension Rate Stabilization Program (PRSP) The Pension Rate Stabilization Program (PRSP), pioneered by PARS, is based on a first-of-itskind IRS-approved Section 115 Irrevocable Trust designed for public agencies to prefund pension and address rising pension costs. Set aside funds in a tax-exempt funding vehicle to mitigate long-term contribution rate volatility, maintain local control over assets held in the trust and determine the appropriate investment goals and risk tolerance levels with potential for higher rate of return than your general fund.

Visit us Oct 16-17 During the League of Cities Annual Conference - booth #1130 please contact PARS at:

Prevailing Rural Education

(800) 540-6369 x 127

Public Health Advocates Public Restroom Company Radarsign, LLC Ralph Andersen & Associates RealTerm Energy Regional Government Services Authority Renne Public Law Group* Republic Services* Retail Strategies Richards Watson Gershon* RICKMARPRODUCTS, LLC Ring RJM Design Group, Inc. RKA Consulting Group RSG, Inc. SA RECYCLING, LLC SAFEbuilt, LLC SafetyStepTD Schaefer Systems International Schneider Electric*

continued Western City, September 2019


2019 Annual Conference & Expo Preview, Expo Exhibitors, continued

ScholarShare 529

Silver & Wright, LLP

Superior Tank Solutions

SDI Presence, LLC

Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong, LLP

SurveillanceGRID Integration, Inc.

Security Lines U

Smart Cities Prevail*

SwiftComply US OpCo, Inc.

Sensys America


SyTech Solutions


SolarMax LED


Share Our Strength

Stalker Radar

TBWB Strategies

Siemens Energy

State Water Resources Control Board

The Code Group, Inc., dba VCA Code The Pun Group, LLP The San Diego Foundation

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

Law offices throughout California | 800.333.4297 |

TKE Engineering TNT Fireworks Toter Toyota Motor North America Trane Energy Solutions Transtech Engineers, Inc. Troy & Bank TV Pro Gear U.S. Flood Control Corp. Vanir Construction Management, Inc.* ViewPoint Cloud Wagners CFT, LLC WEH Technologies, Inc. Wells Fargo Bank West Coast Arborists Willdan William Avery & Associates, Inc.* Working Scholars powered by Ygrene*

Stroll through the Expo to discover products and services designed to meet the needs of your city.


League of California Cities

Resiliency Wins: Our Community’s Response to Two Tragedies by Andrew Powers The City of Thousand Oaks is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, open spaces, excellent schools and quality of life — and for being one of the safest cities in the United States. In November 2018, we also became known as a community that suffered a mass shooting and two major wildfires in a single day. These events comprised the darkest hours in our history, yet the response from our elected officials, city staff, partner agencies, local businesses and residents reflected genuine concern for our neighbors and the importance of resiliency in a crisis.

Responding as Traumatic Events Unfold In the late hours of Nov. 7, Thousand Oaks was challenged and united like never before. It was College Night at Borderline Bar and Grill, where a gunman killed 12 people — students, friends, neighbors and a well-respected Thousand Oaks police sergeant. Law enforcement,

medical personnel and media swarmed the city. Work at the crime scene began, and the Thousand Oaks City Council and senior staff assembled nearby to identify immediate needs and prepare an action plan. Establishing a haven for families waiting to learn the fate of their loved ones was one of the first objectives. City staff designated and opened a Family Assistance Center and City Incident Command Headquarters, where families could find refuge from the media and receive emotional comfort and counseling. Watching families respond to unbearable loss was heartbreaking, and their anguish is something those present will never forget. The city council and department heads were on the scene at the Family Assistance Center to develop a response for the victims, survivors and the community. In cooperation with the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF), we

helped establish a Conejo Valley Victims Fund as a trusted place for the public to make financial contributions. We immediately began planning for a community vigil to be held at our Civic Arts Plaza that evening. The mayor and city council held several press conferences, providing information, answering questions and reinforcing a spirit of unity.

Fires and Mandatory Evacuation In the afternoon, as many were making their way to the vigil, large plumes of smoke began to fill our skies from the Hill and Woolsey Fires. Due to strong Santa Ana winds, the fires grew rapidly and quickly generated a new crisis. After the vigil concluded, many staff went directly to the city’s Emergency Operations Center to launch our response to what became the worst fire in the city’s 54-year history. continued

Andrew Powers is city manager of Thousand Oaks and can be reached at

Western City, September 2019


Resiliency Wins: Our Community’s Response to Two Tragedies, continued

Within 24 hours of the mass shooting, we faced the challenge of fires threatening neighborhoods and mandatory evacuation of 75 percent of our residents. Evacuation was difficult because the U.S. 101 freeway was closed, thereby increasing the demand for local shelters. Though shelter deployment and management is not a traditional role for the city, we established five shelters by working closely with the Conejo Recreation and Park District. Staff improvised and drew upon community support — residents and businesses — to obtain food, water and other supplies to serve more than 3,000 residents for four days. The VCCF opened a second fund for donations to fire victims. Professional sports teams from Los Angeles did their part in acknowledging the first responders and promoting donations to victims’ funds. Firefighters and police did an outstanding job saving lives in very fast-moving blazes. The fires destroyed or damaged 56 properties in the city. Following the tragedies, the work continued. Thousand Oaks sponsored several memorial concerts that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local victims. The city established a committee to work on the design of a permanent memorial to honor the shooting victims and survivors and granted $250,000 to be used to construct a healing garden at a local park site. In collaboration with Ventura County representatives, the city conducted a Fire Recovery Town Hall meeting, providing fire victims relevant information regarding their rights, responsibilities and available resources.

Factors That Made a Difference Our community was struck by consecutive, unthinkable tragedies. City staff are


League of California Cities

Team unity takes work and preparation and can’t be established in the midst of tragedy. required to respond to emergencies as disaster service workers, but our employees’ response was rooted in a commitment to serve. An organizational culture of responsiveness and authentic community engagement laid the foundation for an effective response. The following factors also contributed to our organization’s efforts. Distinguished Leadership. Our thenMayor Rob McCoy was a long-serving council member with decades of experience in community leadership and emergency management as deputy fire chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Department. He provided a voice of reason, both highly composed and compassionate. Mayor McCoy conducted multiple press conferences and interviews, responded to hundreds of inquiries, provided a strong and comforting presence at the vigil and reassured the entire community. The city council was unified in this approach. In addition, our collaborative executive team provided assistance and input to areas outside their traditional responsibilities. Outstanding Interagency Relationships. Within 12 hours of the mass shooting, we worked with VCCF to set up a fund to receive critical seed donations and build momentum for additional giving. The foundation, which has raised more than $2.5 million, is giving 100 percent of the donations to the victims of the shooting. Our Recreation and Parks District made its facilities available to operate a Family Assistance Center and shelters for displaced families. In less than 24 hours after the shooting, we organized a vigil

and called upon leaders of our faith community to share words of encouragement, hope and faith. Through it all, our police and fire partners provided steady communication and support. Disaster Preparedness and Recovery. The city participates in focused tabletop exercises to develop our skills to effectively communicate, plan and coordinate emergency response. Ventura County drew on its recent experience with the Thomas Fire to provide much-needed support. This support included planning and organizing a Fire Recovery Town Hall meeting, launching a website dedicated to disaster recovery and communicating regularly with the city to coordinate our collective response. Personal Customer Service and Communication. In addition to issuing website updates, maintaining a strong social media presence and attending local press conferences, we pursued an enhanced approach to fire recovery. We dedicated a Public Works Department staff member to serve as the city’s fire concierge and act as the central contact for property owners with fire damage to help them navigate the recovery process. An Authentic and Engaged Team. Teamwork may seem overly simple or obvious when it comes to responding under the most difficult circumstances. Thousand Oaks contracts for police continued on page 38

When Wildfires Strike: What to Expect and How to Prepare by Dana Carey and Randall Stone Picture this: A fire chief calls you, indicating that a significant wildfire has erupted in your jurisdiction and within a State Responsibility Area — and this puts into motion a series of actions and events. Such a call can immediately trigger: • Calls for coordinated evacuations; • Broadcast notifications; • Establishment of regional shelters; and • The arrival of thousands of personnel along with the equipment and aircraft associated with a Cal Fire Incident Management Team. Municipal fires in California have been consistently breaking records for the costliest in terms of lives lost and property destroyed — while our departments and personnel are even more prepared than ever to battle these regional disasters. Municipal and contract fire departments have better training, stronger mutual aid agreements and an improved understanding of how fires alter our community

risk profiles. Beginning in the 1970s in Southern California, large-scale wildfires have helped shape the ever-changing field of emergency management in California. Local jurisdictions throughout the state are progressing with their current planning, training and exercises, which are as varied as each city’s budget. Throughout all the training and preparations, however, one thing remains constant: emergency management is challenging and dynamic. As the 2018 fire season demonstrated, the losses, frequency and intensity of these fires mean we must further enhance our service delivery and safety practices. Many jurisdictions have focused on earthquake and flood response. But very few have practiced for regional fires, partly because: • Fire departments regularly train in and practice fire suppression; • Fire services adapt quickly, expanding and contracting very efficiently within California due to the Master Mutual Aid Agreement;

• Fire departments seem to respond flawlessly, and after a department has provided more than 12 hours of mutual aid on an incident, the state provides reimbursement; and • An entire state agency, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), is dedicated to fire response, and its services include areas within the Wildland-Urban Interface.

Critical Considerations — Before the Fire Relying on local municipalities to address larger regional fire risks can pile on additional risks for city operations beyond fire services. As a council member or city official, you should be aware of critical aspects of the response that impact your city in numerous ways. For example, what if a fire starts within a municipal area and threatens to spread to a State Responsibility Area, initiating a continued

Dana Carey is manager of the Office of Emergency Services for Yolo County and can be reached at Randall Stone is mayor of the City of Chico and can be reached at

Western City, September 2019


When Wildfires Strike: What to Expect and How to Prepare, continued

regional response? A coordinated response plan to a large regional event can ensure that operations are most effectively drawn to suppress the fire at minimal expense to the local jurisdiction.

bill and when state response agencies will pay for each of the retardant drops.

The location where a fire starts can determine which entity — local, state or federal — bears the costs associated with the fire.

Fire departments that respond under the Master Mutual Aid Agreement are required to submit their personnel and equipment costs to Cal Fire annually in anticipation of pre-event preparation, when the State of California calls upon fire departments for service with large regional events. Working with Cal Fire on mitigation projects and strategies can even help improve the area’s ability to withstand the fire season. Grants are

Dropping fire retardant from aircraft can cost more than $100,000 per load. Financial considerations may not be a driving factor in how fire response is delivered. But working with potential stakeholders early in the process — before a fire is underway — can help establish protocols for when a local municipality will cover the

Key Elements of Planning and Preparing

more readily available than ever to create Community Wildfire Protection Plans and establish Fire Safe Councils for local communities, and these grants expand each year as the risk profile of our communities increases. Municipal presumption of fire risk continues to expand as we learn more about our community’s risk profile and acknowledge natural firebreaks in our development planning. With additional revenues available for municipal planning — particularly for affordable housing — the opportunity to reassess our risk strategies should include recognizing regional fire advance planning.

Response Options for a Large Fire

Trusted advisors to California cities for nearly 40 years. • • • • • • •

Employment Law Labor Relations Retirement Wage and Hour Public Safety Public Records Act Litigation our offices • Los Angeles • Sacramento • San Francisco • San Diego • Fresno •



League of California Cities

Your jurisdiction has many options for responding when a larger fire management team arrives in your jurisdiction. Regardless of fire suppression operations, you’ll need to prepare for such activities as issuing alerts and warnings, launching shelter operations and providing frequent and consistent information to the public. Learning the necessary procedures and how to best fit into these larger fire management team structures is critically important and essential for success.

Ongoing Operations and Transitioning to Recovery As the days unfold during a wildfire event, ongoing 12-hour schedules, unfamiliar high-stress environments and the need to work night shifts take a toll on city and county personnel. Practicing continuity of operations to maintain jurisdictional business while responding to a fire can be a challenge. Preparing your staff for the long road ahead to recovery is key. After fire personnel have continued on page 39

The Santa Rosa Story: Housing Crisis to Housing Opportunity by David Guhin

An intense, unpredictable firestorm called the Tubbs Fire hit Sonoma County in the middle of the night on Oct. 8, 2017, and eventually reached the City of Santa Rosa (pop. 178,488), the fifth-largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area and the 26th largest city in the state. The catastrophic event completely destroyed over 3,000 homes — 5 percent of the city’s housing stock — and numerous businesses. With the fire came an onslaught of chaos, confusion and shock that would continue, morphing in unpredictable ways (much like the fire) for the next year. As the primary response agency, local government is theoretically prepared and structured to react immediately and effectively to disasters, but reality shows that cities and counties generally lack adequate organizational systems to lead a prolonged recovery and rebuilding effort while simultaneously addressing the pressing ongoing needs of the jurisdiction.

Fire Exacerbates Existing Challenges and Creates New Ones Even with the fire still burning, we began sorting through the myriad practical issues we were facing prior to the fire that would be seriously compounded afterward — including a preexisting housing shortage, the loss of an additional 3,000 homes and severely damaged infrastructure. Then add dealing with loss from an individual and systemic perspective — and the physical and psychological toll of long-term recovery for the entire community, including those of us in city government responsible for sustaining long-term rebuilding efforts. From an organizational development standpoint, the particular challenges that Santa Rosa faced with the Tubbs Fire highlight the importance of sociotechnical systems: the human systems (how city staff helped develop systems to

support those who were affected) and the technical systems (the tools and processes developed to assist with the recovery).

Simple Principles Drive Rebuilding, Recovery Efforts Staff involved in Santa Rosa’s rebuilding effort approached each challenge by using three key tenets: 1. Get to “yes”; 2. Try it. If it doesn’t work, fix it and try again; and 3. Don’t lose focus on the human element. Applying these principles enabled the relationship between government and community to become more humane, empathetic and responsive, which was critically important for the rebuilding and recovery that lay ahead. continued

David Guhin is assistant city manager and director of planning and economic development for the City of Santa Rosa and can be reached at

Western City, September 2019


The Santa Rosa Story: Housing Crisis to Housing Opportunity, continued

The first of the city’s Resilient City Ordinances that created a pathway for individuals to return home was written while the fires were still raging and staff was working 24/7 in the chaos of the Emergency Operations Center. In just 50 days, a mere six work weeks after the Oct. 8 start of the fire, the city opened the doors of a duplicate planning, engineering and building sub-department dedicated to rebuilding the fire-ravaged areas. The goal was to get our residents back into their homes and businesses rebuilt to address the looming deadline on insurance policies that provided temporary support. The city’s organizational shift was based on the core elements of systems thinking: look at the big picture, consider both short- and long-term consequences, examine multiple perspectives, check results and change actions if needed, look for interconnected issues and be comfortable with questioning one’s deep assumptions. It was critical to rapidly hear needs, make decisions, get feedback and adjust to keep the process moving. After the fire, this feedback loop was on hyper speed, in some cases taking an action, seeing a result, getting feedback and making

It takes leadership, support and direction from elected officials and management to unlock innovation.

changes all within an hour. This process was repeated time and again and became the bedrock of the recovery effort. The urgent nature, method and speed of the decisions also meant staff needed to ensure that a mistake was not made twice. Through this process, it was vitally important that the system create a mechanism of listening, documenting and communicating what was learned. Further, decisions needed to be based on feedback from the community to ensure the goal of getting residents back into their homes was not lost.

Laborers’ International Union of North America


LIUNA’S TRAINING AND APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS provide a pathway to a sustainable career for the people of California while creating the workforce that is necessary to build and maintain the infrastructure needs of communities throughout the state. In 2018, LIUNA and its contractors’ commitment to training included:



League of California Cities


Even for government, it is difficult to conceive of — let alone prepare for — an event of this magnitude. The City of Santa Rosa, like most California municipalities, was forward-thinking and had run drills for earthquakes, but the speed and destruction of this disaster was unparalleled. Staff knew we did not have answers or a playbook. We relied on our inherent sense of how, why and how fast our organization and systems needed to change. Everyone understood that staff had to be willing to be bold, take risks and act quickly and that upper management and the city council would fully support this approach. As then-Mayor Chris Coursey said immediately after the disaster, if in three years, all we did was replace the homes lost in the fire so that in 2020 we were back to 2017 housing levels, we would have failed. Like most cities in California, prior to the fire we had a severe lack of housing permits being transformed into units. How could we change this? We used the iterative approach learned in the fire — act boldly, innovate, try and retry when rapidly developing citywide housing policies and approaches. Our dual-track efforts enabled the swift rebuilding of the burn area while creating new policies and incentives to encourage high density infill housing near transit in the city’s downtown urban core. This included an aggressive approach to fee continued on page 42

Villages and Resilient, Age-Friendly Cities by Charlotte Dickson “It takes a village” is a well-known phrase that may bring to mind the various people, organizations and systems required to support optimal development, health and wellness throughout our life span. It acknowledges interdependence: individuals, families and communities need one another to maintain independence and autonomy. Cities and their partners — neighborhood organizations, county health and social services, the business and nonprofit sectors and school systems — embody this concept of village.

The Village Model and Older Adults Another kind of village taking hold in our state and nation is a localized membership organization led by older adults

dedicated to healthy aging in a community. These villages build connections and social capital among older adults and younger generations; stimulate intellectual, emotional, social and physical health; and provide support to help people age in their residence of choice. The village model includes: • A trained volunteer corps that provides social care to village members, such as transportation to doctors’ appointments, assistance with tasks like grocery shopping and laundry, technology support, friendly visits and calls; • Educational and social programs that address the transitions of aging, build friendships and a caring community and facilitate civic engagement; and

• Information and referral to licensed services like home health care, home adaptation, home sharing and more. California is home to 50 villages, some of which are 10 years old. Village Movement California, the statewide coalition, is actively working to position villages as “go-to” communities for older adults who want to age in the places they call home. The movement believes that scaling and sustaining the village model will become critical as California experiences a projected 40 percent increase in the number of adults ages 60 and older by 2030, when they will constitute 21.9 percent of the total population. continued

Charlotte Dickson is executive director of Village Movement California, a coalition of grassroots community organizations called villages that seek to revolutionize the experience of aging. Dickson led the HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Cities Campaign, a partnership of the League and Public Health Advocates, from 2008–17. She can be reached at

Western City, September 2019


Villages and Resilient, Age-Friendly Cities, continued

Municipal Support for Villages Cities statewide offer support to villages as part of their strategy to meet older residents’ needs for social connection and social care. The City of Fremont’s Department of Aging and Family Services actively

partners with the Greater Niles Village through consultation and in-kind support. The Greater Niles Village launched in summer 2018 with a focus on building social connections in the Niles neighborhood. Karen Grimsich, administrator of the Department of Aging and Family Services, sees Niles as just the beginning of

a citywide village movement. The village brings people together in the city’s neighborhoods, helps monitor human service, planning and infrastructure needs and provides needed feedback to her department. Niles Village members are typically moderate- to middle-income homeowners living on fixed incomes who aren’t eligible for the state’s public services, but can’t afford to pay for all the support they may need to remain autonomous in their homes. The village model fills a gap in the senior services network for the majority of Fremont’s older residents. Former City Council Member Judith Zlatnik is one of its founders. The City of Thousand Oaks provides a grant to the Conejo Valley Village to support memberships for low-income adults. continued on page 43

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The World Health Organization (WHO) leads the Age-Friendly Cities and Communities effort in over 20 countries, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) facilitates the effort in over 150 communities in North America. The WHO-AARP Age-Friendly Cities and Communities movement focuses largely on city and county governments to anticipate: • The needs of their older populations; and • The growing demand for and cost of medical and social services for this population. Age-friendly initiatives focus on eight strategy areas: transportation, housing, outdoor spaces and buildings, community support and health services, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and empowerment, and communications and information. Villages are uniquely positioned to partner with their host cities as they add to their AgeFriendly City credentials with the senior communities they foster. For more information, visit www.Village and org/livable-communities/network-agefriendly-communities.


League of California Cities


Economic Solutions •

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It Starts With Civility: Elected Officials’ Role in Attracting and Retaining Employees by Nat Rojanasathira and Dominic Lazzaretto

City governments throughout California recognize the obstacles of attracting and retaining qualified employees. The California chapter of the International City-County Management Association (Cal-ICMA) cites dozens of best practices to address the talent challenge in its 2018 report, Talent 2.0. Recommendations include reducing lag time in recruitments, eliminating unreasonable minimum qualifications in job descriptions, supporting flexible work schedules when feasible and

providing “soft skill” training opportunities to up-and-comers. City managers and human resources (HR) professionals are often responsible for implementing these strategies. Some of the most important talent attraction and retention strategies, however, aren’t led by city managers or HR but instead by policymakers — mayors and council members. And these efforts start with civility in the council chambers.

Civility Lays the Groundwork Elected officials may not realize that their behavior directly affects employees’ willingness to join or stay in an organization. In a dysfunctional political environment, employees at the management level may cope and continue with their work but may be reluctant to take the next step. Prospective employees may hesitate to join an organization knowing that there is a lack of civility and stability among its leadership. Employees, whether in the public or private sectors, want to feel respected, cared about and recognized. They want to make a positive impact and identify with the organization’s values. When their leaders — city executives and council members alike — behave disrespectfully or in a way that is counter to the organization’s values, employees become less committed to their

Nat Rojanasathira is assistant city manager of Monterey and a board member of the Institute for Local Government; he can be reached at Dominic Lazzaretto is city manager of Arcadia and can be reached at DomLazz@ Both are co-chairs of the Cal-ICMA Talent Initiative.


League of California Cities

work and organization. Such an environment erodes trust. Employees start looking elsewhere for employment opportunities, and it becomes more difficult to recruit and retain talented staff.

Tips for Elected Officials and City Leaders Elected officials can do several things to support employee attraction and retention. Maintain civility in the council chambers. Treat each other — and staff —with respect. Council meetings lacking civility can cause stress both for elected officials and staff. Remember that prospective employees, particularly at the levels of department/division manager or higher, often watch videos of council meetings before deciding whether or not to apply to work for a specific city. Ask yourself: If you

watched your council meetings on video, would you want to work for your agency?

to suffer. Organizational and staff stress inevitably affects employee retention.

Stand up for staff. Members of the public and elected officials should focus on policy, not people, when debating issues. If a member of the public personally attacks members of the city team, after the speaker’s time concludes, stand up for staff and communicate that personal attacks will not be tolerated.

Manage evening commitments. Every city government employee knows that evening public meetings are inevitable. In today’s technologically savvy world, however, evening meetings may not always be the most convenient time for residents either, especially those with young children. Supplement public meetings with online engagement tools that can gather feedback 24/7. These online tools can allow staff, policymakers and residents to spend more time with their families.

Help staff prioritize. More often than not, city staffers are overworked and have more on their “to do” lists than can be realistically accomplished in the given time. If new projects, programs or policy issues top the priority list, work with your city manager to identify which existing priorities can be temporarily set aside. Having too many “number one priority” items is a surefire way to cause stress and anxiety in an organization and cause all priorities

Recognize staff for their work. Elected officials can recognize staff in a variety of ways. Elected officials are often surprised by the amount of time employees devote to preparing a staff report or presentation. Delivering a presentation to the city council is a big deal, and a simple continued

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Western City, September 2019


It Starts With Civility: Elected Officials’ Role in Attracting and Retaining Employees, continued

acknowledgement and thank you to staff for a job well done are appropriate and can significantly boost morale. One agency provides a special pin after every employee’s first presentation to the city council. Elected officials can also recognize staff by participating in employee recognition events, ribbon cuttings and other celebrations. Welcome employees at all levels to the council chambers. Some public agencies prefer to have seasoned employees deliver presentations and reports to city councils. Managers and elected officials should consider providing opportunities for staff at all levels to hone their public speaking skills. While their presentation may not be perfect, such an experience provides a chance to learn and develop their skills. Fund employee development and training. When budgets are tight, employee training is often the first expense to

S® 32

League of California Cities

be cut. Some leaders are reluctant to invest in training and educational resources for employees, because they fear that the employees will leave the organization. But the question isn’t, “What if we train employees and they leave?” — the question is, “What if we don’t train employees and they stay?” Employee training is a business imperative. To serve the public, employees need the training and tools to be effective and efficient. Training is especially important when employees are being asked to do more with less. Support a workplace flexibility policy. It’s understood that employees in front counter, public safety and other positions must have a set work schedule. With the right tools — such as laptops, webcams and cloud-based services — and clear expectations about how employees can stay connected by phone or virtually, employees in many other positions can be just as productive working from home

as working in the office. Other examples of workplace flexibility include adaptable and varying arrival and departure times along with compressed work schedules and flextime. Workplace flexibility is becoming a norm in the competitive private sector. It’s about adapting to the changing needs of your workforce without compromising service delivery levels in your community. Discuss talent challenges with your executive team. While the role of the appointed city manager (chief executive officer) and council members (policymakers and board of directors) must be respected, today’s talent challenges have a major impact on organizational sustainability. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Have a conversation with your city manager to explore how you can support policies and behaviors to help employee recruitment and retention efforts succeed.

Call Brian Wong at (310) 429-0519 Go to for more information

For more information about the CalICMA Talent Initiative, download the full Cal-ICMA Talent Report at http:// ■

Interactive Session Explores This Topic at Annual Conference An interactive session titled “Civility in the Chambers: Impacts on Employee Attraction and Retention” will be held at the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, Thursday, Oct. 17, from 4:15–5:30 p.m. The session will explore this topic in depth with a panel of city managers and elected officials from the cities of Arcadia and Fountain Valley. See the conference brochure or mobile app for location details.

Western City, September 2019


Thank you to all of our 2019 League Partners Platinum ($15,000+) 1,2


















Gold ($10,000+) Charter Communications COX Communications Energy Upgrade California ENGIE Services Inc.2 Hanson Bridgett LLP1,2

Interwest Consulting Group Inc.2 Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard1 LECET Southwest Lewis Investment Company2

Meyers Nave1,2 Morongo Band of Mission Indians2 Probolsky Research1 James Ramos

Republic Services Inc.2 Sherwin-Williams Western States Petroleum Association Ygrene2 Young Homes2

Silver ($5,000+) ALADS2 AMR2 Charles Abbott Associates2 Californians for Energy Independence Comcast2 Dart Container Corp.2 Dividend Finance LLC

EMS Management2 Fascination Ranch2 Garaventa Enterprises2 General Motors Goldfarb & Lipman LLP Joe A. Gonsalves & Son2 Greenwaste Recovery Inc.2 Greystar2

Harris & Associates2 Keenan & Associates Mid Valley Disposal2 Mt. Diablo Recycling2 NorCal NECA Northrop Grumman Public Financial Management Inc.

Redflex Renovate America HERO2 ServPro2 Southern California Gas Company State Farm Insurance Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

Trane1 Transtech Engineers Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations Tripepi Smith & Associates1,2 Vavrinek Trine Day & Co. LLP Walgreens Zanker Green Waste2

Bronze ($3,000+) ABM2 AECOM Accela2 Advanced Disposal2 Alvarez-Glasman & Colvin2 Amador Valley Industries2 American Forest & Paper Association Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs2 Athens Services2 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo Avery Associates2 Best Way Disposal2 Boulevard2 Brookfield Norcal Builders Inc2

CalPortland2 Cardiac Science Cerrell2 Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley PC2 Commercial Bank of California DD Dannar LLC DLR Group DW Development2 Desert Valley Medical Group Inc./ Prime Healthcare2 Dublin Crossing2 E&J Gallo2 Edgewood Partners Insurance Center Energy Efficient Equity

Accretive Realtors2 Acquisition Partners of America LLC AndersonPenna Partners Inc.2 BDE Architecture Inc. Blue Line Transfer Inc.2 CARE2 CIFAC CR&R2 CSAC EIA California Apartment Association2 California-Cambodia Sister State Inc.2 California Consulting, LLC California Contract Cities Association2 California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission

California Independent Petroleum Association California Real Estate2 California Refuse Recycling Council California Waste Solutions2 Carpenter/Robbins Commercial Real Estate Inc.2 Civil Engineering Associates2 Classic Communities2 Contra Costa Association of Realtors2 Contra Costa Building & Construction Trades Council2 Cost Control Associates Inc. Cunningham Davis2 Der Manouel Insurance Group2 Desert Valleys Builders

Fieldman Rolapp & Associates ForeFront Power Genentech2 Geo-Logic Associates2 George K. Baum & Company GovInvest2 Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP2 Hill International2 Holliday Rock Company IVAR2 Kosmont Companies2 Locke Lord LLP Madaffer Enterprises1,2 Marin Sanitary Service2

Basic ($1,000+) Dividend Finance2 Dokken Engineering2 EMS Management LLC2 East Bay Sanitary Company Inc2 Emanuels Jones and Associates Envise/Southland Energy Fard Engineers2 Forefront Power Fresno Police Officers Association GHD Inc.2 Giacalone Design Services2 Gilton Solid Waste2 Gray Bowen Scott2 HR Green Highridge Costa Housing Partners Hospital Council of Northern California Innisfree Ventures2

Join the Partners Program Today! Contact Mike Egan | (916) 658-8271 |

Matarango Inc.2 McKinstry The Mejorando Group Mitsubishi Cement2 Bob Murray & Associates NHA Advisors NL Industries Inc. NV5 Inc. Nixon Peabody Orange County Realtors PARS2 Peters Engineering2 Ponderosa Homes II Inc.2 Prime Healthcare2 Psomas2 Quad Knopf2

Quality Management Group Inc. Rutan & Tucker LLP SCI Consulting Group SGI Construction Management2 San Bernardino County Safety Employees2 San Bernardino POA San Diego County Water Authority San Manuel Band of Mission Indians2 Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians2 TREH Development2 USA Properties Fund Inc. Willdan

J.R. Roberts/Deacon Inc.2 Jamboree Housing Corporation Jones Hall2 Jones & Mayer Kasdan Lippsmith Weber Turner LLP Kirkland & Ellis LLP Leibold McClendon & Mann Livermore Sanitation2 MCE Clean Energy Marchetti Construction Inc.2 Mechanics Bank2 Napa Recycling2 Newport Pacific Capital Company Inc. Norton Rose Fulbright2 Phillips 662 Pinewave Development Group Inc2

Pleasanton Garbage Services Inc.2 Recology2 Renaissance Downtown2 Riverside Construction2 San Jose POA San Mateo County Association of Realtors2 Santa Monica POA Seifel Consulting Inc. Specialty Solid Waste & Recycling2 Stifel Nicolaus Swinerton Management2 Toll Brothers2 Townsend Public Affairs Inc.2 Transwestern Vali Cooper & Associates Inc.2 Van Scoyoc Associates2 West Builders2

1 – Institute for Local Government supporter 2 – CITIPAC supporter Partial list as of 8/6/2019

















Display Advertising

Western City magazine’s job opportunity section is the source for job seekers looking for positions in local government. When you place a job opportunity ad in Western City

Call Cici Trino, Association Outsource Services, at (916) 961-9999 to place a display (boxed) ad or for rate and deadline information, or email Website Job Postings Display ads are posted on our website at no additional charge. But if you miss the deadline for getting your job opportunity ad into the magazine, you can post it on the Western City website right away. To post your job opportunity ad on our automated website, visit or contact Savannah Cobbs, Western City administrative assistant; email: scobbs@; phone: (916) 658-8223.

magazine, it will be posted at no additional charge on our website. For rates and deadlines, visit www.westerncity. com and click on the Advertise link.


Contract Staffing Finance & Accounting! ›› Closing

the Books ›› Temp Staff for Financial System Conversions ›› Temporary Staffing & Interim Placement ›› All City Departments Served Serving all Cities in California!

Tackling Homelessness

“Accounting/Finance staff by Monday!” Call Us Toll Free 1-866-406-MUNI (6864)

CITY OF PORT HUENEME The City of Port Hueneme (pronounced “Wy-nee’mee”) is a charming, friendly and relaxed seaside community in Ventura County, California. Those who live or work here benefit from the City’s small town atmosphere, affordable housing, temperate climate, clean air, low crime, quality education and recreation. Sometimes it seems the only way to comprehensively address homelessness is by spending a lot of time and resources. But cities wrestling with this issue are not alone. In October, Western City looks at challenges and strategies in “The Hidden Costs of Tackling Homelessness.” Online Oct. 1.

The City of Port Hueneme seeks

CITY a new City Manager to head the MANAGER overall administration of all aspects of city operations. The City seeks an accomplished City Manager who will possess the ability to quickly grasp and embrace the values of Port Hueneme and the unique and participative culture of this community.

William Avery & Associates Management Consultants 31/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite A Los Gatos, CA 95030 408.399.4424

Position priorities and the complete ideal candidate profile Fax: 408.399.4423 email: are currently under development. A formal job announcement is anticipated to be ready by late September and will be available on our website at current-searches. For further information contact Bill Avery at 408.399.4424.

Western City, September 2019


















Public Works Director/City Engineer, City of Blythe CA DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ADVOCACY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS LEAGUE OF CALIFORNIA CITIES League (LCC) seeks well qualified candidates with relevant advocacy, public affairs and management experience for the Deputy Executive Director, Advocacy and Public Affairs (Deputy Director) position. LCC is the statewide, nonpartisan membership association of California cities, founded in 1898, with main office in Sacramento, the state capital, and 16 regional offices. LCC represents its 477 member cities at the State Legislature, before state executive branch and regulatory agencies, in statewide ballot measure campaigns, in the courts, and on federal issues with the National League of Cities; and provides an array of other services to cities and city officials.

Salary: $117,000-127,000 annually with excellent benefits package The City of Blythe, located in Eastern Riverside County along the Colorado River is seeking a progressive leader to plan, direct, manage and oversee the activities and operation of the Public Works Department including: public works construction, City and traffic engineering, street, parks, facility and fleet maintenance, the production and distribution of potable water and treatment and disposal of wastewater. The ideal candidate has five years of public works experience including two years of management and administrative responsibility, a Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in engineering, public administration or related field; and registered as a Professional Civil Engineer in the State of California. Qualified individuals must submit a completed application and resume to: Mallory Crecelius, Interim City Manager, City of Blythe, 235 N. Broadway, Blythe, CA 92225. Applications are available on the City’s website at www. Filing deadline: 4:00pm on Friday October 4, 2019.

The Deputy Director is appointed by the Executive Director, who is appointed by the Board of Directors. The Deputy Director provides leadership to a talented staff of approximately 28 and directs and oversees LCC’s state and federal advocacy programs, the policy development process and the robust public affairs program, including the regional staff. QUALIFICATIONS The successful candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and a minimum 10 years of relevant direct experience with public policy advocacy, public affairs, intergovernmental issues, and demonstrated management and supervisory skills. Master’s or Law degree and membership association experience preferred. Send letter of interest and resume to: The Mercer Group, Inc. at lccded2019@, or request recruitment brochure. Review of applications begins on 9/12/2019; there might not be an opportunity to consider late applications. Competitive salary, excellent benefits. EOE, LCC values diversity.

Clark Wurzberger, The Mercer Group, Inc. Email: Tel: (530) 637-4559; Fax: (650) 240-3933

Achieving an Accurate Census Count: Best Practices Conducting a census might sound straightforward enough, but some populations are hard to reach. Next month, Western City looks at how cities are collaborating to educate residents, engage communities and help ensure everyone is counted. Online Oct. 1 at

Photo/Art Credits Cover: Jeremy Sykes, courtesy of the League of California Cities

Page 24: CampPhoto

Pages 4, 5, 6: Jeremy Sykes, courtesy of the League

Page 26: Stevecoleimages

Pages 8–9: Courtesy of the National Civic League

Page 27: Left, shapecharge; right, sisoje

Pages 10–11: Anouchka

Page 30: Brazzo

Page 12: Alexsl

Page 33: Tillsonburg

Pages 13–20: Jeremy Sykes, courtesy of the League

Page 43: Courtesy of Village Movement California

Page 25: Anne Belden

Page 21: Xijian Page 22: Top, AlexSava; bottom, cmannphoto Page 23: RASimon


League of California Cities

Bob Murray & Associates is honored to host the

Orange County Women’s Power Luncheon #TeamBMA #girlpower

Current & Upcoming Opportunities

City of San José, CA

Mayor’s Communications Director

City of Pleasanton, CA Director of Community Development

City of Del Mar, CA City Manager

Fontana Unified School District, CA Chief of Police Services

County of Sacramento, CA Inspector General

Port of San Diego, CA Port Auditor

Santa Clara County Housing Authority, CA Director of Housing

If you are interested in these outstanding opportunities, visit our website to apply online.

Resiliency Wins: Our Community’s Response to Two Tragedies, continued from page 22

services, and separate districts operate fire services and recreation and parks services. The police chief, fire chief and the general manager are a part of our organization’s executive team, which is strongly committed to working together, despite the four agencies having different roles and being governed by different entities. J







This type of team unity takes work and preparation and can’t be established in the midst of tragedy. As I reflect on all that Thousand Oaks endured and accomplished, I am thankful for the measures taken to build strong relationships, develop leaders, invest in disaster R









City of Redlands City Manager Renowned for its outstanding quality of life and family-friendly small-town feel, the City of Redlands (population 71,000) is seeking a dynamic and accomplished executive to serve as its next City Manager. With a staff of 511 FTEs, the City has a FY 2019/20 adopted budget of $196.2M, a General Fund Budget of $70.2M, and provides a wide range of municipal services. Located within the Office of The City Manager are the departments of Human Resources, Risk Management, Communications and Community Relations, and Emergency Operations. The City Council is seeking a creative and innovative individual to utilize a team approach to problem-solving and be proactive in addressing issues of concern to the City Council and the community. Additionally, the City Manager will be an idea person, able to develop and promote strategic initiatives for the Council’s discussion and consideration, while also incorporating best practices in local government. Requires a Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree strongly preferred. Also requires 10 years of experience in local government; 5 years of senior level executive management experience is preferred. Salary range will be negotiated based upon qualifications and is highly competitive for the region and will be DOQ. Salary is supplemented by a benefits package including CalPERS retirement. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately by submitting a compelling cover letter, comprehensive resume, and 6 professional references to no later than Monday, September 23, 2019. Confidential inquiries welcomed to Mr. P. Lamont Ewell, Ralph Andersen & Associates, at (916) 630-4900. Detailed brochure available at

Ralph Andersen & Associates

CITY OF SIMI VALLEY The City of Simi Valley, with an estimated population of 126,788 is the third largest of Ventura County’s 10 cities. Simi Valley is an authentic American suburb with all the charm of a small town and the sophisticated influence of being located just a short drive from Southern California’s most famous cities and attractions; including Hollywood, Los Angeles, Malibu’s surfer’s coast and more. Unique restaurants, a family friendly atmosphere, hiker’s paradise, museums, cultural arts, high-end living and our thriving business community coalesce into the ideal destination for both business and pleasure. The City seeks an accomplished City Manager who will possess the ability to quickly grasp and embrace the values of Simi Valley. The Manager will understand and interact with the community and provide leadership and inspiration to the hardworking and committed City staff.


William Avery & Associates Management Consultants 31/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite A Los Gatos, CA 95030

League of California Cities

Don’t Miss This Session at the Annual Conference To learn more, attend the “Resiliency in the Midst of Tragedy and Devastation” session at the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo. The session will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, from 2:45– 4:00 p.m. See the conference program or app for location details.

Sales Tax Help Up to $1.7 billion of California sales and use taxes went unpaid in 2017. A new law, AB 147, will benefit state and local governments by bridging the collection gap for outof-state retailers without a physical presence in California. Learn more in the October issue of Western City.

408.399.4424 Fax: 408.399.4423 email:

Position priorities and the complete ideal candidate profile are currently under development. A formal job announcement is anticipated to be ready by late September and will be available on our website at For further information contact Bill Avery at 408.399.4424.


preparedness, create a culture of excellence and engagement and build community trust and the city’s credibility. These efforts resulted in a well-coordinated, collaborative and compassionate response that demonstrated our city’s resiliency. ■

Annual Conference Session Dives Into This Topic

When Wildfires Strike: What to Expect and How to Prepare, continued from page 24

extinguished the flames, new models of operation will be needed for addressing debris removal, streamlining building permitting and inspections and possibly even reconstructing much of the jurisdiction’s infrastructure.

Long-Term Impacts Financial investment strategies for rebuilding, coupled with tighter integration with neighboring jurisdictions, make the difference between regional success or disjointed recovery efforts. Recovery is complicated and depends on:

To learn more about this important issue, plan to attend the session, “When Wildfires Strike: What to Expect and How to Prepare,” at the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo. The session will be held Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 3:45–5:00 p.m. See the conference program or app for location details.

and aircraft can’t fly in or out. Careful preplanning can avoid such problems. Securing grants for backup generator redundancies, improving disaster infrastructure and response and making dramatic reductions in fuel load provide opportunities for recovering jurisdictions to thoughtfully and critically restore municipal services. Taking such measures also provides greater resilience in the aftermath of a regional fire disaster.

avoidance. But when a major fire occurs, your city’s ability to respond appropriately before, during and after the disaster — and the community’s capacity to rebound rapidly from such a disaster — depends entirely on your well-coordinated efforts. Smart advance planning can make the difference. ■

California municipalities’ new model is to plan for and assess our fire risk profiles. Building codes have helped improve fire

• The immediate availability of temporary housing for displaced residents; • The infrastructure of cities surrounding your community, upon which your city may heavily rely; and • The impact of increased populations on surrounding jurisdictions. These long-term impacts will lead to a different way of doing business for all those involved for many years to come. But you are not alone. The California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) provides grant opportunities for jurisdictions that have suffered these types of regional losses. Coordinating those efforts post-disaster while assessing the new community paradigm will help guide your infrastructure decisions. You can’t know what will succeed and what will fail in a regional disaster without advance preparation and planning with all local stakeholders. For example, if the community of Chico had suffered power outages during the devastating Camp Fire, flight services could have been critically affected at a time when firefighters most needed the airport. Smaller rural airports typically don’t have backup generators on hand, so when power goes out, runway lights and other critical infrastructure are offline
















City of Orange Cove, California

CITY MANAGER Annual salary: $140,000

The City of Orange Cove is now accepting applications for the position of City Manager. Qualified candidates should have prior experience as a City Administrator/Manager, Assistant/Deputy City Administrator/Manager, Department Director, or similar capacity. A bachelor’s degree in public or business administration or a related field is required and at least five (5) years of progressive management responsibility in municipal government is highly desirable. The City Council highly regards California experience and will also consider all viable out-of-state candidates provided the type and level of experience is in alignment with the City’s needs. Bi-lingual candidates are encouraged to apply.

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS Annual salary range is $90,000 – $110,000

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. Qualified candidates should submit a resume and cover letter electronically to the Orange Cove City Clerk, June V. Bracamontes at Recruitments are open until the positions are filled.

Western City, September 2019


City Manager

City of Big Bear Lake, CA

“Southern California’s Premiere Resort Community”

Located within a two-hour drive of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and nestled high in the pine forests of the San Bernardino National Forest sits Big Bear Lake with its fresh alpine water ringed by 22 miles of shoreline. The City of Big Bear Lake hugs the lake’s south shore and serves as Southern California’s premier four-season resort. The city’s population swells from 5,500 residents to over 100,000 visitors on prime holidays. With the upcoming retirement of the city’s 13year City Manager, the five-member professional Council is seeking an individual to oversee a talented staff of 56.6 FTE’s and FY 2019/20 total operating budget of $31.4M. The next City Manager will possess the passion and skillset to lead the city’s pursuit to reach the next plateau of exemplary tourism and community livability. Proven local government management experience is required, and tourism-related or resort community experience is strongly desired. Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is preferred. Salary range of $225,000 to $265,000 DOQE will be considered. Filing deadline is October 17, 2019. Contact Bobbi Peckham.

City Attorney City of Aurora, CO

Aurora, CO, (pop. 381,000) is Colorado’s third largest city, the east-side anchor of the Denver Metropolitan Area. Founded in 1881 and home-rule since 1961, this thriving municipality has evolved from a mid-sized suburb to a large city. The FY 2019 GF budget is $362.7 million, supporting 3,164 FTEs. The eleven-member city council (mayor, six districts, and four at-large) seeks an experienced, savvy municipal attorney, unafraid of this jurisdiction’s complex legal issues and the challenges inherent in advising such a large elected body, where differing points of view and robust debate are expected. The City Attorney supervises 59 FTEs in the Civil and Criminal Justice Divisions, and a budget of $9.3 million. A JD from an accredited law school and seven to ten years of experience as a practicing attorney, the majority of which were spent in local government, are required. Colorado municipal or local government experience preferred. Active Colorado law license strongly preferred. Comprehensive benefits. The hiring range is $160,466 - $240,806 DOQE. Filing deadline is September 23, 2019. Contact Andrew Gorgey.

Finance Director City of San Marino, CA

The City of San Marino (pop. 13,327) is one of the most desirable communities in Los Angeles County to live. San Marino residents are well educated and successful, and include long time homeowners, young families, and second homes. Based on the City’s high property values, property tax revenue, and fiscal conservatism, the community is financially secure and enjoys a General Fund reserve balance of approximately 72% projected at FY 2019/20 year-end. As a General Law city operating under a council-manager form of government, the City consists of seven departments and 135.94 authorized full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). The City is seeking a collaborative individual with extensive expertise in budgeting (operating and capital), revenue and expense projections, procurement, and the administration of state and federal grants and donations. The ideal candidate is a professional who is comfortable in an action-oriented environment and must be able to successfully and credibly communicate with a wide variety of audiences to articulate the budget, policy recommendations, project goals, and City vision. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of increasingly responsible municipal experience, including three years of supervisory experience. The annual salary range is $132,192 to $167,904. Filing deadline is September 11, 2019. Contact Anton “Tony” Dahlerbruch.

“All about fit” City Manager City of Galt, CA

Galt is a growing community of over 25,000 residents that values its small town atmosphere and high quality of life. Enhancing the quality of life for the City’s residents is at the forefront of everything the City does. The City functions under the Council/Manager form of government with five Council members elected at-large with the Mayor selected by the Council. The current all funds budget totals $40 million, with the General Fund totaling $13.5 million. Services provided by the 155 full time and 150 seasonal/temporary staff working a 9/80 schedule include streets, sewer, water, drainage, parks and recreation, police, and planning and building. The new City Manager must be transparent, communicative, and engaged with this close knit community, one who will want to become a part of the community and enjoy all that it has to offer. Bachelor’s degree, 10 years of management experience in a public agency setting, including five years of management or supervisory experience, required. Master’s degree and experience working with an elected council or board are highly desirable. Annual salary up to $179,088 DOQE with comprehensive benefits. Filing deadline is September 30, 2019. Contact Phil McKenney.

Assistant City Manager City of Petaluma, CA

As Sonoma County’s “Hidden Gem,” Petaluma is located just 40 miles north of San Francisco and has a population of 62,000. Life in Petaluma is the perfect mix of country and city, quirky and conventional. This full-service charter city provides standard services and also has a marina, airport, and transit service. Petaluma’s City Manager, Peggy Flynn, is looking for an Assistant to oversee the administrative operations of the organization and focus on issues relating to finance, budget, and strategic initiatives. Complementing her style, the Assistant City Manager will be a creative and intuitive thinker, a problem solver with the ability to anticipate issues, and a collegial leader. Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is highly desirable. Current salary range up to $188,210 annually. Filing deadline is September 16, 2019. Contact Bobbi Peckham.

Community Development Director City of Manhattan Beach, CA

Immortalized in the song, “Surfin’ U.S.A.”, Manhattan Beach (pop. 36,000) features 40 acres of recreational beach and a pier with an aquarium, a charming downtown, and a variety of arts and cultural opportunities. The Community Development Director oversees a $6.2 million budget and staff of 30 full-time equivalent positions. The City is seeking a collaborative team-oriented individual with strong leadership and communication skills, experience working in a boutique community, a record of effectiveness with the California Coastal Commission, technical knowledge in the field of Planning, and a predisposition to customer service. Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university with a major in Urban and Regional Planning, Geography, Public Administration or a related field is required. Eight years of responsible professional, administrative and managerial experience involving planning, zoning, and community development matters within local government is required, including three or more years of supervisory work is also required. The annual salary range is $159,780 to $208,236, and the City provides a competitive benefit package. Filing deadline is September 16, 2019. Contact Anton “Tony” Dahlerbruch.

To apply, please visit our website at:

Peckham & McKenney

Resumes acknowledged within two business days. Call (866) 912-1919 for more information.

The Santa Rosa Story: Housing Crisis to Housing Opportunity, continued from page 26

reductions on multifamily housing, adopting a 100 percent density bonus, adding certainty by reducing discretionary review and creating express permitting processes. We also established a strategic partnership with the county to create a regional approach to pooling resources and leveraging funds, including creating an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District. In addition, the city cut fees for accessory dwelling units (ADUs). This produced an increase from about five ADU permits per year to over 120 in the first year the reduced fees were introduced. These efforts have gained attention from the governor’s office and others throughout the state as an intrepid way to address the housing crisis head-on.





the organization. Not only does it affect the way the city conducts business and interacts with the community, it also allows us to address critical issues and better positions us to handle the next disaster or crisis when it comes. ■

Does it take a disaster to create policies, build relationships and act boldly to address large and complex issues? No. But it takes leadership, support and direction from elected officials and management to unlock innovation. This applies to any civic priority, such as housing, homelessness, climate change and long-term fiscal stability. Find a way to “yes” rather than focusing on barriers. Support your staff’s audacious new ideas and approaches. And be willing to adjust if things do not work as planned.

Hear More About This Topic at the Annual Conference Interested in learning more? Don’t miss the session titled “The Santa Rosa Story: Housing Crisis to Housing Opportunity” at the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, Thursday, Oct. 17, from 3:10–3:30 p.m., as part of the Speed Sessions. For location details, see the conference brochure or app.

Maintaining and incorporating this approach to a governmental bureaucracy must be a conscious and cross-collaborative choice with buy-in from all levels of














New opportunities . . .

Police Chief

City of San Mateo

Assistant City Manager City of Tustin

City Clerk Director of Community Programs & Engagement City of Santa Rosa

Assistant Director – Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services City of San José

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League of California Cities

Villages and Resilient, Age-Friendly Cities, continued from page 28

An Antidote to Social Isolation

The village wants to diversify its membership to be more inclusive of residents along the income continuum, and the grant helps achieve this goal.

As communities grapple with widespread social isolation and loneliness among older adults, villages are emerging as a scalable prevention strategy. Building social connections is a core activity of villages. University of California, Berkeley, research found that village members feel more connected to others and more confident they can find resources and services to support aging at home than they did before they joined a village. These outcomes contribute to individual and community resilience.

Villages support their cities as well. During the Woolsey Fire, Conejo Valley Village was able to account for the safety of 100 percent of its members within a few days of the fire’s outbreak. This information allowed Thousand Oaks and nearby first responders to focus resources on missing and injured residents. Villages statewide are emulating Conejo Valley Village’s role in verifying the location and safety of older residents. Partnering with local villages on disaster preparedness and preparing for the effects of climate change, such as increased severe heat events, enhances cities’ resiliency planning.

Villages Support Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Many villages in California are leading Age-Friendly Community initiatives in partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The City of Sausalito was California’s first AgeFriendly City, and its village continues to lead and implement policy and program change locally. Ashby Village led the City of Berkeley’s age-friendly action planning work, convening an array of public, private and nonprofit entities as partners. An interdepartmental city steering committee and a team of community partners are now implementing the plan. The city and numerous community organizations have adopted a related initiative, the Berkeley Age Friendly Continuum, to address four critical areas in more depth: a continuum of housing options, access to

The City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services contracts with three villages: San Francisco Village, NEXT SF Village and Golden Gate Village. The department’s modest investment in the villages extends its reach into the growing older adult population. In turn, the villages provide a pathway for directing resources to residents who need support but don’t qualify for services reserved for very low-income seniors. The City of Brisbane provides office space and a phone line to its village, Brisbane Village — Helping Hands. This village focuses on adults age 85 and older and seeks to locate and support home-bound seniors who are at highest risk for social isolation. P




















A Conejo Valley Village member shares her experiences at a Village Movement California conference. resources and services, advocacy and technology. The City of Berkeley, health-care providers and local nonprofits provided funding for this effort. Villages are transforming the experience of aging. And cities and villages are natural partners that together can address the needs of our growing population of older residents. ■

Learn More at the Annual Conference Interested in hearing more about this topic? Plan to attend the session titled “The Village Movement and Resilient, Age-Friendly Cities” at the League of California Cities 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, Friday, Oct. 18, from 8:00–9:15 a.m. See the conference program or mobile app for location details.










Bobbi C. Peckham • Phil McKenney


Roseville, CA


Western City, September 2019































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Western City, September 2019


Profile for Western City Magazine

Western City September 2019  

Western City September 2019