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The Monthly Magazine of the League of California Cities

The Reimagined League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo p.8

Meet the Speakers p.9

Using Big Data to Reduce Catastrophic Impacts of Wildfire p.13 Is a Virtual Workforce Our New Normal? p.20


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CONTENTS 2 Calendar of League Events Executive Director’s Message 3   A New Day: How the League Has Adapted to COVID-19

By Carolyn Coleman

 espite the challenges of the panD demic, the League remains a strong organization that continues providing the resources cities need to make informed decisions for their communities.

13 Using Big Data to Reduce Catastrophic Impacts of Wildfire

How Local Government Can Help Shape Solutions

17 Code Enforcement

During a Pandemic: Lessons Learned

#LocalWorks 5 

 Virtual Camps and Librarians Printing Face Shields: Not a Typical Summer for City Services

By Rose Kevranian

 ity libraries and parks and recreation C departments have transformed their operations to serve and support their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


 egister Now for the R Reimagined 2020 Annual Conference & Expo Oct 7–9

By Jennifer Whiting

 his year’s virtual event offers numerous T advantages for attendees and cities.

Expo Exhibitors 10

12 Tips on Temporary Use of Public Property for Private Business

 What cities should know about accommodating businesses in public spaces.

By Jonathan Holtzman

 The Moraga-Orinda Fire District and tech partners developed innovative software to help meet residents’ and first responders’ critical needs.

By Curtis Wright

 Many cities have employed code enforcement staff in unique ways to protect the public and advance pandemic protocols.


20 Is a Virtual Workforce Our New Normal?

By Ken Pulskamp

 After employees get a taste for working remotely, they may not want to return to the way things were before.

21 From Vision to Reality: Lessons Learned in Complete Street Implementation

By Stephanie Hunting and Liz Moody

 These projects can be challenging, but they improve traffic and support healthy lifestyles.

Job Opportunities 24  Professional Services 27  Directory

 n the cover: Speakers participating O in the League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo.

Register Now!



OCTOBER 7–9, 2020 www.cacities.org/events

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

President John F. Dunbar Mayor Yountville

First Vice President Cheryl Viegas Walker Council Member El Centro

Second Vice President Cindy Silva Council Member Walnut Creek

Immediate Past President Jan Arbuckle Council Member Grass Valley

Magazine Staff

For a complete list of the League board of directors, visit www.cacities.org/board.

Editor in Chief Jill Oviatt (916) 658-8228; email: joviatt@cacities.org


Managing Editor Jude Lemons, Citrus 3 Communications (916) 658-8234; email: editor@westerncity.com Contributing Editor Kayla Woods (916) 658-8213; email: kwoods@cacities.org Business and Creative Manager Amanda Cadelago (916) 658-8226; email: acadelago@cacities.org Advertising Sales Cici Trino Association Outsource Services, Inc. (916) 961-9999; email: cicit@aosinc.biz Administrative Assistant Savannah Cobbs (916) 658-8223; email: scobbs@cacities.org Contributors Kayla Boutros Rebecca Inman Melissa Kuehne Alison Leary Corrie Manning Katie Pebler Melissa Tualla

Executive Director Carolyn Coleman


League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo, Virtual Event The conference offers educational sessions, professional development activities, exhibits, and a chance to participate in the League’s policymaking activities.


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

December 4

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

Associate Editors Carol Malinowski Carolyn Walker

Date to be announced

Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar, Virtual Event 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.

Design Taber Creative Group Advertising Design ImagePoint Design For photo credits, see page 25. 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. ©2020 League of California Cities. All rights reserved. Material may not be reprinted without written permission. This issue is Volume XCVI, No. 9.

Date to be announced

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

Date to be announced

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



Event and registration information is available at www.cacities.org. ED US IN NT RI









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Executive Director’s Message by Carolyn Coleman

A New Day: How the League Has Adapted to COVID-19 It feels like it’s been years since March 19 when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Californians — with the exception of essential workers — to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Businesses, schools, retailers, parks, hair salons, and many activities that are central to our quality of life shut down in response to the pandemic. COVID-19 and the shutdown orders that followed required all of us to be nimble and to adapt to a new work environment. Out of our own abundance of caution, we closed the League’s offices and shifted to a telework environment two days before the governor’s order. Like many of your cities, this shift meant quickly adapting the way we delivered services and the services we delivered. Changes in technology happened immediately. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of “zoom” is “to move with a loud low hum or buzz” and “to go speedily.” Now, Zoom refers to the integral technology we use to connect virtually (and speedily) with colleagues, citizens, legislators, and loved ones. With laptops deployed and Zoom accounts in place, the League staff was telework ready.

Even though we shifted to a remote working environment, the League’s priorities remained focused on our mission: expanding local control by serving our members through education and advocacy and providing timely and relevant resources to our members to help them make informed decisions for their communities. As modified stay-at-home orders remain in effect, and we continue to adhere to federal, state, and local public health guidelines, it has become clear that life will look much different in the coming weeks and months than it did before the pandemic. Cities are constantly evolving to adapt to this new environment and the League continues to be nimble and poised to adapt to meet the needs of city officials. Together, we are navigating the response to and recovery from this crisis, and together, we will reimagine how to serve our members so they can serve the evolving needs of their residents.

Response Like your cities, when the League closed its offices in March and began teleworking, we never lost sight of our mission. Across the organization, the League

leveraged our existing communication channels to disseminate key information to our members and created new educational opportunities for members. We shifted priorities to figure out the most efficient and effective way to rapidly get information into city leaders’ hands, so they could support and protect their residents. A COVID-19 Resources for Cities webpage, which is updated daily and curated for city leaders, was launched. This resource page serves as a clearinghouse of news, guidance, and key information, such as funding opportunities, details on the governor’s executive orders, best practices for rethinking economic development during the pandemic, and information about the fiscal impact on California cities. As the pandemic has progressed, this webpage remains a key resource for local leaders working to protect their communities and maintain operations. City officials also received information through daily electronic communications and conference calls with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. In addition to providing breaking news related to the pandemic, the League also launched a COVID-19 webinar series continued


Western City, September 2020


A New Day: How the League Has Adapted to COVID-19, continued

and department roundtables to help local leaders learn from experts and from each other during this unprecedented time. The member participation in these offerings was tremendous. To learn more about the League’s shift to virtual engagement and educational offerings, check out the article about the reimagined 2020 Annual Conference & Expo on page 8.

Recovery While the League shifted to accommodate the information and educational needs of cities, we also continued our strong advocacy on behalf of cities. After a League of California Cities data analysis showed the devastating impact of COVID-19 on city budgets and local services, the League moved quickly to launch the “Support Local Recovery. Vibrant Cities. Strong Economies.” campaign to ensure cities had the resources to maintain services to residents and businesses during and after the pandemic and to jump-start local recovery. The support for our campaign coalition has been remarkable. More than 330 local government, business, and labor organizations joined the League in fighting for state and federal assistance to help us recover from a pandemic that no one saw coming. Since the end of April and the launch of the coalition, more than 812 media stories

More than 330 local government, business, and labor organizations joined the League in fighting for state and federal assistance to help us recover from a pandemic that no one saw coming.

have published raising awareness of local budget shortfalls and impacts on local services. The coalition’s efforts have been successful in getting the state to allocate a portion of its federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to every city in California with a population under 500,000 that had not received a direct allocation from the federal government. However, with the pandemic’s impacts on our local economies still being felt in cities, more assistance from the state and federal governments is needed, and that’s why our campaign for state and federal assistance continues. To join the coalition, visit www.SupportLocalRecovery.org.

Reimagining With the gradual reopening of our communities while staying in compliance with state and local health orders, cities are adapting to the new environment with creative and flexible approaches to accommodate greater outdoor options for dining, recreation, and personal services.

Just like our cities, what I know for sure is that reopening the League office will also mean considering creative and flexible approaches to accommodate the needs of our workforce and our members and applying best practices learned from working in an environment where a majority of our staff are teleworking. We know that one size does not fit all when it comes to cities. The same is true for the workplace. With the health and safety of our team a top priority, we’ll be considering new approaches to work that will allow us to foster the kind of collaborative environment that is integral to the programs and services we provide to our members every day. COVID-19 has undoubtedly presented a number of challenges. It has also created opportunities for organizations like the League to reimagine the programs and services we deliver to our members and the ways we deliver them. From new webinar series and virtual conferences to teleworking and Zoom, they’re all a part of how we serve our members today, and there’s no turning back. All of these will have a role in our future. This pandemic has been devastating and is changing our way of life. However, it’s also served as an important reminder of the role of cities and city leaders and how well #LocalWorks. Since the #LocalWorks section of Western City launched in April, we’ve seen countless examples of how cities have risen to the challenge during COVID-19 and how essential cities are to our state and nation. While the road ahead will have challenges, we know city leaders will adapt and take the actions necessary to serve and protect their residents. The League will adapt with you and find meaningful ways to support California cities and the city officials who lead them. ■


League of California Cities


The San José Public Library staff makes masks and face shields for donation to a local hospital and nonprofit.

Virtual Camps and Librarians Printing Face Shields:

Not a Typical Summer for City Services by Rose Kevranian Libraries are a staple of the community, and many residents depend on them to check out books and movies, participate in enrichment programs, and have a quiet place to read, work, or study. With COVID-19 disrupting all aspects of community life with changes including stay-at-home orders and a shift to virtual education, libraries have transformed their services to provide as many resources as they can to local residents. In the same way, parks and recreation departments have also used creativity and innovation to redesign many of the activities and programs that families enjoy and value.

New Library Programs: From Podcasts to Personal Protective Equipment The Long Beach Public Library recently launched a local history podcast called Don’t Know Beach About History that, according to host Jeff Whalen, special collections librarian, is research-based, conversational, and funny. “During the pandemic, we wanted to stay engaged with the community and bring local history to them,” said Whalen. “So far, reaction has been fantastic! “I don’t think we’ll ever run out of stories to highlight. We’re doing a podcast about Babe Ruth getting arrested in Long Beach in 1927. Who knew? Then we’re doing one about the time a TV crew filming an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man at The Pike amusement park in Long Beach found the all-too-real mummy of an Old West bank robber in the Fun House. Until then, people had just assumed it was a mannequin.”

In Burlingame, city libraries expanded their online programming to include virtual cooking sessions where the community is invited to try a specific recipe in advance and then share the results, challenges, and successes with fellow residents via Zoom. Since March 16, 2020, the Burlingame Public Library branches have provided access to more than 500 online educational courses, hosted more than 58 virtual programs, such as family fun nights featuring magicians and ventriloquists, and held 42 online story times in English and Mandarin. Many libraries are also helping families transition to distance learning, including the San José Public Library, which offers many free educational resources such as online tutoring, exam preparation materials, and tools to help navigate distance learning. In addition, the San José and Burlingame libraries are using their time and resources to help provide first responders with important resources during the pandemic. Library staff in both cities have put their 3D printers to good use by printing personal protective equipment (PPE). The Burlingame Public Library created 408 pieces of PPE (face shields and ear guards for face masks) to help keep front-line workers safe during the pandemic. The San José library staff is printing an estimated 200 face shields per week and has donated more than 1,800 to the Good Samaritan Hospital in San José. The library also has a supply of sewing machines, which some of the San José librarians used to sew 310 masks that were donated to the nonprofit HomeFirst to be distributed to individuals experiencing homelessness in Santa Clara County.


Rose Kevranian is a University of California, Riverside, Loveridge fellow and League communications intern.


Western City, September 2020


Virtual Camps and Librarians Printing Face Shields: Not a Typical Summer for City Services, continued

“During the pandemic, we’ve had to find creative ways to continue to deliver services to the community while keeping everyone safe,” said David Sykes, San José city manager. “I’m proud of our library staff who not only met the needs of connecting people with library resources, but went above and beyond to help those in need.”

Parks and Recreation Departments Shift to New Models Like city libraries, parks and recreation departments statewide have worked hard to find creative ways to keep kids safe, active, and entertained during the summer months. Many city parks and recreation departments quickly adapted inperson camps so children could participate in hands-on activities in small clusters. With cities throughout the state facing various stay-at-home orders, parks and recreation departments also offered a series of creative virtual camps and programs. In San Francisco, the city offered several in-person camps, including Art in the Park, a fun camp that featured instruction in stained and fused glass, ceramics, fine arts, jewelry making, and metalworking. A series of outdoor recreation and sports camps included the Bows N Boards Camp designed for kids to learn or enhance their archery and skateboarding skills. Budding gardeners participated in the Urban Farm Summer Camp, where they learned about urban gardening and the important roles that decomposers, producers, and consumers play in sustaining a healthy farm and balanced ecosystem. Kids at home in Benicia had many opportunities to engage virtually with other children and participate in fun educational activities. The city’s online LEGO® camp invites kids to “tap into your imagination from the comfort of your own home with the guidance of an experienced Play-Well instructor and simple pieces from your own LEGO collection — all while connecting virtually with other young LEGO engineers!”

The Benicia Parks & Community Services Department also held Little Medical School virtual camps. The program, designed by experienced educators, board-certified physicians, and trained health care professionals, “inspires young minds by sharing our passion for learning, health, and careers in medicine.” Weekly themes included sports medicine, public health, veterinary medicine, and wilderness medicine. The City of El Cajon brought its Rec Squad online, offering a series of videos to keep kids entertained, including arts and crafts lessons, cooking instruction, sports, camp games, and nature activities. In a message to residents, El Cajon Parks & Recreation Director Frank Carson said, “Your parks and recreation staff have been working every day maintaining parks and engaging the community in a variety of ways. We launched our #RecSquad this spring in response to the stay-at-home order where we bring the parks to you. This summer, following current public health guidelines, we are planning two options for programming, in-person classes and camps and virtual classes and camps. We have worked with regional, state, and national leaders to bring you the best and safest possible programming available.”

A Commitment to Community Recognizing this summer would be very different from normal, city library and parks and recreation staff stepped up when residents needed them most, providing quality in-person and virtual programs to keep minds sharp and bodies active. Creative programming was at the heart of their commitment to safely serve the community and continue offering accessible, engaging activities during the summer of COVID-19. ■

San Francisco offers children a variety of summer camps and activities.


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Register Now for the Reimagined

2020 Annual Conference & Expo Oct. 7–9 by Jennifer Whiting Next month, city officials from throughout the state will come together to learn and network at the League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo. Like most of our work and lives in 2020, the conference will be a different experience than in past years. But the reasons for attending are all the same — learning, making new connections, breaking out of your comfort zone, creating focus, and (of course) having fun. And you can join these activities from the convenience of your home, office, backyard, or anywhere else you want to be.

New Features Accommodate Your Individual Needs If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a virtual conference, they are more engaging and interactive than you might

think with numerous advantages you may not expect. Are two sessions that you want to attend running simultaneously? Do you have a meeting or call you need to take during the keynote speaker’s presentation you really wanted to see? Is your city facing budget cuts and unable to send as many people to the conference as usual? For these scenarios and others that in the past may have prevented you from attending all the sessions that interest you, this year’s virtual event offers the solution. In 2020, all education sessions will be recorded and accessible to attendees during and after the conference. If you have a time conflict during a session you want to see, you’ll be able to watch it whenever it’s convenient for you. The League is committed to ensuring that all member cities have the opportunity to participate in the

conference this year by reducing fees and making registration very affordable for everyone. And if networking is what you’re looking for, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to build new connections and have some fun while you’re doing it. The League has planned some entertaining virtual receptions and is working with our Expo exhibitors to provide time and access to learn about their newest tools and services. No matter where you are or what you have going on, by participating in the Annual Conference you will learn about and explore topics and ideas that will arm you with information to benefit your city and community. A snapshot of some of the planned activities follows, and make

Jennifer Whiting is director of education and member services for the League and can be reached at jwhiting@cacities.org.


League of California Cities


Meet the Speakers sure to check Western City next month for tips on how to get the most out of this exciting virtual experience.

Dozens of speakers will present timely topics and quality content at the 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in break-out sessions, panel discussions, and more. All sessions will be recorded and accessible to attendees. For a complete list of speakers and sessions, visit www.cacities.org/ Education-Events/Annual-Conference/For-Attendees.

Wednesday, Oct. 7

Thursday, Oct. 8

The conference will kick off Wednesday morning with a dynamic speaker during the Opening General Session. The League will also celebrate winners of the prestigious Helen Putnam Award for Excellence and hear from some very special guest speakers.

A full day of educational and networking opportunities is planned for Thursday. During the morning General Session, League leadership will update members on the new and expanded activities in 2020.

In the afternoon, attendees can choose from a variety of concurrent sessions. This year, the sessions will focus specifically on the leading issues of 2020: COVID-19, racial equity and justice, and city finances. In addition, other educational sessions will include state-mandated training on ethics for elected officials and sexual harassment prevention. The League’s professional departments, which function as professional societies for city staff and elected officials, will meet throughout the three days of the conference. These meetings offer an excellent way for you to discover how colleagues in similar jobs and positions are interacting with and contributing to education and policy development within the League.


Plan to make some time to explore the many companies exhibiting in the virtual Expo Hall. There will be opportunities to connect live with many of the exhibitors or make an appointment to meet with them after the conference. The evening will offer a plethora of networking opportunities. Stay tuned for more information on how to connect socially with your colleagues in other cities to form new connections and renew previous contacts.

Friday, Oct. 9 The final day of the conference offers attendees professional development opportunities with over a dozen break-out sessions. Policy development is a key part of the League’s legislative effectiveness, and city

officials can directly participate in the development of League policy through the Annual Conference Resolutions process. Any city official, individual city, division, department, policy committee, or the board of directors can submit resolutions. This process culminates in the League’s General Assembly on Friday, where every member city has the opportunity to vote on these important proposals. The conference will wrap up early Friday afternoon with the Closing Session, where we will celebrate the League’s future as the 2020–21 board of directors is sworn into office. Attendees will hear from speakers who will set the course of the League for the next year and inspire attendees to take what they have learned and put it to work in their communities. Set aside Oct. 7–9 to spend time investing in yourself, focusing on the work you need to do to lead your cities, and celebrating everything that we have accomplished in 2020! To register, visit www.cacities.org/events. A variety of registration options are available. ■

Western City, September 2020


Annual Conference & Expo 2020

Expo Exhibitors 4LEAF, Inc.

ENGIE Services U.S.*


California Department of Housing and Community Development

ADA Consultant Services

California Health Collaborative

Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc.

Alliance Resource Consulting LLC

California Joint Powers Insurance Authority


Ameresco Anaergia Asphalt Zipper, Inc. AT&T Avenu Insights Analytics* Best Best & Krieger, LLP* Blais & Associates, Inc.

California Water Service Charles Abbott Associates, Inc. CIMCON Lighting, Inc. City Ventures CivicPlus Climatec LLC*

Enterprise Fleet Management*

ForeFront Power GameTime c/o GWR & MRC georgehills.com GHD Granicus Graphic Solutions Greenfields Outdoor Fitness

Bob Murray & Associates

Contractor Compliance & Monitoring, Inc.

Bureau Veritas North America, Inc.

CSG Consultants, Inc.

HdL Companies

California Association of Code Enforcement Officer

Dapeer, Rosenblit & Litvak, LLP

Hi-Vac Corporation


HMC Architects

California Citrus Pest & Disease Control

Disability Access Consultants, LLC

Holman Capital Corporation

California Consulting, Inc.

DRC Pacific

HR Green, Inc.

California Department of General Services



ECORP Consulting, Inc.

Intelligent Traffic Equipment Marketing Ltd.

HAI, Hirsch & Associates, Inc.

League Partners’ names appear in bold. Institute for Local Government Partners are in blue. CitiPAC supporters are marked with an asterisk. The list is current as of Aug. 5, 2020. For an updated list, visit www.cacities.org/expo.


League of California Cities


Johnson Controls*

State Water Resources Control Board

Vanir Construction Management, Inc.*

Kaiser Permanente

Superior Tank Solutions

Wells Fargo

Keenan & Associates

SyTech Solutions

West Coast Arborists, Inc.

Keyser Marston Associates, Inc.

The Pun Group, LLP


Kosmont Companies*

Townsend Public Affairs*

Working Scholars ■

LA Steelcraft

Trane Energy Services

Interwest Consulting Group*

Transtech Engineers, Inc.

LD Products LECET Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Maze & Associates Meyers Nave* NASPO ValuePoint NV5 OpenGov Optimum Seismic, Inc. PARS* PERC Water Corp. PetData PF Distribution Center (PowerFlare) Piper Sandler ProcureNow Public Restroom Company Radarsign, LLC Ralph Andersen & Associates Regional Government Services Authority

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 | www.bwslaw.com

Library Systems & Services

Renne Public Law Group* Republic Services* Richards Watson & Gershon* RKA Consulting Group Rubicon Schaefer Systems International, Inc. Schneider Electric* ScholarShare 529 — State Treasurer’s Office Security Lines US SERVPRO Silver & Wright, LLP SitelogIQ* Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong, LLP SmartWatt Southern California Gas Company


Western City, September 2020


Tips on Temporary Use of Public Property for Private Business To help support local restaurants and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, cities throughout California are allowing dining, retail sales, and other private business operations to occur on sidewalks, temporarily closed streets, and other public property. The movement of business operations from private property into public spaces creates additional liability for public agencies. The California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (Cal JPIA) offers local government agencies the following tips for effectively managing this exposure.

on public property, full liquor liability insurance with the same minimum amounts should also be required. Agencies should also review their municipal code for any restrictions on the consumption of alcohol on public property.

1. Issue a permit or other written agreement to each participating business containing indemnification language in favor of the agency. The permit/agreement should also include the agency’s standard insurance requirements including commercial general liability insurance in the minimum amount of $1 million per occurrence/$2 million general aggregate with the agency named additional insured. If alcohol will be served

3. Require that participating businesses take all necessary steps to identify and mitigate pedestrian hazards such as electrical cords and other trip hazards. In addition, dining areas could be cordoned off with entrances and exits identified and/or pedestrian traffic directed around the area in use.

2. Separate and protect patrons from vehicle traffic. Ideally, the roadway or other areas where outdoor dining and business activities are taking place should be temporarily closed. If this is not feasible, then concrete K-rail or similar barriers should be installed around areas where patrons are present.

4. For fitness classes and similar activities occurring on public property, require that

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businesses obtain liability waivers from each participant with the agency included as a released party. 5. Enforce compliance of businesses with all applicable federal, state, and local public health guidance, including the latest guidance from the California Department of Public Health. While some agencies are waiving permit requirements for businesses operating on public property, the Cal JPIA suggests considering alternatives to make the application process less burdensome. For example, consider fast-tracking permit approvals and reducing or eliminating associated fees. This approach provides much-needed relief to local businesses while protecting the agency against liability claims arising out of private business operations. For more information, visit the Cal JPIA website at www.cjpia.org. ■

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Using Big Data to Reduce Catastrophic Impacts of Wildfire

How Local Government Can Help Shape Solutions By Jonathan Holtzman The threat of wildfires is increasingly on the minds of already crisis-fatigued suburban residents whose communities are near or contain overgrown areas with accumulations of flammable material. This concern is clearly warranted based on recent wildfires, including the devastating fires of fall 2017 and the unprecedented destruction of the 2018 Camp Fire. As Gov. Gavin Newsom has frequently noted, the threat will only continue to grow due to climate change and years of accumulation.

Meanwhile, others across the San Francisco Bay Bridge were contemplating the same questions. Two Bay Area tech companies were aware of the threat posed by unprecedented fires and wanted to help but had little expertise in the daily challenges of firefighting in a wildland-urban interface. The companies had three challenges — they lacked on-the-ground experience fighting fires, they needed access to a community in which to realize their ideas, and they lacked governmental authority.

Yet many of our tools for detecting wildfires, modeling their progression, evacuating residents, and suppressing fires are outdated. In the critical early period of a wildfire, existing systems rely far too heavily on subjective judgments made by individuals with inadequate information; these systems are further constrained by long chains of command and the difficulties of interagency emergency communication.

The potential for synergy was clear, but cautionary tales of private industry riding in to save the day and reduce perceived government “inefficiencies” without fully understanding the problem tempered both the companies’ enthusiasm to help and the district’s willingness to accept this assistance.

Moraga-Orinda Fire District Takes the Initiative

The process began with two-way listening sessions in which the parties worked to understand needs and capabilities. These discussions centered on combining best practices with available technology. The fire district’s goal was to seamlessly integrate technology with a real-world operating environment characterized by limited resources and compressed timelines.

As regional and state leadership on this issue moved slowly, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District took action to develop solutions. The district recognized that gaps in regional and statewide programs needed to be addressed. Given its proximity to Silicon Valley and the University of California, Berkeley, the district was well-positioned to recruit the power of the tech industry.

Partners Tackle the Challenge Collaboratively


Jonathan Holtzman is a partner in Renne Public Law Group and can be reached at jholtzman@publiclawgroup.com. Fire Chief Dave Winnacker of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District also contributed to this article; he can be reached at dwinnacker@mofd.org.

A Moraga-Orinda Fire District fire detection sensor monitors an area inside a prescribed burn fire perimeter in June 2019.


Western City, September 2020


Using Big Data to Reduce Catastrophic Impacts of Wildfire, continued

This application developed by the public-private partnership displays evacuation zones, fire and weather conditions, critical intersections, population, and status.

Crafting a Solution

• Information from satellites and ground-based sensors.

and ground-based lidar (a remote sensing method that generates precise, three-dimensional data) to locate low-cost, high-impact fuel-reduction efforts and remotely trigger lawn sprinklers to slow the spread of fire. And residents with GPS-enabled smartphones can support these efforts by collecting and reporting community information. A community that is engaged in this way has enormous potential to augment the limited numbers of city staff available to support any of these public safety projects.

• A program to determine and display fire speed, direction, and intensity.

Looking Ahead

• A user-friendly portal to make these tools available to firefighters in the field.

While the collaboration of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and private-sector partners continues with the hope of further developing and adopting these new data-based approaches, the experience so far suggests that even small agencies can engage in productive collaborations with technology companies and act as a laboratory for new ideas and applications. This is perhaps best done at the local level, with the hope that the results of successful experiments will be adopted by the state.

The working group’s efforts, supported by the participating tech companies and foundation grants, ultimately produced a number of user-friendly applications. Today, first responders and residents in the Bay Area are using some of these comprehensive, end-to-end solutions that incorporate these elements:

• “Evacuation polygons” — predesignated evacuation zones that are triggered at appropriate times to ensure timely, efficient, prioritized movement of residents at greatest risk over the limited surface street capacity found in many older and rural communities. From the perspective of a resident, this means getting personalized, real-time evacuation recommendations through social media, messaging, and mapping applications. It’s important to note that virtually all of the individual elements of the technology and data analysis used in this process were readily available; however, they had not been configured for this use and lacked the simple interface required for adoption by first responders in the field. Other uses of existing technology emerging from these discussions include the use of satellite imaging

Learn More About This Topic at the 2020 Annual Conference & Expo Interested in exploring this issue? Don’t miss the “Using Big Data to Reduce Catastrophic Impacts of Wildfire” session at the League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo, Oct. 7–9, where you will hear a panel of experts discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with wildfires and big data. Learn how this technology can work in your city. See page 8 for more conference details; to register, visit www.cacities.org/events.


League of California Cities

City officials often think that large companies will provide “plugand-play” solutions. But these companies don’t know the playing field and don’t have the legal authority to mandate approaches that are standardized across jurisdictional boundaries and so urgently needed in areas such as fire technology. Local government leaders know the problems that need to be solved and what will or won’t work. But they lack the expertise and resources to develop reliable software and hardware, and private-sector companies can bring these to the table. Cities seeking solutions are cautioned to avoid attempting to jury-rig existing, expensive solutions that were not designed with the end users in mind. Wildfires are getting increasingly larger and more destructive. Budgets are shrinking. Neither of these issues will resolve themselves. Advanced firefighting-focused technology integrates the expertise of our smartest public servants — armed with real-time information — with local response plans and conditions through reliable and user-friendly tools that inform and support the decisionmaking process. These new tools can enhance our ability to respond to fast-moving emergencies and set the stage for effective interagency coordination. ■ www.cacities.org

Thank you to all of our 2020 League Partners Platinum ($15,000+) 1,2
















Gold ($10,000+) Anaergia Charter Communications ENGIE Services Inc.2 Hanson Bridgett LLP1,2 ALADS2 AMR2 Charles Abbott Associates2 Californians for Energy Independence Capitol Public Finance Group2 Clear Channel Concentric Power ABM2 Accela2 Advanced Disposal2 Aircon Energy Alvarez-Glasman & Colvin2 Amador Valley Industries2 Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs2 Athens Services2 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard1 LECET Southwest Lewis Investment Company2 COX Communications Crown Castle Dart Container Corp.2 EMS Management2 Fascination Ranch2 Garaventa Enterprises2 Goldfarb & Lipman LLP Joe A. Gonsalves & Son2

Meyers Nave1,2 Morongo Band of Mission Indians2 James Ramos2

E&J Gallo2 Fieldman Rolapp & Associates Genentech2 Geo-Logic Associates2 Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP2 Hill International2 IVAR2 Kosmont Companies2 Lozano Smith2

Basic ($1,000+) Accretive Realtors2 Associated Builders & Contractors2 CARE2 CR&R2 California Apartment Association2 California-Cambodia Sister State Inc.2 California Contract Cities Association2 California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission California Real Estate2 California Refuse Recycling Council California Waste Solutions2

Carpenter/Robbins Commercial Real Estate Inc.2 City National Bank2 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 Dividend Finance2 Dokken Engineering2 EMS Management LLC2

Verizon Ygrene2 Young Homes2

Silver ($5,000+) Greenwaste Recovery Inc.2 Greystar2 Harris & Associates2 Keenan & Associates Mid Valley Disposal2 Mt. Diablo Recycling2 NorCal NECA

Bronze ($3,000+) Avenal Finance2 Avery Associates2 Best Way Disposal2 Boulevard2 Brookfield Norcal Builders Inc2 California Health Collaborative Cerrell2 DW Development2 Desert Valley Medical Group Inc./ Prime Healthcare2 Dublin Crossing2

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians2 Western States Petroleum Association

East Bay Sanitary Company Inc2 Emanuels Jones and Associates Fard Engineers2 Fresno Police Officers Association GHD Inc.2 Giacalone Design Services2 Gilton Solid Waste2 Gray Bowen Scott2 Gridley Galleria2 Griffin Structures2 HR Green Highridge Costa Housing Partners Hospital Council of Northern California Innisfree Ventures2 J.R. Roberts/Deacon Inc.2

Join the Partners Program Today! Contact Mike Egan | (916) 658-8271 | egan@cacities.org

Northrop Grumman Redflex Republic Services Inc.2 ServPro Southern California Gas Company State Farm Insurance Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

Trane1 Transtech Engineers Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations Tripepi Smith & Associates1,2 Vanir Construction Management Zanker Green Waste2

Marin Sanitary Service2 Matarango Inc.2 The Mejorando Group Bob Murray & Associates NHA Advisors PARS2 Peters Engineering2 Ponderosa Homes II Inc.2 Prime Healthcare2 Psomas2 Quality Management Group Inc.

Rutan & Tucker LLP SCI Consulting Group SGI Construction Management2 San Bernardino County Safety Employees2 Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians2 Smart Cities Prevail TREH Development2 Willdan Woodard & Curran

Jamboree Housing Corporation Jones Hall2 Jones & Mayer Kasdan Lippsmith Weber Turner LLP Livermore Sanitation2 Madaffer Enterprises1,2 Marchetti Construction Inc.2 Mechanics Bank2 Napa Recycling2 Nimitz Group2 Orange County Realtors Phillips 662 Pinewave Development Group Inc2 Pleasanton Garbage Services Inc.2 Procure America Recology2

Retail Strategies Riverside Construction2 Rutan & Tucker2 San Jose POA San Mateo County Association of Realtors2 Santa Monica POA Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians2 Specialty Solid Waste & Recycling2 Swinerton Management2 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 08/12/2020

Code Enforcement During a Pandemic: Lessons Learned

by Curtis Wright

Since March 19, 2020, local agencies throughout California have been scrambling to adapt to evolving restrictions; meet the needs of their residents, staff, and businesses; and keep city operations afloat — often with decimated budgets and without face-to-face interactions. The coronavirus pandemic has presented our society, especially local government, with unprecedented and ever-evolving challenges. As local leaders, you have been on the front lines — required to adapt operations not only to keep your

cities running, but also to keep your residents informed and safe and your cities up to code. And while we’re all focused on weathering the current storm, local leaders must be forward-thinking in anticipating the next pandemic event.

The COVID-19 crisis won’t be the last of its kind. The threshold for what is considered a pandemic will be forever altered by what we’re experiencing, and citizens will not be as forgiving about local government missteps next time. While we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, it’s our job to share knowledge, perfect our response, and learn from our experiences, successes, and mistakes so that when the next crisis hits, we’re able to act swiftly, decisively, and in a manner that preserves our community ways of life as best we can. continued

Curtis Wright is a founding partner of Silver & Wright LLP and can be reached at CWright@SilverWrightLaw.com.


Western City, September 2020


Code Enforcement During a Pandemic: Lessons Learned, continued

Code Enforcement Varies Significantly Among Agencies One area of particular interest to me related to overall management of the pandemic is the utilization of code enforcement resources. I’ve had the privilege of working with numerous agencies statewide for years, particularly related to matters of nuisance abatement, code enforcement, and public safety. One recurring theme throughout jurisdictions is how code enforcement is essentially used as a catch-all branch for cities and counties, even though its management may vary greatly from agency to agency. In some agencies, code enforcement staff are sworn officers, but in others, they are not. Some fall under the supervision of the Police Department, community development, planning, building, public works, or other departments. Accordingly, code enforcement job descriptions and duties can vary from city to city. Many jurisdic-

tions have employed code enforcement personnel in unique ways to protect the public and advance their pandemic protocols, and others have ignored their code enforcement resources when responding to the pandemic. In cities like Duarte, staff has taken on additional enforcement duties, making sure businesses adhere to the governor’s orders to close non-essential businesses and practice physical distancing. This work has required persistent educational outreach and collaboration with organizations and agencies like the local chamber of commerce and county Sheriff’s Department. Even in cities where code enforcement has not been asked to take direct action to enforce state orders, the roles and responsibilities of its staff have been and will continue to be affected, likely for good. For example, cities like Sacramento have had to adapt their entire operations to comply with safety regulations

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and keep their staff healthy while still providing essential services. These cities are changing the way code enforcement is practiced altogether, from migrating their permitting and registration processes to online portals to utilizing technology like drones to conduct virtual inspections, and even clearing reported violations by having residents send a photo of the remedied violation to the department (with a 70 percent compliance rate). In addition, other cities are having to address code violations on a case-bycase basis to account for the extenuating circumstances that COVID-19 has introduced. For example, in Sacramento, staff has been helping front-line workers who are occupying recreational vehicles in residential areas. Under normal circumstances, this is a code violation. However, when staff realized that many front-line workers were sleeping in their RVs or campers outside their homes to avoid bringing the virus inside to their families, they chose to make exceptions for those special circumstances.

Now Is the Time to Communicate With Your Residents Many agencies are also receiving an increased number of complaints, due in large part to more people being home, walking their neighborhoods, and having more time to notice details about their city. While this can be overwhelming to a department that is already stretched thin, these complaints mean you have an audience that is paying attention. Now is a prime time to communicate with your residents and educate them — they are already engaged and more likely to hear your message. Whether that message is conveyed through social media, email notifications, mailers, or other means depends on the agency, but by all means reach out. Given the shifting nature of the state and federal directives, cities have been forced to figure out a response largely on their own, without the benefit of the prior experience of other jurisdictions from which to learn. But now is exactly the time to start seeking guidance and sharing knowledge, experiences, successes, and failures. www.cacities.org

It is not a matter of if another pandemic will strike, but when.

Answers Will Not Be “One Size Fits All” As these conversations begin, there will not be a simple to-do list that comes out of them to fit agencies of all sizes, all demographics, and all types of pandemics. Our municipal agencies and their approaches to code enforcement are too varied and complex. The City of Duarte (pop. 21,673) will likely have had a different experience than a city like Sacramento (pop. 510,931). But that does not mean their solutions or challenges will not translate; some won’t, but others may. For example, agencies of all sizes are offering online permit processes and conducting virtual inspections, which are likely here to stay. So how can we make that process as streamlined and easy to use as possible? For residents and businesses to take advantage of online services, they need a smartphone or computer and a reliable internet connection;

how are agencies ensuring that people have access to this technology? From a logistical standpoint, will your city stock up on items like hand sanitizer, personal protective equipment, toilet paper, and bottled water in preparation for another pandemic event? These questions will be relevant for cities of every size.

Local leadership’s approach to these issues will have a tremendous impact on how effectively code enforcement can be leveraged now and during any future pandemics. Some municipal leaders have continued on page 25


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







Western City, September 2020


Is a Virtual Workforce Our New Normal? by Ken Pulskamp Working remotely is not a new concept. Historically, however, telework or virtual work has been more common in the private sector than in local government: about 7 percent of private-sector workers have the option to work remotely versus 4 percent of state and local government workers, according to the Pew Research Center. A wide range of philosophies existed among public agency leadership throughout California about whether remote work was beneficial or a hindrance to collaboration, camaraderie, productivity, and customer service. The COVID-19 pandemic brought renewed life to the practice because many public agencies were suddenly forced to make virtual work the standard mode of operation for a large portion of their employees. From an employee’s perspective, working virtually has many positive aspects. Remote work allows employees to be more flexible with their hours and spend time with their families. It eliminates the time, energy, and resources required for commuting, which can translate into multiple hours per day spent focused on work instead. For those in management, business, and financial roles, the actual workday experience of mostly sitting in front of a computer or attending meetings may not have changed that much. According to an early April 2020 Gallup Poll, three in five Americans who have been working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic would prefer to continue working from home as much as possible after health restrictions are lifted.

But public agencies, specifically information technology (IT) and human resources staff, may react differently to a remote workforce. Consider some of the previously unthought-of questions your agency has had to tackle in the past few months; for example, are you now obligated to partially subsidize your remote employees’ internet service provider fees?

working remotely, they may not want to go back to the way things were: “Now that some of these employees may be able to return to their workplace, it appears only a quarter are emotionally ready. Another quarter are reluctant to return specifically because of concerns about contracting COVID-19, while half have a personal preference for working remotely.”

In Culver City, human resources leaders had to scramble to establish and update administrative policies that addressed issues such as remote work eligibility and personal technological device use. This situation has also spurred an effort to digitize as many forms as possible, curbing the need for paper handling and storage. Meanwhile, IT leadership had to procure laptops and issue mobile devices for remote workers, ensure employees could access internal shared drives, and devise new security measures because employees were no longer working behind a typical firewall.

As the risk of coronavirus infection (hopefully) lessens over time and your leadership decides in-person work is a possibility again, the question then becomes: is it worth it to make working virtually your new normal? ■

By the time the League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo takes place in October, it is very likely that the narrative around COVID-19 and its impact on an in-person workforce will have evolved even further. At that point, nearly every city in the state will have valuable experience and data about how remote work has functioned for them. As your agency discusses how best to keep employees safe and happy, be sure to ask employees about their personal preferences. A follow-up Gallup Poll in mid-May showed that after employees get a taste for

Learn More at the Annual Conference In Spring 2020, many cities found themselves scrambling to set up makeshift virtual workforces and virtual council meetings. After the dust has settled and technology kinks have been smoothed out, what have we learned? Are remote workforces and virtual public meetings here to stay? Come learn from several city management professionals in a panel session titled “Is a Virtual Workforce Our New Normal?” at the League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo, Oct. 7–9. Panelists will share their insights and experiences in empowering their staff to work remotely, offer advice on how to sustain the option, and discuss their thoughts on what the future may hold for public agencies. See page 8 for more conference details; to register, visit www.cacities.org/events.

Ken Pulskamp is executive director of the California City Management Foundation and can be reached at ken@cacitymanagers.org.


League of California Cities


From Vision to Reality: Lessons Learned in Complete Street Implementation by Stephanie Hunting and Liz Moody When then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation creating the Active Transportation Program (ATP) in 2013, communities throughout California took note. This new program was developed to encourage increased use of human-powered transportation methods while focusing on cities’ safety, health, and sustainability. Along with this new program, the concept of the complete street or green street started to gain momentum. Since then, three cities on the Central Coast have incorporated active transportation and complete street design features into their roadway infrastructure upgrades.

Though such changes and upgrades may be challenging to implement, they have yielded better designs that also support healthy lifestyles for residents and visitors.

From Flooding to Footpaths In mid-January 2010, officials for the City of Paso Robles (pop. 31,221) anxiously watched the weather reports. Rain


had fallen steadily for the past four days and at any point, an excessive downpour would spell disaster for 21st Street, which was built over Mountain Springs Creek and frequently experienced flooding and sedimentation during larger rainstorms. The January 2010 heavy downpours caused flooding that upended manhole continued

In Paso Robles, 21st Street often flooded until the city made improvements, right.

Stephanie Hunting is marketing manager for Cannon and can be reached at StephanieH@CannonCorp.us. Liz Moody is chief marketing officer for Cannon and can be reached at LizM@CannonCorp.us.


From Vision to Reality: Lessons Learned in Complete Street Implementation, continued

covers and filled 21st Street with dirt and debris as the creek reclaimed its natural flow path. After the storm subsided, the assessed damage to the pavement, sidewalks, and structures made it apparent that something needed to change. Mayor Steve Martin said, “21st Street is a major connector between Spring Street [the city’s main thoroughfare] and the California Mid-State Fairgrounds. Pavement was degraded, sidewalks were sporadic, and the frequent flooding just made a bad street an even greater eyesore.” The city soon initiated a conceptual design that would not only mitigate the flooding issues, but also create a streetscape to encourage pedestrian and bike use while incorporating traffic-calming features. Public outreach to seek community input contributed to a unique design that created a median channel where creek flows could run their natural course

while keeping sediment and flooding at bay. This new design also provided wide, walkable sidewalks, dedicated Class II bike lanes, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curb ramps and lighted crossings. The process was not without challenges. Ditas Esperanza is capital projects engineer for the City of Paso Robles. She said, “We had to overcome a fair amount of critical feedback from the public — many didn’t understand the value of the unique features such as the median channel or bioretention areas.” After the roadway was completed and functioning, many residents better understood the project. “It took residents seeing the bike lanes, lighted crossings, and the median channel diverting water for them to recognize the value of 21st Street,” said Esperanza. As the area’s first green, complete street, 21st Street won state and national awards

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for its innovative approach to diverting stormwater flows, enhanced mobility and multimodal features, and aesthetic improvements.

Helping Tourists Interact With the Environment Shell Beach Road in Pismo Beach (pop. 8,139) is an iconic 18-block thoroughfare, paralleling U.S. Highway 101, that brings heavy tourist traffic through the city. Because the street traverses a mix of residential and commercial zones, stop signs were originally placed on every other block. This slowed traffic, but it also had a negative effect. “You would see cars backed up for miles,” said Public Works Director Ben Fine. Removing the stop signs would increase traffic flows but decrease safety, so the city sought an alternative. To enhance safety and improve livability in the community,

Pismo Beach adopted complete streets guidelines to implement accessibility features in future streetscape design. “We knew that if we were able to get more people out of their cars and actively participating in the environment around them, it would produce a multitude of benefits — people would be healthier and happier, and traffic flows would improve,” said Fine. Using the complete streets guidelines, the city fully reconstructed the roadway, added an 8-foot-wide multi-use pathway to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians, and brought sidewalks into compliance with the ADA. Additional improvements included relocating overhead utilities underground and adding decorative lighting to enhance aesthetics and improve visibility at night. The project, just now reaching completion, is already benefiting the community. Pismo Beach City Manager Jim Lewis is a

proponent of getting people out of their cars and into the environment around them. He said, “It is so exciting to see this project come together and doing exactly what it was designed to do — create a better community by getting people moving and enjoying the beauty of our special city.” Even with COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, local restaurants along Shell Beach Road are experiencing increased

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foot traffic, families are safely riding bikes within the protected pathway, and traffic flows have improved.

Balancing Convenience With Safety Newport Avenue in Grover Beach (pop. 13,214) was originally designed in the 1970s as a wide roadway in continued on page 26

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Is Your City Prepared for Rising Pension Costs ? Continuing trends of economic uncertainty and hardship due to the damaging effects of COVID-19 have made it now more prevalent then ever for cities to understand the importance of prefunding pension costs. The Pension Rate Stabilization Program (PRSP) was designed to help cities mitigate long-term contribution rate volatility, maintain local control of assests and provide investment flexibility by setting aside funds in a tax-exempt Section 115 Trust. Funds may also be used as a rainy day fund for pension related expenses during adverse budgetary or economic conditions.

Learn more about pension prefunding at our session during The League of Cities Virtual Conference in October!

For more information please contact PARS at: (800) 540-6369 x 127 info@pars.org: www.pars.org

Western City, September 2020

















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League of California Cities


Code Enforcement During a Pandemic: Lessons Learned, continued from page 19

In your jurisdiction, what will be the best role for code enforcement during the next pandemic? Which types of training and resources does code enforcement need to be successful during the next pandemic? What will be code enforcement’s role as we emerge from the pandemic into a recession and a brave new world? How will your city effectively fight the inherent blight and proliferation of nuisances associated with recession and social discord?

been extremely deliberate and focused in their direction to staff, while others have taken a much more hands-off approach and let staff get creative. No approach is inherently right or wrong, but different approaches may produce better or worse results in other communities. It is important to reflect now on how different approaches succeeded or failed — and to look toward protocols from other jurisdictions to identify which responses may have produced better and more timely results.


Interested in Learning More? This topic will be the subject of a session titled “Code Enforcement During a Pandemic: Lessons Learned” at the League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo, Oct. 7–9. Register today to benefit from the insights of a panel of city officials, who will discuss their experiences and offer ideas you can put to work in your city. See page 8 for more conference details; to register, visit www.cacities.org/events.

Now, while these questions are fresh and relevant, is the time to talk through these major issues — to brainstorm, listen, learn, and prepare. By having these conversations now, we can reexamine our resources, take cues from one another, and maximize our response effectiveness

Do you believe your jurisdiction’s directions to staff gave them enough to work with in response to the demands of the pandemic and state mandates? Was your city able to effectively leverage and employ its code enforcement resources?


to steer California’s cities and protect the public now and in the future. Because it is not a matter of if another pandemic will strike, but when. ■














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Community Development Director, City of Agoura Hills, CA Fire Chief, American Canyon Fire Protection District, CA District Administrator, Coast Life Support District, CA County Administrator, Contra Costa County, CA Finance Director, Gold Coast Transit District, CA Finance Director, City of American Canyon, CA City Manager, City of Chino Valley, AZ City Manager, City of Winters, CA Please visit our website to learn more about all of our active recruitments.

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Photo/art credits Cover: Courtesy of the League of California Cities Page 3: City, Cassiohabib/Shutterstock.com; sunrise, Blackred Page 5: Courtesy of the City of San José Page 6: Courtesy of the City of San Francisco Page 10: Silhouette, OSTILL is Franck Camhi/ Shutterstock.com; background, Malija

Pages 13–14: Courtesy of Renne Public Law Group and Moraga-Orinda Fire District Page 17: FG Trade Page 19: Hirurg Page 20: Leo Patrizi Pages 21–23: Courtesy of Cannon, the City of Paso Robles and the City of Shell Beach Page 26: Courtesy of Cannon and the City of Newport Beach

Western City, September 2020


From Vision to Reality: Lessons Learned in Complete Street Implementation, continued from page 23

anticipation of future growth and traffic needs. Though the wide street accommodated easy parking, inadequate funds for maintenance to fix multiple potholes and the lack of bike lanes made it tricky for cyclists and difficult for pedestrians to cross safely. As part of the Grover Beach Measure K-14 Street Rehabilitation and Repair Program, Newport Avenue was targeted for repair and the addition of some complete street features, including street narrowing, pedestrian bulb-outs, ADA accessibility, sidewalk widening, and protected bike lanes.


Interested in learning more? This topic will be covered during the League of California Cities 2020 Annual Conference & Expo, Oct. 7–9, in a session titled “From Vision to Reality: Lessons Learned in Complete Street Implementation.” A panel of city officials will discuss strategies for successful design and implementation and offer tips you can put to work in your city. See page 8 for more conference details; to register, visit www.cacities.org/events.

understand is that wide streets create an environment for faster-moving vehicles and increased safety concerns. Narrowing the streets allows for a slower flow of traffic and a more walkable neighborhood,” said Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee. ■

Though residents initially opposed the changes, many now see the increased safety features and mobility as a plus. “Wide-open streets appear to be the answer at first, but what most don’t fully J

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Newport Beach made changes that increased pedestrian safety and created protected bike lanes.














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“The California Joint Powers Insurance Authority’s risk management resources have always been an extremely valuable tool, but the assistance provided to the City of Malibu in the aftermath of the Woolsey Fire, the most catastrophic event in our history, was invaluable in helping us provide the immediate support our community needed to recover and rebuild. Two years later, we’re issuing more and more building permits and seeing houses being rebuilt. These moments all feel so big. Our first completed, owner-occupied home mirrored the prior, fire-damaged home’s floor plan.

The first night in her rebuilt residence , the owner told me she walked down the hall and realized : I’m home again. That story keeps me inspired as we get more residents home again. And now that we are all struggling through a global pandemic and civil unrest, the California JPIA has again proven to be a valuable partner and resource to our City. It is reassuring to have their support during these unprecedented hard times.” – Reva Feldman, City Manager, City of Malibu

When planned or unplanned events occur that would otherwise shut down operations, the California JPIA’s Continuity of Operations Program assists members by providing access to power, space, communications, and technology, as well as damage response, security, damage extraction, restoration, and remediation of contaminants. Authority resources also coordinate all activities and determine applicable coverage through our property program.

California Joint Powers Insurance Authority

Providing innovative risk management solutions for our public agency partners. cjpia.org | (800) 229-2343 | info@cjpia.org |


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Profile for Western City Magazine

Western City September 2020  

Western City September 2020