I find myself getting hot under the collar every time I read another story or report on the pitiful state of public education in California.
California’s ongoing economic slump has been historically challenging to local governments, even in relatively affluent areas like Folsom, which has one of the highest per capita incomes in the Capital Region. We sat down recently with Folsom City Manager Kerry Miller to discuss the city’s current fiscal condition and plans it has to thrive as the economy improves.
Yuba County’s infrastructure was crumbling and its budget bleeding red ink when officials came up with a catching solution to their energy problems.
Looking back, it’s easy to see how some local government pension plans wound up underfunded. As described in last month’s issue, much of the blame goes to generous legislation passed during California’s boom cycles.
In 1970, California’s Legislature was declared the model for America, and it was an honor well deserved.
This month, California voters finally have something to celebrate — a redistricting plan that moves us a small step forward on the long journey to change the state’s dysfunctional political system.
It’s been about 20 months since lawmakers and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger breathlessly announced a historic agreement called the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009, an ambitious plan to overhaul the state’s antiquated water system. Much has changed since then, but much more is still on the way.
Builders trying to get plans approved by a city government all know the drill: Make the plans, and bring them to city hall. The city marks them up for revisions. Then you drive back to city hall, pick up the plans, send them off to consultants, make changes, print out hundreds of new pages and drive the new set of plans back to city hall or to another office or agency. Repeat. Repeat again. And maybe again.
In 1999 the dot-com boom was sending lots of money to Sacramento. The state Legislature saw it as a good time to share some of that wealth through state and local pension plans via Senate Bill 400.
The scenes of twisted metal, splintered wood, crumbling brick and flooded streets are still vivid to Kit Miyamoto, a Sacramento-based engineer who follows earthquake destruction around the world. But he’s not just seeing these images in Haiti, Chile or Japan.
Former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides was tapped in 2009 to chair the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a 10-member commission that Congress tasked with determining the causes of the Great Recession.
State trade groups generate nearly $90 billion in annual spending nationwide through education and training programs, meeting products and services, and local, state and federal taxes, according to the California Society of Association Executives. Roughly 15 percent of that is spent right here in California, and much of it winds up in the till of the hospitality industry.
Despite months of negotiations between legislators and the governor, a reasonable state budget seems an almost unreachable goal.
The state law requiring the use of electronic documents as evidence in civil lawsuits, also known as e-discovery, turns two next month, and local attorneys say its application is still in the developmental stages.
Since the founding of our state, courthouses have been the focal point of many communities. They are at once tangible symbols of the rule of law, monuments to our democratic ideals and the primary point of contact between the citizens and the judicial system. And, they are all but falling apart.
We’ve had several months of the new administration of Gov. Jerry Brown. There are remarkable similarities — and a few notable differences — between the Gov. Brown of 2011 and the governor Californians first saw 36 years ago.
Bob Deis has been Stockton city manager for less than a year. Since coming on board last June, Deis has faced numerous challenges, most notably finding a solution to the city’s enormous budget shortfall and looming pension obligations. We sat down with him recently to discuss some of those issues and his plans to revitalize Stockton’s business climate.
Many outsiders watching the Capital Region legal scene may feel like they need a scorecard to keep track of attorneys. But, save for a few notable shifts and a historic closure, local lawyers are following suit of other businesses in a recession: hunkering down and staying put.
Economically, 2011 may go down as a year with a split personality. Sacramento is looking at a much different year than most of the country. Small businesses face a more divergent climate than large companies. Even among small businesses, many have more confidence in their own prospects than in the economy as a whole.
Commercial developers hit hard by the drop in property prices are looking at development impact fees to soften the blow to their bottom lines.