At the end of 2010, I asked several dozen of our region’s business and thought leaders what advice they would like to give our new governor. Last month, in an open letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, I summarized their thoughts on how the new administration should change important areas of state governance. This month, the same group of local leaders offer ideas on how to recover from our current fiscal disaster.
Cities nationwide have welcomed hoards of elected officials who will have little time to celebrate their appointments before confronting daunting financial challenges. Among Capital Region cities, public safety budgets and all they encompass — cuts, swollen pensions, potential new fees, layoffs and department closures — have become the most contentious load to bear.
The most important political event for the Central Valley in 2011 will be the April release of new California population figures by the U.S. Census Bureau. For the first time in our history, the state is growing no faster than the nation.
California’s $25 billion — and growing — budget deficit tends to grab headlines, but most of the real pain is felt at the local level where cities and counties struggle to deliver services to residents.
If you’ve ever had to plan an office move, or even live through one, consider the challenge of doing 10 to 20 at the same time. That’s the task facing architects, construction companies and interior designers when governments consolidate far-flung operations under a single roof.
For decades, devising a clear solution for California’s suburban sprawl and ensuing car culture has been the Holy Grail for smart-growth advocates. One trip on any of the Golden State’s perpetually clogged roadways during peak hours shows how ineffective most of those efforts have been.
No political leader can work magic, though virtually all who campaign for public office talk as if he or she can. Our current governor came in as an outsider promising change but had limited success, at least partly because he never learned to work effectively with the Legislature.
There’s a lot of legal hubbub in California surrounding Property-Assessed Clean Energy programs. Also known as PACE, the programs could be headed for troubled waters.
Given the current economics of local government, one might think it’s the perfect time to flee to the private sector. Not so for Ray Kerridge.
In 2006 the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger enacted the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The objective of the act was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020 and further reduce emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. The California Air Resources Board is charged with implementing the regulations.
It has been almost a year since California lawmakers reached an agreement on the most comprehensive overhaul of the state’s water management system in more than four decades.
Critiquing the federal government is something I usually consider outside my bailiwick. After all, what can I do sitting here in my Sacramento office to influence the actions of our president and Congress?
As mayor of Folsom, Jeff Starsky says it’s his job to keep people thinking positive and keep consumer confidence high. As far as his city is concerned, he seems to be doing a good job.
If lawmakers follow through on pending legislation in Washington, it could mean a boost for business for Capital Region credit unions.
It’s too soon to tell whether health insurance brokers are an endangered species on the cusp of going the way of the Dodo or, more recently, the travel agent.
For years, the debate over climate change centered almost exclusively on science: Is global warming occurring, and if so, are humans causing it? But with the economy still struggling, the argument has shifted to one of dollars and cents.
Smaller landfills, fewer forest fires and more renewable energy — these are just a few perks California would get from increasing biomass energy, some experts say.
Sometimes success is about seeing the potential of a hole in the ground. Well, it also takes a lot of meetings too; just ask the guys who turned the gravel pit on Power Inn Road into what is now Granite Regional Park.
South of Mather Airport is a grassy field popular with nature lovers and school field trips, particularly in the spring when the vernal pools are in bloom.
Two years ago, I wrote in this column saying that Republican Congressman Dan Lungren might be in trouble in the November 2008 election. It seemed like a stretch at the time. Lungren had won re-election in 2006 with 59.5 percent of the vote against a weak Democrat, emergency room physician Bill Durston. However, a look at party registration trends showed that the district was trending Democratic. By 2008, the large registration edge enjoyed by Republicans this decade had all but disappeared.