Recovering From Fiscal Disaster

Listen up, Governor Brown

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.

Feb 1, 2011 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Safety Knot

Cities scrape for police, fire funding

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.

Jan 1, 2011 Christine Calvin

Red Rover, Red Rover

Population shifts call for redistricting

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.

Jan 1, 2011 Tony Quinn

United We Sit

Designers pull government agencies together under one roof

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.

Dec 1, 2010 Robert Celaschi

Growing up Urban

The political climate of land-use planning

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.

Nov 1, 2010 Rich Ehisen

Who Can Govern California?

Meg Whitman has what it takes

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.

Oct 1, 2010 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Working Lunch with Ray Kerridge

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.

Oct 1, 2010 Douglas Curley
(istockphoto.com)

Getting Warmer

Does California need its own climate change policy

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.

Sep 1, 2010 Tony Quinn

Working Lunch with Jeff Starsky

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.

Sep 1, 2010 Douglas Curley
Candidate Ami Bera, an internist and former chief medical officer for Sacramento County, is running against Dan Lungren for Congress.

Election Dissection

How safe is Congressman Dan Lungren

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.

Jun 1, 2010 Tony Quinn