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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.