League of California Cities City Managers' Department President’s Report

December 19, 2012

I am very honored and excited to be serving as the City Managers' Department President for the coming year and hope I can build upon the excellent work of our Past President Bruce Channing.


I am also very fortunate to be able to work with an exceptional group of professionals comprising the department’s Executive Officers, they are:

  • President Elect - Anton Dahlerbruch, Rolling Hills city manager
  • Vice President – Marcia Raines, Millbrae city manager
  • Immediate Past President – Bruce Channing, Laguna Hills city manager
  • Department Director* – Bruce Channing, Laguna Hills city manager
  • At-Large Representatives
    • Southern CA under 100,000 Population – Paul Arevalo, West Hollywood city manager
    • Southern CA over 100,000 Population – Ken Striplin, Santa Clarita city manager
    • Northern CA under 100,000 Population – Karen Pinkos, El Cerrito Assistant city manager
    • Northern CA over 100,000 Population – Mark Scott, Fresno city manager

We also have a number of very qualified individuals participating in the department’s committees and tasks forces; information on these groups is available on the City Managers' Department webpage by clicking on the “Who We Are” tab. I want to thank all of you who have volunteered your valuable time to help make the League and our department successful.

Since the League’s annual conference in September, the department’s Executive Officers have been meeting with Chris McKenzie and his staff, participating in and monitoring the Board of Director’s actions, and talking to our members to better understand the issues that are important to them. It is clear that there is a lot to be done in the coming year as our cities continue to struggle with the effects of the recession, the loss of redevelopment and the impact of state budgetary and legislative actions, including pension reform. More than ever our members need assistance in interpreting and implementing these significant measures.

Traditionally the department’s activities for the coming year are outlined in the annual work plan. This year the development of the work plan, which began at the Department Executive Committee meeting in July, has been an evolving process due to the dynamic fiscal and political environment we are experiencing. While the effects of the recession on cities continue to linger, the passage of Proposition 30 and the reality of a Legislature with a Democratic majority, promises to keep things interesting and lively in Sacramento. It is important that the League and the City Managers' Department have a clear agenda and message that we can collectively deliver to our members, stakeholders and most importantly state legislators. The annual work plan is available on the “Resources” tab of the City Managers' Department webpage.

As you can see, the focus of the work plan is on adjusting to the significant changes we have experienced and taking advantage of the new opportunities that are developing. To accomplish this, an aggressive outreach and engagement effort with our members will be pursued. This includes resurrecting the quarterly department e-newsletter, building stronger communication links between our Area Manager Groups and the League’s Regional Public Affairs Managers and developing an integrated feedback process between League staff, the Executive Officers, and our Area Manager Groups. Also, enhancing communication and increasing collaboration among our partner associations such as Cal-ICMA, CCMF, MMANC, MMASC and others is critical to support our members. We are seeing an increasing number of first-time city managers who may not be familiar with the resources and support that our organizations can provide. It is important that we reach out to them and our Area Manager Groups are central to accomplishing this.

The department work plan is closely aligned with the League Board of Director’s strategic goals for 2013, which are the foundation for all League activities for the coming year. For more information on the board’s strategic goals see Bruce Channing’s Director’s Report. Finally, the draft League Strategic Initiatives that you recently received from your Regional Public Affairs Manager outlines a comprehensive multi-year advocacy program by the League to expand and protect local control (or home rule) and funding for cities and the vital services they provide. Chris and his staff will be looking to the Area Manager Groups to take a proactive role in soliciting feedback from cities within your region on the Strategic Initiatives prior to them being considered for formal adoption by the Board of Directors. Look for a separate e-mail that I will be sending that will describe the parameters and timeline for review of the Strategic Initiatives.

While it has been a tough few years for local governments, and challenges lay ahead, it is also an exciting time to be in public service. The world as we know it is changing and the actions we take now will have lasting effects on our citizens and their children. It is important that we continue to stay actively engaged in League activities.

© League of California Cities