Local News RoundUp
The Local News RoundUp is the League's daily news clipping service of articles related to California cities and local government.
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October 17, 2014
ELECTIONS & REDISTRICTING
Proposal to Move Los Angeles Elections Passes Key Committee (Southern California Public Radio)
A Los Angeles City Council committee Friday recommended moving city elections to coincide with presidential and gubernatorial races to increase voter turnout.
PARKING & TRAFFIC SERVICES
Santa Monica City Council Bans Controversial Parking Business (Santa Monica Lookout)
With little discussion and no opposition, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday that effectively prevents the controversial business MonkeyParking from operating in Santa Monica.
L.A. City Council Says No to Parking Auctions Apps (Los Angeles Business Journal)
Los Angeles City Council voted 11-0 to draft a measure that would ban the sale of public parking spots through smartphone apps.
“This is extortion masquerading as the sharing economy,” Councilman Mike Bonin, who chairs the council’s transportation committee, said in a statement. “The idea that individuals could personally profit from seizing and selling public parking spaces is just wrong, and we’re taking action to stop these parking pimps.”
JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Repeal of San Diego’s Planned Minimum Wage Boost Qualifies for Ballot (Los Angeles Times)
A petition drive by San Diego business leaders hoping to repeal a planned boost in the local minimum wage has qualified the issue for the ballot.
The City Council approved the increase by a 6-3 vote in July and then voted to override a veto by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Workforce Education Grants May Not Dry Up After This Year (Sacramento Business Journal)
Educators across the Sacramento region and California are embarking on an ambitious program this year to transform high schools into industry incubators that offer students technical training in sectors related to the local economy. The future of these programs is uncertain because the funding could run dry. But legislative Democrats are beginning to make a stand for permanent funding.
Prop. 47 Triggers Strong Emotions in Region (Roseville & Granite Bay Press Tribune)
Proponents say the initiative will cut down on prison spending, allowing the saved dollars to be used to support public education, victims, mental health and drug treatment. However, opponents are worried that voters will misunderstand the terminology of “non-serious and nonviolent” crimes, which could threaten the safety of communities.
TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
SANDAG Approves Final 2014 Regional Transportation Improvement Program (Village News)
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) approved the final 2014 Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP).
A 15-0 SANDAG board vote Sept. 26, with representatives from four cities absent, approved the RTIP which will cover fiscal years 2015 through 2019 and will include approximately $12.6 billion of projects funded by federal, state, local, and private sources.
SLO’s Water Use Didn’t Jump 26 Percent After All, Officials Say (San Luis Obispo Tribune)
A clerical error by the city of San Luis Obispo led to an inaccurate report by the state that the city’s water use surged 26 percent in August compared to the same month last year, city officials say, noting that usage actually declined by 9 percent that month.
Groundwater Laws Flow Down to County Level (The Californian)
New laws require counties to develop special agencies to regulate groundwater pumping and develop plans to maintain sustainable water use, including the power to limit extraction. But what is that going to look like in Monterey County with its billions of dollars in irrigated crops?
Judge Rejects Environmental Suits Over Sacramento Kings Arena (Sacramento Bee)
A judge handed the Sacramento Kings and the city of Sacramento a complete victory today, dismissing a pair of environmental lawsuits aimed at derailing the $477 million downtown arena project.
L.A. Sued by Two Companies Over Rejection of Solar Array Plan (Los Angeles Times)
Two out-of-state companies are suing Los Angeles after their plan to install an array of 3,500 solar cells on the northeast edge of the San Fernando Valley was thwarted by a local commission.
REVENUE & TAXATION / MUNICIPAL FINANCE
Financial Tightrope: Guadalupe Looks to DJ Farms and Increasing Taxes as the Keys to Fixing the City’s Financial Woes (Santa Maria Sun)
Candidates spoke about Guadalupe’s financial situation, the potential of becoming unincorporated, and how to keep Guadalupe an official city. The noise of their words bounced into the old, arched, empty hallway and up into the eaves. Their sound bites were echoes of a city struggling to stay solvent and residents dreaming about Guadalupe fulfilling the potential it’s held for decades.
Mining Tax Could be an End, rather than a Beginning (Banning Record Gazette)
A proposed 80-cent tax on sand and gravel, which are ingredients for batch companies that turn it into concrete, targets Roberton’s, Goeyvaerts says. “When they pick grapes in the central valley, those aren’t taxed at the field. They’re taxed when they’re sold,” she says. According to her, their ingredients for Robertson’s Ready Mix aren’t sold within Banning, and feels it is unfair to the end consumer to have it taxed now as it leaves the site, and then added to the cost of the concrete when it’s sold in markets, and taxed again.
Election 2014: Road Revenue Questions on Multiple California Town Ballots (Land Line)
Ballots in communities up and down the state of California include questions about raising revenue for roads.
Moreno Valley: Synthetic Drugs Banned in City (Riverside Press-Enterprise)
Moreno Valley is joining a growing number of Inland cities in banning the sale of so-called synthetic drugs such as bath salts.
The City Council on Tuesday night approved an ordinance on a 3-0 vote to bar the possession, display, sale or storage of synthetic drugs that are marketed as bath salts, incense or potpourri. It takes effect in about a month.
Proposed S.F. Law Would Put Solar Panel on Nearly Every Roof (San Francisco Gate)
San Francisco could soon require solar panels on most new construction in the city and push owners of existing apartment buildings to plant photovoltaic arrays on their roofs.
OPEN GOVERNMENT & TRANSPARENCY
PD Editorial: Open Forum on Santa Rosa Council Openness (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Should the Santa Rosa City Council release agendas and council packets at least two days earlier than it does now to give the public more time to review items before they go to a vote?
Martinez: Council Passes Resolution Calling for Safer Crude by Rail (Contra Costa Times)
City leaders urged state and federal agencies this week to prioritize rail safety above cost savings regarding moving crude oil by rail through their city. But it's a move environmental groups and some candidates running in the upcoming November election call weak, and say city officials need to work harder to stop crude oil from rolling through Martinez.
When Uber and Airbnb Meet the Real World (New York Times)
The regulatory woes seem to be never ending for the newest wave of tech start-ups — the on-demand apps that connect people who need something (a driver, a house cleaner, a grocery shopper) with people who want to do the job.
On Thursday, the New York State attorney general said most Airbnb listings in the city violated zoning and other laws. Officials in California and Pennsylvania recently warned car services like Uber and Lyft that they might be unlawful. And workers’ rights advocates have questioned whether the people who provide these services should receive benefits, spurred by recent reports that some Homejoy house cleaners are homeless.
IN OTHER CITY NEWS
S.F. Treasurer Works to Help Families Struggling Financially to Improve Credit Scores (San Francisco Gate)
Last year’s Chronicle story about a homeless San Francisco family who almost lost a housing opportunity because of a tiny amount of debt and the resulting bad credit hit San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros and other city officials hard.
Now, his office is working to make sure other families living on the financial edge don’t lose their homes and instead, can climb their way out of poverty.