Today the League and California’s cities commended Dan Harrison, the organization’s director of Administrative Services, for a remarkable 40-year career.
Dan spent his entire career at the League and held a wide variety of positions within the organization, giving him an unmatched level of expertise. The League board of directors, on April 24, passed a resolution honoring Dan on his retirement and gave him a standing ovation as it was presented.
Dan came to the League on Aug. 20, 1973 after graduating with his master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University. Early in his tenure at the League he spearheaded the organization’s information services department. His leadership created the League’s library, which was a valuable and indispensable information source for city officials for more than 30 years.
It is impossible to list all of the capacities in which Dan served the League and the cities of California, however there are a few that can’t go without being mentioned. He prudently and effectively managed the League’s financial resources first as the director of finance and special project director and most recently in his current role as director of administrative services.
Under Dan’s leadership, the League was instrumental in the launch of the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA), which provides tax-exempt financing for local agencies, nonprofits and manufacturers. He also played a significant role in the formation and success of the U.S. Communities cooperative purchasing program through which public agencies save significantly through cooperative purchasing and assisted in the organization of CalTRUST, a public funds investment program for local agencies. The League board of directors appointed Dan interim executive director in 1999 during a transition in executive directors.
Dan remarked numerous times that he was honored to work with the League’s Past Presidents’ Council, which annually recognizes an individual that has made a unique contribution to California or his/her community. He not only worked with the council, but also coordinated its Lifetime Achievement Award presentation during the League’s annual conference.
Over the years Dan also staffed a number of departments, committees and divisions including: the Revenue and Taxation Policy Committee, Fiscal Officers’ Department, Central Valley Division, Annual Conference Resolution Process, Total Compensation Information Service for Cities, SB 90 (Unfunded Mandates) Service, the Mayors and Council Members Newsletter, City Managers Newsletter, California Cities’ Financing Corporation, California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, and California Municipal Treasurers Association.
Upon Dan’s retirement, League Executive Director Chris McKenzie praised his incredible service. “It has been an honor and a privilege to call Dan Harrison my colleague. His integrity and dedication to the League and the cities we serve is unsurpassed. I congratulate Dan on his retirement and wish him the best in the future. Dan’s impact on the League will be felt for generations.”
Because Dan has had such an array of responsibilities at the League, he has also served as the organization’s institutional memory. There are only a handful of others that worked for the League as long as Dan Harrison. He not only has mastery of the League’s finances but has deep knowledge of League policy, statewide policy affecting cities, and how the various parts of the League work individually and together within the organization and throughout California.
In retirement, Dan plans to spend more time with his wife Janice, their six children and 26 grandchildren as well as remain extremely active with his church and in the community. The League congratulates Dan on his outstanding record of personal and professional achievement and for his dedicated service to California cities and city officials.
Norman Coppinger, who has been with the League for 25 years, replaces Dan effective June 1.