Mr. Conklin received the honor today during the opening General Session of the League’s 2014 Annual Conference and Expo in Los Angeles.
The League Past Presidents’ Council annually elects an individual whose contributions over a lifetime of public service have been extraordinary. Hal Conklin has devoted his life to serving his community in the largest sense of the word community. He’s not only served on Santa Barbara’s City Council from 1977 to 1994, but Hal has been instrumental in numerous organizations both locally in Santa Barbara and statewide all engaged in strengthening communities.
During Hal’s tenure on the Santa Barbara City Council, he also served for 10 years as co-director of the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara. This organization is one of the largest environmental teaching centers in the nation and during Hal’s tenure in the 1970s, helped launch California’s recycling movement. Hal served as the founder and president of the California Center for Civic Renewal, an organization with a mission to renew and inspire participation in local democracy.
In addition to his involvement with the League of California Cities, where he was president in 1991-1992, and helped create the League Partner Program, Hal represented California on the National League of Cities (NLC) board of directors and was vice president in 1993-1994. In his NLC role, Hal and a team of colleagues traveled in 1991 to Lithuania, Lativa and Estonia to establish the Baltic League of Cities and to teach civic education to more than 300 newly-elected local officials in those recently freed countries.
Currently Hal serves on the board of directors of a wide variety of nonprofit organizations including: Institute for Local Government, Green Seal, Eden Reforestation Projects, USA Green Communities, Environmental Media Association, Free Methodist Church/USA, Center for Transformational Leadership, Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and Turn the Page Uganda.
Hal exemplifies a true public servant, a person who has made it his life’s work to improve their community in the largest sense of what defines community. It is this focus and dedication that garners Hal the League’s Past Presidents’ Council’s recognition as the recipient of the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
League Immediate Past President Bill Bogaard presented Mr. Conklin with the award and congratulated him on his achievement. “Our cities have benefited from the foundations created by our fellow colleagues and their dedication to civic services. The hallmark of Hal’s career is his ability to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to local government on numerous fronts. We are honored that he has worked tirelessly to support civic engagement and advance the League’s strategic priorities. His commitment to the future of cities and their communities shows a true passion for public service.”
The League’s Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1996 and is given annually to an individual who has made a significant and unique contribution to the state or his or her community over an extended period of years. Preference is given to nominees with close ties to cities; however, nominees may also be selected from the categories of local government leaders, academics/teachers, authors, media producers, community leaders and state or national leaders.