The annual event is designed to give newly elected city officials the information and skills they need to successfully lead their cities, including state-required AB 1234 Ethics Training.
League Officers Met with State Leaders
League President and Scotts Valley Council Member Stephany Aguilar along with League First Vice President and Rancho Cucamonga Mayor L. Dennis Michael met with the Assembly leaders on Wednesday, as well as a number of legislators and representatives from Gov. Jerry Brown’s Administration and the offices of the Senate’s leadership.
The officers used the opportunity to continue building strong relationships with state lawmakers and communicate the League’s priority issues for 2015. Included in the meetings was Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). The officers used the meetings to share the League’s strategic priorities
, which address the need for new economic development tools, additional funding for transportation, continued pension reform, and other priorities.
New Mayors and Council Members’ Academy Sessions Engage Newly Elected City Officials
The New Mayors and Council Members’ Academy is traditionally a well-attended training, but this year brought record numbers of new mayors and council members to the event. Due to the event being sold out, for the first time, the League also offered the sessions via telecast
The conference sessions cover a wide range of policy topics and city council procedures. One of the most popular sessions occurred on Thursday when expert city attorneys conduct a skit contrasting the wrong and right ways to conduct city council meetings.
Ventura Council Member and League Mayors and Council Members’ Department President Neal Andrews began the first session on Wednesday morning by welcoming the 400-plus newly elected city officials to Sacramento. He urged them to become involved in the League.
Dan Carrigg, the League’s senior director of legislative affairs, gave an overview of the League’s powerful advocacy efforts and stressed how the organization is successful through the engagement of California’s mayors and council members. “City officials are the cornerstone of our political strength. You are our leaders,” Carrigg told the audience.
Following Carrigg’s remarks, the League’s other five lobbyists briefed the audience on their core policy areas. Assistant Legislative Director Jennifer Whiting also introduced the League’s team of regional public affairs managers who work on the ground in the League’s 16 divisions.
League President Aguilar’s comments to the new mayors and council members focused on the League’s now 117-year history and the core mission to protect and strengthen local control. Aguilar, who has served on the Scotts Valley City Council for more than 18 years, stressed how integral city officials to League policy development. She also congratulated them on their recent election by saying: “You are embarking on an adventure of a lifetime.”
Other session topics include:
- Legislative advocacy and key city issues;
- Legal powers and obligations;
- Land use planning;
- City council-city manager relationship;
- Communications and new media;
- Local government finance; and
- Ethics and the law.
On Friday morning, the Institute for Local Government, the nonprofit research affiliate of the League and the California State Association of Counties, provided ethics training to the newly elected officials. AB 1234 requires that all newly elected and appointed officials must receive this training on specific ethics laws and principles within one year of becoming a public servant. This year’s training was conducted by Mike Martello, a retired attorney who practiced municipal and ethics laws for nearly 25 years. He also served as chair of the League’s City Attorneys’ Department’s Fair Practices Campaign Committee.
Policy Committees Take Up Legislative Proposals for New Session
Thursday and Friday of this week, the League’s eight policy committees held meetings in Sacramento to take up newly proposed policies and legislation. Each day began with a legislative briefing and state budget update from League Executive Director Chis McKenzie, League Senior Director of Legislative Affairs Dan Carrigg, Michael Coleman, the League’s fiscal consultant, and other League lobbyists.
Information and agendas
are available on the League’s website.