This year 200 city officials attended the annual three day event designed to give newly elected city officials the information and skills they need to successfully lead their cities.
The conference covers a wide range of policy topics and city council procedures as well as the state-required AB 1234 ethics training. Other sessions focused on:
- Land use planning;
- Legal powers and obligations;
- City council/city manager form of city government;
- Effective meeting running techniques;
- Communications and the new media; and
- Local government finance.
League Senior Director of Legislative Affairs Dan Carrigg welcomed the gathered members on Wednesday morning, introducing them to the League’s advocacy efforts. “You are the cornerstone of our organization and our success politically relies on your engagement,” Carrigg told the audience.
Each of the League’s lobbyists provided a brief overview of their areas, emphasizing the key issues the League sees as priorities for 2016.
League Executive Director Chris McKenzie delivered remarks on how city officials can become part of the League and how League services can help them more effectively serve their communities. “Our prime directive is local control so at the end of the day that is the frame through which we look at all issues.”
The newly elected mayors and council members also learned about the California Road Charge Pilot Program from former League President Jim Madaffer who chairs the California Transportation Commission’s Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee
, which is studying a road usage charge as an alternative to the gas tax. He laid out how the current revenues that fund California’s aging transportation system are inadequate and urged the audience to volunteer
for the pilot program that will help the state determine if a road user charge would work in California.
Thursday’s mock city council skit is always popular with attendees. Expert city attorneys hold a session called City of Dysfunction Junction — How to Conduct an Effective and Respectful City Council Meeting.
League President and Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Dennis Michael addressed the mayors and council members Friday morning. He spoke about his own experience becoming engaged in the League and encouraged the attendees to get involved. “I commend you for your commitment to your city, your attendance at this important training program and your strong support for local control and the values that make our League strong.”
The conference closed Friday with AB 1234 ethics training. Newly elected and appointed city officials are required to receive this training within a year of being elected and then they must go through it every two years following.
League Policy Committees Hold First Meetings of 2016
Also this week in Sacramento, the League’s eight standing policy committees
held their first meetings of the year. League policy committees meet at least three times annually, with some committees meeting during Annual Conference to review proposed resolutions for the General Assembly.
League President Dennis Michael started each day’s joint legislative briefings held before the individual committees took up their business. Welcoming the committee members, President Michael thanked them for their contributions to the League. “The work you do here and the expertise you bring to bear in helping shape policy is deeply valued by me and the other members of the League board of directors.”
The briefings also included a legislative and state budget update by League Senior Director of Legislative Affairs Dan Carrigg and Michael Coleman, the League’s fiscal advisor.
Actions taken by policy committees this week will next go to the League board of directors for review and action. Agendas are available on the League website