Tuolumne County Administrator Craig Pedro and I are in Sacramento with several hundred city, county, and school board electeds for an historic, first-ever Summit to discuss and strategize how best to “reinvigorate California’s system of governance and restore efficiency, transparency, and accountability.”
The Summit, put on by the Cities Counties Schools (CCS) Partnership (which represents California’s 7,930 local elected officials), is being presided over by our friend CCS Chair/San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon. We are meeting to identify potential solutions to the state’s chronic problems, including deficits, late budgets, and an inability to deal with critical issues such as water, energy, education, and health services.
Local governments, still waiting for the Governor and legislative leadership to announce a budget deal, are extremely concerned about that deal’s impacts on services and local people. We’re hearing that they plan an unprecedented raid on local folk’s revenues – Prop 1A funds, transportation $$, and other “creative” funding responsibility shifts – to partially close the very large budget deficit. That’s not right. So the Summit is about creating a framework for change in the state/local relationship and in how governance and finance work. Reform!
California is ripe for reform. I’d like to know what you think about some of the options we’re debating. None of these have been adopted or embraced by the CCS Partnership yet – they’re all on the table. Tomorrow we’ll get into work groups and see if we can’t prioritize and agree on these and other options. This is by no means a complete list of everything under consideration – but we don’t want to wear you out. Please tell us. What do you think?