With just a week to go before election day, a new Field Poll shows Prop 98 supported by a scant 33% of voters. View fuller details on the poll here, and please remember how critical this issues come next Tuesday. Get thh facts on Prop 98 here.
Amidst all the recent talk of local government salaries, the issue is equally under the microscope at the state level in this year of close budget scrutiny. The SF Chron lays the long list of state workers making over $200k a year at the Governor's door. Schwarzenegger is called out for having promised to cut inefficiencies and waste of state government as part of his popular "blowing up the boxes" campaign in the Recall.
Read the full story, which includes an online reader poll on the issue of high government salaries, and of course, a searchable database.
How friendly is your city? Not as friendly as Davis... evidently. The NorCal city was listed as one of the five "friendliest" cities in America, see video below. Davis was the only California city to make the list, which "looked for certain standards like safety, diversity, pedestrian and bike friendliness, as well as the presence of parks and public spaces."
MSNBC also noted that unique elements factored in, such as one anecdote about a Nashville practise of "striking up a conversation with you while waiting at a red light." This sounds like a carjacking to us, but then again it's been awhile since we've been to Davis (go Aggies!).
An incident of a young woman in Detroit speaking truth to power is turning into a national story this month. Early in May, an 8th grade student named Kierra Bell called out Detroit Councilwoman Monica Conyers (wife of U.S. Congressman John Conyers) for referring to a council colleague as "Shrek" in an exchange on the dais. Detroit is already embroiled in scandal owing to inappropriate text messages between the mayor and one of his aides, and this incident speaks legions about the public dissatisfaction with its elected leaders.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription only, so no link) carried a front page story Tuesday praising Ms. Bell for her courage and fortitude in the exchange with Councilwoman Conyers.
The video below walks you through both the original name calling incident and the subsequent debate between Conyers and Bell. Scary to think that the schoolyard behavior happened in council chambers.
A concerned resident, Jeff Peckman, in this Colorado town is asking the city council to make plans for the unlikely event that space aliens come to their town."It is important because if you're driving down the highway and you saw a crash of a small spaceship and a car or a bus full of kids, you really wouldn't know what to do," Peckman said Thursday. "Do you wait for the hazardous materials experts to show up because of potential contaminants from another solar system? What do you do? People really don't know."
The TODAY show also compiled a list of the 100 best places to live. 23 california cities made the list - an impressive number that, at our last count, topped every other state in the country with this many cities.
Perhaps even better news - no California city was listed on the 10 worst places to live.
Join colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion
on current and future issues facing public retirement in California.
The event, sponsored by the Public Retirement Journal, is set
for Wednesday, June 25 at the Le Rivage Hotel in Sacramento. Keynote
Speaker Anne Sheehan, a member of the State Personnel Board (SPB), was
recently appointed to the PERS Board. She has also served as the
Executive Director of the Public Employee Post-Employment Benefits
Commission. Visit www.publicretirementjournal.org for more information.
A code enforcement officer in Glendale is profiled as "trailblazer of sorts" in an LA Times article outlining his city's battle against loose shopping carts. CCN readers might recall a guest piece we ran last year by Frank Simpson of the Petaluma360 blog, in which that city blogger outlined his city's Shopping Cart Depository Blues. Both pieces are worth a read if your city is blighted with "unsightly trolleys."
The No. County Times carried an in-depth piece over the weekend on several cities attempts to meet demanding requirements for affordable housing. The assessments were handed down by SCAG, the regional planning authority in much of Southern California, indeed the largest such body in the country.
SCAG has come under fire from a number of fronts lately, most notably perhaps Irvine's suit challenging a RHNA assessment that would force the city to construct 35,660 units—almost 44 percent of the new homes mandated across Orange County--in just 7 years. A recent leadership change (being received rather favorably in the circles CCN travels amongst) could stem the unrest, but the message is fairly clear that cities are begin stretched far too this by state mandates and unreasonable regional assessments.
A front page story in the LA Times Monday detailed mounting unrest in the city of Needles, prompting some residents to suggest seceding to Nevada or Arizona, just over the Colorado River.
Needles, the pastoral home of Snoopy's cousin Spike (pictured at left), rests over 220 miles from the San Bernardino County seat. It is years of neglect -- real or perceived -- from the county that has Needles residents crying foul. One council member quoted in the piece laments: "Have you been downtown? It's like little Hiroshima. It's HiroNeedles."
Secession to neighboring state is a tall order (the U.S. Congress would have to approve), but the clear traction around the idea says enough about the city's struggle to survive. Situated along historic Route 66, Needles has watched nearby cities across the border boom with new development, casinos and other enticements.