A Holiday and New Year Message from CSAC President John Gioia
Dear CSAC Members and County Colleagues all over California,
Please let me take a few minutes of your time and attention to wish you and yours a very happy and fulfilling holiday season. Whatever your traditions may be and however you celebrate, this is a time of year to be thankful, to reflect on the past, and to ponder where we are going in the coming year. These may be personal reflections, but for us in public service, it’s also important to take stock of the communities we serve and ask ourselves how can we do better?
Personally, I am very honored and proud, but also humbled, by the trust and faith you have placed in me when you elected me President of CSAC last month. Our Immediate Past President David Finigan is the epitome of a dedicated public servant. He serves his constituents in Del Norte County with energy and intellect, and he brings those same qualities to statewide issues in his work with CSAC. I know I have a big pair of shoes to fill.
For California Counties, what a difference a year can make. We started 2013 negotiating with the Governor over the impact of the Affordable Care Act and how to protect state funding for county health care and public health programs. Now the economy is picking up steam and the state is finally showing signs of a stronger recovery from the great recession. It looks like California will begin 2014 with a significant revenue surplus.
The Legislature and Governor will have to strike a balance about how to manage the surplus, but CSAC will be there all the way through the process to make sure they understand the full impact of the decisions they make on the programs and services we deliver. We will need your help in that effort. One thing I have learned from the past couple of years as a CSAC Officer is that the Governor and Legislature truly value local elected officials, the work we do, and the perspective we bring to the process. When CSAC staff calls, whether it’s about the budget or some other issue, I hope you can respond with your time, attention and insight to help counties continue to speak with a strong, clear and unified voice.
The work we do is important and it often takes us away from family and friends, but the reasons we chose public service can often be found closer to home, in the hopes and dreams we have for our families, friends and communities. So for now, spend some precious time with loved-ones and enjoy the bounty of the season. Hopefully in that experience you will find a renewed sense of commitment and dedication to public service to begin 2014.
John Gioia serves as President of the California State Association of Counties and is a Contra Costa County Supervisor.
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