County Best Practices: Celebrating National County Government Month

California’s 58 counties are diverse in so many ways: population, geography, demographics, but they do share some commonalities — in that they strive to make a difference for the people they serve, and they do so in some incredibly creative ways. April is National County Government Month – and during this period, CSAC will be spotlighting a dozen innovative programs developed by California counties. Continue reading

The Money Pit

I ran across this article on Sunday, and found it fascinating.

It’s about the federal government’s retirement filing facility, which is housed in an old limestone mine in a small town in Pennsylvania. Yes, federal employees’ retirements are actually processed and stored in a big limestone cave. By hand! Pretty cool, right?

I mean, pretty cool in an “isn’t that crazy”… Continue reading

Tax Performance Continues to Amaze…Mostly

I remember a time, not too long ago, when the State Controller’s monthly report of cash receipts consistently induced shudders, giving us a collective chance to cringe at just how bad the fiscal situation was.

No longer.

Today’s report (narrative version, nerd version) states that California’s three major taxes beat recent estimates by almost a billion dollars, most of that ($721.7 million) due to the income… Continue reading

How to Solve the Special Elections Problem

In a recent Sacramento Bee, the prolific political writer Dan Walters discusses the problem of legislative vacancies and how to fill them, focusing on a proposal by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Senator Steinberg has introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment 16, which would require the Governor to fill legislative vacancies by appointment within 21 days of the vacancy. The appointee would have to be from the same political party… Continue reading

More on Innovation and Smart Risk-Taking Strategies

The conversation about innovation at the local level continues!

As we reported on this blog last year, the Institute for Local Government’s board of directors has been pondering what supports and what dissuades innovation at the local level.

A key disincentive to innovation is the unforgiving attitude both the media and the public can have about new strategies that don’t work… Continue reading