Seeing Counties’ Best Practices First Hand

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days last week in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to learn about four very innovative programs. A few weeks ago I spent a Saturday in Tulare County meeting with teens and learning how one county program is enhancing their lives. Continue reading

Do You Have Trust Issues?

I went to two events this week that I think are worthy of some thought and discussion. The first provided some real insight into how government ought to, and often does work. What I learned at the second event—well, it is cause for concern for anybody connected with government, business, or the news media. And taken together—let’s just say that the content of the second event doesn’t make a lot… Continue reading

The Road Not Paid For

Robert Frost wrote about the Road Not Taken—I will set my literary sights a little lower, and write about the Road Not Paid For.

Two roads diverged in my neighborhood
So sorry we could not pay for both
And be one community long we would
Borrow to pay for them as best we could
And hope that revenue would rise with growth Continue reading

Ripple Effects — Without the Pond

Throw a pebble into a pond and watch the ripples—well, if only we had a pond. The rain that’s fallen on California in the past several days is certainly a welcome change, but it is not enough to reverse the ripple effects of the drought. Average rainfall and reservoir levels are still well below 50 percent of normal up and down the state. The drought has been so severe it may have already caused damage that can’t be undone no matter how much rain we get now. Continue reading

Thoughts of Gifts and Romance This Valentine’s Season

‘Tis the season of roses, chocolates and love.  CSAC’s research affiliate, the Institute for Local Government, is looking at such issues in a decidedly unromantic way on local officials’ behalf.

In a recent piece entitled “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places,” the Institute looks at the downside risks of elected official/staff romances.   The article is available to local officials from the Institute’s website at