I had the pleasure of spending a day last week behind the scenes at the State Fair and getting an up-close look at the County Exhibits. Wandering through these exhibits has always been one of my favorite parts of the Fair – even before I joined the CSAC team. And I’m not alone; the displays are a perennial favorite, attracting hundreds of thousands of fairgoers each year. Continue reading
If you are traveling this long holiday weekend, be prepared for a bumpy ride. California’s highways rank 47th in the nation, according to an annual report released today by the Reason Foundation. In fact, the Golden State has ranked in the bottom 10 every year since 2000.
That comes as no surprise. Back in March, we wrote a blog posting titled “A Jarring Fact: Our Local Streets and Roads are Quickly Deteriorating.” This piece focused on the 2012 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Study that concluded the majority of California counties have an average pavement condition rating that is considered “at risk.” Continue reading
When people say that government agencies should be run more like a business, I suspect what they really mean is that government should use more efficient processes that result in better customer service. That’s what Sacramento County is now offering through a change of technology and process in their Cal-Fresh Service Center.
Under the old “case based” model, when someone applied for Cal-Fresh benefits, they were assigned to a case-worker who was in charge of that file. When you had questions, needed to make some changes or had any other reason to contact the program, you had to talk to your case-worker. That model worked because that one person gets to know his or her cases over time, but with growing case loads and limited budgets, the old way became unwieldy and inflexible. Continue reading
Riverside County covers more than 7,000 square miles, and includes some of the most sparsely populated landscape in the state. Keeping a county that big clean isn’t always easy, but Riverside County has a long-running jail inmate work program to pick up trash and maintain the landfills. It helps keep the roadsides clean and the inmates get some much-needed activity. But a few years ago, Riverside County, like many in the state and across the country, found itself in a very tight budget situation. Money for minor construction and other small projects at the landfills had to be redirected to other priorities — and many of those projects were languishing. That’s when county leaders realized they might just have an untapped asset. What if you could expand the inmate program to include some of these other activities, as well as the typical trash clean up? Continue reading
There is a great deal of angst among the press regarding a provision in AB 76, a budget trailer bill that establishes certain procedural activities associated with the California Public Records Act (CPRA) as “best practices” and require a local agency that determines that it will not follow these practices to make a public announcement of that fact at its next regularly scheduled public meeting. Over the past few… Continue reading