News from the Institute for Local Government
October 2021
A Message From ILG's CEO & Executive Director
In October -– the season of ghosts and ghouls -- we often think of those unknown things that go bump in the night. In this special Halloween-themed ILG newsletter, we’re taking that a step further. This month, we’re exploring some of the things that cause local government leaders to stop in their tracks, raise their eyebrows and sometimes scream.

Our updates today are all about the issues and challenges that are keeping us up at night. From RHNA housing goals, to public engagement challenges, to polarization on your council or in your community. Below we’ve outlined a few of the issues we know are causing some distress among local government leaders. Through the education, training, news and updates, we hope you find just the right blend of tricks and treats.
Happy Halloween from all of us at ILG!

Erica L. Manuel
CEO & Executive Director
Board Member Spotlight: Sue Novasel
Supervisor, El Dorado County
What are some of the biggest threats your county is facing right now? What’s keeping you up at night?

Probably the biggest hurdle right now is what I would label as the “polarization” of our local government (and yes, it keeps me up at night!).

Next year will mark my 20th year in politics – and I have to say that I have never seen the degree of partisan leveraging as I see today in my county. It is very difficult to collaborate and/or build consensus on any given day if there is pressure pulling our members to one side or the other. It is stifling our ability to get anything done and it has become extremely frustrating.

What recommendations do you have for local leaders to remain personally and professionally resilient during times of crisis?

What has kept me sane for the past 2 years, bouncing from one crisis to another, is by maintaining a good balance between personal and professional time. “Family First” has been my mantra – that includes family and friends....
EVENT: 2021 California Land Use Law & Policy Conference
Thursday, November 18, 2021
8:30 a.m - 5:30 p.m.
If you are concerned about housing and land use issues, ILG Partner BB&K is co-sponsoring the California Land Use Law & Policy Conference. This one-day virtual event focuses on land use law and policy shifts that may impact your practice, municipality or organization. The event features critical, evolving topics and knowledgeable presenters, including BB&K Partner and Conference Co-Chair Lauren Langer and Of Counsel Todd Leishman. Lauren and Todd will discuss the housing supply crisis, permit streamlining, SB 330, SB 9 and more.

  • Lauren Langer, Partner, BB&K, Conference Co-Chair
  • Todd Leishman, Of Counsel, BB&K
WEBINAR: New Housing Laws, Programs & Funding
Thursday, November 4, 2021
2:00 p.m.
With the close of the legislative session, there are many new regulations that will impact local land use authority and the tools available to you to meet the housing needs in your community. To help you navigate these new requirements and opportunities, ILG and our partners the Department of Housing and Community Development, the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties will provide an update on new housing laws and regulations, programs and funding that will impact housing development.

  • Chris Lee, Legislative Representative, California State Association of Counties
  • Sohab Mehmood, Housing Policy Specialist, Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Jason Rhine, Assistant Legislative Director, League of California Cities

Moderated by Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government
This webinar is hosted by ILG in partnership with:
UPDATE: Upcoming American Rescue Plan Reporting Deadline
Extended to 2022 for Cities

The U.S. Department of the Treasury extended the first State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Project and Expenditure Report reporting deadline to next year. The funds, which were provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), originally had an Oct. 31, 2021 reporting deadline. 

Award recipients now have until Jan. 31, 2022, to submit their Project and Expenditure Report. As a result, the report must cover the period between the award date and Dec. 31, 2021. For non-entitlement cities — local governments typically serving a population under 50,000 — the report is due on April 30, 2022, and will need to cover the period between the award date and March 31, 2022.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is expected to provide further instructions at a later date, including an update to existing guidance and a user guide.
ARTICLE: Is Proposition 172 Funding Something to Worry About?
Proposition 172 is the byproduct of California budget deficits (always a scary thing) and the resulting Education Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF). Simply put, ERAF shifted property tax dollars away from local governments to shore up school funding. As a backfill measure, voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 1993 dedicated to local public safety – Proposition 172. ILG Partner HdL Companies provides an overview of this important legislation.
REMINDER: Annual Debt Transparency Reporting Deadline

A reminder from the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) that an Annual Debt Transparency Report (ADTR) must be filed with CDIAC by January 31st of each year following the end of the reporting period during which the debt settled. For the 2020-21 reporting period, the filing deadline is January 31st, 2022.
WEBINAR: Equitable Funding Strategies for Local Government
Centering equity and engagement in public agency budgeting and funding allocations
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.
Equity is a top concern for local governments everywhere, particularly for leaders of diverse communities who are striving to increase participation from historically disadvantaged populations. Developing policies and programs that achieve equitable outcomes can be a challenge.

This is especially true when it comes to budgeting and fund allocation processes with programs like the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Many local agencies are wondering how to design a process that centers equity and authentically engages the diverse populations most in need of local government services.

In this webinar thought leaders and local agency practitioners will share best practices and examples of how local governments are operationalizing equity discussions to better engage residents in critical steps of public decision-making including:
  • Why local government leaders should lead with equity in mind for community success
  • Best practices in community engagement, including tips for reaching hard-to-reach populations
  • Tools to identify community needs and impacts and keep equity at the forefront when designing for programs like ARPA and other budget-related processes

ILG supports California local governments in advancing equity and public engagement in their communities through peer learning, training and consulting.
This webinar is hosted by ILG in partnership with:
ARTICLE: New Law Offers Local Agencies Relief from
SB 1383 Penalties in 2022

Many local agencies have expressed concern about implementation of SB 1383. Governor Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 619, which enables cities and other local agencies to obtain administrative relief from stiff fines they potentially face if they fail to adopt organic waste disposal reduction measures in compliance with SB 1383 (2016) and CalRecycle’s implementing regulations. This article provided courtesy of ILG Partner Richards Watson Gershon (RWG).
RESOURCE: Join ILG's Free Beacon Program to Help Address
Your Sustainability Challenges
If sustainability and climate issues scare you, consider joining our Beacon program. We accept new members year round and it’s free for your agency. Learn more here. See below for some good news about some of our Beacon cities.
ARTICLE: Piedmont Awarded for Efforts to Reduce Climate Change
Published in the East Bay Times
Residents are trying out carbon-neutral induction cooktops, and the City Council is working toward installing electric vehicle charging stations on Magnolia Avenue through East Bay Community Energy. For a small city, Piedmont has made great strides in sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, receiving 2021 Beacon Spotlight Awards from the Institute for Local Government.

The City also won for sustainability best practices. The grass-roots group Piedmont Connect, founded in 2009, has bolstered the city’s efforts by hosting conservation events to educate and encourage residents to conserve water, household and vehicle emissions.
ARTICLE: City Wins Statewide Award for
Healthy Davis Together Collaboration
Published in the Davis Enterprise
The City of Davis has been recognized for its collaboration with UC Davis on the Healthy Davis Together program.

The City announced it was awarded a Beacon Leadership and Innovation Award by the Institute for Local Government for cross-agency collaboration on a program that helped prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city and coordinated the gradual return of UC Davis students back into the community.

Healthy Davis Together launched in September 2020 and, within a few months, started free, saliva-based testing at multiple locations throughout the city. Just this month, HDT reached the milestone of one million tests conducted, including those from the expanded county project, Healthy Yolo Together.
WEBINAR: Your First Public Meeting – Brown Act Basics 
Friday. November 5, 2021
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Brown Act and Open Meeting Laws are an important part of local governance, but the laws have recently changed and compliance can be complicated.

Overseeing a first public meeting as a municipal attorney can be a daunting experience. One might have read the Brown Act in preparation, but providing legal guidance in real time when in front of the public and media requires alertness to potential pitfalls, political astuteness and confidence.

Join ILG Affiliate Cal Cities for a presentation on Brown Act basics including tips and suggestions through hypotheticals and suggested best practices. This is a joint effort of the Brown Act Committee and the Attorney Development and Succession Committee (Substantive Law Subcommittee) of the City Attorneys Department.

  • Tracy Noonan, City Attorney, City of Thousand Oaks 
  • Noel Doran, Assistant City Attorney, City of Palmdale
  • Thomas Jex, Burke Williams and Sorensen, LLP
  • Cara Silver, Jorgenson, Siegel, McClure & Flegel 

Registration is $50 for Cal Cities Members. Non-members $150. Registration is limited. 
TRAINING: Level Up Your Leadership 
Master your role as an effective elected official & community leader

Virtual Training via Zoom
Monday, December 6 & Monday, December 13, 2021
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Two Evenings!
Being an elected official in local government can be a daunting task. In order to navigate the shifting landscape of local government leadership, elected officials must be equipped to lead through changing, and often challenging, times. If you want to learn how to level up your leadership and master the challenging art of being an effective public servant, register for ILG’s new interactive, virtual leadership training. In this training, you’ll learn tools and strategies to help local government leaders govern more effectively and better engage with fellow electeds, agency staff and the community.

ILG’s training will help you master the art of public service by equipping you with practical governance tools for exceptional leadership and governance.

This comprehensive training is open to -- and specially designed for -- elected leaders from California cities, counties and special districts.

Cost: Just $400 per person.

  • Understand key attributes of high-performing councils and boards
  • Gain practical tools to govern more effectively
  • Learn strategies and techniques to help your agency develop an exceptional council or board
  • Gather effective techniques for public meetings
  • Learn strategies to promote civility and respond to diverse viewpoints
  • Understand various roles and responsibilities of the governing body, your agency’s administrator and staff
  • Explore community engagement strategies and collaborative decision-making processes
  • Share real-world experiences with other elected officials
  • Learn good governance tools and review examples of exceptional leadership
  • Join a cohort of local leaders for peer-to-peer networking and mutual support

Deadline to register: Monday, November 22
ARTICLE: In the Weeds - Live-Streaming City Council 

Implementing streaming of council meetings to any platform will face challenges that are both technical and legal in nature. ILG Partner Tripepi Smith reminds us that approaching implementation warrants serious consultation with information technology staff, your agency’s public information officer and your legal counsel.
VIRTUAL EVENT: Public-Private Partnerships to Engage Communities & Expand Legal Services for Immigrants
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
9:00 a.m - 12:30 p.m.
California is home to 11 million immigrants – over a quarter of the state’s population. While federal debates over legalization and other immigration policies are happening, local governments across California are stepping up to support the security and wellbeing of immigrants in their communities through innovative public-private partnerships.

ILG is committed to building local governments’ capacity to engage the diverse communities they serve. We believe that public-private partnerships can help serve communities, bridge sectors and achieve greater impact and equity.

ILG is pleased to co-host a virtual event with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), Grove Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation to bring local governments and foundations together to learn about the needs of California’s immigrant communities and examples of new partnerships between local government and philanthropy to expand legal services for immigrants. This special event will feature:
  • an overview of immigration statistics
  • a summary of recent research findings 
  • speakers from leading immigration policy institutes, local governments, and foundations, and
  • a small group discussion

This session is designed for local government staff spearheading refugee and immigration programs, elected officials, senior staff at local agencies and philanthropic or private funders interested in learning more about how they can expand immigrant services in their communities. 

  • Ali Saidi, Deputy Public Defender/Immigration Attorney, Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office
  • Nora Preciado, Director, Los Angeles Office of Immigrant Affairs​​​
  • Sally Kinoshita, Deputy Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
  • Tom Wong, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California-San Diego
  • Essey Workie, Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
  • Alison Hamburg, Alison Hamburg Consulting
This webinar is hosted by ILG in partnership with:
WEBINAR: The Delta Variant - Keep Your Residents Informed

The Delta variant has been an unwelcome surprise across the country and local organizations have once again been asked to radically adapt to changing circumstances. Watch this webinar discussion from ILG Partner Bang the Table on the importance of digital-first communication strategies and gathering community feedback during this time.
TRAINING: Public Engagement for Local Government Leaders

Virtual Training via Zoom
Thursday, November 18 & Friday, November 19, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
If public engagement scares you, not to worry! You can still join the ranks of California local government staff and elected officials trained in the TIERS Public Engagement Framework. By popular demand, we’re hosting one more training session in 2021. 

This two-day TIERS training gives you a step-by-step framework that will help you master the public engagement process and build trust in your community. This training will help you operationalize your outreach and engagement efforts in a more sustainable and collaborative way and provide you with resources and digital tools to authentically engage your community.

This comprehensive training is open to any local government agency in California and can apply to a variety of ongoing public engagement initiatives ranging from housing and climate change to budgeting and public safety. Individual contributors and teams are welcome!


  • Learn how to apply the TIERS framework to develop an inclusive and equitable public engagement plan that fits your budget, timelines and public engagement goals. 
  • Learn how to reframe your public engagement messaging by focusing on community values and the benefits of engagement.
  • Learn new strategies and tactics for how to reach and involve traditionally under-engaged residents.
  • Learn how to choose digital tools and platforms that work for your process and your community to get the public input that you need.
  • Learn how to design engaging, fun and dialogue-focused public workshops.
  • Learn from other local governments and what worked in their communities.

Deadline to Register: Friday, November 5
ARTICLE: Hiring the Best While Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Public Sector Workforce

Over the last several years, virtually all levels of government have increasingly recognized the critical link between building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and effectively meeting the needs of the communities they serve—in particular, historically underserved and marginalized communities. ILG Partner Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW) recommends a few key tactics for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in your workforce.
LEADING LOCAL ROUNDTABLE: Operationalizing Equity
Insights and strategies for advancing equity in your local agency and 
your community
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
10:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.

ILG is excited to invite California local government leaders to a special event that explores how best to operationalize equity in local government. Attendees will hear from local jurisdictions that have already embarked on their equity journey. Attendees will also have the chance to connect with each other to share ideas, challenges and successes about their equity journeys. This event is intended for staff and elected officials in cities, counties and special districts across California state. Anyone with an interest in advancing equity in their municipalities should attend.

  • Randi Johl, Director of Legislative Affairs/City Clerk, City of Temecula
  • Rosemary Soto, Management Analyst III, County Administrative Office, Monterey County
  • Scheereen Dedman, County Clerk, Mono County
  • Kelly Gonzalez, Director of Business and Public Affairs, Cosumnes Community Services District
ILG is the non-profit training and education affiliate of Cal Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California Special Districts Association.
EVENT: Cal Cities Seeks Proposals for 2022 Planning Commissioners Academy

The League of California Cities is now seeking session proposals for the Planning Commissioners Academy taking place March 16-18 at the Marriott San Ramon. Take this opportunity to share best practices and innovative approaches to current issues that city planning commissioners are facing. Learn more and submit your proposals here.

Deadline: Monday, November 1
WEBINARS: November Trainings from CSDA
The following webinars and article address topics that can keep our local government leaders, agencies and staff up at night.

EVENT: 2021 CSAC Annual Meeting
Monday, November 29 - Friday, December 3, 2021

CSAC’s 127th Annual Meeting is scheduled for November 29 thru December 3 in Monterey County. This year’s meeting theme, Lighthouse of Leadership, exemplifies the amazing strength and determination that California’s counties have demonstrated as they led, and continue to lead, their communities through the turbulent storms of the pandemic, wildfires and other challenging circumstances to emerge more resilient, connected and strategic. 

Last Day for Registration: November 12, 2021

More News From Our Partners

We came across an interesting article in Slate that highlights an example of one police department in Connecticut that sought to use drones to help flatten the curve in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic—allegedly by using drones equipped with tools that could monitor compliance with social distancing guidance and potential symptoms such as elevated temperature or heart rate. While the police department made clear that the program would not be used over private yards and would not use facial recognition technology, the department faced fierce public outcry and the program was shelved. Read More.

Across California, agencies ranging from cities to school districts are embarking on the 2021 redistricting process. Renne Public Law Group (RPLG) has partnered with geographic information systems and data analytics consultants FLO Analytics (FLO) to guide local agencies through the intricate process. Read more.
Help ILG Continue to Support Local Government

Help ILG continue to support California's cities, counties and special districts by making a donation today. Your tax-deductible contribution to the Institute for Local Government is an investment in helping educate, train and support our local public agencies. Every dollar you give will make a difference in your community.