The County Voice

CSAC Institute Rolls Out Distinguished Faculty

Since its inception in 2009, the CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government has made it a priority to attract quality faculty to teach our courses. At no time is this more apparent than in our upcoming August courses, which focus on three timely subjects: pensions, social services and county finances. The course instructors read like a “who’s who” of issue experts. 

For the Aug. 20 “Understanding County Social Services” course, the Institute has assembled two of the state’s leading experts on county social services to serve as faculty: Grantland Johnson and Chet Hewitt. They are sure to generate a stimulating conversation on current and future social services in California. As you may know, Grantland Johnson is the former Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency for the State of California. He previously served in the Clinton Administration as a Regional Director of HHS, and served as a member of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, Chet Hewitt is the President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation, a private philanthropy based in Sacramento.  He previously served as director of the Alameda County Social Services Agency and as director of the state Department of Children and Family Services. Earlier Chet served as an associate director of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York.  These two gentlemen have an enormous amount of experience and insight on the issue of county social services. 

But our distinguished faculty in August doesn’t stop there. The Aug. 12 course titled “Retirement and OPEB: Keeping the County Afloat” features pension expert John Bartel, who has more than 35 years of employee benefits experience in pension and retiree healthcare consulting, serving over 250 California public sector clients. John specializes in OPEB plan valuation, study and design, and helping clients understand actuarial, accounting and regulatory issues. He is a member of the California Actuarial Advisory Panel, appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in January 2010. This is a great opportunity to receive insight on how county retirement systems and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) impact county finances. 

And Diane Cummins, former Chief Fiscal Policy Advisor to the Senate President pro tem, is back to teach the ever-popular course “Financing California Counties: The History of Funding Sources,” on Aug. 6. Diane’s previous courses have been very highly rated. 

We urge you to take a look at these – and other – Institute courses. You will be learning about vital, timely issues and their relationship to county government in a manner you can’t receive anywhere else. To learn more, visit the Institute’s Web site at You’ll be glad you did.

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