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First-Term Supervisors Continue Their Education

June 9, 2017

More than 50 first-term supervisors from Modoc to Imperial Counties are meeting in Sacramento today and tomorrow for the second session of CSAC’s New Supervisors Institute.

The two-day session started off today with presentations on leadership, the county-state fiscal relationship, the county budgeting process and land use.  Attendees also had the opportunity at lunch to hear from Senator Mike McGuire, as well as Assembly Members Frank Bigelow and Mark Stone regarding effective advocacy. All three of the state legislators are former county supervisors and Assembly Member Bigelow served as CSAC President in 2007.

The day kicked off with a presentation by Bill Chiat, Dean of the CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government, which oversees the course. He focused on the “The Art and Practice of Leadership in Governance.” The morning session also included a look at the “County-State Fiscal Relationship” presented by Diane Cummins, Senior Advisor to Governor Brown. 

During lunch, Senator McGuire and Assembly Members Bigelow and Stone candidly discussed a number of issues of importance to California Counties, including transportation, homelessness, PILT and the state budget. 

Senator McGuire, a former Sonoma County Supervisor, stressed the need to get a transportation funding package in place. “I urge you to talk to your members,” he told the attendees. The condition of our streets and roads is “unacceptable for the sixth largest economy in the world.”

The trio urged the new supervisors to get involved on issues and to let their voices by heard in the Capitol.

County Administrators Pat Blacklock, Yolo, and Robert Bendorf, Yuba, continued in the afternoon by providing insight on the county budgeting process. The day is concluding with a presentation on land use by Tim Snellings, Butte County Development Services Director, and Kim Prillhart, Ventura County Planning Director.

County supervisors are finding the Institute to be very useful as the dive into their first year in office. 

“The Institute is incredibly valuable,” explained Calaveras County Supervisor Jack Garamendi. “Counties are incredibly complex. And this Institute helps decode the complexities of this job.”

Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins has already put what she has learned to use. She mentioned that right after she took office, her County experienced significant flooding. Supervisor Hopkins was able to put lessons learned in the Institute’s emergency preparedness session immediately into use.

This week’s session continues tomorrow with the county supervisors sitting down with CSAC’s advocacy staff to discuss current issues impacting California Counties. It wraps up with a “Supervisor’s Guide to County Health and Human Services,” presented by Plumas County Director of Public Health Mimi Hall and Riverside County Director of Social Services Susan von Zabern.

Former Yolo County Supervisor and 2012 CSAC President Mike McGowan is moderating the course.

The group first came together in Riverside County in November preceding the CSAC Annual Meeting when they were still supervisors-elect. They will return to Sacramento for the third and final session of the Institute on April 20.

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