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A Way Forward for Local Government

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

A Conversation Prompted by Today’s Fiscal Crisis

May 3, 2010


The challenges facing local governments in California today have combined in a perfect storm: a half century of growth in state and local government required services and regulatory activities, mirrored by growth in public sector employment, deferred obligations to the public sector workforce in the form of retirement benefits that are now coming due, and a recession that has slashed tax revenues beyond anything known since the Great Depression.

The tension between today’s program and financial commitments, and tomorrows needs and inability to pay for them, is palpable. While fully recognizing there’s no obvious path forward, there’s also no avoiding the necessity of finding one. Led by a seasoned group of local government practitioners, pundits, and scholars, the conversation includes analyses of the current fiscal challenge, possible solutions, and implications for the future of local governments.

Moderator: Dan Mazmanian Professor and Director of the Bedrosian Center

The Challenge

  • Bill Kelly Managing Principal, Urban Futures, Inc.
  • Tim Gage Fiscal Policy Advisor, CA Forward
  • Frank Benest Former City Manager of Palo Alto and current Consultant

There Are Solutions!

  • Maria Viramontes City Council• , Richmond, CA
  • Rich Callahan – Associate Dean, Director of State Capital & Leadership Programs

Perspectives From:

  • Finance: Tim Schaefer Founder & Principal, Magis Advisors
  • Around The Nation: Derek Okubo SVP and Director of Community Services, National Civic League
  • A Wealth of Experience: David Janssen Retired CEO, County of LA

See the video of the event here:

Bedrosian Center