Cost Accounting in Local Government

Available versus Billable Hours – Redux

Nine years ago, I wrote the following article. Since the concepts are just as relevant today, I’m reprinting it with some editorial changes to make it more current. Enjoy… On page 31 of the League of California Cities publication “Cost Accounting for California Cities (1981),” we (I was one of the authors) proposed an early […]

Two Not-So-Scary DIF Collection Requirements

Description and discussion of the reporting requirements of Development Impact Fees.

What is required to set fees?

It is generally understood that you need a resolution at a public hearing to set fees.  But is that correct?  It turns out that is not entirely true. For development-related fees, Government Code Section 66016 and following sections make it clear that you do need a public hearing.  In addition, this code section has the […]

Development Impact Fees for Mature Cities

A little over two years ago I got a call from Chu Thai, the Management Services Director with the City of Monterey Park.  He called to ask me what I thought about development impact fees for the City.  I thought, what? Development Impact Fees (DIFs) for a built-out City?  I frankly didn’t see it.  I’m […]

Charging a Utility Encroachment Permit

Every so often I’ll hear about Edison or the Gas Company telling a City that they cannot be charged an encroachment permit to plan check and inspect a street cut under the franchise agreement.  They will then hope that you blink and reduce or eliminate the fee. But recently, I was told that they cited […]

Seeking Civil Society

I was recently at a council meeting where, during public comments, several individuals targeted specific councilmembers with abusive comments. It disturbed me at the time and I’ve been thinking about it since then. As a kid, I was taught that if I couldn’t say something nice, I shouldn’t say anything at all. Wow, how times […]

Police Level of Service

Police management staff often discuss Levels of Service (LOS) staffing in terms of “officers per 1,000 residents.”    Since it is often a simplistic comparison from one agency to another, it simply does not have much value.     This method can be rebuffed by the simple question, “If you have 1.18 officers per 1,000 residents, and the […]

Local Government Revenues

If the purpose of government is to take some of my money and pool it with some of your money in order to do something that we all benefit from, then the revenue limitations that started with Proposition 13 have reduced what California governments have been able to do for the common good. The voters […]

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