Service Matters

September/October 1995, No. 18

Service Matters is a publication of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the planning and services agency for the San Francisco Bay Area's 9 counties and 100 cities.



ABAG NEWS



SHARING BAY AREA INNOVATIONS:

CITIES AND COUNTIES MEET THE CHALLENGE OF GOVERNING IN THE '90s


There are no patent restrictions on good government.

New and efficient approaches to old problems, or clever ways of addressing new problems, should be recognized and shared. ABAG is responding to the challenge with the formation of the Bay Area Innovations program.

This new program will be honoring unique city and county achievements throughout the Bay Area and serving as an informational tool for local governments seeking to adapt good ideas to their own jurisdictions.

The program will be focusing on local government innovations in the following categories:

The project will offer information in three different formats:

1) The Innovations Catalog - This resource book will feature the best of Bay Area Innovations, as chosen by a select group of government officials and business leaders. Due to be published in the Spring of 1996, the Innovations Catalog will be distributed to ABAG members and made available to the general public.

2) Innovations Online - Accessible via ABAG's homepage on the Internet (abagOnline), this electronic reference guide will provide split-second information to an international audience.

3) The Innovations Clearinghouse - ABAG will compile and maintain categorized information which will be retrievable with a simple phone call, fax or e-mail request.

Some examples of the type of innovations that ABAG would like to feature include: San Francisco, for reducing the permit processing time in its Planning Department by 50% through new user-friendly changes; East Palo Alto, together with its neighbors Palo Alto and Menlo Park and the California Highway Patrol, for reducing total reported crimes by 32% and the homicide rate by 86%; and Sunnyvale, for lowering the cost of city services by 20% through a merit system and management accountability program.

Bay Area Innovations will be honoring accomplishments like these, as well as recognizing other local jurisdictions, for achieving excellence in government.

To nominate an innovative program, or to receive more information, call Patty Spangler at 510/464-7933 or send an e-mail to PatriciaS@abag.ca.gov.


POOL TO BUY NATURAL GAS FOR MEMBERS


Response to ABAG's proposal in late June to create a Power Purchasing Pool for local governments has been tremendous.

According to Patty Spangler, Assistant to the Executive Director, over 60 local governments and special districts have contacted ABAG regarding pooled purchases of natural gas and electricity.

Natural Gas Purchase Planned
Organizational meetings of interested jurisdictions in July and August have resulted in a decision to make a pooled purchase of natural gas in early 1996. ABAG estimates that this first purchase will shave 5 to 10 percent off the current natural gas rates paid by participating pool members.

According to Spangler, actual savings will depend on the amount of natural gas to be purchased and the actual bids received in response to the Pool's request for proposal. "At this point, it's in everyone's interest to expand the size of the Pool in order to leverage lower gas prices," she said. To accommodate this, ABAG has opened the Pool to all local governments, as well as all tax-supported special districts in the Bay Area.

To minimize risk for Pool members, ABAG has structured Pool participation to allow members to ratify or reject participation depending on the bid results received.

Electricity Under Evaluation
ABAG continues to evaluate options for local governments in the area of electricity.

In July, the ABAG Executive Board submitted comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) urging reconsideration of the "Direct Access" model of deregulation. Direct Access would allow local governments to collectively purchase electricity, thus trimming power costs an estimated 20 to 40 percent.

The CPUC is expected to announce its decision later this fall. "At that point," Spangler said, "we will have a better sense of what electrical options are likely to be available to local governments interested in pooling."

To participate in ABAG's natural gas purchase, local governments should contact ABAG as soon as possible.

For more information, please call Patty Spangler, Assistant to the Executive Director, at 510/464-7933 or e-mail PatriciaS@abag.ca.gov.



ABAG ONLINE



THE ELECTRONIC CLASSIFIEDS

GOVERNMENT LISTING OF BAY AREA
EMPLOYMENT (GLOBE)

This summer, ABAG unveiled a new electronic job recruitment posting for the San Francisco Bay Area: GLOBE. GLOBE, or the Government Listing Of Bay Area Employment, is an Internet-based job posting board for cities, counties and special districts in the region.

The GLOBE board allows Bay Area local governments and public agencies to post employment announcements on the Internet - increasing the impact of the ad, and attracting the best and brightest to jurisdictions in the region.

Jurisdictions or agencies with current listings on the GLOBE board include: ABAG, the City of Berkeley, the City and County of San Francisco, the City of San Ramon, the Alameda County Housing Authority, and BART.

ABAG is doing everything possible to ensure that the process of posting job announcements is easy. Participanting agencies are asked to register one time only, and to send job announcements to ABAG on a disk or by e-mail. We'll do the rest.

COMPARE THE COSTS with other classified ads

GLOBE - Free to all members!

Sunday Paper- $500 to $1000

Professional Journal - $500 to $1000

Trade Magazine- $500 to $1000

Professional Recruiter - 10% or more of the salary offered.

You may access GLOBE via the Internet: http://www.abag.ca.gov and follow the links. Call Brian Kirking at 510/464-7996 or e-mail BrianK@abag.ca.gov.



abagOnline UPDATE

Membership - As of the end of August, there were five counties and 31 cities with their own customized homepages accessible through abagOnline. Take advantage of free assistance from ABAG staff, and get your jurisdiction on the Internet.

ABAG Contracts Exchange (ACE) - At last count, there were 18 agencies and jurisdictions with RFP's posted online. The number of contracts available for bidding is growing daily. ACE is the place to advertise the contracts up for bid in your city or county. The response has been tremendous - join now!

Rate Reductions - ABAG members are entitled to a FREE page on the World Wide Web. Other services are available at reducedrates: One Web page formatted by ABAG staff ($50); Homepage training class for two members of your local government staff ($50); or the ABAG Economy package, including 50MB of disk storage, an FTP account with password, World Wide Web starter kit, and an abagOnline hyperlink to your homepage ($100 flat fee + $50 per month)


INTERNET TRAINING CLASSES

Internet Demonstrations
$25 per person

Homepage Training
$50 for two persons


To register, call Sharon Hendricks at 510/464-7964 or e-mail SharonH@abag.ca.gov.



ABAG NEWS



ABAG WELCOMES NEW RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Staff and members offer a warm welcome to Paul Fassinger, joining ABAG as the new research director.

Fassinger has come on board just in time to oversee the upcoming release of Projections '96, the biennial economic and demographic forecasting report. His duties will also include conducting ABAG's economic conferences, supervising the activities of the Regional Data Center, and lots of "number crunching."

Most recently with a private consulting firm, Fassinger also worked with the California Public Utilities Commission, providing technical and policy analysis for the commissioners and administrative law judges. Armed with an under- graduate degree from U.C. Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Fassinger comes well prepared for the tough job ahead.

Contact Paul Fassinger at 510/464-7902 or e-mail PaulF@abag.ca.gov.



COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS THE FOCUS OF THE FALL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

ABAG's General Assembly will convene at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco on Thursday, November 9, for the Fall 1995 General Assembly. The theme of the day will be, "The New Wave of Governing: Collaborating for Success."

The days events will begin with an update on constitutional revision activities from Fred Silva, Executive Director of the California Constitutional Revision Commission. Don Benninghoven, Executive Director of the League of California Cities, and Steve Szalay, Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties, will be on hand to present the responses and concerns of their respective organizations.

The General Assembly will feature four workshops on collaborative projects between local governments designed to minimize costs and maximize service. Topics will include: Partnerships for Economic Development, City-School-Library Cooperative Agreements, Health and Human Services Partnerships, and Joint Ventures in Public Safety.

For more information, contact Jean Pederson at 510/464-7978.



CONFERENCES & CLASSES



IMPLEMENTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERMIT STREAMLINING STRATEGIES

  • Wednesday, September 20, 1995
  • Parc Oakland Hotel, Oakland
  • $45 (Lunch Included)

  • For registration information, please call 916/322-4245
    ** Brought to you in part by ABAG and the State Office of Permit Assistance


    ANNOUNCING THE GRAND OPENING OF
    SMART VALLEY INC.'s FREE CONNECTION TO THE INTERNET'S WORLD WIDE WEB

    A project sponsored jointly by ABAG, MTC, and Smart Valley, Inc.


    The ABAG Training Center and the American Public Works Assoc. (North Bay Chapter) present three one-day courses for...

    PLANNING PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS

    Mon., Oct. 30 - Scheduling Skills
    Tues., Oct. 31 - Action Project Management
    Mon., Nov. 6 - Program Management for Major Projects

    Cost:

    Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credits (MCLEs) will be available.

    For more information or to register, please contact Sharon Kendrick at 510/464-7964 or e-mail SharonK@abag.ca.gov.



    BAY AREA EVENTS



    The San Francisco Bay Trail Project Presents:

    THE BAY TRAIL CRITERIUM

    Sunday, Sept. 10, 1995
    7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Lakeside Park - Oakland

    For more information call Matthew O'grady at 415/664-0247 or e-mail classcycle@aol.com. - Fax: 415/681-5720



    Annual San Francisco Bay Decisionmakers conference:

    EMERGING THEMES & OPPORTUNITIES TO RESHAPE BAY REGULATION

    Call Ellen Johnck at 415/397-2293 for more information.


    J&R Adventures and the San Francisco Bay Trail present...

    A SAN FRANCISCO/MARIN WATERFRONT TOUR

    Saturday, Sept. 16th
    9:30 to 3:30 p.m.
    $29

    Call 415/342-6799 to register.


    Telecommunications 101 Conference:

    SMART COMMUNITIES - A DECISIONMAKERS GUIDE TO THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY

    Call 415/357-3100 or 510/352-7679 for more information.



    CALENDAR



    REGIONAL STEERING COMMITTEEE ON HOMELESSNESS AND HOUSING

    September 8
    10:00 a.m.
    MetroCenter Room 106B.

    abagOnline INTERNET DEMONSTRATION CLASS

    September 11
    10:00 a.m.
    MetroCenter Auditorium

    GRAND OPENING: PUBLIC ACCEES NETWORK

    Septemebr 11
    12:30 p.m.
    MTC/ABAG Library

    abagOnline ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

    September 11
    1:30 p.m.
    MetroCenter Auditorium

    WASTE WATER CONFERENCE/WORKSHOP

    September 12
    9:00 a.m.
    MetroCenter Auditorium

    abagOnline HOMEPAGE TRAINING

    September 21
    9:00 to 1:30 p.m.
    ABAG Room 106B

    LEGISLATION AND GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE

    September 21
    3:30 p.m.
    ABAG Room 106B

    FINANCE AND PERSONNEL COMMITTEE

    September 21
    5:15 p.m.
    ABAG Room 102A

    EXECUTIVE BOARD

    September 21
    7:30 p.m.
    MetroCenter Auditorium

    EIGHT HOUR OSHA TRAINING FOR SUPERVISORS OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS WORKERS

    September 22
    8:00 a.m.

    abagOnline ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

    October 16
    1:30 p.m.
    MetroCenter Auditorium

    STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION CLASS

    Octobe 17
    8:00 a.m.
    MetroCenter Auditorium

    LEGISLATION AND GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE

    October 19
    3:30 p.m.
    ABAG Room 106B

    FINANCE AND PERSONNEL COMMITTEE

    October 19
    5:15 p.m.
    ABAG Room 102A

    EXECUTIVE BOARD

    October 19.
    7:30 p.m.
    MetroCenter Auditorium



    STAFF CONTACTS



    Supervisor Tom Torlakson, President
    Charlotte Powers, Vice President
    Supervisor Mary Griffin, Immediate Past President
    Eugene Y. Leong, Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Director.
    Cathryn A. Hilliard, Director of Government and Public Affairs
    Michelle Fadelli, Editor


    Mailing Address:
    ABAG
    P.O. Box 2050
    Oakland, CA 94604-2050

    Street Address:

    Josph P. Bort Metrocenter
    101 Eighth Street
    Oakland, CA 94607-4756

    Telephone:

    510/464-7900

    Fax:

    510/464-7970

    E-mail:

    info@abag.ca.gov