2019 Conference Materials

Final Conference Program. Large file please be patient while uploading. 

Here we are at the end of another full legislative year. Join us as we recap the 2019 legislative impacts on LAFCos. We will hear from the consultants of the Assembly Local Government and Senate Governance and Finance Committees as they share their unique Capitol perspective and insider updates. We will also get updates from the members of the CALAFCO Legislative Committee. Join us as we recap 2019 and look ahead to 2020. 

Panelists include: Anton Favorini-Csorba, Consultant, Senate Governance & Finance Committee; Jimmy MacDonald, Consultant, Assembly Local Government Committee; Sam Martinez, Executive Officer, San Bernardino LAFCo; Pamela Miller, Executive Director, CALAFCO; and Lou Ann Texeira, Executive Officer, Contra Costa LAFCo.

Handouts for this session will be provided on site. 

In the face of the state’s housing crisis, local and state agencies are feverishly working to understand the issues and take action to address the lack of housing. LAFCo involvement in this conversation has long been debated, and with recent trends at the state and local level, it is becoming evident we should wake up to the call for action related to housing. Join us for a provocative discussion on how we do this and why we should care. 

Panelists include: Michael Colantuono, Attorney and shareholder, Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley; Lucy Dunn, President & CEO, Orange County Business Council and Former Director, California Department of Housing and Community Development; and Paul Jensen, Community Development Director, City of San Rafael. Moderated by: Carolyn Emery, Executive Officer, Orange LAFCo.

Explore the amazing world of local government innovation: Streetlamps that help solve crimes, wastewater treated in four hours instead of 30 days, drones used to engage citizens and much more. “One-stop” government is becoming “no-stop” government. Today’s constituents want access to government services in the same way they do everything online – fast, easy and protected. Technology is pushing the envelope of what is possible in government and decision makers like you are leading the way. 

Panelists include: Mai Ann Healy, Head of Business Development, BioFiltro; Dan Henderson, Regional Manager for Local Government, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri); Laura Taylor, Park Planning and Development Manager, Cordova Recreation and Park District; Almis Udrys, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, City of San Diego. Moderated by: Dawn Mittleman Longoria, Analyst, Napa LAFCo.

Presentation materials are large files, please be patient when downloading. Video function on several slides not enabled. 

Sometimes solving local issues locally is tough and at times we all need a little help.  What do you do with a service provider who just can’t do the right thing? How do you know if and when you have exhausted all of the local options? What’s the response when the situation reaches crisis levels? At what point does the LAFCo seek state assistance and intervention? This session explores these questions through a case study of the Sativa County Water Agency and the extraordinary collaborative effort it took to resolve the problem. 

Panelists include: Honorable Mike Gipson, California State Assemblymember; Janice Hahn, Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Jeff O’Keefe, P.E., Supervising Sanitary Engineer, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water; and Mark Pestrella, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. Moderated by: Paul Novak, AICP, Executive Officer, Los Angeles LAFCo


This informative and interactive session is intended to provide elected officials and staff members with a better working knowledge of LAFCos processes, legal framework and procedures. You will have the opportunity to work together in small groups to discuss and resolve some challenging LAFCo scenarios. We will discuss a number of topics: the authority and purpose of LAFCo, the LAFCo review process; the laws involved in LAFCo decisions and updating Spheres of Influence and Municipal Service Reviews. Panelists will share insights and stories relevant to LAFCo decisions. You always learn (or relearn) something by attending a LAFCo 101 session! Please join us for this fun and hands-on session on the LAFCo basics and more!

Panelists include: Carole Cooper, Assistant Executive Officer, Sonoma LAFCo; Paula de Sousa-Mills, LAFCo Attorney, Best Best & Krieger; and David West, Commissioner, Imperial LAFCo. Moderated by: David Church, Executive Officer, San Luis Obispo LAFCo

Join us as we explore the delicate high-wire balancing act of independent LAFCo thinking and decision-making as well as what it looks like to lead your LAFCo into the next decade. Hear from a panel of LAFCo commissioners in a fire-side chat format and engage in robust conversation about the challenges and opportunities of leading your LAFCo with courage and independence. 

Panelists include: Merita Callaway, Commissioner (County) Calaveras LAFCo; James Curatalo, Commissioner (Special District), San Bernardino LAFCo; Blake Inscore, Commissioner (City), Del Norte LAFCo; and Sblend Sblendorio, Commissioner (Public) Alameda LAFCo. Moderated by: Pamela Miller, Executive Director, CALAFCO.

There are no handouts for this session. 

This session focuses on MSRs from a commissioner perspective – mustering up the political will to prioritize the resources to conduct MSRs; to address deficiencies identified by implementing recommendations; how to effectively assert LAFCo influence for full agency involvement in the MSR process; and what to do with them once they are done so they create maximum value for your local governance.

Panelists include: Shiva Frentzen, Commissioner, El Dorado LAFCo; Debbie Kurita, Assistant Executive Officer, Orange LAFCo; Steve Lucas, Executive Officer, Butte LAFCo; Scott Smith, LAFCo legal counsel; and Susan Vicklund Wilson, Commissioner, Santa Clara LAFCo.

The landscape of the state is changing – both literally and metaphorically. LAFCos have the responsibility of considering many of the causes for those changes when reviewing applications and conducting MSRs; and there is an opportunity for LAFCos to step into a larger role in facilitating responses to local catastrophes that are the result of radical changes caused by nature or humans. This session will explore LAFCos’ role as facilitator, engager and participant in the planning, review and response in these instances. 

Panelists include: Bill Connelly, Commissioner, Butte LAFCo; Kate Gordon, Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; and Ellen Hanak, Director, Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center. Moderated by: Keene Simonds, Executive Officer, San Diego LAFCo

Learn how your active participation in the legislative process and awareness of how you can make a difference in impacting legislation that affects LAFCos. We will also discuss which conditions create the perfect storm for legislation to address a specific local issue (whether that be LAFCo-generated or otherwise). 

Panelists include: Curt Pringle, Former Speaker and Member, California State Assembly; and Alex Vassar, Legislative Historian, Communications Manager, California State Library. Moderated by: Gary Bell, Attorney, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC.

There are no handouts for this session.

We continue to grapple with ensuring all Californian’s have access to adequate and safe drinking water. New authorities granted to the SWRCB by the Legislature can create challenges and opportunities for LAFCo’s role of regulating service area boundaries.  We will explore the implementation of SB 88 (consolidation of water agencies) and SB 1263 (service extensions to small public water systems) from multi-jurisdictional perspectives from the state to LAFCo level.  Join us for a thought-provoking exchange on this critical issue. 

Panelists include: Daniel Ferons, P.E., General Manager, Santa Margarita Water District; Michelle F. Frederick, P.E., Northern California Water Partnership Coordinator, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water; and Sara Lytle-Pinhey, Executive Officer, Stanislaus LAFCo. Moderated by David Church, Executive Officer, San Luis Obispo LAFCo.

So the majority of the population has no idea what a LAFCo is or what a LAFCo does, and we struggle with communicating and connecting with those that don’t. This session will explore one LAFCo’s experience in creating an outreach and engagement plan and the tangible results that have come from this outreach. Learn how to craft your own LAFCo’s compelling story. 
Panelists include: Marianna Leuschel, Director, NewAgency; Neelima Palacherla, Executive Officer, Santa Clara LAFCo; Rob Rennie, Commissioner, Santa Clara LAFCo; and Chad Upham, Creative Director, Covive. Moderated by: Martha Poyatos, Executive Officer, San Mateo LAFCo.