2019 Staff Workshop

The draft program timeline offers you all the session information and the dates and times of each session. The final program will be posted soon. 

This session is designed for analysts that are new or at an intermediate level within the LAFCo world. You will be encouraged to exchange ideas, go beyond the introductory phase and step into analyzing commission proceedings. We will review project management best practices, applicability and undertaking the infrequent commission initiated proposals with the idea of avoiding pitfalls and missteps.  Let’s level up and put a capital “a” in “analyst". Moderator: Paula Graf, Analyst, Imperial LAFCo. Speakers: Gavin Centeno, Policy Analyst, Orange LAFCo; Brendon Freeman, Executive Officer, Napa LAFCo; Paula de Sousa Mills, Partner, Best Best & Krieger; Joe Serrano, Executive Officer, Santa Cruz LAFCo.

Join your CALAFCO staff and Legislative Committee leaders to hear all the latest Association news as well as an up-to-the-minute legislative report on all bills of interest to CALAFCO. Speakers: Steve Lucas, Executive Officer, Butte LAFCo; Samuel Martinez, Executive Officer, San Bernardino LAFCo; Pamela Miller, Executive Director, CALAFCO; Lou Ann Texeira, Executive Officer, Contra Costa LAFCo.

This session will explore LAFCo’s use of CEQA exemptions and instances when LAFCo may need to be the Lead Agency. We will discuss items to consider when LAFCo is a Responsible Agency, or in the infrequent CEQA “driver seat” and finally, when an applicant tries to submit “half-cooked CEQA work”. We will exchange ideas with seasoned EOs and LAFCo legal counsel. Don’t be frighten by CEQA, join us and learn how LAFCos’ adapt to environmental review. Moderator: SR Jones, Executive Officer, Nevada LAFCo. Speakers: Scott Browne, Attorney, Law Office of P. Scott Browne; Nathaniel Taylor, Senior Planner, Lamphier-Gregory; Holly Whatley, Attorney, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC

Have you ever second-guessed your interpretation of CKH?  If so, join us for this discussion-type session designed for LAFCo practitioners to exchange common and uncommon terminology and procedural snags within CKH.  We will go beyond the text and explore the spirit of CKH through a conversation with LAFCo veterans.  Test your skills and improve your rationale as we navigate through the gloomy sections of CKH. Moderator: David Fey, Executive Officer, Fresno LAFCo. Speakers: Bill Nicholson, Executive Officer, Merced & San Benito LAFCos and Martha Poyatos, Executive Officer, San Mateo LAFCo.

Five years ago a committee worked with CALAFCO to create a proposed process for LAFCo Clerk certification, including criteria and a curriculum and for many reasons the idea was put on the back burner. The arrival of new clerks and increased requests for training indicates it’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk about clerk certification and/or training, including what that might entail and how to get to Point B without building a whole new road from Point A. Moderator: Kate Sibley, Executive Assistant, Contra Costa LAFCo. Speakers: Emmanuel Abello, Commission Clerk, Santa Clara LAFCo; Pamela Miller, Executive Director, CALAFCO; Joy Stover, Commission Clerk, Butte LAFCo; Diane Thorpe, Commission Clerk, Sacramento LAFCo; Terri Tuck, Commission Clerk, Yolo LAFCo.

Hear tales amassed over 72 years of collective LAFCo experience of ethics and politics and the sometimes whacky decisions that come from such a mix. This session will explore various case studies in which ethics – or a lapse thereof – made all the difference.  Additionally, we will explore other case studies offered by LAFCos throughout the state in which ethical dynamics were integral to a commission proceeding and subsequent outcome. Don’t miss this session - you don’t want to be the one needing an ethical village to help you correct that ethical lapse. Speakers: David Church, Executive Officer, San Luis Obispo LAFCo; Don Lockhart, Executive Officer, Sacramento LAFCo; Pat McCormick, Executive Officer, Santa Cruz LAFCo.

Part 1: Clerking 101- A day in the life of an independent and dependent LAFCo Clerk. Part 2: Clerk’s resource guide of the 21st Century. Moderator: Tamaron Luckett, Executive Assistant, San Diego LAFCo​. SpeakersAmanda Graham, Office Assistant, Fresno LAFCo; Sandy Hou, Commission Clerk, Alameda LAFCo; Amie Kane, Clerk, Tulare LAFCo; Kate Sibley, Clerk, Contra Costa LAFCo. 

Some LAFCos have detailed, articulate policies. Others are skeletal. CKH invites policies on many topics. This panel will identify the range of policy topics, the theory behind detailed policies and the pros and cons of particular policies. Speakers: Michael Colantuono, Shareholder, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC; Ben Giuliani, Executive Officer, Tulare LAFCo; Sblend Sblendorio, Commissioner, Alameda LAFCo.

LAFCos are increasingly using ArcGIS as a visualization tool to gain detailed perspective on land use patterns and infrastructure in an effort to limit urban sprawl and conserve resource lands.  GIS technology empowers LAFCo staff with enhanced visibility into data including evaluating project feasibility and their impacts on the environment. This interactive session will cover how to make professional looking maps that can be used in staff reports, presentations etc. using ArcGIS Online.  Note: Workshop participants must bring a laptop for this “how-to” session. Speakers: Greg Bazhaw, GIS Analyst, Santa Clara County Department of Planning & Development and Lakshmi Rajagopalan, Analyst at Santa Clara LAFCo.

In the first part of this session you will gain and understanding of LAFCo processes and procedures relating to different types of resolutions as well as learn basic practices of submitting a resolution to your Commission. We will then explore the key information required for different types of resolutions based on various actions (approval vs disapproval), the CKH required content and the subtle nuances that makes a resolution an informative and powerful record. Moderator: Doug Dorado, Government Analyst, Los Angeles LAFCo. Speakers: Gary B. Bell, Shareholder, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC and Nancy Mees, Clerk, Amador and Calaveras LAFCos. 

Tour two unique San Jose environs and learn how the preservation of open space and agricultural lands and the revitalization of the downtown go hand in hand in building climate and economic resilience. Visit scenic Coyote Valley, a 7,400‐acre area located just south of San Jose, rich in natural and working lands. Once planned to be developed into another urban sprawl mini‐city, the land is now the focus of intense preservation efforts. We will visit the Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve and learn how preservation of Coyote Valley is a strategy to optimize agricultural operations on the urban edge, improve wildlife resilience and positively impact water resources.

In this interactive session we will discuss the effectiveness and use of a checklist and other tools in the preparation of MSRs.  We will also take a close look at determinations, ones that have worked well and ones that haven’t...will your determination survive a legal challenge? Speakers: SR Jones, Executive Officer, Nevada LAFCo; David Ruderman, Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley, PC; Keens Simonds, Executive Officer, San Diego LAFCo

How ready is your LAFCo to deal with inevitable changes in staff?  This session will focus on personnel planning for both expected and unexpected turnover at all levels (EO, Analyst and Clerk), including some of the best practices and pitfalls to avoid for succession planning and outside recruitment to replace key personnel – particularly in small agencies where all roles are critical and much of the institutional knowledge lives with just a few staff members. Speakers: Carolyn Emery, Executive Officer, Orange LAFCo; Brendon Freeman, Executive Officer, Napa LAFCo; Pat McCormick, Executive Officer, Santa Cruz LAFCo.