Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009

Message From the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
I would like to try something I’ve never done before in the fifteen plus years I have been privileged to contribute to our Bulletin. Next week we shall celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For what will you be most thankful this year? Please send your thought(s) to me ( so I can pass your feelings on to others. We will share as many of thoughts as possible in next week’s bulletin. As for me, I shall once again be thankful for family, friends and all of those who understand that in exchange for living in an imperfect democracy we owe it to ourselves and others to try to leave this a better place than we found it. Such is the mission of the Fresno Business Council. Such is the Spirit of Thanksgiving.

California Forward’s Budget Reforms and Local Control Measures
The current structure of California government is based upon another era and patches that didn’t fix the underlying problems—structural, systemic and power dysfunctions. Our board has endorsed the 2010 Reform plan aimed at two primary goals—serving community before single interests and restoring power to local government. The reforms include:

Best Practices Budget Accountability Act
• Planning Ahead—two-year spending plans with 5 year fiscal forecasts.
• Results & Accountability—goals for every program linked to budget decisions.
• Performance Review—Oversight of major expenditures; ten year review cycles for programs.
• Reduce Debt When Revenues Spike—Use one time revenues to pay down debt.
• Pay-As-You-Go—No new programs without funding source.
• Majority vote budget/deadline—forfeit pay and per diem if not on time. Retains 2/3 vote for tax increases.

Community Funding Protection and Accountability Act
• Protect local taxes—state prohibited from taking local taxes or fees.
• Collaborative Problem Solving—encourages local institutional alignments to solve problems and eliminate duplication.
• New Resources for Community Services—If county-wide plan adopted, county can ask for sales increase up to 1 cent to be distributed to local government.
• Accountability for Outcomes—discretion coupled with reporting on progress and support of voters to continue.

For more in depth information, go to the website,

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