Some of you may remember that we criticized the COWncil for its cavalier attitude towards the annual League of California Cities conference. The annual Conference is an opportunity for all California cities to come together and vote on issues affecting them, as well as (probably the most important part of the event) to network and learn about how other cities are addressing issues of concern. The conference features a panoply of seminars where cities learn from the experiences of others. The conference kicked off September 24th in Long Beach, California.
For a while it looked as if no one at our COWncil was interested at all – which is pretty irresponsible in our book. Finally, at the September 9th COWncil meeting, Carol Anne Hodges volunteered to go. As we wrote then, “COWncilwoman Hodges did say that she had looked at the agenda and felt that there was “nothing of great import to Woodside” going on. We just cannot imagine with budget shortfalls looming for all that there were not seminars about how cities can better manage their fiscal affairs. Governor SCHWARZENEGGER spoke to the conference about the state budget crisis. Oh well.
At a recent COWncil meeting, COWncilwoman Hodges reported back and the news wasn’t encouraging for those of us who would like to see Woodside’s leadership reach out and make contacts with other Towns and learn about their best practices. As you can see in the video, it doesn’t appear that COWncil member Hodges accomplished much Town business while at the conference. While she found most of the conference “very stimulating” – especially keynote speaker Doris Kearns Goodwin – our Town’s representative didn’t stay around to vote on an important issue of governance of the group; a resolution permitting members of the Black and Latino Caucuses to be on the governing board.
The COWncil member did report on a session about the Rich Fire and she brought back some pamphlets. She mentioned that the speakers described all the bases that have to be covered to provide in evacuating residents pets and large animals. But she did not seem to bring back any ideas about what Woodside would need to do under such circumstances and what steps should be taken to prepare for such an eventuality. Moreover, she wasn’t even aware that the Conference produces an official report that is sent to participants.
COWncil member Hodges said that she had great fun and met “lots and lots of people.” She liked what little she saw of Long Beach. So we are glad she had a nice holiday.
Next year’s conference is in San Jose. We hope there will be a more meaningful participation.