Schedule

*Separate registration/payment required

Monday, September 9, 2024

Pre-Conference 

*Pre-Conference Workshop Registration Fee includes continental breakfast and lunch.  Limited class size, register early!

8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Conference Registration Hours


8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop Continental Breakfast


9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop #1:  SDLA Governance Foundations*
Hilary Straus, Citrus Heights Water District

CIP Eligible

As the core curriculum of CSDA’s Special District Leadership Academy, this workshop serves as the “foundation” for the series on effective governance of special districts. It is specifically designed for special district board members and meets the requirement for six hours of governance training for Special District Leadership Foundation programs.


9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop #2:  So, You Want to Be a General Manager?*
Scott Carroll, CSDM, Costa Mesa Sanitary District

This is a practical career development workshop for senior executives and emerging leaders in special districts. This action-oriented workshop includes group and panel discussions on the journey, roles, and skill sets of a general manager; identifying general manager opportunities; developing positive relations with the board, staff, and peer agency executives; and leadership best practices.

*Part of the SDLF Essential Leadership Skills Certificate Program


9:00 a.m.

SDLF Scramble for Scholarships Golf Tournament*

Join special district elected officials, staff, and business affiliates at this optional fun event. Great golf skills are not necessary! Proceeds benefit the Special District Leadership Foundation scholarship fund.


10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Activity: Special District Parks and Pickleball!*

Join your fellow conference attendees for a fun morning of pickleball. Instruction and round robin game play for designated level of experience (beginner, intermediate, advance) will be included so come one and all!


12:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Tour: Southern California Edison (SCE) Green Energy Tour*

Join your fellow attendees and representatives of Southern California Edison (SCE) for lunch and a tour of the Devers Substation. Attendees will learn about SCE operations as well as green energy efforts in the area including solar and wind.


12:00 p.m.

Young Professionals Meet-up: Dinks and Drinks


12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop Lunch Buffet


1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

SDLF: Certified Special District Manager (CSDM) Exam


1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop #3: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors
Jennifer Martinez, Hanson Bridgett, LLP

State law requires most local officials and employees to receive sexual harassment prevention training and education for at least two hours within six months of taking office or commencing employment and every two years thereafter. Presented by an attorney with deep experience in public and employment law, this session provides an interactive presentation meeting the requirements of state law.


2:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Chapter Leaders Meeting

(optional, no fee but must be attending the conference)

Join CSDA board members and local chapter leaders from across the state to share best practices and discuss issues and opportunities. New this year – the meeting will begin with networking and refreshments with CSDA Diamond and Platinum Business Affiliate Members including information on how they can help support your chapter’s efforts!


3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Workshop #4: Ethics AB 1234 Compliance Training
Richard Pio Roda, Redwood Public Law, LLP

State law requires local agency officials to complete two hours of ethics training within the first year of his or her service. Then, every local agency official must receive at least two hours of training in general ethics principles and ethics laws relevant to his or her public service every two years thereafter. This training satisfies these requirements by covering various ethics topics, 9/10/2024including a discussion of the Ralph M. Brown Act.


5:15 - 7:30 p.m.

President's Reception with the Exhibitors - Conference Officially Begins!

Join us in the exhibit hall as we network with business professionals who provide all types of goods and services to special districts. Appetizers, refreshments, and entertainment are provided.

(all registered attendees welcome)




Tuesday, September 10, 2024

7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
Conference Registration Hours


7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
CSDA Board Meeting


7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Exhibitor Hall Hours


7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall



8:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Opening General Session and Keynote

The “What If” Experience

Mike Rayburn, Two-Time TED Talk Presenter, Entrepreneur, and Hall of Fame Speaker

  • Energize and equip your teams with the tools to get the most from your conference.
  • Transform your teams into possibility thinkers, finding opportunities where others miss them.
  • Renew your passion and ability for thinking big and taking bold action.
  • Encourage smart, necessary risk-taking.
  • Align your teams with a common mindset, the “What If Mindset.”

Awards Presented:
  • General Manager of the Year
  • Board Member of the Year
  • Staff Member of the Year
  • Certificate in Special District Governance
  • Certified Special District Manager
  • Essential Leadership Skills Certificate



11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

The $250,000 Pyramid

Laura Glenn, Public Trust Advisors

Come on down you are the next contestant on the $250,000 Pyramid. In this session, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of treasurers/investment officers, investment policy best practices, cash flow analysis/modeling, and investment terms and concepts! Audience participation is welcome throughout and a must for the session-ending game!

D-E-I and Y-O-U…Best Practices for DEI Initiatives in the 2024 Landscape

Jennifer Martinez, Hanson Bridgett, LLP

Events in recent years have created a unique landscape for DEI programs—while there is more widespread acknowledgment of the benefit of such programs, there is also more widespread scrutiny. In this session you’ll learn about:

  • tangible initiatives that advance the goals of DEI
  • minimizing legal risks, including, but not limited to, successful recruitment and retention and improved morale and employee satisfaction
  • a deeper understanding of the many ways that a true commitment to the principles of DEI can improve your entire organization

The Future is NOW - AI and Its Impact on Special Districts

Corey Kaufman, VC3

The intent of this session is to give the attendees an opportunity to learn about AI and what it may be potentially used for in local government. In this session we will go over the following:

  • What is AI and how does it work?
  • How might we be able to use AI in the our daily lives?
  • What are the potential pitfalls of using AI and things to watch out for?
  • How does AI impact my IT strategy?

Common Retirement Law Pitfalls

Vance Piggott, Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard

Some changes in the law applying to the Public Employment Retirement Law are well-publicized and retirement systems provide ample advance notice. Other changes are put into place with little fanfare. However, many such changes have a significant impact on employers, employees, and retirees. CalPERS in particular, has significant administrative authority to interpret and implement the law, meaning that new laws which seem to be inconsequential changes can be far more impactful than initially imagined.

Takeaways:

  • Identify several new laws and provide insight as to how CalPERS has interpreted those laws.
  • Point out the most common pitfalls which can inadvertently result in issues with employee retirement and liability to the employer.
  • Provide strategies for ensuring compliance.

Advanced Training in the California Public Records Act

Darren Ziegler and Jennifer Ransom, Best Best & Krieger LLP

This training is primarily intended for public agency personnel who have some knowledge of and experience with the CPRA, and who are seeking to expand their understanding of the law. We will cover key aspects of the CPRA, including when an applicable exemption may give an agency the right to not disclose a particular record or portion of a record. The presenters will use case studies to take you through the entire process from the initial records request to response options. There will also be updates on recent developments in the interpretation and application of the CPRA.

To Live Gas Free: Everything You Wanted to Know About Zero Emission Vehicle

Travis Kaya and Marian Slocum, Richards Watson Gershon

Participants will get a low-down on the latest rules, regulations, and court challenges to the new zero-emission vehicle reporting requirements. Special focus on special districts with any sized fleet.

The Brown Act in a Modern World

Nick Ghirelli and Katherine Read, Richards Watson Gershon

This presentation will review the following:

  1. the Brown Act's new virtual meeting rules, including AB 361, AB 2449, and the Brown Act's traditional teleconferencing options.
  2. AB 992's rules for commenting on social media about agency business.
  3. avoiding constitutional issues when monitoring your social media pages.


12:15 - 1:30 p.m.

Lunch with the Exhibitors

All conference attendees are welcome to attend lunch in the exhibit hall. Enjoy your lunch while taking time to learn more about our exhibitors and the valuable services they provide. From risk management to accounting, HR, legal, banking services, and more – our exhibitors have some of the best of what you’re looking for!

Lunch is included in conference registration.


1:45 - 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

CalPERS: Current Pension Issues

Randy Dziubek, CalPERS

Hear the latest developments, decisions, and outlook regarding the current pension climate from a leading representative of CalPERS.

Tune Up to Get, and Stay, in Peak Legal Shape

Christopher Frederick, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

Whether you are new to public sector labor and employment relations, or an experienced practitioner, this legal tune-up ensures you are up to date on the most significant legal developments in this area.

  • Operating at peak efficiency to tackle the challenges ahead.
  • Equal opportunity for fresh or experienced individuals to learn new relevant legal developments.
  • Open to all sectors.

Being Cool on Camera: Navigating a First Amendment Audit

Ryder Todd Smith, Tripepi Smith
Emily Barnett, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
Jennifer Allen, Contra Costa Water District

Social media has empowered self-proclaimed journalists and influencers to target government agencies and conduct ‘First Amendment Audits’, where individuals enter public spaces with a video camera and attempt to challenge employees to reveal an injustice or a lack of understanding in rights. With this trend growing everyday, it is crucial for special districts to be prepared to address these uncomfortable situations with ease and professionalism while still building trust within the community. Join the panel as they discuss their insights gained during their experiences with First Amendment Audits and share tips on how to prepare for Audits using strategies, like implementing staff training, establishing point persons, practicing your on-camera presence or developing protocols.

Public Sector Apprenticeships – A Pathway to Scalable Success

Institute for Local Government

California’s special districts (along with other local governments) are experiencing several workforce challenges that a unified and coordinated apprenticeships program could help alleviate. While the specific needs and challenges of each special district may differ, many jobs may be the same from one district to the next. This session will highlight a new public sector apprenticeships framework that is scalable and replicable across numerous types of job classifications and industry subsectors, including those that are high demand, new, growing, and emerging key industries within the public sector like electric vehicle, cybersecurity, IT, and renewable/alternative energy. Panelists will discuss the framework and successful earn and learn models being used by employers to advance this work.

In Our Rate-Setting Era

Jamie Bandy, El Dorado Irrigation District
Lutfi Kharuf, Best Best & Krieger LLP
Sara Mares, NBS

Property Related Fees are essential funding sources for many Special Districts. Water, Sewer, Solid Waste and Stormwater Rates are getting harder to approve and the legal parameters are ever-changing. From new bills to ballot initiatives and case law, to practical considerations in rate setting and implementation, if it seems the rules are different with every rate study effort, it's because they are! This session will provide an update to recent legal issues and considerations for practical rate setting and implementation, including a case study with El Dorado Irrigation District.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand current legal context of property related fees
  • Recognize planning, rate setting and implementation strategies
  • Review case study on rate implementation

Beyond Smart: Values-Based Goal Setting for the Public Agency

Stephanie Smith, Best Best & Krieger LLP

If SMART Goals were all it took to achieve agency greatness, why do we continuously set the same goals? The answer, the goals aren’t in alignment with our values. We set goals that are either not achieved or are set around metrics that no one cares about. Values are like directions on a compass, they are never ‘achieved’ but they can influence the quality and clarify the purpose of our journey. Values are not something that we can store in a box. Our employees can’t check them at the door when they show up to work. We live with them from moment to moment; they are active and ongoing. This session will reinforce identified core values and build on them through a new lens of goal setting. We will explore strategies for applying our values to goal setting and leave feeling empowered to step out of the routine and into an exciting future based on what is most important to us in our lives and agencies now. Participants will:

  • Gain a greater understanding of one’s core values and the role they play in setting goals that matter
  • Practice strategies for applying our values to goal-setting
  • Deepen knowledge of the potential positive changes that can occur when pursuing values-based goals

Fill That Spot the Right Way - Special District Board Elections and Vacancies

Nick Clair and Rebecca Wilson, Lozano Smith, Attorneys at Law

Navigating the complexities of board elections and vacancies in special districts requires a thorough understanding of legal frameworks and procedural intricacies. This presentation delves into the critical aspects of board elections and vacancies, offering a comprehensive analysis of California laws and regulations. Participants will gain insights into the step-by-step election process, from candidate eligibility to voting procedures, alongside the challenges and best practices for efficient election administration. The session also explores the strategic considerations involved in addressing board vacancies, including identifying and acting upon vacancies and the legal responsibilities of newly appointed or elected members. With a focus on practical solutions and legal compliance, this presentation equips attendees with essential knowledge for managing board elections and vacancies effectively. Attendees will:

  • Understand the legal frameworks governing board elections and how to navigate them effectively.
  • Gain detailed knowledge of the election process, including candidate eligibility, filing, campaigning, and voting.
  • Learn best practices for addressing common challenges in board elections and ensuring legal compliance.
  • Explore strategic considerations in managing board vacancies, including determining whether a vacancy exists and District options for filling it.



3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

“What the Bleep!” Limits of Public Comment

Henry Castillo and Lauren Langer, Best Best & Krieger LLP

What are the limitations of public comment? What is protected speech and when can public comment be limited? In this panel discussion, hear stories and examples of how and when public comments can be terminated. The panel will also review the newly enacted SB 1100 (Cortese, 2022), which allows a presiding officer to remove a person from a public meeting.

Who Does What and Why:  Establishing Good Governance

Amy Ackerman, Jim Ross, and Andrew Shen, Renne Public Law Group, LLP 

This session will explain the roles of the board, individual board members, and district managers to ensure effective governance. Using examples, the session will cover common problems that interfere with effective governance and can result in costly mistakes, including:

  • The roles of Boards and individual members serving on the Board
  • Non-Interference in Administrative Affairs
  • Ensuring Brown Act and Ethics Compliance in Board operations

Maximizing Your Attorney-Client Relationship: Strategies for Public Agencies and Lawyers

Steven Flower, Richards Watson Gershon

The role of the attorney for a public agency is different than for private clients.  What client does the public attorney represent?  Who gives direction on legal matters?  How can Board members and staff ensure that a special district gets high-quality, understandable, and cost-effective legal services?  A public agency attorney answers these questions and provides tips for getting the most value out of your agency’s relationship with its lawyers.

In the Room Where it Happens - Securing LAFCo Representation

Pete Kampa, Groveland Community Services District
Erik Christeson, Kirkwood Meadows Public Utilities District  
Dane Wadle, CSDA
Gary Bell, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley PC

Special districts have the ability to obtain representation on their local LAFCOs. It is an opportunity for districts to build partnerships with local cities and the county. However, not all LAFCOs have district representation. Come hear how districts in Tuolumne and Alpine counties recently obtained representation on their local LAFCOs. This session will provide actionable steps for districts to navigate the process. 

California Voting Rights Act & Redistricting Update 

Derek Cole, Cole Huber LLP
Douglas Johnson, National Demographics Corporation (NDC)

The California Voting Rights Act continues to affect Special Districts as, in the wake of the State Supreme Court’s decision in the Santa Monica case, new interpretation questions affect the decision whether to convert from at-large to district elections.  This presentation will discuss the CVRA, explain recent court developments, and provide practical approaches for how to handle threatened CVRA claims.  The presentation will also discuss California’s comprehensive new approach to redistricting, which has greatly expanded the obligations special districts have after each decennial Census.  Dr. Johnson and Mr. Cole will update Special Districts on what CVRA and redistricting rules mean for their governance, their elected leaders, and their finances

The Evolution of Website Accessibility in 2024

Maria Lara, Streamline

Website accessibility requirements are evolving, as are the steps needed to achieve compliance. In the past, a Chrome Lighthouse scan was the benchmark for ensuring website accessibility and safeguarding against legal claims. Now, districts are challenged with PDF remediation, the publication of comprehensive accessibility policies, and the development of robust remediation processes. However, with the advent of cutting-edge accessibility technologies such as PDF to webpage converters and AI, could the era of accessibility concerns be a thing of the past? Join us for an insightful discussion on the latest regulatory landscape, exploring opportunities to leverage cutting-edge technology for heightened website accessibility and a better experience for communities. Attendees will leave with the technology tools and resources to achieve website accessibility more effectively.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the latest ADA compliance standards and new regulations impacting districts online.
  2. Explore the complexities of modern website accessibility challenges, including PDF remediation, policy formulation, and effective remediation processes.
  3. Learn practical strategies to address these challenges.
  4. Understand the tools available to increase efficiency and provide a better experience for all online users.

California Economic Forecast: A Look Ahead

Rachelle Arizmendi and Francesco Mancia, Avenu Insights and Analytics
Jerry Nickelsburg, UCLA

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Avenu Insights & Analytics are joining forces for a report on the Golden State’s economic future. For 60 years, UCLA Anderson Forecast has provided forecasts for economies across the country; its projections are recognized as one of the most accurate, widely followed, and frequently cited in California. Avenu has provided regional/local forecasts and trends in California for 40 years. Together, their reports provide a comprehensive macro and micro forecast for cities. The session will include a detailed explanation of the numbers and a Q&A session.


5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Mix and Mingle in the Exhibit Hall - GLOW Party Style!

Grab your glow sticks and wear your neon when you stop by the exhibit hall for a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres. Be sure to enter for one more chance to win one of our fabulous prizes!


7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Shots in the Night*

Join CSDA’s highest level Business Affiliates for this exclusive event for district attendees. Experience the excitement of Shots in the Night, featuring Nextlink Laser Putting and Toptracer Driving Range, promising a golfing adventure while fostering valuable connections and collaborations with Business Affiliates and district colleagues!


Wednesday, September 11, 2024

7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Conference Registration Hours


8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
SDRMA Sponsored Full Plated Breakfast
All registered attendees and exhibitors are welcome.


8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

SDRMA General Session Keynote & Awards

Leadership From the Inside Out

Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Speaker, Author, Coach, and “America’s Most-Trusted Celebrity Psychologist”

Mindset training for high-performance leaders

Shift from stress to strength as you elevate your mindset—and your leadership abilities. Your daily thoughts, perceptions, and reactions have a transformative effect on your leadership impact. In this science-informed session, you’ll identify the internal barriers holding you back, discover how to unite your team around a powerful goal, and walk away equipped to inspire everyone you lead.

Sharpen your leadership skills by:

  • Uncovering the internal barriers sabotaging your connection with your team.
  • Learning how to encourage greater collaboration—and stronger momentum.
  • Developing the skills you need to lead anyone.

AWARDS:
  • Transparency Certificate of Excellence
  • District of Distinction


10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

California Government Tort Claim Requirements and What Your Public Agency Needs to Know

Debbie Yokota, Special District Risk Management Authority (SDRMA)
Brian Hamblet, Esq., Burke Williams & Sorenson, LLP

This presentation will focus on what constitutes a government tort claim, who it needs to be submitted to, and how the public agency should process it. This session will provide best practices for receiving a tort claim and the difference between returns without action and rejections.

Setting the Stage for Success: How to Prepare for Capital Improvement Financing

Stefan Morton, Municipal Finance Corporation
Albert Reyes, Kutak Rock, LLP
Nicki Tallman, Brandis Tallman, a Division of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

You’ve recognized that financing capital improvements can be a valuable strategy – or even an absolute necessity – for achieving your district’s goals. But is your district ready to communicate these goals to potential lenders? Can you provide the necessary background information? Have you weighed all the financing options?  In this session, consultants from CSDA Finance Corporation discuss how your district can prepare itself and ensure a successful transaction with the best rate and terms available. 

Getting Started with CEQA

Ann Danforth, Rubin Cruse, and Andrew Shen, Renne Public Law Group, LLP 

CEQA can be intimidating, so join us for this important session as we uncover CEQA’s unique concepts and language. We will discuss basic concepts and requirements alongside real-world examples and illustrations. Additionally, we will explore case law developments and the newest State laws that continue to shape CEQA law. Most importantly, you will learn when a project triggers CEQA and its required processes.  While it is constantly evolving, the panel will bring you up to speed on the latest and greatest in the world of CEQA.

How CUPCCAA Benefits Special Districts in Delivering Public Works Projects

Will Clemens, Oceano Community Services District

The California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act provides Special Districts with the ability to implement alternative bidding procedures on public works projects costing less than $200,000.  The Act is voluntary and supports participating Special Districts with efficient and flexible project delivery.  The session will cover:

  • Key provisions of the act
  • Benefits of participation and how to opt into the Act
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Recent updates

When Decorum and Civility Do Not Work, Then What?

Shelline Bennett, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

In defining roles, values, and expectations, the governing body – the board - and executive director help set the tone and tenor for effective and respectful district operations. If a board member attempts to violate those expectations (i.e., interfering in personnel decisions.), there may be consequences and impacts for the whole organization. In this session we will review the legal and policy process for such a situation, related sensitivities, and discuss opportunities for solutions.  We will look specifically at investigating allegations of misconduct against a Board member, who does not fall within the traditional HR discipline rubric.  We will break down how to navigate the perils and pitfalls in conducting investigations into a Board member’s possible misconduct, how to advise a governing body on rules, laws, and best practices on interacting with District employees, and tips to ensure Board members stay in their own “legal lane” to avoid liability.

What the X? Adjusting Your Agency's Social Media Strategy in an Ever-changing Landscape

Thomas Christensen, County of San Diego
Erin Morales, Cucamonga Valley Water District

It seems like every time you log into a social media platform, something has changed. There are big changes like Twitter becoming X, Next Door allowing special districts to join (finally!) and Facebook constantly changing their administrator pages.  Keeping up with all of the changes can be daunting. This session will help you understand the latest changes in the social media world so you can consider which platforms your agency should invest time and advertising dollars on.

We will also share a strategic overview of how agencies can use different platforms to serve different purposes. Which platforms are most effective with emergency communications?  Which platforms and content will help you build the strongest relationship with your constituents?  Where should you focus your marketing dollars for special event promotions or PSAs?

This session will demystify these questions and more.

Creating Your Own Prevailing Wage Checklist

Deborah Wilder, Contractor Compliance and Monitoring, Inc

You have attended a lot of prevailing wage educational sessions and webinars, but what you really need is an all inclusive checklist of all the prevailing wage obligations.  The checklist includes prevailing wage obligations so you know what is required by just California prevailing wage, and also when the project also needs Davis Bacon compliance or Skilled and Trained Workforce.  Join this class to get your own copy of the Prevailing Wage Checklist and review the specific requirements based on your funding source.


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

SDLF Board and Annual Meeting


12:15 – 2:00 p.m.

Legislative Update Luncheon

CSDA Advocacy Team

(All attendees welcome)

CSDA’s advocacy and legal affairs team will present attendees with the most up-to-date information on the outcome of the biggest state and federal budgetary, legislative, and legal issues impacting special districts in 2024, as well as a sneak peek of what to expect in 2025. Learn about significant new laws coming your way and what they mean for special districts going forward.

Awards Presented:
  • Innovative Project/Program of the Year Award (large district)
  • Innovative Project/Program of the Year Award (small district)
  • Exceptional Public Outreach & Advocacy Award (large district)
  • Exceptional Public Outreach & Advocacy Award (small district)
  • Recognition of Previous and Outgoing Board Members
  • Ralph Heim Exceptional Outreach & Advocacy Award


2:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Legislative Update “Post Script”

CSDA Advocacy Team

Did you leave the Legislative Update Luncheon still hungry for more? We have you covered. Here’s your chance to meet with CSDA’s advocacy experts in a smaller setting designed to expand upon and answer questions related to the topics presented earlier at the luncheon. This breakout session will allow for a deeper dive into the biggest bills and hottest state policy matters in Sacramento impacting special districts. So take notes at the luncheon and bring your questions to the Post-Script.

California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Requirements are Here:  Is Your District Prepared?

Henri Castro, CSP, Special District Risk Management Authority (SDRMA)

The new Workplace Violence Prevention requirements, signed into law under SB553, are effective on July 1, 2024.  This workshop focuses on the written plan requirements, which will include how to conduct a comprehensive workplace violence hazard assessment, developing and implementing a written plan, understanding the violent incident logging requirements, and why tailored employee training is critical. We’ll also talk about the obstacles attendees have faced over the last couple of months and effective implementation strategies. 



How Special Districts Can Work with Various Partners and Cities to Secure Revenue and Improve Services to Our Shared Communities

Scott Sear, Kevin Kalman, Barb Adair, and Troy Strange, Desert Recreation District

We’ll dive into the dynamic and multifaceted relationships between special districts, local partners and cities. Participants will explore a variety of strategies to enhance cooperation and partnership, crucial for the delivery of essential services and the promotion of community well-being. We’ll also examine the role of ballot measures and tax assessments as tools for funding and prioritizing projects that matter most to the communities. the session will highlight innovative ways to engage with communities, ensuring that funding measures are grounded in the needs and desires of the residents they serve.

Crafting Your Roadmap to Success: Developing a Meaningful Strategic Plan

Martin Rauch, Rauch Communication Consultants, Inc.

Many districts have some type of strategic plan but feel it falls short in one way or another. This session will guide you to improve an existing planning process or develop a new one because whatever the challenges facing your district, it is critical to build a realistic, step-by-step, and well-supported plan to get there. You will receive guidance on evaluating the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing your district and developing clear board direction for the future. This lively session will feature sharing of actual experiences (good and bad) by the participants and seminar leader. The session will provide numerous practical tips that you can bring home to your District. It will also demonstrate how staff can develop implementation plans and successfully engage the Board, executive team, staff, and public in this process. You will also learn how to pin down clear direction in plain English, measure results, and more. 

Competency Modeling: Transforming Teams, Elevating Performance, and Fostering Inclusion 

Wendi Brown, WBCP, Inc.

Discover how competency modeling serves as a compass for organizations, enabling them to identify the skills and strengths crucial to their unique culture and team success. Participants will gain a profound understanding of how competency modeling provides clarity in job descriptions, helps identify and develop leadership, and aligns organizational goals with skills necessary to thrive in today's business landscape. Participants will explore practical strategies for creating a more inclusive workforce, fostering an environment where everyone’s unique talents contribute to collective success.

Three learning objectives:

  • Guides organizations in discerning and prioritizing key skills and strengths essential for cultivating culture and achieving team success.
  • Revolutionizes talent acquisition by enabling organizations to efficiently identify exemplary candidates, break down barriers, and foster a culture of equity and inclusion.
  • Constructs a clear pathway for professional development, elevating engagement levels, and nurturing high-performance teams.

Diversifying Revenue Streams: A Roadmap for Special District Funding

Donna Segura and Megan Quinn, Harris & Associates, Inc.
Mrunal Shah, Best Best & Krieger LLP

Join us for an overview of funding options available to special districts and municipalities.  We will cover the basic requirements, eligibility, pros/cons, and legal requirements.

Homelessness Redux: Follow-up to What Special Districts Need to Know and What They Can Do in an Ever Evolving Landscape

Richard Pio Roda, Redwood Public Law, LLP

California continues to have the largest homeless population in the U.S. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ landmark decision in Martin v. City of Boise continues to be interpreted and stretched by decisions, focused on enforcement of sleep, lie, camping or similar ordinances where there is insufficient shelter space to accommodate all homeless people, and mitigating violations of the Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. This session is a follow up to the 2022 session and updates attendees on the current laws, challenges and best practices for addressing homelessness and its impact on special districts. 


2:15 - 3:30 p.m.

CSDAFC Board and Annual Meeting


3:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Keeping Up with the Surplus Land Act

Larry Kosmont, Kosmont Financial Services; Matthew Cody, Best Best & Krieger LLP; Lisa Krause, Senior Housing Policy Specialist, California Department of Housing and Community Development

The SLA was amended in 2023 and HCD is updating their guidance for disposing of surplus property.  This presentation will discuss key compliance issues and resources for districts seeking to make best use of their real property assets. 

Navigating Generational Differences

Tracy Miller, TM Consulting

In our rapidly evolving world, understanding and harnessing the diverse perspectives and experiences of different generations is crucial for leaders. TM Consulting’s "Navigating Generational Differences" workshop provides a comprehensive and interactive platform for attendees to explore the intricacies of multi-generational dynamics, enabling them to enhance their leadership skills and decision-making capabilities. This unique workshop combines theoretical knowledge with practical strategies to help participants effectively manage and lead diverse teams, make informed decisions, and create inclusive environments within their respective domains.

Attendees will learn:

  1. Communicate Effectively with various generations.
  2. Empower all generations through persuasive communication.
  3. Resolve generation conflict.
  4. Build cohesive productive teams.

From Idea to Action: Budgeting for Strategic Impact 

Almis Udrys, OpenGov

Driving meaningful outcomes requires identifying strategic priorities, aligning your team, securing the resources, managing the execution, and communicating impact during the budget process.

No matter how you currently budget, you can make small and meaningful changes to increase your budget framework maturity and align the budget process with your strategic plan. No matter how you measure your performance, you can also make small and meaningful changes to centralize your ability to track progress towards your strategic goals and drive community outcomes.

During this session, we will dive into best-in-class examples of planning and performance frameworks for driving exceptional progress in your community through your budget.

In this session you will learn:

  • Best practices for strategic budgeting – from ideation to cross-functional coalition building;
  • How performance measures can be used to better inform budgeting and strategic program decision making; and
  • How to drive internal stakeholder alignment and community engagement around strategic performance measures by sharing results in the right ways.

Tools for Navigating Elected Officials Who Won't Follow the Rules

David Prentice and Margaret Long, Prentice | Long PC

What do you do when one of your board members is sexually harassing staff?  How can you get your board members to attend legally required trainings? What happens when your board members personally attack each other and engage in bullying behavior? In this session you’ll learn what your responsibilities are for ensuring that the elected officials in your agency follow the laws. You’ll also learn about practical tools and resources for successfully dealing with elected officials who refuse to comply. And finally, you’ll learn about what can legally be done if your attempts to resolve these issues have failed.

Cover 80% of Cybersecurity Project Costs with the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program

Corey Kaufman, VC3

The federal government has provided funding to assist State, Local and Tribal (SLT) governments with managing and reducing systemic cyber risk. The grant will cover 80% of the cost—meaning your special district will only be responsible for 20%. Previous years’ envisioned cybersecurity grant dollars distributions didn’t look like much for local government entities, so many didn’t apply – leaving significant funding for those who did. In this presentation, we’ll discuss how the grant program works, how to apply, and how CSDA can help.


6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Taste of the City: Casino Night!

Sample local food and beverages while enjoying casino games, music from our DJ, and a lively silent auction, benefiting SDLF. 


8:30 – 10:00 p.m.

VIP After Party - Stir @ The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa

Close out the final night of Annual Conference with dancing and a DJ at the VIP After Party.

Download CSDA – The Hub Icon for the Apple app store. | Icon for Google Play store. then stop by the Connection Spot to get your VIP Pass.


Thursday, September 12, 2024

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Closing Program: Connect and Collaborate

Hilary Straus, Citrus Heights Water District
Mike Kreeger, Chino Valley Independent Fire District

We've saved the best for last! Join us for a unique and valuable opportunity to spend time with your special district peers, discuss issues unique to your particular district type, trade ideas and best practices, and listen to one another’s stories. Continental breakfast will also be provided. It’s the perfect way to wrap up Annual Conference! 

Awards Presented:
  • Excellence in Technology
  • Chapter of the Year
  • Beacon Awards


10:00 a.m.

Conference adjourns