Excerpted from LATimes.com
August 28, 2013

SACRAMENTO — Improved government accountability and transparency were the focus of several bills that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Wednesday.

One directs the Department of Finance to guide monitors of state agencies to ensure they are independent and objective in scrutinizing agency operations. State agencies have been required to have independent monitors keeping an eye on accounting and administrative practices since 2011.

Assembly member Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) said his bill, AB 117, would help flesh out the role such monitors play.

"If you've got a thousand agencies and a thousand individuals sitting in the bowels of these agencies and they have no training, and no clear explanation of who they report to, that's worthless," Cooley said.

He said the need for strong monitors was underscored by the recent accounting scandal at the California parks department, in which officials concealed nearly $54 million in surplus funds.

Brown signed another Cooley bill Wednesday, AB 1248, requiring the state controller to work with local and state agencies to develop a set of auditing "best practices" to clamp down on accounting errors and fraud.

The governor also approved AB 1365, by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), intended to improve the public's access to government reports by requiring state and local agencies to file them electronically rather than on paper.

The state's Office of Legislative Counsel, which keeps a list of all available reports, will be required to provide website links for the online reports.

And Brown signed AB 1218, by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), which authorizes the state auditor to conduct follow-ups related to an audit's initial findings and recommendations.

Successes

  • Fiscal Prudence
  • My City Hall
  • A Model Government

Ken's conservative financial habits reflect the values of his home life with Sydney, his wife of 36 years, who has served for many years as bookkeeper for Cordova Neighborhood Church.

His habit of care with money was deepened and reinforced by his 18 Year private sector business career as In-House Counsel to State Farm Insurance, one of America’s most successful financial enterprises. The stewardship of Ken’s city with tax dollars makes it a rarity — 8 yrs of balanced budgets, every year a surplus, never yet dipped into our reserves, chosen as an All America City during his second term as Mayor...

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Government works best when it is connected to those it serves.

I believe that, and during my 1st term as Mayor in 2005, I did something to make that idea a part of my city’s history and identity.

While still under construction, I opened our future City Council Chamber to City residents for an event I called ”My City Hall”. City residents – young and old - had one evening to enter the shell of our under construction City Hall...

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International study into effective governance makes City of Rancho Cordova its first stop.

The People’s Republic of China has 10 study missions now underway around the globe to explore how a variety of modern democratic societies manage change through deliberative government institutions. Rancho Cordova was singled out as the first stop for the team that is conducting its survey here in the United States. The clip that folllows was aired on Sacramenmto area television as the local news crews profiled the team from China’s visit to Rancho Cordova City Hall.

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