SACRAMENTO – Palmdale Mayor pro tem Steve Hofbauer is in Sacramento for a couple days this week as the Legislature convenes to meet with lawmakers, especially those in the huge incoming freshman class, to discuss issues of importance to local government, and especially to cities that contract for essential city services.
Hofbauer arrived in Sacramento Sunday evening for strategy sessions with other city mayors and council members. Hofbauer has been a member of the Legislative Committee of the California Contract Cities Association, where he has served as Palmdale’s delegate for almost 10 years. He has traveled to Sacramento as part of the contingent of city representatives at the start of the legislative session each year to advocate for local control and community issues.
“It’s important for us to make our case and get our priorities before the legislators and their senior staff early, as they will be getting bombarded by all the various special interests” Hofbauer said. “The vast majority of the new legislators are coming in from local government, so they have that important background, and will have 12 years under the new law in their seat. Unlike previous lawmakers with more restrictive term limits, these folks will be around long enough to have the ability to make a difference, as well as see the results of their actions. You didn’t have that cause and effect relationship before. We are hoping this will bring positive results for the state and for local government.”
Monday morning Hofbauer’s team met with Assembly members Ken Cooley, Jim Frazier, Scott Wilk, followed by Raul Bocanegra, Al Muratuchi and our own Steve Fox in the afternoon. Other representatives met with most of the incoming lawmakers in both houses throughout the day.
“The discussions were open and candid. We are seeing a different attitude coming from the members, in that there [is] less finger pointing, and a sense that they want to govern from the center, instead of the fringes,” Hofbauer said. “We can only hope, and do what we can to encourage that.”
Councilman Hofbauer explained how the Contract Cities Association priorities, from a group perceptive, don’t differ much from our own city’s priorities: Post-redevelopment economic development; Prisoner and parolee realignment and early release concerns; Enhancing our relationships with state representatives; and Pension reform and budget sustainability.
“Tuesday we have more member cities joining us, and will have briefings by Assembly and Senate members, house leadership, and constitutional officers, followed by a short reception to get together in a less formal environment with the legislators and their staff,”Hofbauer said. “I will be getting together one-on-one with Mr. Fox and Mr. Knight over dinner and breakfast, as well, to reinforce our local issues, as well as offer our support for their legislative terms.”
Hofbauer reports continuously throughout the sessions to the community on twitter @stevehofbauer.
(Information via press release from Palmdale Mayor pro tem Steve Hofbauer.)