The close of each calendar year provides an opportunity to pause, reflect, and set goals. As I look back on 2019, I am incredibly proud of the Authority’s accomplishments, initiatives, and exceptional service to our members in the wake of new and emerging risk management issues including First Amendment audits, cyber incidents, wildfires, and Public Safety Power Shutoff events.
On behalf of the Authority, I was honored in February to receive the California City Management Foundation Corporate Sponsor Award in recognition of the Authority’s contributions to the city management profession. The Authority also received recognition in August from the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities for earning Accreditation with Excellence for its second consecutive three-year cycle.
Both of these accomplishments were achieved through the dedication of the Authority’s capable staff, whose professional acumen has established the Authority as a leader in the pooling industry. I am particularly grateful for staff celebrating milestone anniversaries this year: Assistant Executive Officer Norm Lefmann, 15 years; Chief Financial Officer Alex Smith, 10 years; Administrative Analyst Courtney Morrison, five years; and Administrative Assistant Denise Covell, five years.
These longtime employees’ institutional knowledge and industry experience is complemented by the fresh perspective of a new leader on the Authority’s Executive Committee. Marshall Goodman, mayor of the City of La Palma, was appointed to fill a vacancy in April and elected at the Board meeting in July. A member of the Board of Directors since December 2016, he brings demonstrated analytical ability and consensus-building insight, as well as a focused interest in member education and training.
The culmination of three years hard work came together in July with the formation of the Sequoia Pacific Reinsurance Company. The Authority-owned captive insurance company will reduce the cost of coverage for members and further safeguard the Authority’s competitive advantage in the public entity pooling industry.
The pool welcomed back the City of West Hollywood, which reestablished its membership after a five-year hiatus. West Hollywood joins the Authority’s other members which now includes 92 cities,18 joint powers authorities, and six special districts.
The pinnacle of our always-exemplary educational efforts was the 24th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum. The Forum set an attendance record with over 400 Authority members, business partners, and staff gathered in Indian Wells.
As we look ahead to 2020, I am inspired by the Authority’s continued progress and ever-improving resources. Warm thanks for your continued engagement with and support of the California JPIA.
We wish you a very happy holiday season and New Year.