Issue 116 - October 2021
Authority Members Gather to Take a “Voyage Through the Sea of Risks” at 26th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum
More than 300 Authority members, business partners, and staff gathered at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego from October 6–8 to journey on S.S. Authority: Voyage Through the Sea of Risks.
After last year’s virtual event, this year’s Forum once again provided participants the opportunity to interact with experienced speakers, have access to relevant and timely presentations and enjoy the venue to interact and network with members and business partners.
Wednesday’s first opening session addressed exposures relating to homelessness. Navigating to Shore: A Formula for Ending Homelessness led the day and focused on success stories that have helped communities reduce homelessness and the reoccurrence of homelessness.
The second opening session, Pirates of the Seas: Avoiding Cyber Attacks, presented real-life encounters with cyber attacks. The topic spoke to the growing threat of cyber attacks, as well as Authority resources that members can utilize to defend against being a target and knowing where to turn if targeted.
Participants gathered on Thursday morning for breakfast and a warm welcome by Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull and Master of Ceremonies Katie Linendoll. Shull shared, “The Authority plans each Forum so that members can study topics and issues relevant to local government. I am proud that the Authority hosts this educational experience each year where members can be together and learn together.”
For the first time, the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors was held during the Forum on Thursday morning. The business meeting presented information about the Authority’s annual report, strategic plan, objectives, and accomplishments over the past year. In addition, voting delegates elected Margaret Finlay (City of Duarte) to serve as President for a two-year term. Marshall Goodman (City of La Palma), Darcy McNaboe (City of Grand Terrace), and Sonny Santa Ines (City of Bellflower) were also elected to the Executive Committee.
Also, six members were presented with the Risk Management Award for demonstrating superior risk management practices. Those six members were:
Primary Liability Program
- City of Port Hueneme (Municipal Agencies with Police Exposure)
- City of Laguna Niguel (Municipal Agencies without Police Exposure)
- Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (Non-Municipal Agencies)
Primary Workers’ Compensation Program
- City of Pismo Beach (Municipal Agencies with Public Safety Exposure)
- City of Westlake Village (Municipal Agencies without Public Safety Exposure)
- Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Non-Municipal Agencies)
The Forum’s keynote speaker, Captain Richard Phillips, shared the captivating story of the Maersk Alabama hijacking and the Captain and crew being held hostage by Somali pirates. Captain Phillips spoke on how to lead with courage when facing a significant crisis, focusing on problem-solving, avoiding tunnel vision, and having the ability to make and follow through on decisions in an emergency or in everyday situations.
Thursday’s breakout sessions addressed emerging risk management issues including Defending Police and Fire Litigation, Ethics for Public Officials, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace, ADA Transition Plan Strategies and Prioritization, Legal Guidance for Public Officials on Social Media, and Reducing Strain-Related Injuries. A full listing of the breakout sessions and links to presentations are available in the Forum Agenda.
The Forum’s success is significantly owed to the overwhelming support of those partners that contributed financially toward the Forum’s program and activities. Shull recognized over 30 partners at the Sponsor Lunch on Thursday. Shull said, “The partnerships we have developed together allow us to continue to deliver an exceptional educational experience for our members. We deeply appreciate the role of our strategic partners in supporting this educational event.”
Following the Sponsor Lunch, Assistant Executive Officer Norm Lefmann recognized the finalists for the 8th Annual Capstone Award. The Capstone Award is presented annually to an individual at a member agency who best exemplifies the practice of risk management. This year’s Capstone Award was presented to Arabo Parseghian, Division Manager with the City of La Cañada Flintridge. Lefmann then introduced ReClaim, an important and data-informed initiative that educates and equips members to build strategies to reduce exposure to claims that represent the greatest impact to members.
The Forum concluded Friday morning with a liability case law update and a presentation on the “Reptile Theory” and how public agencies can defend against it.
Mark your calendars now to attend the 27th Annual California JPIA Risk Management Educational Forum to be held October 5–7, 2022, in Santa Barbara.Print Article
Arabo Parseghian from the City of La Cañada Flintridge was presented with the Capstone Award on October 7 at the Authority’s 26th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum in San Diego. The Capstone Award is presented annually to an individual at a member agency who best exemplifies the practice of risk management.
Parseghian, the City of La Cañada Flintridge’s Division Manager, was selected from four finalists and chosen for his exemplary risk management efforts. Some of Parseghian’s accomplishments include the coordination of the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) self-evaluation and transition plan, developing an innovative ADA app that allowed the city to inventory curb ramps in real time, regularly evaluating the city’s emergency preparedness programs and plans, and providing advice and guidance to the city on matters involving information technology and cybersecurity. Additionally, Parseghian is often recognized for being a strong proponent of effective risk management at the city.
During the ceremony, the following individuals were also recognized as finalists for this year’s Capstone Award:
- Rachel Bowman, Administrative Analyst for the City of Big Bear Lake
- Shannon Buckley, Director of Administrative Services for the City of Lake Elsinore
- Dorna Farhadi, Senior Management Analyst for the City of Laguna Niguel
Assistant Executive Officer Norm Lefmann reflected on the presentation, saying, “This is an important recognition of four outstanding individuals that work tirelessly behind the scenes. The Authority relies on these and others like them to effectively carry out our mission in forging strong partnerships with members.”
The 9th Annual Capstone Award will be presented next year at the 27th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum to be held October 5–7, 2022 in Santa Barbara.Print Article
California JPIA leaders welcomed the opportunity to convene in person on October 7, 2021, during the 26th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum in San Diego after a virtual meeting was held in 2020. A quorum of delegates, representing 74 member agencies, attended the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors, the governing body of the California JPIA, consists of one elected official appointed by each of 123 member agencies, including 98 cities, 18 joint powers authorities, and seven special districts.
“The Board of Directors actively participates in shaping the California JPIA by making decisions that benefit the full membership,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull. “Along with our elected Executive Committee, the Board of Directors ensures that the Authority remains a member-focused, mutually supportive partnership.”
Executive Committee President Margaret Finlay, City of Duarte, welcomed delegates as “true heroes” for their leadership and service to the Authority and their respective member agencies. She extended special greetings to representatives from the City of Santa Clarita, a new member this year, as well as delegates from the cities of Hemet, Lemon Grove, Pacific Grove, Stanton, Vista, and West Covina, and the Rossmoor Community Services District, all of whom were attending their first in-person Annual Meeting.
Delegates elected Finlay as president of the Executive Committee. Marshall Goodman, City of La Palma; Darcy McNaboe, City of Grand Terrace; and Sonny Santa Ines, City of Bellflower, were elected to serve two-year terms as members of the Executive Committee.
Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull presented a strategic plan and operational overview, rooted in the Authority’s mission, vision, and values and focused on service to members’ constituents and communities.
The meeting was adjourned to the next Board of Directors meeting, which will coincide with the 27th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum, on October 6, 2022 in Santa Barbara.Print Article
California JPIA Employment Practices Manager Kelly Trainer Policky will present two sessions at the 2021 California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA) Annual Conference in Monterey, November 16–19.
CALPELRA provides training and professional development that helps California public sector labor and employment professionals better serve their local government agencies. The Conference, themed “Color Your Space: A Spectrum of Opportunities,” offers a forum in which attendees can learn about and gain fresh perspectives on the nuances of California’s public sector labor and human resources.
First, Policky will team up with Katy Suttorp of Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP to present “Navigating through the Fog of Fitness-for-Duty Evaluations.” The session will address a complex question: When and by what means is it appropriate to order an employee to submit to a fitness-for-duty evaluation? Policky and Suttorp will analyze the legal framework that governs fitness-for-duty evaluations, including disability laws under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Federal Emergency Management Agency, medical leaves of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act, and medical privacy standards under the U.S. Constitution and privacy statutes such as the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well as Peace Officer Standards and Training for law enforcement personnel. Through real-life scenarios, participants will learn about the circumstances that can—and the circumstances that do not—justify a fitness-for-duty evaluation, common mistakes and how to avoid them, how to effectively use fitness-for-duty evaluations in the workplace, the importance of having a fitness-for-duty evaluation policy, and how updating job descriptions can proactively address common fitness-for-duty issues.
In her second session, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Legal Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Policky and Traci Park of Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP will cover emerging liability and litigation issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, using examples from the more than 400 employment-related lawsuits filed in California over the last year. Focusing on what organizations can do to prevent and mitigate against liability stemming from the most common causes of action, Policky and Park will discuss how to develop policies and practices that will translate into a healthy and legally compliant workplace for the long term.
“It is an honor to be part of CALPELRA’s Annual Conference,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull. “Sharing information and exchanging insight with the influential professionals in attendance will reinforce the California JPIA’s commitment to stewarding best practices in risk management among our members and throughout California.”Print Article
Providing multiple modes and formats of training is important, especially during these challenging times. To that end, the California JPIA training staff has developed new online and virtual classroom training courses to ensure that your agency receives necessary safety, compliance, best practice, and professional development training.
Included in this development are online safety courses that fully meet Cal/OSHA safety requirements in the same way as our classroom training. Many of these trainings are required annually, this serving as a useful way to provide necessary training to your employees. These trainings are on-demand, self-paced, and helpful when employees miss scheduled training or in situations where it might be difficult to schedule all employees to attend a live training together.
These courses include:
- Asbestos Awareness – Refresher Training
- Bloodborne Pathogens and Biohazards – Refresher Training
- Confined Space – Initial Training
- Portable Fire Extinguisher – Initial Training
- Lead Awareness – Refresher Training
- Lockout Tagout – Refresher Training
- Hearing Conservation – Refresher Training
- Heat Illness – Refresher Training
- Heat Illness for Supervisors – Refresher Training
- Safe Driving – Refresher Training
- Safe Driving of Commercial Vehicles – Refresher Training
- Shop Safety 101
- Shop Safety 102
In addition to the safety trainings listed above, the Authority has recently developed a number of additional compliance, best practice, and professional development online trainings. These include:
- Conflict Resolution
- Business Writing Essentials
- Working in a Fishbowl
- Workstation Ergonomics for Home and Office
- Managing Your Work Team Remotely
- Effective Communication
- Maximize Your Time
- Meeting Management
- Excellent Customer Service
- Rooting Out Implicit Bias
- Workplace Harassment Prevention for Non-Supervisors
- Workplace Harassment Prevention for Supervisors
- Workplace Harassment Prevention for Local Agency Officials
The new workplace harassment prevention trainings are handy as they do not require multiple modules to be taken to meet the full regulatory requirements for training as previous online courses.
In addition to the training listed above, the California JPIA has approximately 370 e-learnings, short take training videos, and other online content available in our catalogue on myjpia.org. We are in development of many more online training courses and will make them available as we go forward. For additional information about the Authority’s training content or how we can help your agency with training during this challenging time, please contact Ryan Thomas, Training and Loss Control Specialist.Print Article
To better connect with current members and reach potential new members, the Authority has an active presence on social media. Members can find information on various topics on the social media channels listed below.
Connect with our latest posts:
“Saturday, October 23 is National #MakeADifferenceDay! Celebrate the volunteers that have made a difference in our communities, and visit the Authority’s website, cjpia.org, to find helpful volunteer resources for public agencies.”
Comment and share:
“In this Public CEO podcast, Kelly Trainer Policky, the California JPIA’s Employment Practices Manager, discusses how she works with Authority members to find early and appropriate resolutions to high-risk employment situations.”
Follow us, comment, and share about risk management:
“Congratulations to Ali Sajjad Taj, Artesia Councilmember, on being elected as @CalCities’ First Vice President! @OfficialArtesia @CityofElCentro”
Like and follow us:
For information on how to join these sites or participate in discussions, please contact Courtney Morrison, Management Analyst.Print Article
Originally published on September 20, 2021. Reprinted with permission from Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP.
Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 361 (AB 361) on September 16, 2021, which amends the Ralph M. Brown Act to provide additional provisions that allow meetings of legislative bodies to be conducted via teleconference. AB 361 went into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature.
AB 361 comes as the provisions of Executive Order No. N-29-20 (as revised by Executive Order No. N-08-21), which modifies the requirements for the conduct of meetings via teleconference during the COVID-19 pandemic, are set to expire on September 30, 2021. While the intent of Executive Order No. N-29-20 and AB 361 are both to facilitate public access to meetings via teleconferencing options, there are differences between the two. Governor Newsom also recently signed Executive Order N-15-21 suspending the provisions of AB 361 through September 30, 2021, except that any legislative body that meets to determine whether meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees must comply with the requirements of AB 361. Legislative bodies may continue to meet under Executive Order N-29-20 until September 30th.
AB 361 will allow a local agency legislative body to hold a meeting utilizing teleconferencing without complying with the standard teleconferencing requirements if the Governor has proclaimed a State of Emergency and any of the following circumstances:
- State or local officials have imposed or recommended measures to promote social distancing.
- The meeting is being held for the purposes of determining, by majority vote, whether as a result of the emergency, meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
- The legislative body has determined that as a result of the emergency, meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
The Governor’s March 4, 2020 Proclamation of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is still in effect.
If a meeting is held via teleconference under AB 361, the following requirements apply:
- Notice of the meeting must still be given in compliance with the Brown Act, and the notice must include the means by which the public may access the meeting and provide public comment.
- The public must be provided access to the meeting via a call-in option or internet-based service option and allowed to “address the legislative body directly.” The agency does not have to provide an in-person option for the public to attend the meeting.
- The meeting must be conducted “in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties and the public appearing before the legislative body.”
- If there is a disruption to the meeting broadcast or in the ability to take call-in or internet-based public comment, no further action can be taken on agenda items until the issue is resolved.
- The body cannot require comments to be submitted before the start of the meeting. The public must be allowed to make “real time” public comment.
- Reasonable time for public comment must be provided. If the agency provides a timed public comment period, the public comment period must be left open until the time expires.
Findings must be made every 30 days to continue to conduct teleconference meetings under AB 361. The body must find it has reconsidered the circumstances of the state of emergency and either 1) the emergency continues to impact the ability to meet safely in person, or 2) State or local officials continue to impose or recommend social distancing.
AB 361 makes similar amendments to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, applicable to State legislative bodies, and the Gloria Romero Open Meetings Act, applicable to student body organizations within the California State University system.Print Article
To help members identify and reduce the cost of claims involving cases where the application of governmental immunities may be a potential dispositive defense, the California JPIA has launched ReClaim, a new awareness campaign. This important, data-driven initiative will help members understand and address high-impact claims so that they can redirect critical funding toward important programs and services.
To receive an alert when new materials are available, please contact Management Analyst Courtney Morrison.
This summer, the ReClaim campaign focused on a series of three specific governmental immunities—Hazardous Recreational Activity Immunity, Design Immunity, and Trail Immunity—chosen because claims in these areas represent the greatest impact to members, including cost, reputation, and organizational disruption.
“Although these claims impact members differently, depending on each agency’s size and history, there is one common data point,” said Assistant Executive Officer Norm Lefmann during a focused session at the Authority’s 26th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum. “For the liability program—the one program in which all members participate—the top five claims have cost $85M over the last five years, or $17M shared annually by all members.”
Supported by California JPIA staff with expertise in member services, training, liability, and programs, the ReClaim campaign targets employees at all levels of the Authority’s member organizations with new and existing resources including a dedicated set of web pages, videos, white papers, infographics, social media posts, newsletter articles, and other materials that leverage the full range of the Authority’s communications channels to help members develop a deep understanding of immunity-related claims.
“One of the gold standards of the California JPIA is that they’re always ahead of the game, being very proactive rather than being reactive,” said Capstone Award winner Arabo Parseghian, division manager at the City of La Cañada Flintridge. “ReClaim is a testament to the California JPIA anticipating and addressing potential future liabilities.”
Over the next several months, the ReClaim campaign will continue to educate members through a dedicated series of emails, digital media assets, and printed materials.
“The Authority and its members are like a family; we share a purpose and we share responsibility for each other,” said Lefmann. “Carrying out the ReClaim initiative will take effort, but facing the undertaking as a family will make it achievable.
For more information, please visit cjpia.org/reclaim.Print Article
The California JPIA congratulates Accounting Specialist Habib Ali, who celebrates his five-year anniversary with the Authority this October.
Ali, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in finance, real estate, and law from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, previously was a tax bookkeeper for the Panda Restaurant Group, a member of the inside sales staff for the Zemarc Corporation, a product process specialist for Best Buy, and an associate with the Bank of America. He transitioned to public service when he joined the City of Artesia’s staff as an accounting technician in 2015. While working in Artesia’s finance department as an accounts payable clerk, Ali learned about the position at the California JPIA from the finance director, who encouraged him to apply; he joined the Authority’s staff in 2016.
Ali is responsible for processing accounts payable, reconciling invoices, and providing technical and clerical assistance to the finance staff—all in support of the California JPIA’s members.
“Every individual on our staff has the same goal: to help our members,” said Ali. “At the end of the day, regardless of role or department, that common goal ties us together.”
A typical day for Ali begins with integrating the Authority’s daily banking transactions, such as payments to vendors and claim payments. Other weekly tasks include processing staff benefit payments, reconciling staff credit cards, and running checks and deposits.
“As an accounting specialist, Habib fills a very important role for the California JPIA and its members,” said Finance Director Jason McBride. “His diligence and attention to details contribute to ensuring the appropriate use of members’ funds and financial transparency. He is a pleasure to work with.”
When asked why he likes working for the Authority, Ali said the first thing that comes to mind is the staff.
“Everyone on staff has been amazing to work with,” he said. “My second day on the job, I was working at the Risk Management Educational Forum, meeting all of the members and hearing about their admiration for the California JPIA. The atmosphere and culture at the Authority is the best I’ve been around.”
During his time on the California JPIA’s staff, Ali—who also serves in a leadership capacity as the events committee coordinator for the annual Risk Management Educational Forum—said he has learned to pivot at a moment’s notice: “You have to be ready to switch gears in an instant and adapt to change when you don’t expect it,” he said. “I would cite the past two years’ Risk Management Educational Forums as an example: 2020 was an unprecedented year during which we had to quickly change from an in-person to a virtual event. This year, we planned a successful in-person event within a short time frame. All of this was possible because of our teamwork.”
“Habib shines the most when it comes to helping staff and members,” said Deputy Executive Officer Alex Smith. “His friendliness and sincerity always leave an impression, and he’s well known for having a positive disposition and providing service with a smile.”
Congratulations, Habib, on your five-year anniversary!Print Article