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RGS eNews Content for November 2019
Reconnecting

Work can be exhilarating and tedious; we’re constantly feeling pushed.  Emails pour in, phone calls and videoconference meetings are needed to explain the emails.  Today’s work environment can be an isolating experience even though we are collaborating with others throughout the day.  Face to face interaction, even with our staff, is a challenge; but with our colleagues in other organizations, it has become the exception.

One of the greatRGS advisors Edwardo Raya and Brian Maura at RGS boothest benefits of attending a conference is reconnecting in person with those we may work with ‘remotely’ or only encounter once a year.  For some of us in virtual or semi-virtual environments, conferences can also give us that reconnecting experience with staff.  Sure, the instructional sessions at conferences are valuable, and maybe we take away one or two ‘lessons’ we want to consider for our agencies.  But beyond that, it is these personal interactions that can spark many more work lessons that will stay with us much longer.

Regional Government Services Authority recently attended the League of California Cities annual conference in Long Beach, and despite the logistical challenges and the disruption of our daily routines, for me, reconnecting with our colleagues was the highlight of the conference.  When you attend, I highly recommend taking a tour of all the vendor booths at the expo.  I bet it will take hours because you’ll reconnect with old acquaintances, colleagues, vendors - and oftentimes those individuals have changed hats (that is, changed jobs, agencies, vendors and some have changed industries).  If you have time, check the interesting services and products on display.

Thank you to all those stopping by the RGS booth – RGS Board Members and employees, colleagues, vendors, as well as those I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time.  Look forward to reconnecting at the next conference.  

 

Richard Averett
Executive Director
After 150 Years, Suisun City Adopts its First Strategic Plan

The RGS Strategic Planning Team is extremely proud to have been able to help the City of Suisun City develop and adopt its first Strategic Plan since its incorporation over 150 years ago. The City Council adopted a plan to help guide its development and priorities for the next five years. 
 
“RGS was an excellent facilitator in getting our City’s Strategic Plan prepared in a short amount of time,” said City Manager Greg Folsom. “They were able to work with a diverse Council and help to come to a consensus on a plan for moving our City forward, something that has been lacking in the past.”
 
Congratulations to the City Council, City staff and the over 300 members of the public who participated in this process. If your agency is looking for a partner to help develop its Strategic Plan, contact Director of Communications & Strategic Planning Kendall Flint at (650) 587-7310 or via email at kflint@rgs.ca.gov.
Local Governments Adapt to Environmental Challenges
 
California will have to adapt to what may be permanent shifts in climate, with high winds, power outages, and increased threats of fire. Local government agencies will need to be resilient to continue operations and address needs while keeping their constituents and employees safe. 

A recent example of this resiliency occurred during RGS’ Fall Regional Leadership Academies. Under high wind forecasts and an unprecedented PG&E power grid shutdown, RGS had two regional academies in the affected region. One was hosted by the City of Vacaville, the other by the West County Wastewater District (WCWD) in Richmond, CA. Both could have 
canceled or postponed due to potential delivery and attendance risks. Instead, they persevered, moving the training sessions into locations with backup generator power and informing participants of backup traffic signals and safety conditions in the area to ensure the academies could continue safely in the event we lost power.

In addition, RGS trainers demonstrated their willingness to deliver the training and adapt to the changes they may be presented with (late attendees, teaching from the binder instead of a 
powerpoint presentation if necessary, and working with on-site personnel to problem-solve). All registered participants still chose to attend, even as we encouraged them to follow their communities’ and agencies’ directives on appropriate response to weather emergencies, keep updated on all public service advisories, and exercise caution based on conditions where they resided. 

We want to thank our host agencies for their perseverance. Their efforts highlight the importance of leadership training to our host agencies and participants, but also the importance of adapting to changing environmental factors while keeping agency services running and needs 
met.
 
Legislation for the New Year That may Affect Your Agency
Effective 1/1/2020, New Rule Modifying FLSA Earnings Threshold for White Collar Exemptions

In September, the US Department of Labor announced a final rule which is expected to make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective January 1, 2020, the ruling modifies the earnings threshold for “white collar” employees who are exempt under the FLSA, who are not covered by the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the law.
 
In the final rule, the Department of Labor is:
  • raising the "standard salary level" from the currently enforced level of $455 to $684 per week;
  • raising the total annual compensation level for "highly compensated employees (HCE)" from the currently-enforced level of $100,000 to $107,432 per year;
  • allowing employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level; and
  • revising the special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and in the motion picture industry.
 It’s critical that your agency is in compliance with these new regulations as nonadherence can prove costly. Contact Sophia Selivanoff at sselivanoff@rgs.ca.gov to help ensure that your agency is in compliance with this new rule.
Learn More
SB No. 542 Creates a Strong Presumption of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Injury for Every Police Officer, Deputy Sheriff and Firefighter in California

Firefighting and law enforcement are recognized as the two most stressful domestic occupations, where the high-stress situations and traumatic incidents push first responders to their limits. As an imperative to recognize occupational injuries related to post-traumatic stress, SB No.542 has been signed into legislation and by January 1st, 2020, will compel agencies to grant police and firefighter worker's compensation claims for PTSD.


“Every day, we ask firefighters and law enforcement officers to run into flames and gunfire — but too often, when the weight of these traumas becomes too much for these heroes to bear, we turn a blind eye to their struggles,” said state Sen. Henry Stern, the bill’s author.

RGS wants to sincerely thank all our public servants who dedicate their lives to serve our communities. We are grateful for the ceaseless courage and bravery they show while in the line of duty.
Read More
RGS Advisor Spotlight: Judy LaPorte

Judy LaPorte, Project Advisor, Human Resources

RGS is pleased to have welcomed Judy LaPorte to our Human Resources Team in 2019 as a Project Advisor. Currently, Judy is assisting both the Elk Grove Water District in the drafting and review of their board policy and the Sacramento Convention Center with its Staff Classification and Compensation Program. In previous assignments with RGS, Judy provided support in the recruiting efforts of the West County Water and Placer Mosquito Abatement Districts and assisted the City of Marysville and its labor force with their Memoranda of Review Policy.

Having over 20 years of senior management-level, public-sector experience, Judy comes to RGS expert in the areas of finance, administration, human resources, risk management, and information technology. Judy’s depth of experience includes serving as the Assistant Director of Human Resources, and Administrative Services Manager, for the County of Placer and as Director of Administrative Services for the City of Rocklin. 
 
Judy holds a degree in Business Administration. Her strong analytical and organizational skills, and proven ability to manage multiple divisions, projects and diverse groups, is an asset to RGS and the agencies RGS serves. Please join us in welcoming her to the team. Judy can be reached at jlaporte@rgs.ca.gov

Poll: Is Your Agency Prepared for the Next Public Safety Power Shutoffs?

Local governments are the first line of defense and support for our communities working with the challenges created by the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). It is critical to make sure local government agencies are prepared for long-term losses of power and have plans in place on how to continue essential city services and keep our communities informed.

Is your agency prepared for the next PSPS?
Yes
No

We'll announce the results in next month's newsletter

We've created the following webpage as a working resource - for ourselves and local agencies, assembling the latest information and resources available regarding the wildfires and PSPS throughout California.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Events
Upcoming Regional Leadership Academies
 
Below are locations and dates for the RGS Winter 2020 Regional Leadership Academies:
 
RGS Supervisor/Manager Training Academy: Gilroy Police Department Community Room
Day 1: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 (Must register prior to this date)
Day 2: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Day 3: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

RGS WD Lead/Senior Worker Training Academy: Irvine Ranch Water District (Irvine, CA)
Day 1: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 (Must register prior to this date)
Day 2: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Day 3: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

RGS Lead/Senior Worker Training Academy: City of Sunnyvale
Day 1: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 (Must register prior to this date)
Day 2: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Day 3: Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Conference Attendance Schedule

Below are the conferences we are attending in the upcoming months. We're looking forward to exchanging creative solutions and experiences, and reconnecting with conference attendees. Please feel free to reach out to us at these events.

About RGS
 
Regional Government Services (RGS) is a Joint Powers Authority established in 2002 to serve the needs of cities, counties, special districts, joint powers authorities and other governmental entities throughout California. RGS works exclusively with public agencies, providing a ready source of support and consulting services to meet the needs of its partner agencies in a broad range of disciplines. Services include communications, human resources, strategic planning, municipal finance, training and project management.

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