Monday, July 13, 2009

Rancho Cordova Governance

We could not agree more with this editorial from the Sacramento Bee and have been a fan of the Rancho Cordova governance model from the beginning, advocating for their inclusion among the governing entities for the Parkway.

The type of public private partnership and entrepreneurship they represent was written about in a classic text in the public administration field, Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Sprit is Transforming the Public Sector, by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler.

Ted Gaebler is the city manger of Rancho Cordova.

An excerpt from the Bee editorial.

“Citing the state's inability to close its budget deficit, Fitch, the bond rating service, downgraded California's bonds last week from A- to BBB. The downgrade could cost the state's taxpayers as much as $7.5 billion in added interest over a 30-year period.

“But as California's credit rating falls, the ratings for the city of Rancho Cordova, population 65,000, have risen. Standard & Poor's, another national rating service, last month upgraded the city's credit rating two notches, to A+.

“It's difficult to compare a city the size of Rancho Cordova with the state of California and its 38 million residents. Rancho Cordova has a measly $27.1 million in debt. California owes $77.6 billion. Less debt makes maintaining good credit a lot easier.

“That said, there are things about the way Rancho Cordova conducts business that the state and local governments such as Sacramento County, which, like the state, had its credit rating downgraded recently, might want to emulate.

“Like the rest of the world, Rancho Cordova has experienced a severe drop in income during the current recession. Sales and property tax revenue fell 19 percent last year.

“But the city didn't wait months or years to react to declining income. As soon as receipts started dropping, City Manager Ted Gaebler, in consultation with the City Council, began trimming expenses. The city cut its number of building inspectors from double digits to just two. The city also cut back on street maintenance.”