Understanding Local Needs
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Live Webinars

SCI conducts live webinars in partnership with industry leaders.  We invite your questions and comments for live Q&A during each event.  These webinars are free and last about an hour.  Don't miss out on the chance to learn from top experts and have your questions answered!


Opportunities for Funding Stormwater Management without a Ballot Measure: SB 231 Changes Everything!

Registration is closed due to maximum capacity being reached. Another webinar on this subject will be announced at a later date. Please email Valerie Flores at valerie.flores@sci-cg.com if you would like to be placed on a waiting list.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 11:00 a.m. to Noon Unavailable

The recent passage of the landmark Senate Bill 231, which currently sits on Governor Brown's desk for likely signature, will radically change the way stormwater management services are funded in California. SB 231 clarifies the definition of the term "sewer" to explicitly include "stormwater", and therefore, a property-related fee for stormwater services would be statutorily exempt from the expensive and risky balloting requirement. In other words, stormwater fees could be raised using the same notice/public hearing process as is used for water, sewer and refuse collection fees.

This Webinar is designed specifically to introduce and educate City and County finance and public works staff and decision makers to the revolutionary funding options provided by SB 231, including the political and legal considerations.

An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation.

John Bliss

John Bliss, P.E.

President, SCI Consulting Group

Specializes in assisting cities and other public agencies with public opinion research, fees, taxes and assessments and community outreach.
Mr. Bliss graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, and holds a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Regents' Scholar. He is a licensed professional Civil Engineer in the State of California.

Alexandra Barnhill

Alexandra M. Barnhill

Partner at Jarvis, Fay, Doporto & Gibson

As an advisor to cities, special districts and joint powers agencies across California, Alexandra M. Barnhill is familiar with a broad range of municipal, environmental, land use and public revenue matters.

Alexandra currently acts as General Counsel for the Livermore-Amador Valley Water Management Agency and the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District. She previously was designated as the Assistant City Attorney in Rohnert Park and Carpinteria. Alexandra also acts as Special Counsel for a number of municipalities.

Alexandra holds a Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law and has built upon that foundation a detailed knowledge of land use, planning and environmental compliance (CEQA). Using this background, she guides her clients through the permitting and development entitlement process. She has extensive experience reviewing applications for discretionary land use permits and assisting her clients in making appropriate findings and complying with public hearing requirements. She routinely advises public agencies on the appropriate level of associated environmental documentation for these approvals. She has reviewed a broad array of environmental impact reports (EIRs), mitigated negative declarations (MNDs), negative declarations (NDs) and exemptions to ensure legal adequacy.

Local government clients regularly engage Alexandra to provide advice regarding the generation of municipal revenue in a manner that is consistent with applicable regulations including the Mitigation Fee Act and Propositions 13, 218, and 26. For example, she has assisted local agencies with the establishment and increase of rates for water, sewer and solid waste (trash) services and the negotiation of franchise fee agreements. She has also counseled clients about the process of imposing a general or special tax including the applicable restrictions on ballot measure advocacy.

Alexandra's expertise also extends to more traditional public law issues, such as the Public Records Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act. She is considered an expert on conflicts of interest and related laws, such as the Political Reform Act. She regularly advises and lectures on achieving compliance with governmental ethics laws.

Alexandra is an active public speaker and writer.

Sean Bothwell

Sean Bothwell

Policy Director at California Coastkeeper Alliance

Sean Bothwell works to implement statewide initiatives to enhance California's water quality and supplies. Sean is the lead environmental advocate on the State Water Board's key statewide policies, including the desalination policy, the trash policy, stormwater permitting, and water recycling. Sean leads CCKA's legislative program by representing the organization in Sacramento at legislative hearings and committee expert panels; and cultivating relationships with the Governor's Office, legislative members, and legislative committee staff. Prior to joining CCKA, Sean provided legal expertise to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. While there, he co-authored "Climate Change and the Public Trust Doctrine: Using an Ancient Doctrine to Adapt to Rising Sea Levels in San Francisco Bay," since published in the Golden Gate University Environmental Law Review. Sean is a Member of Restore Hetch Hetchy's Board of Directors, an organization committed to returning Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its natural state. His student note on wave energy and desalination was awarded top honors by Vermont Law School. Sean holds a B.A. in criminal justice and a J.D. from Vermont Law School.



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