Guide to Local Government Finance in California, 2nd edition
Michael Multari, Michael Coleman, Kenneth Hampian, and Bill Statler

Guide to Local Government Finance in California, 2nd edition

Regular price $90.00
  • Item# FPL2
  • ISBN: 978-1-938166-17-4
  • Copyright (c) 2017
  • Paperback
  • Price: $90.00

Also available as a Kindle e-book.

ISBN 978-1-938166-18-1

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Guide to Local Government Finance in California, 2nd edition brings the financial picture for California governments up to date, while making the book even easier to use.

This new edition provides a solid foundation for those who are interested in better understanding and navigating the complexity of California local public finance. The first edition, published in 2012, introduced a unique look at local government finance covering not only the vital fundamentals - like budgeting, accounting, and investing - but also lesser known yet equally powerful forces that affect the ability of cities, counties and special districts to deliver essential services.

In a constantly changing environment, economic conditions evolve, new laws are enacted, different issues become especially topical to the public and the academy. This new second edition of Guide to Local Government in California addresses those changes with discussions of

  • Court decisions related to rate structures and pensions
  • Fiscal reforms that were emerging in 2012 that have been advanced (or dropped)
  • Increased interest in the early diagnosis of possible fiscal difficulties
  • How some of the benefits of redevelopment that were lost might be recaptured, including Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts
  • Other incremental changes to the system

In addition, much of the statistical information contained in the numerous charts and graphs has been updated with more current data, and the graphics have been improved. The glossary has been significantly expanded to help clarify some of the technical terms used in the book.

The primary purpose of this book is to provide a solid foundation for those who are interested in better understanding and navigating the complexity of California local public finance. It is an essential resource for public agency managers and other staff, including planners and policy analysts, as well as appointed and elected public officials, teachers, students, and citizens at large who want to understand and improve California’s complex system of local government finance.


Michael Coleman is an experienced city fiscal officer and a leading expert on California local government revenues, spending and financing. He is the creator of, the California Local Government Finance Almanac, an online resource of data, analyses and articles on California municipal finance and budgeting. He is the principal fiscal policy advisor both to the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and, for over twenty years, to the League of California Cities. Coleman is a popular presenter at graduate schools and conferences, and is the author of numerous articles and references on the topic. Coleman received an MPA from the University of Southern California.

During Ken Hampian's thirty-five year public sector career he served at the county, federal and city levels of government, including twenty years in San Luis Obispo where he retired as city manager in 2010. Honors have included the League of California Cities John S. Nail Award and selection to the prestigious Presidential Management Internship Program. In the summer of 2011, Hampian served without compensation as the interim city manager of beleaguered Bell, California, during a time of dire need. His service there has been recognized by a variety of professional associations. Today Hampian teaches, trains, writes, and consults.

Michael Multari was the community development director in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo before co-founding Crawford, Multari & Clark, Associates, a consulting practice that provided planning and fiscal assistance to public agencies throughout California. Since leaving CMCA in 2000, he has served as the executive director of the non-profit Morro Bay National Estuary Program and has worked on various campus planning projects at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He received an MPA from Princeton University and has been a member of the adjunct faculty in the City and Regional Planning Department at Cal Poly for over twenty years.

Bill Statler served as the director of Finance & Information Technology for the City of San Luis Obispo for twenty-two years and for ten years as finance officer for the City of Simi Valley before that. Under his guidance, San Luis Obispo received ­national recognition for excellence in its financial planning, budgeting, reporting and management systems. He has played a large leadership role in the municipal finance profession, including serving on the Board of Directors of the League of California Cities as well as president of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) and the League's Fiscal Officers Department, In 2011, Statler was awarded the CSMFO's Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contributions to the municipal finance profession; and in 2012, he received the Cal-ICMA's Ethical Hero Award for his services to the City of Bell in the aftermath of well-publicized scandals. Statler continues to be deeply involved in the field as a consultant, trainer and author.


"Over the course of my 27 years as a city manager, I would have loved to have had a resource like the Guide to Local Government Finance in California to provide to my council members and staff. It uniquely covers all of the ground that encompasses the complexities of local government finance in California –and in an easy-to-read way. It's a great resource for elected officials and staff."

Kevin Duggan
Western Regional Director, International City and County Management Association

"The authors have written a book that should be read by every newly elected council member and anyone who will find themselves engaged in the topic. The book, given the subject matter, is surprisingly readable and is a must read if you want to understand local government finance in the Golden State."

Mike Kasperzak,
Mayor of Mountain View
President, League of California Cities, 2012

"For local elected officials, there has been no place to look for a detailed analysis, and careful evaluation, of local finances. There is now. Guide to Local Government Finance in California offers the best information on California local finances that I have read. It both answers specific finance questions and presents a larger perspective on the financial tensions and differences between local governments and the State."

Ronald O. Loveridge
Mayor of Riverside and Political Science Professor at University of California, Riverside
Past President, League of California Cities and National League of Cities

"This is the most comprehensive treatment of local government finance in any state that I have ever seen. The authors have brought their many decades of professional experience to this important undertaking, and the end product is nothing short of impressive. This guide will prove useful to elected and appointed local government officials, business leaders, reporters, students, faculty, and others who are struggling to understand the highly complex world of local government finance in California. It also underscores exactly why local government managers and fiscal officers play such a critical role in advancing and protecting the public interest in a state as diverse and challenging as California."

Chris McKenzie
Former Executive Director, League of California Cities (1999-2016)

"Guide to Local Government Finance in California has been written by four of the state's most respected leaders and authorities in the local government finance. It's an essential, "reader-friendly" reference for elected officials, staff, advisory body members, teachers, students and any one else who is interested in understanding the deeper financial story of our cities, counties and special districts."

Mary Bradley
Retired Finance Director, Sunnyvale
Past President, California Society of Municipal Finance Officers


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