Earlier this month, the city of Goleta joined the statewide Strong Cities, Strong State campaign, a website that aims to foster a greater connection between a city’s staff and its residents. A collaboration of the California City Management Foundation and the League of California Cities, the year-old program has nearly 150 other cities participating, each of which — including Goleta — has its own profile page that highlights the city’s goings-on and achievements.

“It’s really about raising public awareness,” said Eva Spiegel, the communications director of the League of California Cities. “You live in the city, but do you know who is behind it?”

Valerie Kushnerov, the public information officer for the Good Land, cited the 2010 salary scandal in Bell, California — in which it was discovered that the city’s administrators were compensating themselves far above their pay grade — as the transparency-increasing impetus for the Strong Cities, Strong State campaign. Goleta, Kushnerov said, “was happy” to become involved with the program “because of the opportunity to highlight some of our accomplishments and continue to show the public how the city serves them on a daily basis.”

Spiegel championed the program, saying that the successes of California’s cities lead to the success of the state. “Think about the character of Goleta versus the character of San Francisco,” she said. “All of these places are individual and together make California really amazing. When cities are strong — in terms of finances, quality of life, and public safety — that makes California a strong state.”

For more information, visit www.strongcitiesstrongstate.com.


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