Center for Public Accountability

Several Inland Empire Cities Make Big Moves in 2020 Financial Rankings

Several Inland Empire Cities Make Big Moves in 2020 Financial Rankings

Using a simple metric, only six Inland Empire cities in California saw much movement in the fiscal rankings of its 52 cities for the year ending June 30, 2020 compared to the previous year (see “Every City in the Inland Empire Ranked According to Financial Health,” June 30, 2023). The majority stayed pretty much in...

Newsom’s Missed Opportunity on California’s Annual Budgets

Newsom’s Missed Opportunity on California’s Annual Budgets

During my business career as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, I also served on a credit counseling nonprofit board and advised those who were deep in debt on a plan toward becoming fiscally sound again. During a good financial year, these individuals needed to dramatically reduce their existing debts. The unexpected bonus...

By John Moorlach

Is the Price for Community Choice Electricity Reasonable?

Is the Price for Community Choice Electricity Reasonable?

It’s impressive how many different preferences people can have. Although bottled water is ubiquitous today, in the late 1970s, those living a conspicuous lifestyle purchased bottled water, like Perrier, to show off their success and affluence, while emphasizing healthy living practices and hygiene. Most business offices had a water cooler and were willing to pay...

By John Moorlach

Will Another Sales Tax Increase Really Help This Southern California City?

Will Another Sales Tax Increase Really Help This Southern California City?

The city of Westminster is pursuing the easy road to address its continuing fiscal mismanagement, again. It’s asking its residents to approve yet another sales tax increase, the second in the last two years. It’s much easier to tell those voting in Westminster that there will be more potholes and less public safety if they...

By John Moorlach

2 California Cities Still Late on Preparing Financial Audits for 2019

2 California Cities Still Late on Preparing Financial Audits for 2019

California has 482 cities and towns. They provide audited financial statements of their fiscal status every year, just like publicly traded companies and most businesses and nonprofits of significant stature. Finance hawks celebrated when the California State Auditor established a dashboard to review the fiscal status of the state’s cities and towns. The cheering subsided...

By John Moorlach

Fiscal Rankings for Los Angeles County’s 88 Cities Finally Available, for 2020

Fiscal Rankings for Los Angeles County’s 88 Cities Finally Available, for 2020

The city of Huntington Park, California has finally released its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the year ending June 30, 2020. The audit by external independent auditors was finally completed on Aug. 10, but was not released until Dec. 5. Thus, Huntington Park won the race for dead last in transparency and accountability among...

By John Moorlach

How Alleged Corruption Can Stun a City

How Alleged Corruption Can Stun a City

In their book, “Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems,” William Eggers and Donald Kettl make a simple observation: “Accountability and trust go hand in hand.” What if a government doesn’t provide transparency that allows for accountability? It makes building trust very difficult. What happens when a government is so shell-shocked from...

By John Moorlach

When Will California Quit Holding Up Annual Fiscal Rankings?

When Will California Quit Holding Up Annual Fiscal Rankings?

There are several metrics that can be used to effectively rank the fiscal status of our nation’s 50 states. The top resource for years, when one searched for this information, was the Mercatus School at George Mason University. US News & World Report has and continues to provide an annual ranking of the states. The...

By John Moorlach

California State Auditor Removes Fiscal Accountability Dashboard

California State Auditor Removes Fiscal Accountability Dashboard

California’s fiscal accountability dashboard for cities, which was implemented in 2019 and identified local governments with financial problems, was taken down last month. Why? First, some background. The County of Orange in Southern California incurred an infamous fiscal calamity in the closing month of 1994 that resulted in nearly $1.7 billion in investment losses. It...

By John Moorlach

Former State Sen. John Moorlach joins California Policy Center

Former State Sen. John Moorlach joins California Policy Center

TUSTIN, CA (Nov. 13, 2023) — Former California state Senator John Moorlach has joined California Policy Center (CPC) as senior fellow and director of CPC’s Center for Public Accountability. “I’ve known John as a friend, a finance whiz and principled leader since Ronald Reagan’s second term,” said CPC president Will Swaim. “His consistent approach to fiscal...

By California Policy Center