Special Districts Summit West
Our West Region Virtual Summit brought together special district leaders to discuss how lessons learned from COVID are reshaping internal operations, citizen services and leadership strategies for the future.
KEY TAKEAWAYSMore than 200 special district officials joined the live virtual summit on Aug. 25, which featured speakers from special districts that provide public transportation, library services, water, electric power, and parks and recreation. Panelists offered a real-life look at how they are adapting to the realities of the post-COVID world. Key takeaways include:
- Districts with modern technology – robust networks, cloud platforms, digital documents and mobile devices -- had a relatively easy time moving non-essential staff to remote work.
- Sensors and other Internet of Things devices are being repurposed to support social distancing requirements and other emerging needs.
- Virtual meetings and public hearings implemented due to the pandemic have in some cases increased citizen engagement.
- The uncertain post-COVID environment requires clear and consistent communication from special district leaders to employees about workplace policies, virus safety and future plans.
- Avoiding burnout for remote employees is a growing concern. Special district leaders say they’re encouraging remote staff to take breaks and vacation days.
- Special Districts have used CARES Act dollars and other federal funding streams to avoid staff layoffs and furloughs.
- Leaders say they’re striving to support employees who are experiencing financial hardships, childcare struggles and mental health challenges due to COVID and the resulting economic downturn.
- Districts are enhancing staff training to maintain engagement, preserve workplace culture and reskill displaced workers.
Gretchen Caserotti, Library Director, Meridian Library District
Jenna Famular, Communications Manager, Marin Clean Energy
Randell Iwasaki, Executive Director, Contra Costa Transportation Authority
Darrell E. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Orange County Transportation Authority
David Leach, Principal Architect, AT&T
Kristin Masteller, General Manager, Mason County Public Utility District No. 1
Bruce J. Moeller, PhD, former Chief of Staff and Assistant County Administrator, Pinellas County, Florida
Cady Nagy-Chow, Marketing & Communication Specialist, Cordova Recreation & Park District
Bryan Sastokas, CIO, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Dustin Haisler, Moderator, Chief Innovation Officer, Government Technology
Steve Towns, Moderator, Deputy Chief Content Officer, e.Republic
Click here to access the slides presented during the summit.
To join us at an upcoming Virtual Summit, visit our event page to register.