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February 25, 2021

Public Service is in Jones & Mayer’s DNA

Richard Jones grew up in a family committed to service. Giving back to the community, donating their time to important causes, and being part of a service-oriented church all were centerpieces of his early life. Today he credits that background with shaping the core values that have made Jones & Mayer into the firm it…

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January 26, 2021

Can California Public Agencies Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Employees?

The long-anticipated arrival of vaccines has moved the COVID-19 pandemic into a new chapter. The phased rollout of vaccines is expected to take months. As adoption of the vaccine becomes widespread, society will hopefully return to normalcy, including returning to in-person work. Public sector employers in California are beginning to study their policy positions regarding…

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January 12, 2021

Lawful Engagement of Contractors by Local Government Agencies Under California’s AB-5

California Assembly Bill 5, or AB-5, went into effect a year ago. Employers throughout the state and beyond are still grappling with how to lawfully engage independent contractors under the law. AB-5’s applicability to public agencies has been the subject of considerable debate among California lawyers. In September 2020 the California Legislature modified provisions of…

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December 21, 2020

Local Policies Restricting Advertising Must Walk a Fine Line

Regulating outdoor advertising has been a controversial topic for cities ever since billboards gained popularity in the 1870s. Balancing a property owner’s use rights, the free speech rights of individuals and organizations, and the public’s interest in maintaining their hometown’s appearance has created a patchwork of legal frameworks throughout the country. A recent case before…

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December 4, 2020

Effective Affordable Housing Strategies for California Municipalities

California’s affordable housing crisis is among the most pressing governance challenges for state and local governments. Our state is not alone: major cities around the country are grappling with how to create policies that will ensure access to quality housing for all residents, not just those in the upper income brackets. Tackling the affordable housing…

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November 25, 2020

How California Cities Can Craft Better Office Space Deals

As cities grow, so do their governments. Since the population boom following the Second World War, cities in the American west have grappled with challenges associated with providing adequate space for their employees to work. Optimizing public resources over the long timeframes involved in real estate requires careful planning and sophisticated deal structures. The logic…

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November 10, 2020

Reactive v Proactive Code Enforcement

Enforcement agencies throughout California are looking for better ways to encourage private property owners to comply with health and safety regulations. Traditional approaches to code enforcement tend to be reactive, relying on complaints from the public to spark action. This approach has been referred to by some courts as a “passive enforcement scheme” and has…

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October 28, 2020

Health and Safety Receiverships Can Be Powerful Enforcement Tools

Persistent health and safety code violations can be exceptionally difficult to resolve using many of the enforcement tools in an agency’s tool kit. While enforcement actions wind their way through processes that can be long and slow, unsafe conditions remain. California’s public health laws allow local agencies to ask the courts to place noncompliant properties…

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