José L. Banda stands to receive an extra $61,400 annually in retirement for leaving Seattle Public Schools last month to become superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District.

In many cases, local school districts are paying tens of thousands of dollars to executive search firms to find potential superintendents.

The Sacramento County grand jury says the county Probation Department is spending about $2 million a year to maintain closed juvenile facilities while failing to offer the long-term residential treatment programs those facilities once housed.

Twin Rivers Unified, Elk Grove Unified and El Dorado Union High are among the many local school districts that have negotiated raises with their unions that reach back to last year or beyond. The pay hikes are on top of the “step-and-column” increases traditionally given to educators annually based on their years of service and level of education.

When the city of Sacramento bought the historic but dilapidated downtown train depot nearly a decade ago, officials knew they were taking on the biggest fixer-upper in town. “A diamond in the rough,” city architect Hinda Chandler put it. They just didn't know how rough.

The city of Sacramento is beginning to discuss how to replace the failing lighting system lining Capitol Mall. City public works officials are debating two options, one far more expensive than the other.

Rocklin was fined $2,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission last week for blanketing households with a newsletter that contained photos of City Council members, a violation of the Political Reform Act.

As part of a national shift in shipping practices, several oil companies are laying plans to haul hundreds of train cars a day of flammable crude through the region on the way to coastal and Valley refineries, passing through neighborhoods and downtowns, and crossing the region’s two major rivers. Saying they have been told little about the transport projects, area leaders are scrambling to gather information so they can advocate for local safety interests as several of the rail shipment proposals move forward.

Caltrans’ decision to hire an inexperienced Chinese company, unaccustomed to the rigor of American construction rules, to fabricate the suspension span’s signature tower and roadway partly explains why costs ballooned to $6.5 billion and misgivings about the quality of the bridge persist. Caltrans continued to bet on ZPMC by relaxing U.S. standards when the company couldn’t finish the job fast enough.

Sacramento County started work on an expansion project at Mather Airport before receiving an environmental review required under state law, angering elected officials in El Dorado County, Folsom and Sacramento County itself.

School districts usually pay to fix up schools and build new ones by floating bonds and repaying them over a long period, often as much as 25 years. Now the San Juan District is considering repaying its debts much faster to save on interest costs.

Just a few months ago, California Strawberry Commission President Rick Tomlinson was looking at the possibility of losing a valuable asset for strawberry farmers up and down the state – the public breeding program at UC Davis.

Placer County supervisors are weighing whether to ask voters for a raise after a county panel suggested pay hikes are long overdue in the fast-growing region.

Among the nine University of California undergraduate campuses, UC Davis charges the highest student fees, largely to support its emerging Division I athletics program and amenities like a state-of-the-art recreation center and upgraded coffeehouse.

The city of Sacramento is saddled with more than $500 million in debt created by the reluctance of past city councils to fully fund benefits granted to employees.

The issue has become the latest flash point between the county, parkway advocates and a resident of the area who sued last week over the fact that the storage facility is inside a county park.

Dozens of Sacramento city employees received extra subsidies to help pay for their commutes in 2012, a report by the city auditor has found.

The Sacramento City Unified School District issued $12,000 in checks to eight trustees for board meetings they did not attend dating back to 2011, a new district audit shows.

Sacramento County probation officials hoped to save on waxing and other maintenance when they requested special floor tiles as part of a juvenile hall expansion project. The county ended up losing about $300,000 on the decision, however, as the tiles didn’t adhere to the concrete floor and quickly buckled and deteriorated.

By now, the story seems old. A young city, thirsty for water, deploys wealth, cunning and power to divert a river from a distant valley, safeguarding its future at the expense of others.

As federal judges pressured California to relieve prison overcrowding in 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed lawmakers to send tens of thousands of parolees and lower-level offenders to counties.

Six months after he was discharged to a Greyhound bus and shipped out of Las Vegas, one former patient of Nevada’s primary hospital for mentally ill people stabbed a man to death in Iowa.

Placer County’s Dr. Richard Burton was the region’s highest paid public official in 2012, earning nearly $340,000. Throw in his benefits, and his total compensation reached nearly $460,000.

Can the United States – a sovereign nation– be sued in the tribal court of a sovereign Indian nation?

California’s appellate courts for years have contracted with the Highway Patrol for services that include securing courtrooms, screening visitors – and driving justices to business-related events.

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