July 2012 - Issue 5

Recap of the Annual Board of Directors Meeting

Take a Bow: 2012 Risk Management Awards

17th Annual California JPIA Risk Management Educational Forum: The Art of Risk Management

The California JPIA Management Academy

4th Annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Symposium

Vista Hermosa Sports Park and San Clemente Aquatics Center Makes a Splash with People of All Abilities

Lam Le, Financial Analyst

Are You Hiring Criminals?

Board of Directors
Front Row (l to r): Mary Ann Reiss, Pismo Beach; President Larry Van Nostran, Lakewood; Secretary Margaret Finlay, Duarte; John Lyon, Artesia.
Back Row (l to r): Vice-President Curtis Morris, San Dimas; John Addleman, Rolling Hills Estates; John Rea, Palos Verdes Estates; Dave Spence, La Canada Flintridge; Stan Carroll, La Habra Heights.

News: Worthy

Recap of the Annual Board of Directors Meeting

The Annual Board of Directors meeting was held in La Palma on July 18, 2012 with a quorum of delegates in attendance, representing 72 member agencies.

In his speech to the Board, President Larry Van Nostran discussed the prospective funding model and affirmed the Authority’s commitment to protecting member resources and maintaining the financial integrity of the pool. 

Van Nostran also spoke about the continued progress made by the Authority, from increasing the training and risk management programs offered to members to the pool experiencing a reduced frequency of large claims. Van Nostran shared statistics to the Directors, serving to illustrate the importance of the Authority’s continued partnership with its members:

  • Over 8,000 member employees attended webinars and online training
  • Nearly 14,500 member employees attended face-to-face training events
  • 157 people attended the Authority’s specialized academies focusing on executive leadership, management, public works, and parks and recreation
  • 18 risk management evaluations were conducted. This wraps-up the 105 risk management evaluations conducted of the membership as a whole in the past two years.
  • The risk consultants performed 22 loss control action plan presentations
  • 334 participants attended the 2011 annual risk management educational forum

The Board of Directors unanimously re-elected Curtis Morris as Vice-President of the Executive Committee; and John Addleman, Stan Carroll, Mary Ann Reiss, and David Spence as members of of the Executive Committee, each serving a two-year term. 

Jonathan Shull, Chief Executive Officer, presented an outline of the Authority’s strategic plan, operational overview, and current initiatives. Shull spoke about the success of the LossCAP program. With the LossCAP program, the Authority’s risk consultants work with members to identify and prioritize member exposures and establish a plan for mitigation. An outcome of its success is the new regional service delivery model. The service model will apportion the membership into five regions with a risk manager located in each region. Shull explained the risk manager will integrate with member staff, attend council and staff meetings, and act as a "utility player" that can address loss control, training, claims, and other services. 

Shull recognized the accomplishments of the training program over the past year including: the development of Resource Center 2.0 to address Member feedback and a recommended system upgrade, Member-specific training plans have been implemented, the new Leadership Institute launched successfully, and additional specialized academies are being contemplated.

Shull gave an update on the causation analysis initiative, whereby staff will work with the Authority’s TPAs to produce data necessary to determine the root cause of losses to guide training and loss control efforts. Development of the Member Analytic System (MAS) continues, linking training data, financial data, claims data, and exposure data. 

Wrapping up his presentation, Shull shared claims trends in the liability and workers’ compensation programs.

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to Receive and File the budget for fiscal years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

The meeting was adjourned to July 17, 2013. 


2012 Risk Management Awards
(l to r) Paul Philips, West Comm; Todd Seymore, West Comm; President Larry Van Nostran, Ed Andrisek, Buellton; Sylvia Munoz Schnopp, Port Hueneme.

News: Worthy

Take a Bow: 2012 Risk Management Awards

The winners of the 2012 Risk Management Awards for the General Liability and Workers’ Compensation Programs were recognized at the Annual Board of Directors meeting held on July 18, 2012. 

Members were divided into groups for which awards were presented. For the Liability Program the groups were Non-Municipal Members, Members without Police exposure, and Members with Police exposure. For the Workers’ Compensation Program the groups were Non-Municipal Members, Members without Public Safety exposure, and Members with Public Safety exposure. 

To determine the winners in each group, Authority staff evaluated both quantitative and qualitative factors that are reflective of a member’s risk management efforts. Factors included an agency’s five-year average cost of claims per $100 of payroll, their improvement in claims severity when comparing two, five-year coverage periods, and their progress toward completing Loss Control Action Plan items. The Authority was pleased to present 9 different agencies a total of 9 awards. 

For the Liability program, the Best Overall Performance Award winners were:

For non-municipal agencies (four-way tie): 
• Area B Disaster Management, 
• Black Gold Cooperative Library System,
• Coachella Valley Conservation Commission, and 
• West Cities Police Communications Center

For municipal agencies without police exposure: 
• City of Buellton

For municipal agencies with police exposure and for the third straight year: 
• City of Port Hueneme 

For the Workers’ Compensation program, the Best Overall Performance Award winners were:

For non-municipal agencies: 
• Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District

For municipal agencies without public safety exposure: 
• City of Laguna Woods

For municipal agencies with public safety exposure: 
• City of Belvedere 


News: Worthy

17th Annual California JPIA Risk Management Educational Forum: The Art of Risk Management

Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the California JPIA’s 17th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum: The Art of Risk Management.

In today’s economy, you have to justify every dollar you spend, including the money and time to attend educational conferences and workshops.

You also need to stay competitive in today’s local government environment. Old styles of leadership no longer work. Good leadership is an essential element that every organization needs to manage risk.

Leaders achieve effective risk management by doing three simple things well. First, they ask the right questions. Second, the best leaders consult with a mix of people, not only within their own immediate spheres of influence, but in other settings and sectors. Third, the most effective leaders are people of good character. They have integrity, courage, and compassion.

We hope you’ll be able to join us. Together, our goal is to transform this three-day masterpiece-in-the-making into a valuable work of art that will challenge you personally and benefit you professionally as a leader in your organization.

There is no cost for member registration. Non-member registration is $350. The California JPIA group rate at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, available November 6 - 9, is $199.

For more information or to register, click here


News: Worthy

The California JPIA Management Academy

by Catherine Sloan, Senior Training Specialist

The California JPIA Management Academy is set to take place Monday, September 10 through Wednesday, September 12, 2012 in San Luis Obispo. Designed for the entry-level supervisor, the Management Academy will provide participants with unique approaches to help improve performance, motivation, and commitment of employees in an ever more complex and regulated employment environment. 

Attendees will explore their role as a supervisor and begin to understand how values and ethics impact decisions. Using the Job-Person-Environment Assessment™, attendees will have the opportunity to explore their perceptions about the behavioral requirements of their jobs. Presented by John Perry, President of Human Productivity Systems, the Job-Person-Environment Assessment™ is a tool that measures the fit between the person, the job they perform, and the environment in which they work. 

Forest Story, principal consultant for Public Sector Excellence (PSE), will facilitate the three-day Academy. He will explore topics critical to developing effective management skills including: The Role of the Public Sector Supervisor; Decision Making; Orientation, Training, Coaching, and Delegation; Performance Appraisal and Dealing with Performance Issues; and Public Service Ethics.

Contracts Administration, presented by Bob May, Senior Risk Consultant with the California JPIA, will discuss strategies to protect agency’s against financial loss through contracts, contractual risk transfer and its importance, and approaches for avoiding risk assumption.

Norm Lefmann, Assistant Executive Officer with the California JPIA, will present a session entitled Healthy Member Protocol. Participants will learn what they can do to support the health of their agency and also understand what they can do as a manager to support best risk management practices.

Registration is limited to 30 participants. The cost to attend the Academy is $375 members/$775 for non-members and includes two nights at the Embassy Suites hotel, breakfast and lunch, and materials.

For further information or to register for the Management Academy, click here


News: Worthy

4th Annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Symposium

by Diana Rich, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager

The 4th Annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Symposium is set to take place from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at the California JPIA campus. 

The symposium will feature the York Risk Services Group claims team, workers’ compensation defense attorneys, and member agency representatives in an extraordinary half-day session designed for risk management and workers’ compensation professionals. 

The symposium will address critical issues including: use of fit-for-duty exams, leave of absence policies and workers’ compensation claims, the interactive accommodation process, legislative and regulatory developments affecting workers’ compensation, and managing early-return-to-work programs.

There is no charge for California JPIA members to attend the symposium. Lunch is included. For more information or to register, click here


Courtney's SandCastle
Courtney's SandCastle
photo by Pall Gudgeirsson

Re: Members

Vista Hermosa Sports Park and San Clemente Aquatics Center Makes a Splash with People of All Abilities

Summer is going swimmingly for residents of San Clemente. The reasons are many, but one in particular has people of all ages and abilities soaking up the sun and fun in the city. 

Opened in February 2012, the Vista Hermosa Sports Park and San Clemente Aquatics Center, was established to provide much needed opportunities for youth and adults involved in sports programs. The new facility includes three baseball fields, two regulations soccer fields, one football field with overlay striping for lacrosse, and a multipurpose field, all equipped with lights for evening use. The aquatics center features a 50-meter competition swimming pool and a 25-yard activity pool.

"It has been, and remains, a phenomenal enterprise," said Tim Shaw, the City of San Clemente’s Landscape Architect who also served as the overall project manager of the sports park and aquatics center. 

So impressed with the "master plan", Shaw moved to the area from Indiana in 2005 to work on the project. "I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a great asset for the city. The response is overwhelmingly positive. From sports groups to the local aquatics and lacrosse teams to individuals, people are excited and talking about the center," continued Shaw who admits to spending off time there as well with his own kids. 

It is no wonder the wildly popular mega center is proving to be a home run with children and parents alike, including fourteen-year old Courtney Faye Smith, the namesake of the park’s award-winning universally accessible playground, Courtney’s SandCastle. 

Courtney, confined to a wheelchair with a rare muscular degenerative disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, was five years old when the idea was first conceived to build a universal playground in San Clemente for children of all abilities to play. Nine years later Courtney’s vision is a reality.

Located within the city’s new 45-acre sports park and aquatics center, Courtney’s SandCastle is a 30,000 square foot playground, designed especially for children of all abilities including those with physical, mental, and sensory limitations. A simulated 500-foot castle and 150-foot ship, complete with wheelchair accessible ramps, only begin to adorn the completed initial phase of the area that also boasts rock climbing walls, bucket swings and a picnic pavilion. The next facet of the ambitious plan includes a sensory garden, a musical pathway, and numerous interactive water features. 

Vista Hermosa Sports Park and San Clemente Aquatics Center is located at 987 Avenida Vista Hermosa in San Clemente. 


Lam Le

Pro: Files

Lam Le, Financial Analyst

This November will mark Lam Le’s two-year anniversary as Financial Analyst with the California JPIA. Prior to joining California JPIA, Le amassed a well-rounded resume that included work as a senior accountant for Marcias Gini & O’Connell LLP/ Intellibridge Partners, and Brinderson Contractors. He also served as a financial consultant for Robert Half International and logistics manager for OSIO International Inc.

"I have never worked in this type of environment before. Our team shares the same vision – we will exceed our members’ expectationsâ*”and incorporates it into their daily activities", said Le of the California JPIA staff. 

Le, along with Alex Smith, Finance Director, and Grazyna Buchowiecki, Accounting Specialist, make up the Authority’s finance division. "We continually keep up with what is happening in the financial and public sectors," continued Le who credits Smith, and Business Projects Manager, Carl Sandstrom, with keeping the members and staff informed about changes in legislation, accounting practices, and the Authority’s funding model. "Members look to us for guidance and expertise. We are diligent in safeguarding and monitoring the pool’s investments and interests", said Le. 

With work ranging from processing bi-weekly payroll and filing tax reports, to preparing lead schedules and financial documents for the annual audit, and assisting with the annual underwriting report, Le is continually challenged. An active member of the staff, Le also serves on the Authority’s IT Steering Committee as well as the Events and Logistics Committee for the upcoming Risk Management Educational Forum in San Francisco.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Leventhal School of Accounting, Le is, not surprisingly, an avid USC Trojan football fan. 


Risk Management Solutions

Are You Hiring Criminals?

by Jim Thyden, Insurance Programs Manager

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new Enforcement Guidelines, along with a Q&A on the "Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII."

What does this mean for you as an employer? The short answer is that no agency can have a policy against hiring anyone with a criminal record and agencies are better off if they have written procedures in place to show they do not use criminal records to illegally discriminate.

According to the Q&A issued along with the new Enforcement Guidelines, the EEOC has said since 1969 that this practice could be considered illegal discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 codified Title VII disparate impact analysis, and technology made criminal history information much more accessible to employers. According the EEOC, the core issue is that because criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact on race and national origin, a policy excluding prospective employees based on having a conviction is discriminatory.

There is some specific guidance:

  • The Enforcement Guidance explains how the EEOC analyzes the "job related and consistent with business necessity" standard for criminal record exclusions, and provides hypothetical examples interpreting the standard.
    • There are two circumstances in which the Commission believes employers may consistently meet the "job related and consistent with business necessity" defense:
      • The employer validates the criminal conduct exclusion for the position in question in light of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (if there is data or analysis about criminal conduct as related to subsequent work performance or behaviors); or
      • The employer develops a targeted screen considering at least the nature of the crime, the time elapsed, and the nature of the job (the three factors identified by the court in Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad, 549 F.2d 1158 (8th Cir. 1977)). The employer’s policy then provides an opportunity for an individualized assessment for those people identified by the screen, to determine if the policy as applied is job related and consistent with business necessity. (Although Title VII does not require individualized assessment in all circumstances, the use of a screen that does not include individualized assessment is more likely to violate Title VII.).

As you screen applicants and make hiring decisions, keep this new information in mind and be sure to follow these new guidelines. If you have questions about the EEOC guidelines, contact your agency’s assigned risk manager.

For further information on this topic, please see the following article about the EEOC ruling that appeared in the June 20, 2012 edition of the New York Times.