League taps Kasperzak as VP
City Council member Mike Kasperzak has been named vice president of the League of California Cities and is on track to become its president.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Kasperzak said he expects to be chosen as president of the league a year from now. The position holds responsibilities similar to those of the mayor of Mountain View, running meetings and working closely with league staff.
The league advocates for the interests of California cities at the state level. For example, when state legislators recently learned that city officials in the city of Bell were paying themselves outrageous salaries some had knee-jerk reactions, such as proposing salary caps for city officials. The league pointed out that such a move would not pass muster legally, Kasperzak said.
"Legislators were trying to do things in response to Bell which were quite knee-jerk," Kasperzak said. "One of the things we do is try and educate the Legislature in what the reality is instead of what they think it is."
Kasperzak is a licensed lawyer, a practicing mediator and is in the middle of his third four-year-term on the council. He stepped down in 2006 after eight years and was re-elected in 2008.
Since 2003, Kasperzak said the league "has gotten pretty active in ballot measure campaigns," such as the dueling 2008 eminent domain propositions, 99 and 98. The League backed Proposition 99 and defeated the wealthy, conservative groups backing Proposition 98.
Kasperzak said the league's focus lately has been on backing Proposition 22, a November ballot initiative that would prevent the state from taking money from cities to balance the state budget, as it has in recent years.
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