Understanding Local Needs
Delivering Local Solutions

Past Webinars


Keeping Your Head Above Water – An Overview of Common and Effective Revenue Strategies for Flood Control for Public Agencies in California

A Webinar for California Cities, Counties and Flood Districts
Original Air Date:  Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to Noon Watch Now

Join us for a live and interactive webinar that will provide City, County, Special District staff with an overview and better understanding of how to fund Flood Control infrastructure and operations and maintenance. California State law strictly limits the ability of local agencies to generate revenue for flood control activities. Common mechanisms include ad-valorem-based property taxes, special taxes, benefit assessments and certain types of fees; as well as federal and state grants and loans. An overview of funding strategies and mechanisms will be presented. Case Studies will include several flood control agencies in the northern Sacramento County, the Bay Area and Southern California.

An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation.

John Bliss

John Bliss

Vice President, SCI Consulting Group

John has led the development and implementation of over 300 post-Proposition 218 assessments – more than all other assessment engineers in California, combined. John has a passion for quality public institutions that motivates his work at SCI and is demonstrated by his service on a variety of volunteer organizations in Oakland.
John graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, and holds a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Regent's Scholar. He is a licensed professional Civil Engineer in the State of California.

LeeAnn McCabe

LeeAnn McCabe

Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

LeeAnn McCabe has over four years experience with funding measures, feasibility and financial analysis services for public, private and non-profit sector organizations, and community/stakeholder outreach. Ms. McCabe specializes in rate study analysis and Proposition 218 formation of benefit assessment districts, community facility districts and fee rate structures. In addition, Ms. McCabe is experienced in opinion research, public outreach, demographic studies, GIS data and mapping, and ballot measure development.
Ms. McCabe is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Art in Sociology with an emphasis in quantitative analysis.


Rent Control 101 – An introduction to local Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions policy for Public Agencies in California

A Webinar for California Cities
Original Air Date:  Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to Noon Watch Now

Join us for a live and interactive webinar that will provide Cities with an introduction and overview of rent stabilization policies and processes here in California. Learn the fundamental elements of rent stabilization, eviction types, the appeals process, and paying for your local rent stabilization program.

An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation.

John Bliss

John Bliss

Vice President, SCI Consulting Group

John has led the development and implementation of over 300 post-Proposition 218 assessments – more than all other assessment engineers in California, combined. John has a passion for quality public institutions that motivates his work at SCI and is demonstrated by his service on a variety of volunteer organizations in Oakland.
John graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, and holds a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Regent's Scholar. He is a licensed professional Civil Engineer in the State of California.

Melanie Lee

Melanie Lee

Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

Melanie Guillory-Lee contributes over 8 years of analyzing complex data to produce accurate records in the projects she works on. She is a strong project manager, and consistently ensures that her clients’ needs are met in a timely manner throughout the duration of each project. Before coming to SCI, Melanie worked as a sales analyst in the wine industry, developing her strong people skills which are a valued asset at SCI.
Melanie earned her B.A. in Business Administration from St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA.


State of the State: California and Marijuana – Strategies and Opportunities for Public Agencies to Integrate Cannabis Regulations and Taxes

A Webinar for California Cities and Counties on Marijuana Taxation and Health & Safety Regulation Policy
Original Air Date:  Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to Noon Watch Now

This live and interactive webinar provides understanding of the dynamic and sometimes confusing arena of medical marijuana regulations related to taxation, and health and safety regulations for California cities and counties. SCI Consultant Neil Hall and SCI Vice-President John Bliss, are joined by Amy Poinsett, CEO of MJ Freeway Business Solutions, one of the premier, point of sale, inventory tracking, manufacturing and cultivation management software platforms, for this webinar.
This panel of experts uses their research and experience to discuss the various decisions and subsequent next steps public agencies need to consider to successfully implement effective medical marijuana policy. City and county staff engaged with local cannabis planning and implementation are especially encouraged to participate.

This webinar covers:

  • Selected highlights of MCRSA and Proposition 64
  • Cultivation and seed-to-sale tracking options
  • Enacting cannabis taxes or extending bans
  • Developing health and safety regulations for cannabis
  • An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation

An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Neil Hall

Neil Hall

Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

Mr. Hall brings over 40 years of intensive interaction with public agencies and communities throughout California. As Owner and President of the Fairfield Research Group from 1995 to 2014, Mr. Hall conducted over 150 focus groups, and attitude and satisfaction surveys for various communities, political candidates, and public entities in Solano County.
Mr. Hall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and M.B.A. from St. Mary's College.

John Bliss

John Bliss, P.E.

Vice President, SCI Consulting Group

Specializes in assisting cities and other public agencies with public opinion research, fees, taxes and assessments and community outreach.
Mr. Bliss graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, and holds a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Regents' Scholar. He is a licensed professional Civil Engineer in the State of California.

Amy Poinsett

Amy Poinsett

CEO, MJ Freeway Business Solutions

As Chief Executive Officer, Poinsett, a former web developer, has swiftly earned a reputation as a passionate pioneer committed to creating the best software platforms for the medical and adult–use marijuana industry. The University of Denver alumnus is also a sought–after speaker on medical marijuana best practices for streamlining operations, managing financials, boosting revenues, and enhancing customer loyalty. Poinsett's focus on strategic planning and customer satisfaction consistently has earned MJ Freeway an above–industry average customer retention rate and large profit margins.


Also, go to our Workshops page for more details about SCI Consulting Group's 'hands-on' Northern and Southern one-day workshop with step-by-step marijuana implementation and best practice tips for local public agencies.


Lighting and Landscaping

Shedding Light on Funding for Local Subdivision Lighting and Landscaping:  Getting the most out of Landscaping and Lighting Assessments Districts and the Community Facility Districts for your Community
Original Air Date:  Wednesday, June 15, 2016 11:00 a.m. to Noon Watch Now

Join us for a live and interactive webinar that will provide County, City and Special District staff with an overview and better understanding of the best approaches for funding local subdivision infrastructure including lighting, landscaping, community facilities and other improvements. This webinar will comprehensively provide pros and cons, and step-by-step instructions for both the Landscaping and Lighting Act of 1972 to create Landscaping and Lighting Assessment Districts and the Mello Roos Act to create Community Facilities Districts. The most effective ways to implement and maintain these funding mechanisms for both new and existing subdivisions, including community-wide ballotings, will be presented.

An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Susan Barnes

Susan Barnes

Senior Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

Susan Barnes specializes in and leads opinion research and new local revenue measure balloting projects, including both benefit assessments and special taxes. She uses her excellent facilitation and public speaking experience when working with staff and board members, as well as with constituent groups. Susan’s diligent work enables agencies to raise the funds needed in order to obtain and maintain the facilities and services their communities desire. She also utilizes her broad project management experience to deliver her projects on time and on budget.
Ms. Barnes earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UC Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from Sonoma State University.

Blair Aas

Blair Aas

Director of Planning Services, SCI Consulting Group

Blair Aas specializes in the areas of developer mitigation, Mello-Roos formations, development impact fees and other new revenue mechanisms to offset the need for new or increased services and public facilities to serve new development. Blair possesses over 12 years of experience in public finance and developer mitigation, and he has developed extensive expertise in assisting public agencies in addressing all of the financial impact of new development. He has prepared over 75 development impact/CFD nexus studies and public facility financing plans. In this capacity, Blair has strong analytical experience for the inception of solid public facility planning and financial analysis as well as the legal parameters involved therein.
Mr. Aas graduated from Boise State University with a B.A. in Economics with an emphasis in public finance. He is a frequent presenter on impact fee programs at annual conferences and area workshops held by the California Park & Recreation Society, the California Association of Recreation & Park Districts and the Fire Districts Association of California. He is also a commercial associate member of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and a Community Resources Commissioner for the City of Fairfield.


Financing Fire

Financing Fire and Emergency Services in California:  How and When to Ask Your Community for More Revenue
Original Air Date:  Wednesday, May 11, 2016 11:00 a.m. to Noon Watch Now

This Webinar is designed specifically to introduce and educate Fire District and Department staff and decision makers to the funding options available for Fire Prevention, Protection and Emergency Services in California. This will be an interactive session providing an overview of the different funding mechanisms available to fire districts/departments, and will offer ideas to successfully navigate through the political, financial, legal and administrative requirements for a successful ballot measure.

An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Maria Garcia-Adarve

Maria Garcia-Adarve

Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

Maria Garcia-Adarve specializes in and leads new local revenue measure balloting projects and opinion research for SCI. Since 2000, she has been partnering with her clients through all the phases of new revenue projects and works hard to enable them to expand their services. Whether they need a new public facility or secured jobs for vital public service providers, she is committed to helping people and communities. Ms. Garcia-Adarve often takes on challenging projects where she often develops good friendships with her clients. Her past experiences, in human resources and in the banking industry, enhance her ability to lead some of the largest projects for SCI.
Ms. Garcia-Adarve graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Information Systems.

LeeAnn McCabe

LeeAnn McCabe

Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

LeeAnn McCabe has over four years experience with funding measures, feasibility and financial analysis services for public, private and non-profit sector organizations, and community/stakeholder outreach. Ms. McCabe specializes in rate study analysis and Proposition 218 formation of benefit assessment districts, community facility districts and fee rate structures. In addition, Ms. McCabe is experienced in opinion research, public outreach, demographic studies, GIS data and mapping, and ballot measure development.
Ms. McCabe is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Art in Sociology with an emphasis in quantitative analysis.


Revenue and Regulation:  A Marijuana Primer for Public Agencies in California

A Webinar for California Cities and Counties
Original Air Date:  Wednesday, April 27, 2016 11:00 a.m. to Noon Watch Now

This live and interactive webinar provides understanding of the dynamic and sometimes confusing arena of medical marijuana regulations related to taxation, and health and safety regulations for California cities and counties. SCI Consultants Neil Hall and Maria Adarve are joined by Kevin Schmidt, former policy advisor on marijuana policy to Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and currently an Associate at California Strategies, LLC; and Mitch Kulick J.D., General Counsel with Steep Hill Labs, Inc. and a member of the Steep Hill Labs Executive Management Team, for this webinar.
This panel of experts uses their research and experience to discuss the various decisions and subsequent next steps public agencies need to consider to successfully implement effective medical marijuana policy. City and county staff engaged with local cannabis planning and implementation are especially encouraged to participate.

This webinar covers:

  • Assessing community attitudes towards medical marijuana
  • Examples of techniques and policies for regulating medical marijuana
  • Enacting cannabis taxes or extending bans
  • Developing health and safety regulations for cannabis

An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Neil Hall

Neil Hall

Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

Mr. Hall brings over 40 years of intensive interaction with public agencies and communities throughout California. As Owner and President of the Fairfield Research Group from 1995 to 2014, Mr. Hall conducted over 150 focus groups, and attitude and satisfaction surveys for various communities, political candidates, and public entities in Solano County.
Mr. Hall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and M.B.A. from St. Mary's College.

Maria Garcia-Adarve

Maria Garcia-Adarve

Consultant, SCI Consulting Group

Maria Garcia-Adarve specializes in and leads new local revenue measure balloting projects and opinion research for SCI. Since 2000, she has been partnering with her clients through all the phases of new revenue projects and works hard to enable them to expand their services. Whether they need a new public facility or secured jobs for vital public service providers, she is committed to helping people and communities. Ms. Garcia-Adarve often takes on challenging projects where she often develops good friendships with her clients. Her past experiences, in human resources and in the banking industry, enhance her ability to lead some of the largest projects for SCI.
Ms. Garcia-Adarve graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Information Systems.

Kevin Schmidt

Kevin Schmidt

Associate, California Strategies

Kevin Schmidt brings a strong mix of legislative and executive knowledge and experience in statewide policy and politics. As a fourth generation public servant to California, he has the institutional knowledge needed to navigate the complex political landscape of this state.
Over the past five years Mr. Schmidt has worked as Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom's Policy Director focusing on issues on energy, natural resources, economic development, higher education, and marijuana policy.
Mr. Schmidt has a Bachelors of Science degree in business management from Santa Clara University, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Mitch Kulick, J.D.

Mitch Kulick, J.D.

General Counsel, Steep Hill Labs, Inc.

As Steep Hill's General Counsel, Mr. Kulick manages the company's contractual relationships with customers, suppliers, and licensees and serves as a member of Steep Hill's executive management team. He is the company liaison to Steep Hill's investors and government regulators. In addition, Mr. Kulick works with outside counsel to protect Steep Hill's intellectual property and business interests.
Prior to joining Steep Hill, Mr. Kulick served for 8 years as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Iroquois Capital, a leading hedge fund and private equity fund in New York City. Prior to joining Iroquois, Mr. Kulick worked for the Securities & Exchange Commission where he was a staff attorney in the Enforcement Division of the New York Regional Office. Mr. Kulick's legal career began in the New York office of Greenberg Traurig. While there, he worked on complex corporate reorganizations, labor disputes and securities litigation matters.
Mr. Kulick received his JD from Hofstra University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. He was selected as a member of the Honor's College at the University of Michigan, where he received his undergraduate degree in Biological Anthropology.



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