David J. Wolfe is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Fresno office. Mr. Wolfe serves as the City Attorney for the City of Clovis and the City Attorney for the City of Fowler. He regularly participates in activities with the League of California Cities. He has served as Judge Pro Tem for the Fresno County Superior Court.
Prior to joining the firm in 1991, he practiced as an appellate attorney for the California Court of Appeal, 3rd Appellate District, in Sacramento, California.
Mr. Wolfe is an expert in drafting ordinances and formulating creative solutions to complex issues involving public health and safety nuisances. Mr. Wolfe has drafted ordinances which have proved successful in providing tools to address problems associated with adult businesses, entertainment establishments, massage parlors and medical marijuana.
Mr. Wolfe successfully argued before the California Supreme Court the case of Galland v. City of Clovis (2001) 24 Cal. 4th 1003, which established the standard for public agency liability arising out of administrative hearings.
Mr. Wolfe received his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law with distinction. He
received his B.A. from the University of Connecticut, magna cum laude.
Notably, Mr. Wolfe is one of only nine attorneys in the state who successfully completed all four segments
of the League of California Cities' Seminar 2000-2001. The Seminar was presented over a two-year period and covered all aspects of California Municipal Law.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that nationwide, ownership of small unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones, will increase from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million in 2020. The technology’s benefit to public agencies is enormous: Local public agencies can and do use drones for search and rescue activities, emergency medical response, survey and mapping purposes, student learning and more. But the rising number of drone-related incidents in California and else...
A new law will make it easier for local governments to raise the revenue necessary to maintain and upgrade storm water management systems. Senate Bill (SB) 231 becomes effective on January 1, 2018.
Proposition 218 limits local governments' ability to impose new or increased fees or charges. The California Constitution defines a "fee" or "charge" as "any levy other than an ad valorem tax, a special tax, or an assessment, imposed by an agency up...
The Governor recently signed Assembly Bill 2228, establishing a program for California code enforcement officers to become certified. The purpose of the program, which is voluntary, is to provide a mechanism for code enforcement officers to become trained in the substantive law and legal processes affecting their duties while also reducing the risk of liability for the agency. The program will ensure uniform and consistent training throughout the state, increasing...
Local public agencies have several options when it comes to choosing a delivery method for a construction project. The public-private partnership method, or P3, is one option that is receiving increased attention. P3 involves a long term partnership between a public agency and private entity, where typically the private entity finances, designs, builds, operates, and/or maintains a fee-producing public project. In exchange, the private entity will be repaid over an ex...
April 1 is the deadline for those holding "designated positions" under their agency's Conflict of Interest Code (Code filers), as well as so-called "Section 87200 filers," to file the annual Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700). Section 87200 filers include mayors, city council members, city managers, city attorneys, city treasurers, members of planning commissions, members of the board of supervisors, district attorneys, county counsels, county treasurers, coun...
In Capistrano Taxpayers Association, Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano, (April 20, 2015) 2015 Cal.App.Lexis 330, the court of appeal ruled that the City's tiered water rates or "fees" were unconstitutional in violation of Proposition 218 because the rates did not correspond to the actual cost of providing service at a given level of usage. Proposition 218 forbids local agencies from charging more for a property-related service such as water than the service actually...
February 2015Number 9With the approaching April 1st deadline for filing the annual Statement of Economic Interests, also known as "Form 700," required pursuant to the California Political Reform Act, public agencies should keep in mind that there are specific disclosure requirements for such filings under the Political Reform Act, which makes those filings available to the public almost immediately following filing.
The Political Reform Act requires several categories of public officials ...
Number 8To consolidate and amend the numerous design-build statutes for certain public agencies that have been enacted over many years, the Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 785 in 2014, with some elements becoming effective January 1, 2015. This law repealed existing design-build statutes for cities, counties, waste and recycling facilities, the Santa Clara County Transit District, the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, and redevelopment agencies.
In their s...
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public agencies must ensure that all government services, programs, and facilities are reasonably accessible to disabled persons. In a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fortyune v. City of Lomita (9th. Cir. Sept. 5, 2014) __ F.3d __ 2014 WL 4377467, the court held that on-street parking is a government facility that must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. The court reached this hold...
Assembly Bill (AB) 1147, the long-awaited update to California's massage therapy regulations, was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 18, 2014. Existing law deprived local governments of the power to regulate massage therapists licensed by the California Association of Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). Under AB 1147, local governments will be empowered to use their land-use authority to regulate massage parlors, even if the therapists are certified by CA...
On August 30, 2014, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1522, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Act). Beginning on July 1, 2015, employees, including part-time, seasonal and temporary employees, who work 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment must now accrue a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. There is no hourly minimum for eligibility. Employees may begin to use accrued paid s...
A recently passed voter initiative mandates compliance with the Brown Act and the Public Records Act even if compliance is not reimbursed by the state. A 2004 initiative, Proposition 59, made compliance with California's open meeting laws, including the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act (PRA), a matter of constitutional right, and mandated that those laws be broadly construed in furtherance of the public's "right of access to information concerning the co...
Recently enacted Senate Bill (SB) 751 has amended the Brown Act to require, effective January 1, 2014, that the "legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action." This bill, which adds to Government Code section 54953(c)(2), is a clarification of existing law, which already prohibits action by secret ballot. Nevertheless, the Legislature thought it was importan...
Prompted by corruption scandals in the cities of Vernon and Bell, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 39 on October 12, 2013. This law seeks to prevent public officials convicted of crimes committed in their official capacity from obtaining further benefit from the positions they abused.
In the cases of the cities of Vernon and Bell, several high ranking city officials were convicted of crimes such as fraud and violating California conflict of interes...
When it comes to conflict of interest issues, there are numerous laws to which a public official must adhere. A new law will make it easier for such officials to seek advice on such issues, and will also expand the authority of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to punish conflict of interest violations.
The Political Reform Act of 1974 (Gov. Code § 87100 et seq.; "Act"), established the FPPC. The Act governs disclosure of political campaign cont...
In the recent case of San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center v. County of Merced (May 31, 2013 __Cal.App.4th__ [2013 WL 2378584]), the Court of Appeal held that the Merced County Planning Commission (Commission) violated California's open meeting laws (the Brown Act) when it discussed and took action on an item that did not clearly and unambiguously appear on its meeting agenda.
The Brown Act requires a legislative body of a local agency to post, at least 72 hours before ...
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1344, one of a series of "Bellbills" introduced during the last legislative session in response to public outrage triggered by the City ofBellcorruption and compensation scandals.
AB 1344 adds and amends various sections of the Elections Code and the Government Code, placing new restrictions on executive employment contracts for "local agencies." The bill also makes certain changes to the Brown Act...
A recently published opinion from the First Appellate District of California entitled Reliable Tree Experts v. Baker (Caltrans) (October 7, 2011) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ [2000 WL 35918591] affirmed the trial court ruling that a one-time contract for pruning and removal of diseased trees along state highways was performed as "maintenance work" and was therefore subject to prevailing wage laws.
Caltrans advertised for bids to prune and remove diseased trees at various...
Recently Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 334, which gives school district and community college governing boards greater flexibility in approving absences for their members. AB 334 permits school district and community college governing boards to authorize an extended absence for a board member in the case of illness or urgent necessity.
Prior to the bill's passage and approval by the governor, the law limited the amount of time a school distr...
Assembly Bill (AB) 23, effective January 1, 2012, requires that each governing board of a local agency, prior to holding serial or simultaneous meetings, have the clerk or a member of the governing board verbally announce the additional compensation that members of that governing board will receive for attending the serial or simultaneous meetings. Examples of serial or simultaneous meetings would be when a city council meets as the city council, and then adjourns an...