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December 10, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • Mich. county executive highlights economical and ethical efforts
    During his State of the County address last week, Macomb County, Mich., Executive Mark Hackel praised the county for adding automotive and defense jobs, an $11 million communications center that will open next year, a balanced budget that did not include layoffs or tax increases, transparency and the fact that the ethics board found no violations. "Ladies and gentleman, the new Macomb County is lean, green and clean," he said during his half-hour speech. Detroit Free Press (12/5) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • N.H. city manager expects 0% increases for department budgets
    With benefits costs on the rise, Rochester, N.H., City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick requested that city department heads budget for 0% increases next year. The city faces a 27% increase in retirement costs for police officers, 22% for city workers and 21% for members of the fire department, and could face up to 14% more in health insurance costs next year. The police chief said a budget with a 0% increase would force him to cut positions from the department. Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.) (12/6) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Citing public safety, L.A. budget panel votes to keep 96 positions
    The Los Angeles City Council's Budget and Finance Committee unanimously voted to keep 96 civilian police department workers whose layoffs were originally part of the 2013 budget approved by the mayor and the top budget analyst. The committee, which said the layoffs would only save the city about $3 million, moved to keep the positions out of concern for public safety. Police officials said the layoffs would have kept officers off streets and delayed investigations. Los Angeles Daily News/City News Service (12/6) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • U.K. city councilor warns members against marina plans
    A member of the Canterbury, Kent, City Council in the U.K. warned colleagues about the dangers of building a local marina, saying funding would be more difficult to get than permission to build the structure. "There is not a marina in the country serving its capital debt. They are only able to be built because of enabling development. They should come with a massive health warning," Councilor Michael Dixey said. (U.K.) (12/6) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Fla. city imposes regulations on electronic gambling centers
    Regulations for electronic gaming centers that run simulated slot machines or similar games but bypass state gambling laws won approval from city commissioners in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The restrictions include limiting operating hours for the centers, also called sweepstakes cafes, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, prohibiting the sale of alcohol and banning entry for anyone under the age of 18. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (12/9) Email this Story
  • Texas precious-metal ordinance passes amid opposition
    The Abilene, Texas, City Council narrowly passed an updated ordinance on metal Thursday that aims to aid police investigations of metal thefts. The ordinance, which was revised since its proposal in October, sets the hold allowed on precious metals at seven days before they can be smelted, sold or discarded. Three council members and two metal business owners -- who said it would harm their businesses -- opposed the measure. Abilene Reporter-News (Texas) (12/6) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Ohio city council and residents debate sidewalk additions
    Several residents opposed North Royalton, Ohio, City Council's plan to add sidewalks along Royalton Road, saying they were concerned about the cost to homeowners and maintenance issues. "It's a very steep hill. How are you going to keep them clean?" said Sam Visnick, whose mother lives on the road. The council's Streets Committee plans to discuss the plan again in its meeting next month. Sun News (Cleveland) (12/7) Email this Story
  • Calif. city council's approves study of traffic around schools
    The Sunnyvale, Calif., City Council approved a comprehensive study of traffic around schools in the city. The council told staff to put the study's results into practice. "We've received funding from state and federal Safe Routes to School grants for three projects, with a total investment of over $2.3 million," said Jennifer Garnett, a Sunnyvale communications officer. One project will make improvements to protect pedestrians and cyclists around a number of school routes. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (12/6) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Retiring Fla. city manager praises positive local government dynamics
    After 10 years, Melbourne, Fla., City Manager Jack Schluckebier is retiring. He said he feels his biggest accomplishments were helping the city's workforce remain stable amid the downturn and bringing companies and development initiatives to the city. "I think it is not so much about me, but more about a local government environment in Melbourne and Brevard County that allows city managers to have long, positive tenures," he said. Schluckebier, who will be succeeded by Michael McNees, will step down early next year. Florida Today (Melbourne) (tiered subscription model) (12/6) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Call for ideas for ICMA's 2013 Boston/New England conference
    ICMA members and Strategic Partners are invited to submit educational program ideas for ICMA's 99th Annual Conference, Sept. 22 to 25, 2013, in Boston. The deadline for submission is Friday, Jan. 4. Contribute to the conference program by suggesting session ideas that correspond to one or more of 12 focus areas developed by the 2013 Conference Planning Committee. To read more about the focus areas and how to submit your program idea, visit the Call for Ideas website.
  • Web conference explains new GASB rules for public pensions
    The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has changed the rules for pension accounting. State and local governments must now report Net Pension Liability. This new number will likely be larger for most local governments and subject to more dramatic shifts in market fluctuation. On Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET, ICMA will present a nuts-and-bolts Web conference, GASB Rules for Public Pensions, which will break down the new GASB rules so you can explain them to your elected officials. This is a must-see for local government managers and their finance directors. Learn more and register.
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You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."
--Charles Buxton,
British brewer, philanthropist, writer and legislator

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