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February 13, 2013
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  Leadership and Management 
  • Why too much of a good thing is bad for leadership
    Even positive traits such as confidence can become problematic if they become excessive, writes Samuel Bacharach, director of Cornell University's Institute of Workplace Studies. "[W]hen a leader has an excess of confidence, it generally means he or she also has a surfeit of ego," he writes. Similarly, a determined leader may run into trouble if he or she refuses to make adjustments. Inc. online (free registration) (2/11)
  • Ore. city council decides to annex 75 acres of "islands"
    The Forest Grove, Ore., City Council voted 5-1 to annex 75 acres of "islands," despite objections from several residents. The council made the controversial decision because it will help with planning and development and will bring in about $72,000 in extra property-tax revenue each year. Island residents, however, say higher taxes that come with annexation are not worth the services gained, including sanitary sewer and road maintenance. The Oregonian (Portland) (2/11) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Del. city residents find program's clients problematic
    The Wilmington, Del., City Council heard complaints about Connections Community Service Programs from residents and business owners during a packed forum. The complaints focused on Connections clients, who residents say ask for money, camp out in people's yards, deal drugs and fight. "They have clients who loiter, sit on the steps and accost people," lawyer Bayard Marin said. Connections serves people facing addiction, homelessness, mental illness and other challenges. The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.) (tiered subscription model) (2/12) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Colo. city manager urges proactive stance on development
    Longmont, Colo., City Manager Harold Dominguez says he wants city officials to take a proactive attitude toward economic development, rather than a reactive one. He wants to establish the city's reputation as an ally to businesses and says the city must "move at the pace of business." "Economic development is important to the long-term future of this city because that is what's going to produce the additional revenue" to sustain services, Dominguez told the Longmont Area Economic Council. The Denver Post (2/11) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Colo. city might opt out of marijuana law
    The Denver City Council has delayed until April a vote on whether the city will opt out of licensing sales of recreational marijuana, after Colorado voters legalized recreational use in November. City officials say they are unsure of how to enforce the law and have expressed concern about an increase in marijuana-related crime and fire risk. The Denver Post (2/12) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Calif. city council eyes parkland development in land swap
    The Malibu, Calif., City Council will consider developing as much as 35 acres in a park if a land swap can be reached with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Under the agreement, the city would receive 83 acres of Malibu Bluffs Park, 35 of which are not considered an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area. City Manager Jim Thorsen says city staff are working on plans for potential ballparks, recreational fields and a skate park., Calif. (2/11) Email this Story
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  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Mich. city manager retires with place "in good shape"
    Officials in Flushing, Mich., say they will consider all available options when finding a replacement for City Manager Dennis Bow, who retired last month. Bow spent more than 16 years with the city and has been replaced on an interim basis by the clerk/treasurer. "I can say now for certain our city is going to be in good shape," Bow said. "I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out." The Flint Journal (Mich.) (2/12) Email this Story
  • Calif. city council picks manager in unanimous decision
    The Ventura, Calif., City Council unanimously approved the hiring of Mark Watkins as city manager. Watkins has served as assistant city manager in Thousand Oaks since July 2011, and his hiring in Ventura is expected to be made official when the council formally approves his contract this month. "Mark is truly dedicated to improving city government through accountability and transparency," Ventura Mayor Mike Tracy said. "We have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to working with him." Ventura County Star (Calif.) (free registration) (2/11) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • 2012 edition of stats book focuses on essentials for local-government managers
    ICMA has released the second edition of "Statistics for Public Administration: Practical Uses for Better Decision Making," an accessible and informative update of the 2010 edition. While this second edition describes research design and basic applied statistics, the book's primary purpose is to demonstrate how statistics can help local-government professionals do their jobs more effectively, rather than help readers master statistical theory. To find out what's new in the second edition, visit
  • Join ICMA's Leonard Matarese and Joseph Pozzo in webinar on fire/EMS innovation
    Does having more paramedics always produce a better outcome? Can emergency medical dispatch create efficiency in fire and emergency medical service delivery? What is the real story behind compressed air foam? Get answers to these questions and a few of your own in an interactive Web conference at 1 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 20. Learn more and register.
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--John Steinbeck,
American author

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