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October 23, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • Why bosses should learn to love gray areas
    Leaders need to learn to be flexible and to stop seeing the world in absolutes, says Maria Mitchell, president of Amdec. Ideological purity, perfectionism and rigid, unbreakable rules aren't fair to workers and aren't effective as management principles, Mitchell explains. "I think I was too black-and-white ... early on, without taking into consideration a lot of the gray," she says. "I now think it's OK to manage within more of those gray areas." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/20)
  • Cities turn to neighbors to combine services
    In the post-recession economy, more local governments are teaming up on services including 911 response and police and fire departments to save money. More than 40% of local governments have experienced a reduction in aid from state governments since 2008, and almost half have cut jobs, according to a survey of city financial officers by the National League of Cities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the local-government workforce has been reduced by 476,000 employees since 2008. USA Today (10/19) Email this Story
  • Calif. city manager looks back on a packed first year
    Since becoming city manager of Irwindale, Calif., in November, John Davidson has had to deal with a slew of crises: an embezzlement trial of several city officials, a deadly shooting spree at an office and the closure of signature racetrack Irwindale Speedway because of financial constraints. "It certainly was part of Irwindale's face," Davidson said. "We think the racing enthusiasts lost an excellent facility." Davidson said he aims to make the city's management more transparent, as well as continue negotiations with labor groups regarding a trash facility. San Gabriel Valley Tribune (San Gabriel, Calif.) (10/21) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Researchers gather in N.H. to solve problem of distracted driving
    Psychologists, scientists and technologists gathered last week in Portsmouth, N.H., to research distracted driving at the International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications. Attendees sought technological and psychological solutions to problems that include use of a cellphone with or without hands and use of a GPS unit. SeacoastOnline (Portsmouth, N.H.) (tiered subscription model) (10/20) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Fla.'s biggest rain tree could be moved for development
    Residents, officials and preservationists are at odds with a development company in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., regarding the possible relocation of the state's largest rain tree, which is 20 feet around and 61 feet tall and has a 127-foot-wide canopy. The company wants to uproot and move the tree to make way for condos, but those who oppose the move say relocating the tree could damage or kill it. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (10/21) Email this Story
  • Ethics have a higher cost on the ballot than in court
    A report by India Against Corruption on Robert Vadra's massive financial gains and luxury purchases through a shady political connection has provoked public outrage and tarnished the reputation of the Gandhi family, with whom the businessman is connected through marriage. While punishing Vadra through the court system will prove difficult and unlikely, "a family that betrays [the people's] trust will pay the price in the next election," blogger Chetan Bhagat writes. The Times of India/The Underage Optimist blog (10/21) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Md. county bill would prevent quickservice property takeover
    The Prince George's County, Md., Council is considering a bill that would make businesses tell the county if they buy property and plan to change its use. The bill aims to keep often-opposed stores such as quickservice restaurants from overtaking traditional stores, as well as give residents more power to ask for healthier dining options, said Councilwoman Karen Toles, who introduced the legislation. "The public has a right to know what's coming," Toles said. "It's not about regulating Big Macs." The Examiner (Washington, D.C.) (10/21) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Complaints halt derecho cleanup on Va. trail
    Debris cleanup on Percival's Island Trail in Lynchburg, Va., after a derecho has been stopped after some users complained that it has been too aggressive and has damaged the trail. "Could we have done things better? Yes, we certainly could have. And we've learned some lessons from this," said Lynchburg Parks & Recreation Services Manager Andy Reeder, who will bring specialists to the trail to check for damage. WSET-TV (Lynchburg, Va.) (10/19) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Raise the visibility of ethics at your workplace
    Now is the time to strengthen the ethical culture of your organization by ensuring that every member of your staff understands the organization's values and can deal with ethics-related, on-the-job issues. ICMA offers training, workshops and technical assistance on such ethics-related topics: Ethics at Work, the Ethical Survivor, Promoting an Ethical Culture, the Leader's Role in Building an Ethical Culture, and Elected Officials and the Public Trust. Each program can be customized for staff, leadership, elected officials, and boards and commissions. Contact the ICMA Ethics Center at (202) 962-3521 for more information. You can also visit for general information on ethics-related topics.
  • "Social Media: Are They Engaged or Asleep?": An essential ICMA Web conference
    Your fan page might have thousands of "likes," but are you truly engaging citizens? For a practical Web conference on social media engagement, Juniper Korkie, ICMA's director of digital strategies, will welcome Nannette Rodriguez, chief information officer of Miami Beach, Fla., and Michelle Bono, assistant to the city manager of Tallahassee, Fla., for "Social Media: Are They Engaged or Asleep?" at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. Register to learn how to evaluate your social media strategy, deliver relevant information, creatively promote events, increase audience engagement, manage your social media reputation and measure engagement.
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The importance of money flows from it being a link between the present and the future."
--John Maynard Keynes,
British economist

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