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January 23, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Tips for making meetings worthwhile
    Some executives start meetings not by lecturing to their team but by asking direct reports to check in, share information and raise issues, Scott Eblin writes. Your team should be able to follow these three steps: Give information others need to know, request the information they need and share what's happening with their projects and tasks. Level Blog (1/21)
  • Fla. city council considers forming leadership group
    The Jacksonville, Fla., City Council is looking at a proposal to form a "council of leaders" that would comprise leaders citywide and would meet regularly with the mayor. Councilman Matt Schellenberg, who proposed the plan, aims for the group to bring together leaders of the Jacksonville Electric Authority, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, the school board and local universities to give the mayor extra insight. WTEV-TV/WAWS-TV (Jacksonville, Fla.) (1/21) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Mass. city manager wants $40,000 given to youth sports
    Worcester, Mass., City Manager Michael O'Brien has recommended that $40,000 be allocated from his contingency account to support youth athletics, after the City Council gave initial approval to cracking down on aggressive panhandling, including "tag days," during which players solicit donations from drivers at intersections. O'Brien wants $25,000 to go toward maintenance of city-owned sports facilities and $15,000 toward sports programs at public schools. Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.) (1/21) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Md. city council weighs funding for police at schools
    The Havre de Grace, Md., City Council was scheduled to vote on whether to extend funding for two additional school police officers through the end of the school year. Mayor Wayne Dougherty had proposed that the city use extra property-tax revenue to cover $63,200 needed to fund the officers, which would bring the number of school resource officers to four. de Grace, Md. (1/21) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Tenn. city council votes down controversial development
    The Chattanooga, Tenn., City Council has rejected a 190-acre, $100 million multiuse development that would have included 280 apartments and 750,000 square feet of office and retail space. Residents, environmental groups and, supposedly, a competing developer had opposed the project, which would have been built in the Hixson community. (Chattanooga, Tenn.) (1/22) Email this Story
  • Ethics-code changes are postponed in Conn. city
    The Stamford, Conn., Board of Representatives' Legislative and Rules Committee held a hearing on potential changes to the city's ethics code but could not reach a consensus and send the proposal to the full board for review. Proposed changes include prohibiting Board of Ethics candidates from participating in political activity, adopting a confidentiality measure and requiring the city to reimburse employees and elected officials if ethics complaints are dropped or withdrawn. Connecticut Post (Fairfield County-Bridgeport) (1/22) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Mass. city council might have to revote on snow ordinance
    The Fitchburg, Mass., City Council might have to vote again on the city's policy on snow and ice removal, which was mistakenly approved in the summer without portions recommended by the Legislative Affairs Committee, the Fitchburg Disability Commission and the city's former solicitor. The policy leaves out a provision that municipal employees cannot pile snow in the public way, an expanded definition of sidewalks to make traveling easier for wheelchairs and bicycles. Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, Mass.) (1/22) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Residents seek change to bike route in Danish city
    Residents of the Christiania neighborhood in Copenhagen, Denmark, are asking the City Council to change a bicycle route that is part of the council's goal to make the city more bike friendly. Opponents say the route, a shortcut between city center and Amager, is too close to the commune and that traffic and narrow roads make it unsafe. The Copenhagen Post (Denmark) (1/20) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Incoming manager says he'll keep Tenn. city on track
    Brentwood, Tenn., Assistant City Manager Kirk Bednar says he will continue the successful financial policies of City Manager Mike Walker when he takes over Saturday, as Walker retires. Bednar says he originally wanted to be a history teacher but changed paths to municipal government after taking a political science course in college. "It's the one level of government where you can really have an immediate impact on the day-to-day lives of people," he said. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (1/21) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • ICMA Annual Awards Program is under way; deadline for nominations is March 8
    Each year, ICMA recognizes outstanding contribution to the profession of local-government management through the Annual Awards Program. Recipients will be recognized in two umbrella categories -- for individual achievement through the Professional Awards and for jurisdictional achievement through the Program Excellence Awards -- during ICMA's 99th Annual Conference, scheduled Sept. 22 to 25 in Boston, and will be highlighted in a fall issue of ICMA's PM (Public Management) magazine. Visit the awards page of ICMA's website at for complete information on the Annual Awards Program and the nomination process. Then celebrate the value of professional local-government management by nominating your colleague, your community or yourself for a 2013 ICMA annual award. Nominations are accepted through March 8.
  • Don't miss Web conference Jan. 31 on public-safety concept
    The public-safety concept, through which individuals are trained as police officers and firefighters, has been successfully implemented in the U.S. for more than 100 years. However, the concept remains one of the most politically controversial ideas a local-government manager can champion. At 1 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 31, ICMA will host a fascinating Web conference titled "Police-Fire Mergers: Understanding the Public Safety Concept," featuring Leonard Matarese, director of research and project development at the ICMA Center for Public Safety Management, and Jane Bais-DiSessa, city manager of Berkley, Mich. During this event, the speakers will discuss the theory behind the public-safety concept and provide insight into how one community has successfully implemented it. Visit the ICMA website for more information and to register.
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It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to."
--W.C. Fields,
American comedian, actor and writer

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