Are you a leader or a baby sitter? | 6 tough activities you must be willing to do | N.C. city council can't get negotiations past streetcar
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March 22, 2013
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Leadership and Management
Are you a leader or a baby sitter?
Too many bosses prefer to control their employees rather than empower them, writes Mike Myatt. That's a telltale sign of leadership dysfunction, and it makes it hard for workers to achieve their potential. "Leadership has become synonymous with babysitting in many organizations, which does nothing more than signal a lack of trust in the workforce," Myatt writes. Forbes (3/21)
6 tough activities you must be willing to do
You need thick skin to become the boss, including the abilities to give criticism and make tough decisions to keep projects moving forward, Alison Green writes. "If you shy away from these sorts of discussions, management will be torture for you -- as well as for your employees," she writes. U.S. News & World Report/On Careers blog (3/20)
N.C. city council can't get negotiations past streetcar
The Charlotte, N.C., City Council's attempt to compromise on a plan to raise property tax to fund capital improvement ended with a plan for a streetcar, which has stalled approval of the overall plan for almost a year. Some councilors say the streetcar is vital to revitalizing the city, while others say the money would be better spent on sidewalks, lighting and neighborhood grocers. WFAE-FM (Charlotte, N.C.) (3/21)
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Budgeting and Finance
N.J. city's budget includes tax hike, police radio system
Englewood, N.J., officials have introduced a budget that includes a $35 tax increase for the average homeowner, a radio system for the Police Department, a capital plan for planting trees and a temporary worker in the Finance Department. The $59.6 million budget is about $248,000 less than last year's spending plan. Northern Valley Suburbanite (Cresskill, N.J.) (3/21)
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Emergency Management and Public Safety
Ohio city council might install speed cameras
The Richmond Heights, Ohio, City Council is considering installing traffic cameras at two or more spots near schools. The cameras would not only aim to reduce speeding but also could bring additional revenue. "The main goal is safety for the people in the community," Councilwoman Eloise Henry said. Sun News (Cleveland) (3/21)
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Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability
Wal-Mart will drive mall redevelopment in Miss. city
The Gautier, Miss., City Council has unanimously approved a proposal for $20 million in tax-increment financing to redevelop Singing River Mall into an open-air center anchored by a Wal-Mart Stores location. The council also amended a sign ordinance to allow the project to include larger and taller signs. The Mississippi Press (Pascagoula)/The Associated Press (3/19)
Calif. city council backs district formation to bolster downtown
The Tulare, Calif., City Council has decided to put $20,000 toward establishing the Property Based Improvement District to improve downtown. "I think downtown is so vital to any city," Vice Mayor Craig Vejvoda said. "We need to make sure we do what we can to improve downtown." Some councilors have expressed concern about the plan, which includes business services, improved security and enhanced lighting, saying they aren't convinced the district would actually add businesses. Visalia Times-Delta (Calif.) (tiered subscription model) (3/21)
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Legislation, Policy and Grants
Texas city moves to revamp sign rules
The Round Rock, Texas, City Council has tentatively approved an updated sign ordinance that will limit new large pole signs to businesses within 500 feet of the freeway and extend the maximum height of the signs from 30 feet to 50 feet. "We're trying to improve signage in the city while allowing more signage to help local businesses," said Brad Wiseman, director of planning and community development in the city. Austin American-Statesman (Texas) (free registration) (3/19)
Hawaii city council aims to prohibit smoking on beaches
The Honolulu City Council has passed legislation to ban smoking on certain beaches on Oahu, including Waikiki and Sandy Beach. The Department of Parks and Recreation would study the effectiveness of the ban, which requires the mayor's signature to become law. "As we have witnessed from today's passage [of] Bill 72, there is and has been overwhelming support from the public to address the dangers of secondhand smoke for our millions of beachgoers, as well as the numerous cigarette butts on our beaches, which threaten our ocean ecosystem and the beauty of our white-sand beaches," Councilman Stanley Chang said. American City Business Journals/Honolulu (3/20)
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Recognitions and Transitions
Kan. city manager will move on to Okla.
Bill Keefer has been selected as city manager of Grove, Okla., effective June 1. Keefer, one of 66 applicants, is city manager in Augusta, Kan., where he has dealt with a tough budget, poor infrastructure, construction of a water-treatment plant and a costly flood. "I'm excited about the new opportunity, and I look forward to getting to know new staff members and council," he said. "It will take a little time to get the feel -- to get to know people, but it will be nice." Augusta Gazette (Kan.) (3/21)
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ICMA's Center for Management Strategies offers valuable resources for your organization
Did you know that the ICMA Center for Management Strategies offers educational programming and technical assistance in ICMA's leading practice areas for local governments? The center offers strategies for priority-based budgeting/fiscal health and wellness as well as high-performance organizations to assist city managers in addressing organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Resources on leading practices in civic engagement and collaborative service delivery are coming soon! For more information, contact Cheryl Hilvert at, or visit the center's website at
Reserve your Scottish adventure by April 1!
The ICMA Travel Connections program provides social travel events for members and their families to premium locales worldwide. The inaugural ICMA Travel Connections trip will carry members to Scotland from July 21 to 29. Many Scottish highlights await you! Reservations are due no later than April 1. View the trip itinerary and download your reservation form, or contact Sallie Ann Burnett at or 864-541-8678 with questions.
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."
-- Henrik Ibsen,
Norwegian playwright
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