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December 12, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • 11 ways to become a better leader
    You don't have to be in charge of a large team to be a leader, but there are certain qualities that will make you more effective and inspirational, Margaret Buj writes. Stating your vision clearly, being passionate and positive, and always striving to improve can help you become a "transformational leader," she writes. (12/10)
  • Wary Ill. city council joins intergovernmental agreement
    The Marion, Ill., City Council hesitantly agreed to a federally mandated intergovernmental cooperative that includes nine communities in Jackson and Williamson counties. The agreement, which forms the Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization, will engage the communities in developing a 20-year plan. "This I do not like, but I don't think we've got a lot of choice," Marion Mayor Bob Butler said, adding that nonparticipation could cost the city federal funding. The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, Herrin, Murphysboro) (12/11) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Sandy victims receive tax grace period from N.Y. city council
    The New York City Council approved an interest-free property-tax extension to residents most affected by superstorm Sandy, despite the storm's $19 billion out-of-pocket cost to the city. The extension, which gives homeowners until April 1 to pay their tax bill, is available to those whose home was deemed uninhabitable by the Department of Buildings. Council members say they are working on more legislation to help Sandy victims. The New York Observer (12/10) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • N.J. city council speaks out against violent crime
    The Trenton, N.J., City Council has called residents to action against violent crime and to discuss a proposal to reduce crime, including enforcing a curfew and establishing a mandatory closing time for bodegas and bars. The council says an insufficient police force has contributed to high crime, and members sent a letter to the governor and planned a State House rally to request more police support. This year, there have been 24 homicides in the city. The Trentonian (Trenton, N.J.) (12/6) Email this Story
  • Md. county council weighs emergency-operations department
    The Harford County, Md., Council will consider an executive order to create a department to oversee emergency services. The draft order would establish the Department of Emergency Operations, which would oversee the quality of fire, rescue and emergency medical services, as well as funding and support for the volunteer fire department. Fire officials will review the order before it goes before the council next week. The Aegis (Bel Air, Md.) (12/11) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Kan. city council wants public input on $429M development
    The Wichita, Kan., City Council plans to hold a public hearing on a sales tax and revenue bond project that would help fund a 423-acre development. The complex would include sports and entertainment venues, retailers, and medical and business offices. The facility is expected to create 1,300 jobs and bring 1.9 million visitors and $83.6 million in retail sales annually. The development is estimated to cost $429 million. The Wichita Eagle (Kan.) (12/11) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Ala. city's food-truck plan is too strict, opponents say
    A lawyer for food-truck operators in Birmingham, Ala., and a member of the Virginia-based Institute for Justice are urging City Council members to reconsider a proposed ordinance that they say is so restrictive it could force trucks out of downtown. The ordinance would restrict trucks to two hours of operation, require that they set up at least 230 feet away from a restaurant or mobile vendor, establish annual fees, define zones in which trucks can do business and create the Mobile Food Vendors Committee. However, one council member says the ordinance is still in the draft phase and could change before going before the council. The Birmingham News (Ala.) (12/6) Email this Story
  • U.K. city council might restrict beach huts and boats
    The Canterbury, U.K., City Council is considering limiting owners of beach huts to a 30-year lease. "I didn't buy my hut to be told in 30 years I have to get off the beach," one owner said. "I should be able to pass it on to whoever I want. It could be a legacy to pass on to my children and their children." The council also wants to charge boat owners £100 annually to leave vessels on the beach. Herne Bay Times (U.K.) (12/6) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  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, scheduled Sept. 22 to 25 in Boston. The deadline for submission is 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 ideas, visit the Call for Ideas website.
  • Web conference will explain GASB rules for public pensions
    The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has changed rules for pension accounting. State and local governments must report net pension liability. This number likely will be larger for most local governments and subject to more dramatic shifts in market fluctuation. At 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, ICMA will present a nuts-and-bolts Web conference, "GASB Rules for Public Pensions," which will break down GASB rules so you can explain them to elected officials. This is a must-see for local-government managers and finance directors. Learn more and register.
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Put a grain of boldness into everything you do."
--Baltasar Gracián,
Spanish writer

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