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December 24, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Calif. city manager looks to increase city's Web presence
    Marysville, Calif., City Manager Walter Munchheimer said he plans to create a city website that will improve its "brand awareness" and increase its visibility. The website would be part of the city's effort to improve its use of technology in communicating with residents and businesses. "It's all a deliberate integrated part of our larger strategy of developing a sustainable community future and economic prosperity without relying on malls and big-box retailers," Munchheimer wrote in an e-mail. Appeal-Democrat (Marysville-Yuba City, Calif.) (12/19) Email this Story
Making the Most of Parcel Boundary Data
For a growing list of industries, the importance and widening use of parcel boundary and property data continues to grow. Thankfully, alternatives to traditional parcel acquisition efforts are now available through cost-effective and ready to use solutions. Read our guide to smart decision-making using parcel boundary data
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Pa. city council passes budget after 6-hour meeting
    The Bethlehem, Pa., City Council approved a $71 million budget last week that includes a 7% property tax hike and a new event ticket tax. The council spent almost six hours in negotiations trying to make up for $1.5 million in revenue that the mayor's original proposal said would come from contributions from nonprofits and switching the city to a single-hauler garbage collection system, but that the council voted down. The Express-Times (Easton-Bethlehem, Pa.) (12/20) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Ala. city council votes to boost police security in schools
    The Trussville, Ala., City Council approved $400,000 in funding for the police department to hire more school resource officers to increase security at the city's schools. The vote was prompted by the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut this month and by calls the mayor received from several concerned parents. Trussville schools have already enacted a three-step plan in light of the shooting that includes placing schools on partial lockdown, stationing a police officer on all campuses and making crisis teams available to students, parents and teachers. (Alabama) (12/20) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Tenn. city council considers park and solar panels
    The Knoxville, Tenn., City Council approved plans last week for a new waterfront park and solar panels at the city's zoo. The five-acre park would cost about $650,000 and would provide open space and recreational activities, while the zoo's solar panels would be part of a city initiative to use more solar energy. The council hopes the installation of the first solar panels will be complete by March. WBIR-TV (Knoxville, Tenn.) (12/20) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Trash outsourcing narrowly wins approval in Calif. city
    The Fresno, Calif., City Council approved outsourcing its residential trash service in a 4-3 vote, the last of three votes the council has had to conduct to reach a decision. "Our choices are very limited," Mayor Ashley Swearengin said of the outsourcing move, which she said was necessary to help fill a multimillion-dollar budget gap. The agreement would allow Mid Valley Disposal to take over 105,000 residential accounts in exchange for roughly $2.5 million paid annually to the city in franchise fees, as well as a $1.5 million signing bonus. The Fresno Bee (Calif.) (free registration) (12/21) Email this Story
  • Australian city council debates merits of recycled water tank
    The Sydney City Council is considering installing a 200 kiloliter storage tank and irrigation system beneath the Australian city's Pirrama Park that could provide up to 80% of the park's irrigation needs with recycled water. Not everyone supports the installation, though, because the life of the tank is about 50 years and a report stated that the $577,000 project would not deliver a return on investment until the 2039-40 fiscal year. The Daily Telegraph (Australia) (12/22) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Don't let your savings slip away! Early-bird rates for ICMA's Gettysburg and Senior Executive Leadership institutes end Jan. 4
    Register by Jan. 4 and save $100 off the registration fees for ICMA's Senior Executive Institute "Super Session" and the ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute. ICMA's senior manager leadership institutes are consistently rated by your colleagues as the best programs they've ever attended! Learn more, read testimonials about, and then register for the ICMA Senior Executive Institute and the ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute. Team rates are available for the Gettysburg Institute.
  • ICMA publishes sixth edition of financial management classic
    ICMA has released a new (sixth) edition of "Management Policies in Local Government Finance," the latest in the classic ICMA "Green Book" series. A comprehensive update of the 2004 edition, this new version offers managers, CAOs and up-and-coming chief financial officers a thorough grounding in the principles of financial management as well as a review of the financial policies and practices used by local governments throughout the U.S. Order now at
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  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday
    In observance of Christmas, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday. Publication will resume Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday!
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
--Annie Dillard,
American author

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