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October 16, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • Even bosses need downtime
    Most companies -- and most bosses -- operate on a "clock of perpetual crisis and calendar of urgent," Art Petty writes. That doesn't leave much time for self-reflection or self-improvement, so it's important to find ways to switch off, decompress and reboot. "Taking time to reflect and re-examine your role and performance as a leader offers nothing but growth opportunities for yourself and for those who look to you to lead," Petty asserts. (10/14)
  • Calif. county is left with half of its city managers
    Five of the 10 cities in Ventura County, Calif., are without a city manager after the resignation of Port Hueneme's manager became effective Monday. Financial issues played a significant part in four of the departures. The average manager spends five to seven years with a city, according to ICMA. Ventura County Star (Calif.) (free registration) (10/13) Email this Story
  • Mich. city manager plans reorganization of downtown authority
    Farmington, Mich., City Manager Vince Pastue proposed a plan to reorganize the Downtown Development Authority. Under the plan, Pastue would take on the duties of the DDA's executive director, who would become an assistant to the city manager; the DDA's coordinator also would move to the city manager's office; and the city would hire a director for economic community development. Pastue's proposal comes amid expected revenue loss from the DDA, which is funded by tax-increment revenue that comes from increases in property values. Observer & Eccentric Newspapers (Livonia, Mich.) (10/14) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Programs in Ala. city face budget cuts
    The 2013 budget for Mobile, Ala., reduces support for private and nonprofit groups by about $400,000. Such programs include the Child Advocacy Center, which helps children who were sexually abused, and the Boys & Girls Clubs. However, City Council members said the money cut will go toward core services, such as the Police Department and road maintenance, which taxpayers recently said should be given priority. (Alabama)/Real-Time News from Mobile blog (10/11) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Firefighters train in live burn in Fla.
    The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Firefighters Benevolent Association set fire to a city block as part of training for more than 250 firefighters from the U.S. and one fire department from Argentina. The training included setting afire a housing development scheduled to be demolished so firefighters could experience crawling into a fire to extinguish it, breaking down doors, smashing windows and sawing open roofs. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (10/12) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Member of Mass. city council calls for problem-property task force
    The Lowell, Mass., City Council will address a proposal tonight aimed at reducing problem properties. Council member Marty Lorrey filed a motion urging the city manager to create a task force to monitor problem properties, which are labeled as such after four calls or complaints are made against them for criminal reasons, unsanitary conditions or noise within one year. A similar task force in Boston resulted in a 55% decrease in police calls to problem properties and in 144 investigations in the first year. The Sun (Lowell, Mass.) (10/15) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • San Francisco might change open-data legislation
    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee planned to propose a revision to the city's open-data policy. The change would include hiring a chief data officer and appointing a data coordinator in each city department. A vote is expected in December. TechCrunch (10/15) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Q-and-A: Ga. manager has been working for city his entire adulthood
    Newly appointed Monroe, Ga., interim City Manager Matthew Chancey has worked for his hometown government since he was 18, starting as a member of the utility crew. He then moved on to become engineer-operation associate, then city planner. Chancey said his immediate focus is the budget, but long-term goals include improving the lives of Monroe residents. He said being from the city and working his way up through the government are advantages for him in his role. The Walton Tribune (Monroe, Ga.) (10/12) Email this Story
  • N.C. city commissions study on lack of retention
    The Monroe, N.C., City Council approved a study that could determine the reason it is without a city manager for the fourth time since 2000. Council member Margaret Desio, who proposed the study, said the city needs to figure out the reason it cannot retain managers because constant transition affects the city's image, the council's effectiveness and staff morale. The study, costing as much as $50,000, will examine relationships among the City Council, the city manager's office and senior staff. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (10/13) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • 2012 conference wrap-up and thanks!
    ICMA thanks our 2012 sponsors, exhibitors, planning and host committee members and nearly 3,000 attendees for making the 98th ICMA Annual Conference the best-attended conference in four years! Select virtual conference content will be available for purchase this month. Check out the conference website for highlights, and visit Flickr to see photos from the world's foremost event for local-government management professionals, which this year took place Oct. 7 to 10 in Phoenix/Maricopa County, Ariz. See you next year in Boston!
  • "Social Media: Are they Engaged or Asleep?" Sign up for this Oct. 25 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, welcomes Nannette Rodriguez, chief information officer of Miami Beach, Fla., and Michelle Bono, assistant to the city manager of Tallahassee, Fla. 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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  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    A story in the Sept. 28 issue of ICMA SmartBrief should have stated that Eagan, Minn., City Manager Tom Hedges mentored more than 40 interns and department directors, many of whom have gone on to become city managers and department directors. SmartBrief regrets the error.
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."
--Galileo Galilei,
Italian astronomer, philosopher and physicist

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