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December 3, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • Is a noisy surprise a smart leadership strategy?
    Debbie Brown writes that she received a mixed reaction from colleagues and surprised herself when she slammed a table during a meeting to get their attention to move the conversation forward. Her peers' reactions might have been influenced by cultural factors; her colleagues from the West viewed it as a positive action, but one from the East disagreed. "I wondered if it were a man hitting the table whether the feedback would have been the same," Brown writes. (11/29)
  • Wyo. city council will vote on long-term goals
    The Casper, Wyo., City Council will vote on a long-term strategic plan for the community before budget negotiations begin in January. The plan, which is meant to be a guide when planning future city budgets, includes community development, enhancing the city's downtown and recreational facilities, improving infrastructure, traffic and transportation, and maintaining good appearances and social services. Star-Tribune (Casper, Wyo.) (tiered subscription model) (11/29) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Philadelphia parks, shelters will have funding restored
    The Philadelphia City Council voted to restore more than $37 million previously cut from parks and recreation centers and domestic violence shelters. The city unexpectedly had an extra $49 million in the fund, which allows the council to give $2.6 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation, $3 million for 100 more beds in domestic abuse shelters, $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania, $600,000 to an anti-blight program and $200,000 to the city's Mural Arts Program, among other programs. (Philadelphia) (11/30) Email this Story
  • Mass. city council lessens tax burden, but protests still likely
    In an effort to decrease burden on taxpayers, the Brockton, Mass., City Council decided to put $1 million intended for capital projects instead toward lowering the tax money needed for next year's budget. City groups, including Brocktonians for Limited Taxation and the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, planned to protest planned tax increases. The groups want taxes to remain unchanged; city officials said that is not realistic. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (12/1) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Pa. city's public safety could suffer with budget cuts
    The Bethlehem, Pa., police chief and other safety officials are urging City Council not to go through with $500,000 in possible cuts to the public safety budget. The cuts would affect the police and fire departments, EMS services and the 911 dispatch center, and could extend response times to emergency calls and result in an increase in crime, safety officials told the council. The budget also calls for changing the garbage-collection system to a single-hauler system, but some council members are reluctant to support the switch due to citizen opposition. The Express-Times (Easton-Bethlehem, Pa.) (11/30) Email this Story
  • Calif. city council considers boosting police patrol
    The Oakland, Calif., City Council is considering a $1.8 million proposal to beef up its police department in the face of 116 homicides and a possible federal takeover of police control. The proposal includes adding 21 police support staff members, an extendable 90-day contract with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office for 10 deputies and one supervisor, and adding a third police academy. Currently, there is one police officer for every 765 residents. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)/Oakland Tribune (free registration) (11/30) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Iowa city council seeks public opinion on development proposals
    The Iowa City, Iowa, City Council will seek public input this week on five proposals for developments on a vacant lot one block away from City Hall. The proposals include residential units, grocery stores, offices, movie theaters, bowling alleys, hotels, gardens and environmentally friendly designs. "It's going to be very tough," one council member said about deciding among the proposals. "That's why we'd like to have some more public input." Iowa City Press-Citizen (11/29) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Australian city seeks flexible late-night code to help smaller venues
    Concerned that proposed late-night regulations for local venues could impose unmanageable costs on smaller restaurants and bars, the Adelaide, South Australia, City Council sought help from the South Australian Government to make the regulations more flexible. "We really want to make sure that small bars in the city are supported in a way that's actually going to help the long-term vibrancy and add to city safety," Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said. A government official said South Australia will make sure new businesses can acquire cheaper, less complicated liquor licenses to reduce costs. ABC (Australia) (11/29) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Ore. city council approves cheaper street upgrade options
    The Portland, Ore., City Council last week passed an initiative to make sidewalk construction and street paving less expensive for residents. The initiative will offer two options for city street upgrades that could cut costs for property owners through features such as gravel shoulders and street trees. The options could cut costs for property owners from roughly $300 per month over a 20-year period to $85 or $65 per month. The Oregonian (Portland) (11/29) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Ore. city picks 3 city manager finalists from pool of 58
    The Klamath Falls, Ore., City Council announced three final candidates from an initial pool of 58 in its search for a city manager. "We are excited by the quality of the city manager candidates who are interested in our community," Mayor Todd Kellstrom said. The city hired a consulting company to aid in its search. The three candidates will interact with residents at a Tuesday meet and greet. Herald and News (Klamath Falls, Ore.) (11/29) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Save now on registrations for two of ICMA's highly rated leadership institutes
    Your colleagues consistently rate ICMA's senior manager leadership institutes as the best programs they ever attended! Now you can save $100 off the registration fees when you register by Jan. 4 for either ICMA's Senior Executive Institute (SEI) "Super Session" or the Gettysburg SEI Leadership Institute.

    Designed for senior local government managers, the ICMA SEI Leadership "Super Session" takes place May 4-11, 2013, at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, Va. The program offers you a unique opportunity to experience the core of the two-week SEI program compressed into eight days. Designed by the faculty at University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service and ICMA University, the program curriculum is varied, and the faculty is well grounded in the needs and concerns of top local government executives. Registration is limited to 24 senior executives. Learn more, read testimonials and register.

    The ICMA SEI Gettysburg Leadership Institute, which is offered once a year for three days, takes place May 8-10, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa., and is open to a group of no more than 30 senior-level managers. Participants will explore leadership lessons of Gettysburg while enhancing their thinking about personal leadership, organizational effectiveness, disaster management and other concepts. Learn more, read testimonials and register.
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