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January 7, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • It's time for leaders to get real
    Leadership should be about facing up to uncomfortable realities, not about burying your head in the sand, writes George Ambler. Only reality-based leadership can inspire employees or bring long-term strategic success. "Convincing ourselves that things are better or different from reality is never a good idea," he writes. George Ambler blog (1/4)
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Pa. city hikes property tax 45%
    The Hazleton, Pa., City Council passed a 45% property-tax increase as part of its $8.68 million budget for 2013. The increase is a compromise, after Mayor Joe Yannuzzi requested an 81% hike. The budget also cuts $125,000 from police and $100,000 from public works. Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) (1/4) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • N.J. city gains approval to lay off police force
    The New Jersey Civil Service Commission approved the Camden City Council's plan to lay off the entire Police Department, despite objections from the police union and the state NAACP. The city plans to use a county-run force at about the same price of $60 million, which will include more officers and smaller compensation packages. The police union plans to appeal the ruling. The Philadelphia Inquirer (1/4) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Mass. city debuts sustainability goals for 2025
    Lowell, Mass., has updated its master plan for sustainable development during the next 12 years. Eight goals include a streamlined permit process for installing electric-vehicle charging stations, development of underused sites for solar-energy production and fostering sustainable entrepreneurship. The city surveyed 800 households and held five public sessions in developing the plan. The Sun (Lowell, Mass.) (1/2) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • U.K. local councils need more control of health spending
    The keys to reforming Britain's health care system, as the population ages and resources decrease, are better preventive care and a switch from central to local control of public health funding, Birmingham health officials Steve Bedser and Dr. Adrian Phillips write. "The clear message we hear is that councils are ready to take on public health," they write. "But we must be given the freedom, power and resources to do so, and that means more focus on tackling problems at a local level." The Guardian (London) (1/2) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Calif. mayor proposes land swap to settle lawsuit
    The Malibu, Calif., City Council is contemplating a proposal to swap the city's ownership of Charmlee Wilderness Park for control of the remaining 83 acres of Bluffs Park, in addition to 10 acquired with usage restrictions. The proposal, by Mayor Lou La Monte, would transfer Charmlee to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to partly settle the group's lawsuit against Malibu. The city has owned the 532-acre Charmlee since 1998., Calif. (1/3) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  ICMA News 
  • "A Boss's Guide to Performance Appraisals": Web conference on Jan. 17
    It's Judgment Day. Studies show that the annual performance appraisal is met with trepidation by most employees -- and their bosses. One reason is that the majority of organizations fail to create and deliver performance appraisals that are constructive to the employee and the organization. At 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 17, ICMA will present "A Boss's Guide to Performance Appraisals," a hands-on primer that will highlight best practices and teach you how to use performance appraisals to build a better organization. The speakers are Scott Letourneau, president of NEOGOV; Karen McLaughlin, city manager of Manteca, Calif.; and Joe Kriskovich, director of human resources and risk management in Manteca. Learn more and register.
  • Learn to lead and make connections that count at the Young Professionals Leadership Institute
    The Young Professionals Leadership Institute, which precedes each 2013 ICMA Regional Summit, is a special, two-day offering for assistants, assistant managers and those beginning their career in local government. Content is designed for ICMA members and nonmembers who are emerging leaders, have a Master of Public Administration degree or are working in a local-government organization in their first job but not in the manager's office. The institute provides an opportunity to build your leadership skill set while participating in skill-building workshops that emphasize effective management and supervision styles. It also includes a discussion with Bob O'Neill and a session on work-life balance. (Managers, we encourage you to invite young professionals to attend this leadership institute.) Don't miss this opportunity to connect with other managers and local-government professionals in your region. The institute is still a great value, at only $99. For details and to register, visit
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Beware the fury of a patient man."
--John Dryden,
British poet, critic and playwright

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