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February 11, 2013
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  Leadership and Management 
  • Mich. mayor wants city council to take salary cut
    Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has asked City Council members to take a 10% pay cut that mirrors a cut going into effect today for nonunion employees. Some councilors would not comment on whether they are willing to take the cut, but others expressed support for the request. "If I am able to ask others, I should be able to do so myself," Councilman James Tate said. WXYZ-TV (Detroit) (2/7) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Pa. city councilors disagree on property-tax revamp
    The Philadelphia City Council is discussing a possible property-tax overhaul, with councilors disagreeing on whether to eliminate the homestead exemption or implement an Actual Value Initiative. The mayor is pushing for an AVI, which would reassess properties and lower the overall tax rate from 1.4% to 1.25%. However, several councilors have expressed support for eliminating the homestead exemption, which would lower taxes for more residents while keeping the overall tax rate the same. The Philadelphia Inquirer (2/9) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Calif. city council avoids firefighter layoffs, grounding truck
    The Milpitas, Calif., City Council unanimously approved a plan to avoid taking a firetruck out of service and laying off four firefighters. The stopgap solution includes using city reserves and employee matching to avoid the layoffs. High absence has caused the Fire Department to pay more overtime than budgeted in the first half of the fiscal year by more than $480,000. Milpitas Post (Calif.) (2/7) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Texas city incentives could bring hotel to convention center
    The Irving, Texas, City Council unanimously supports an incentive package to bring a hotel to the convention center. The plan includes a $90 million, 350-room hotel with a 10,000-square-foot ballroom; $9 million in projects, including a sky bridge and a parking garage; and $19 million in city and state tax rebates over 20 years. A down economy and abandoned plans to build an entertainment center have left the convention center without a hotel, forcing it to host smaller, shorter events. The Dallas Morning News (free content) (2/7) Email this Story
  • Ala. city returns dumping ground to natural wetland state
    Officials and environmentalists in Daphne, Ala., have used a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant to turn a dumping ground back into a wetland habitat. The $38,000 grant allowed the city to remove 500 tons of garbage, wet sediment and debris over about two acres and replace them with 350 species of native trees and shrubs. "It was not functioning as a wetland, and it was actually functioning counter to that because it was interfering with the flow of water," field botanist Fred Nation said. "And what we did, we came in and pretty much planted a forest." (Alabama)/Real-Time News from Mobile blog (2/10) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • N.Y. city council plans to address school-bus system
    The New York City Council will hold a hearing to discuss the school-bus system, which has shrunk by about 30,000 riders, to 139,000, since 2000 but has increased routes from 5,400 to more than 6,700. The city spends about $1 billion on school buses, with the increased cost attributed to factors including added routes for summer school and special-education students, annual raises for drivers and higher payout to bus companies. New York Post (2/8) Email this Story
  • N.Y. city council and residents disagree on trash collection
    The Batavia, N.Y., City Council expects a crowd at a public hearing today on the collection of trash and recyclable items because of differing opinions among councilors and residents. Residents have said they want the city to renew its contract with a local company that employs handicapped workers and has been working with the city for almost three decades. The council, however, wants to hire a different company, whose price would save the city $1.2 million. The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (2/7) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • 2012 edition of stats book focuses on essentials for local-government managers
    ICMA has released the second edition of "Statistics for Public Administration: Practical Uses for Better Decision Making," an accessible and informative update of the 2010 edition. While this second edition describes research design and basic applied statistics, the book's primary purpose is to demonstrate how statistics can help local-government professionals do their jobs more effectively, rather than help readers master statistical theory. To find out what's new in the second edition, visit
  • Sign up for the 2013 Brownfields Conference in Atlanta
    The National Brownfields Conference is the largest training and networking event in the nation focused on economic redevelopment and sustainability. This event is designed to bring people together from a wide range of fields to learn, discuss and take action on brownfield sites to ultimately revitalize communities and restore the environment. In its 15th year, this event attracts thousands of attendees and more than 200 exhibitors for 2½ days of interactive educational sessions, mobile workshops, keynote speakers and the exclusive economic-redevelopment forum. The National Brownfields Conference, co-sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and ICMA, invites you to be part of the solution from May 15 to 17. See details and register.
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If you want to make enemies, try to change something."
--Woodrow Wilson,
28th U.S. president

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