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December 6, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
 
  • How to save a poor-performing new employee
    If a new employee isn't improving, the manager should make sure necessary training is being provided and then work with the employee to identify strengths and weaknesses, Vicki Crowe writes. "You can approach this in a positive way by asking them what aspects of the job they love and which ones they'd rather not do. You may find that they are just not suited to the role you employed them to do," she writes. StartupSmart.com.au (Australia) (12/4)
  • Ohio city council adds vice president
    The Beachwood, Ohio, City Council elected a 15-year council veteran to the newly created position of vice president. The council determined a need for a vice president after the president fell ill and missed four consecutive meetings. The vice president fills in for the president if he is absent and fills in for the mayor if both are absent. Sun News (Cleveland)/Beachwood blog (12/5) Email this Story
Smart growth gives cities more "bang for the buck"
Squeezed municipal budgets oblige cities to grow in a way that optimizes tax revenues and levels of service. "Smart Growth" communities save money in upfront infrastructure costs and are more efficient in terms of service delivery. Citiwire's William Fullton advocates that cities take a smart growth approach "to create a more fiscally sound future for themselves." Learn More
  Budgeting and Finance 
 
  • Wash. city council adopts "painful" budget
    After two months of debate, the Tacoma, Wash., City Council unanimously passed a $397 million budget that includes cutting library hours, eliminating 217 positions, closing a fire station and leaving thousands of potholes unfixed. "The word I would use to describe this budget situation is 'painful,'" Councilman Jake Fey said. Additionally, drivers will face higher license fees, and two nonprofit hospitals will have to pay taxes they have not paid in decades. The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)/Political Buzz blog (12/4) Email this Story
Commuting is a necessary evil.
But technology is at least enabling shorter travel time. Research shows that there are seven main causes of congestion, and cities everywhere are discovering ingenious ways to tackle them. Find out what is being done to make your city flow better.
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  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
 
  • Chinese police donate laptops to Tanzanian force
    The Changzhou, China, Police Department donated 10 laptops to Tanzania's Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police to better equip the force. "We found out a lot of new technology which could be helpful to control the traffic jam, crime, security cameras of the whole city and so on," Special Zone Cmdr. Suleiman Kova said. Daily News (Tanzania) (11/24) Email this Story
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  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Fla. city council is split on pier development
    The St. Petersburg, Fla., City Council will vote on whether a plan to redevelop a pier will continue after hearing an update. The plan, which includes building a canopy out of aluminum panels, instead of concrete, and adding two restaurants, has the council divided. Some members say they are comfortable with the update, while others say it would leave the pier without amenities included in the original design. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (12/5) Email this Story
  • Panel of Mass. city council holds off on tax deal for company
    The Worcester, Mass., City Council's Commerce and Development Committee decided to table a tax-relief plan for an expanding business after some council members questioned whether the amount of lost revenue is worth the number of jobs the business would create. The plan would grant $1.9 million in tax relief to help Tricab pay for a $19.4 million expansion, which would add 15 jobs. The committee will discuss the plan again next week. Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.) (12/5) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Ind. city's smoking ban is tougher than state's
    The Columbus, Ind., City Council passed a smoking ban that affects all establishments, making the policy stricter than the state's. Previously, some bars, taverns and private clubs were exempt. While the ban is effective immediately, establishments that could allow smoking under the state ban have until June to comply. WISH-TV (Indianapolis) (12/4) Email this Story
  • N.Y. county is first to ban BPA-coated receipts
    The Suffolk County, N.Y., Legislature voted to ban receipts coated with bisphenol A, which some think causes cancer, affects reproductive health and alters the immune system. The ban follows a similar one in the county in 2009 that prohibits BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.) (subscription required) (12/4)
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • La. city council president wants more info on rate increase
    New Orleans City Council President Stacy Head will formally ask the council to defer a vote on a Sewerage and Water Board rate increase that would double water bills during the next eight years. While an informal plan has been discussed during the past two years, Head says the council has not received enough specific information and that she wants to know where $583 million generated by the increase would go. WVUE-TV (New Orleans) (12/4) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Save on registration for 2 of ICMA's highly rated leadership institutes
    Your colleagues consistently rate ICMA's senior-manager leadership institutes as the best programs they have ever attended! You can save $100 on registration when you register by Jan. 4 for either the Senior Executive Institute "super session" or the Gettysburg Leadership Institute.

    Designed for senior local-government managers, the ICMA SEI Leadership "super session" is scheduled May 4 to 11 at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, Va. The program offers an opportunity to experience the core of the two-week SEI program compressed into eight days. Designed by faculty at the 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 Gettysburg Leadership Institute, which is offered once a year for three days, is scheduled May 8 to 10 in Gettysburg, Pa., and is open to a group of no more than 30 senior-level managers. Participants 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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The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it."
--H.G. Wells,
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