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October 15, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • First impressions are everything, Hyatt CEO says
    Companies only get one chance to make a first impression on their customers, so they have to seize that opportunity, Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian says. To ensure quality of service, Hyatt uses a five-star rating system to gauge customer satisfaction and finds that "wowing" a customer from the get-go is the best way to win repeat business. "Below a 'four,' and you might as well forget it. The only thing that matters is customer satisfaction," Hoplamazian says. Knowledge@Wharton (10/10)
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Texas city mayor, council disagree over extra revenue
    The mayor of Lubbock, Texas, expressed his disapproval of a city councilwoman’s plan to use an additional $200,000 of projected sales tax revenue for an administrative position and two auditors. The mayor said he would prefer to wait until 90 days after the budget season before the city starts spending extra sales tax money and that he would rather put the money toward positions in the city’s police department or water department, or toward the city’s debt. KCBD-TV (Lubbock, Texas) (10/11) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Wis. county sheriff opposes executive's plan to shift patrols
    The sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., brought his disapproval of a plan to take park patrols from county officers and give them to city officers before county supervisors. The sheriff said the plan, which was proposed by the city’s mayor and a county executive, is a “systematic dismantling of public safety” for the county and that city police officers do not have time for the extra patrols. Four of the county’s supervisors support the sheriff’s opposition to the plan. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (10/11) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Ill. county economic development funds in question
    The DeKalb County, Ill., Board received budget appeals from the supervisor of assessments office and the county’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, asking for more than $12,000 in additional funding, which the county’s Economic Development Committee approved. The additional funds would make up for staffing cuts and reduced hours, but the county board received several requests from other departments for similar increases that have been approved by county committees. All budget appeals must also be approved by the finance committee and full county board. Daily Chronicle (DeKalb, Ill.) (10/12) Email this Story
  • Report rules councilman's conduct unethical while on Metro board
    A report released last week revealed that Washington, D.C., council member Jim Graham violated ethics rules during his time as a member of the city’s transit authority’s Metro Board of Directors. According to the report, Graham tried to influence plans to develop land owned by the city’s Metro, which was an inappropriate mixture of his roles on the city’s council and the Metro board. However, the report did not reveal any criminal action on Graham’s part, and since he is no longer a member of the Metro board, actions that can be taken against him are unclear. The Washington Post (10/11) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Ohio city council passes law that could cost neglectful property owners
    An ordinance passed by the Fairview Park City Council will force residents to properly maintain their yards or face the cost for the city to perform the maintenance added to their property tax duplicates. Under the ordinance, property owners who receive notifications that they have to mow their grass or trim their weeds have 48 hours to do so before the city takes action, which will cost the property owners money. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (10/11) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Settlement means some progress for stalled development site
    Henderson County, N.C., reached a $6 million settlement with an insurance company to fix infrastructure on a development that was stalled and declared in default in 2010. The land, which was supposed to be a 1,400-acre golf course community, will soon have roads, stream crossings, grading and water and sewer lines so property owners can access their lots. Times-News (Hendersonville, N.C.) (10/11) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • New Texas city manager settles into his new role
    Daniel Valenzuela stepped into his new role as city manager of San Angelo, Texas, last week, already busy with plans to meet with city staff, civic groups and public officials. "I really just want to get myself out there and introduce myself. It's a lot of building public trust," said Valenzuela, who was unanimously selected from among five finalists by the City Council last month. Valenzuela, who will manage 900 full-time employees with a $54.5 million budget, was previously city manager for Eagle Pass -- a town 212 miles south of San Angelo -- where he managed 300 full-time employees with a $23 million budget. San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas) (10/11)
  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! Selected virtual conference content will be available for purchase later this month. Check out the conference website for highlights and visit flikr to see photos from the world's foremost event for local government management professionals, which this year took place in Phoenix/Maricopa County, Ariz., Oct. 7-10. See you next year in Boston!
  • Social Media: Are they Engaged or Asleep? Sign Up Today for This 10/25 ICMA Web Conference.
    Your fan page might have thousands of "Likes" but are you really engaging your citizens? For a practical web conference on social media engagement, Juniper Korkie, ICMA’s director of digital strategies, welcomes Nannette Rodriguez, chief information officer, city of Miami Beach, Florida, and Michelle Bono, assistant to the city manager of Tallahassee, Florida. Register today 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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Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
--James Baldwin,
American writer

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