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January 8, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • How to lead a team of your peers
    It's hard enough leading your subordinates -- but leading a team of your peers is especially difficult, according to John Baldoni. Authenticity and passion are vital if you're to win over a peer group, Baldoni explains. "Leading those who can say 'no' to you is always a huge challenge, but if you can convince them by your actions and your enthusiasm, then they might believe in what you are doing," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (1/4)
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  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Texas city is expected to set bond election for May 2014
    The Forth Worth, Texas, City Council will decide in coming days when to hold the next bond election, which likely will be scheduled in May 2014 but could come as early as November. The bond package will be worth at least $242 million. The council will also contemplate additional sources of revenue, including increased impact fees for development, water fees and reduced funding for public art, as the city seeks an estimated $2.3 billion for capital expenditures in the next few years. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (1/6) Email this Story
  • Vt. city council discusses bond proposals
    The Montpelier, Vt., City Council expects to place two bonds aimed at improving infrastructure on the Town Meeting ballot in March, as part of determining the city's budget. The first bond would cover repairs to sidewalks and storm drains, and the second would replace a sewer line. The school district also is likely to propose two bonds for building repairs. The proposed budget calls for a 2-cent rate increase in property tax. The Times Argus (Barre-Montpelier, Vt.) (1/7) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Las Vegas Fire Department should take over EMS transport
    Las Vegas taxpayers would get more value by directing additional funds to the Fire Department so it could handle emergency medical transport, rather than transferring patients to an American Medical Response ambulance for a fee, columnist John Smith writes. A report on improving efficiency suggests the department needs to either take over all patient transport or move away from it completely to save money, Smith notes. Las Vegas Review-Journal (1/6) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Australian city weighs penalty for shopping area's high rent
    The Fremantle City Council in Australia is considering doubling the rate for shopping-district landlords who refuse to reduce rent. The council blames high rent for the precinct's low occupancy, while the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia says low patronage is at fault. The council is expected to vote on the measure soon. ABC (Australia) (1/6) Email this Story
  • N.Y. city might sign up for electric-vehicle program
    The Watertown, N.Y., City Council is considering participating in a state-sponsored program to install one or more electric-vehicle charging stations on municipal property to provide free charging. The city would pay for 10% of the estimated $6,500 cost of each station and electricity used. Some city officials aren't convinced. "I don't even know why the state would subsidize stuff for the green crowd," Mayor Jeffrey Graham said. "The state doesn't give you money for your home furnace or to drive to work." Watertown Daily Times (N.Y.) (1/7) Email this Story
  • Wis. city councilman pushes for lobbying disclosure
    Wausau, Wis., City Councilman Keene Winters has proposed that council members use public e-mail accounts to conduct city business and report any contact with lobbyists. The proposal comes after local media found that members were using private e-mail addresses to correspond with a nonprofit group that received $25,000 in public funds. Winters also called for the city's Ethics Board to be revived after seven years of inactivity. The Wausau Daily Herald (Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (1/6) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Residential parking permit is proposed in Calif. city
    The San Rafael, Calif., City Council is considering implementing a residential parking permit. Residents would purchase a permit to park for an unlimited time in their neighborhood. The permit would cost $150 for a sign-up fee and $85 per year thereafter. Each district would have to collect signatures from 67% of residents to be able to participate. At least 1,500 residences would have to sign up to make the program financially viable for the city. Marin Independent Journal (San Rafael, Calif.) (1/6) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Mo. city council authorizes $1.4M bridge repair
    The Sedalia, Mo., City Council approved a $1.4 million contract to repair the 102-year-old Washington Avenue bridge, which was closed in late 2011 because of structural problems. L.F. Krupp Construction expects work to begin next month. The city is negotiating with Union Pacific to pay part of the cost because the bridge spans the railroad. The Sedalia Democrat (Mo.) (1/7) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Local-government veteran is chosen to manage Ga. county
    Former Union City, Ga., City Manager Steve Rapson was unanimously chosen as county manager of Fayette County, Ga. Rapson was also previously budget director of Fulton County, experience that he likely will draw upon as Fayette County faces declining revenue. Rapson says his top priority is to better relationships between the county and its cities. The Citizen (Fayetteville, Ga.) (1/6) Email this Story
  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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If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him."
--Francis Bacon,
British author and statesman

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