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February 1, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Why leaders don't need to solve every problem
    Most leaders have a natural tendency to look for solutions when problems arise, but sometimes employees don't need your input, writes Minda Zetlin, president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Allowing employees to solve problems on their own can help them to develop their skills, and they will be more committed to executing the solution, she writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Start Me Up blog (1/29)
  • Calif. city council will offer translation at meetings
    The Anaheim, Calif., City Council voted unanimously to launch a yearlong pilot program to provide translation at council meetings. Residents can request the service, provided via headset, at least 48 hours before a meeting. The assistant city clerk will be available to translate residents' comments from Spanish to English and present them to the council. Latinos make up 53% of Anaheim's population. Of the 133,300 people who speak Spanish at home, more than 67,000 speak English less than "very well," according to census data. The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (1/30) Email this Story
  • Ill. city council uses iPads in effort to go paperless
    To move the Gibson City, Ill., City Council toward going paperless, the council approved a $6,000 purchase of Apple iPads, which councilors used for the first time this week. The tablets are meant to give the council convenient access to documents and maps, and the council plans to purchase a document scanner to assist in the paperless process. The effort is part of a citywide plan to go green. The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana, Ill.) (1/30) Email this Story
Is Pricing Low Your Strategy to Success? Think again.
Pricing is the heart of a business. It affects everything you do and is affected by everything you do. Economists talk of supply and demand as key factors behind pricing—successful entrepreneurs manipulate demand by making their products more desirable. These six steps will help you determine the right price for your product or service, read the article and learn how to get pricing right.

  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Wash. city council studies public-financing options for campaigns
    The Seattle City Council is considering adopting public financing for elections in the hope that races will be open to more challengers and less influenced by money. The council will consider funding options including using general-fund money and raising property tax by 1 or 2 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The city's Ethics and Elections Commission will recommend a financing plan in March after it comes up with an estimated cost. The Seattle Times (1/30) Email this Story
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  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Calif. city council OKs conservation-plan participation
    The San Jose, Calif., City Council approved participation in the Habitat Conservation Plan, which aims to ensure money collected from developers to offset environmental damage is used efficiently, including preventing 18 plant and animal species from being wiped out. Five other government agencies in Santa Clara County participate. The plan affects land in 60% of the county and is expected to raise $665 million in fees, grants and donations. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (1/30) Email this Story
  • Hong Kong tourism chief warns against anti-mainland sentiment
    Hong Kong's head of tourism is concerned that anti-mainland sentiment will drive Chinese tourists away. Tourism is the city's only industry that posts sustained growth, and tourists spent HK$305 billion there last year. "If there is too much noise about this anti-mainland sentiment and mainlanders stop coming here, Hong Kong will become very dull," the Tourism Board's chairman said. "Don't forget that nowadays, these mainland tourists can easily go to Paris to shop instead." South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (free registration) (1/29) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Calif. city council decides to revise boardinghouse proposal
    The Los Angeles City Council decided to form a committee to revise a proposed ordinance that would crack down on illegal group homes and boardinghouses. The council decided not to vote on the ordinance after it met opposition from nonprofits and business groups that feared it would make caring for the disabled, elderly and homeless more difficult. The committee will present a revised ordinance to the council in the next three months. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/30) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Public-works facility in N.J. township might be expanded
    Bordentown Township, N.J., officials and residents attended a public hearing on expanding a public-works facility onto adjacent property. The expansion could bring in about $30,000 in additional income and offer residents wider recycling options, in exchange for about $18 extra per year on the average tax bill. The project would cost about $2.3 million, including renovating the facility, which is running out of room for waste. PhillyBurbs.com (1/30) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Colo. city council hires manager after 2 years of struggle
    The Trinidad, Colo., City Council voted unanimously to appoint Tom Acre as city manager, after nearly two years of political struggle. Acre had been interim city manager since December. "I'm glad the process is over and am looking forward to continuing some of the work we have already started since I came to Trinidad," he said. "I'm excited to help the city be even better than it is now." The Pueblo Chieftain (Colo.) (1/31) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Professional-development opportunity for early-career professionals
    Whether you are new to or only a few years into the profession of local-government management, plan to join us at the Young Professionals Leadership Institute, presented by ICMA University right before each 2013 ICMA Regional Summit. The institute is designed exclusively for assistants, assistant managers and individuals embarking on their local-government career, and it helps participants understand the art and practice of leadership and builds skills through peer-to-peer interaction. Managers are encouraged to invite appropriate members of their staff to attend. Thanks to a generous grant from ICMA-RC, the cost of the Young Professionals Leadership Institute remains at $99. This year's featured workshop: Living Great by Choice. Visit ICMA.org/YPLI for details.
  • "Service Delivery in Today's Economy": ICMA Web conference Thursday
    Times are tough. Costs are rising rapidly. Yet, citizens expect the same -- if not a better -- level of service. Learn how one midsize California city is addressing the economic downturn and positioning itself to save millions without sacrificing quality of service. Join us at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday for "Service Delivery in Today's Economy," an eye-opening presentation by Cynthia Haas, deputy city manager of Carlsbad, Calif.; and Christine Smith, principal of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, part of ICMA's Strategic Partners Program. Get details and register.
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  SmartQuote 
Any workout which does not involve a certain minimum of danger or responsibility does not improve the body -- it just wears it out."
--Norman Mailer,
American writer



 
 
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