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October 29, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Do you lead, or do you only pretend?
    Leaders can be thought of as the actors of business: The bad ones are transparently inauthentic, while the best inspire and enrapture, Alan Derek Utley writes. Along with authenticity is a need to receive honest feedback. "For most of us, our reviews aren't likely published for public view," Utley writes. "But the best leaders seek out reviews, and don't stop at the ones that are glowing. They find the truth tellers who genuinely want them to be better." (10/25)
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • N.H. town's budget proposal includes tax increase
    Bedford, N.H., Town Manager Jessie Levine proposed a budget of more than $26 million to the Town Council that would include a 7.3% tax increase. The increase would add 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, but the Town Council would control only 10 cents of the increase, which would go toward additional staff for the police, planning and public-works departments. The remaining 30 cents would come from infrastructure bond payments and state pass-downs., N.H. (10/25) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Ala. firefighters train using real-world scenario
    Firefighters from four Alabama cities, including Mountain Brook, participated in a two-day training mission as part of the Alabama Mutual Aid System. The training took them through a real-world scenario that involved hikers who disappeared during a severe storm. "These training exercises are fun for our guys," Mountain Brook Battalion Chief Chris Mullins said. "It's an opportunity for us to get out and use the equipment, to train with it. We need to do a little bit of a lot of stuff." (Alabama)/Real-Time News from Birmingham blog (10/26) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Pa. city council eyes $555,000 grant for development
    The Scranton, Pa., City Council voted unanimously to apply for and accept a $555,000 state grant that would go toward the first phase of turning a historic lace factory into a residential and commercial center. The first phase, estimated to cost $1.7 million and scheduled to start in the spring, involves demolition, environmental remediation and engineering. The project is expected to bring 469 jobs and more than $5 million per year in tax revenue. The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) (tiered subscription model) (10/26) Email this Story
  • Md. county's economic-development fund helps open pizzeria
    A Little Caesars pizzeria opened in Mount Rainier, Md., thanks to a $300,000 loan from Prince George's County's $50 million economic-development fund. The restaurant brings 36 jobs, but some residents are dissatisfied that only six are full time and none offers health benefits or a retirement plan. However, a county official said the Little Caesars is only one small part of the county's overall plan. The Washington Post (10/24) Email this Story
  • Fla. ethics authority finds county commissioner in violation
    The Florida Commission on Ethics upheld three of four allegations that Charlotte County Commissioner Robert Skidmore violated ethics law. The state commission said he bribed an employee with NASCAR tickets, offered a pay raise to an employee in exchange for finding violations against a restaurant owned by the husband of Skidmore's ex-wife and asked an employee to continue a hearing for his benefit. Skidmore continues to deny the allegations. WBBH-TV (Fort Myers, Fla.) (10/25) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Nev. city council might impose last-call ordinance on bars
    The Elko, Nev., City Council agreed to draft changes to liquor law to combat alcohol-related crime, including a last-call ordinance that would prevent bars from serving alcohol after a certain time. "The bars that are staying open past 2 are being subsidized by the public ... because they are consuming our police force," Councilman Rich Perry said, citing an increase in early-morning bar fights. Elko Daily Free Press (Nev.) (10/25) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Ore. city council approves $400M freeway project
    A $400 million plan to expand and improve a freeway in Portland, Ore., received unanimous approval from the City Council. The project would add two lanes to Interstate 5 between interstates 405 and 84, which the state Department of Transportation called "the most crash-prone stretch of road in the state." The project would also rearrange roads near the Rose Quarter and create a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 5. The Oregonian (Portland) (10/25) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Ga. city manager will mentor future leaders as APWA fellow
    The American Public Works Association named Oakwood, Ga., City Manager Stan Brown a Public Works Leadership Fellow, one of 200 officials selected throughout North America. Brown, who has worked in local government for the past 25 years, will provide guidance to public works professionals participating in the APWA Donald C. Stone Center for Leadership Excellence during the coming year. (Gainesville, Ga.) (10/17) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Nov. 8 Web conference will focus on attracting and retaining retailers
    As the economy rebounds, communities have a dual role: Attract new businesses, while keeping existing businesses healthy and strong. During the ICMA Web conference "Economic Development: Attracting Retailers and Keeping Them," scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 8, you will discuss how to target retailers, partner with developers and commercial brokers, and use incentives to stimulate development. The event will feature Lisa Hill, vice president of Buxton's public-sector division; Steven Lantsberger, economic-development director for Hesperia, Calif.; and Jeff Fleming, assistant city manager for Kingsport, Tenn. Register.
  • ICMA University: Invest in training, not travel
    A critical part of building your organization is training your staff, but finding the time to do so can be tricky. ICMA University is here to help! In one afternoon, your staff can receive specialized training across a broad range of topics that enables them to increase professional knowledge and skills. Topics include Ethics, High-Performing Organizations, Performance Measurement, Management, Citizen Engagement, Staff Development, Personal Development, Leadership and Innovation, and Planning, Budgeting and Finance. These workshops are a low-cost, high-payoff professional-development opportunity that can be brought to your office, conference or meeting. Whatever your experience level -- whether you're fresh out of graduate school or you're a seasoned manager -- ICMA University has something for you. Visit the ICMA University website to review the full selection of training opportunities.
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