6 mistakes that can sour a strategic plan | How CEOs build a winning team | Mich. city council terminates manager over $750,000 deficit
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March 12, 2013
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Leadership and Management
6 mistakes that can sour a strategic plan
Successful strategic planning isn't waylaid by tactical and operational issues, writes Mel Lester, who cites a McKinsey survey that found that more than half of executives are unhappy with how their organization undertook strategy planning. Common mistakes that can derail the process include a lack of fresh ideas, too many action items and a failure to assemble teams optimally, he writes. E-Quip blog (3/9)
How CEOs build a winning team
CEOs need a great team if they want a great organization, which means holding hires to a high standard from the start, venture capitalist Ben Horowitz writes. It's vital to make it clear to executives that performance evaluations will be based on new criteria as the organization grows, he adds. Ben Horowitz blog (3/4)
Mich. city council terminates manager over $750,000 deficit
The Inkster, Mich., City Council has removed City Manager Ron Wolkowicz amid a projected $750,000 deficit. "I thought that the city manager performed his job well," Councilman Michael Canty said. "However, because of the financial situation we are in right now, we need someone with a greater expertise in accounting, finance, budgeting and auditing." Wolkowicz remains director of the Parks and Recreation and Public Services departments. Detroit Free Press (3/8)
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Budgeting and Finance
Calif. city manager forms plan to use sales tax revenue
The Sacramento, Calif., City Council will hear a plan from City Manager John Shirey on how to spend $5 million from a sales tax increase. The measure, which will raise sales tax a half percentage point starting in April, is estimated to bring in $27 million annually. Shirey had submitted a spending plan last month for the first payout, which will come in June, but councilors wanted a more robust plan. The Sacramento Bee (Calif.) (free registration) (3/11)
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Ohio tax legislation could cost city $200,000
The Athens, Ohio, City Council has passed a resolution in opposition of state legislation that would establish tax-code uniformity statewide. Athens officials say the bill could cost the city $200,000 annually. Added to local-government funding, estate tax and property tax lost in recent years, the city could lose $1 million. The Athens News (Ohio) (3/10)
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Emergency Management and Public Safety
Iowa city voters pass bond for emergency-services building
Voters in Forest City, Iowa, have approved a bond for construction of a facility for Fire Department and other emergency vehicles. Work on the building is expected to begin by spring 2014. "We're all in bad need of bigger, better, more usable facilities, and so it would support the volunteers that fill the roles that they do," Fire Chief Mark Johnson said. "We just feel it's a great project for the community." KIMT-TV (Iowa) (3/6)
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Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability
N.M. city council might conduct traffic study downtown
The Farmington, N.M., City Council is considering whether to spend $25,000 on a traffic study of Main Street downtown. Some councilors have said a traffic study is not enough to improve the area, which they say is unsafe. The Daily Times (Farmington, N.M.) (free registration) (3/10)
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Nonprofit aims to turn vacant Mass. city school into apartments
The Taunton, Mass., City Council's Committee on Public Property is considering a plan to redevelop the former Walker School. The Neighborhood Corp. would purchase the building for $75,000 and convert it into 15 apartments. "I think it's a great opportunity for the city to clean up a blighted property and get it back on the tax rolls," Building Department Superintendent Wayne Walkden said. Taunton Daily Gazette (Mass.) (3/10)
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Legislation, Policy and Grants
Some places could be exempt from Wyo. city's smoking ban
The Casper, Wyo., City Council might amend a smoking ban, which applies to restaurants, bars, private clubs and other public places. The change would exempt bars, health care facilities and taxis. Business owners say the ban causes decreased productivity, inconvenience and loss of revenue. Star-Tribune (Casper, Wyo.) (tiered subscription model) (3/11)
Public Works and Infrastructure
Deck is placed on San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
California's San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project reached a major milestone when crews spent nine hours on Saturday placing 1,220 cubic yards of concrete for the final deck section of the eastern span of the bridge. The new bridge, "designed to withstand the strongest possible ground motion involved with a seismic event within a 1,500-year period," is slated to open to traffic in September. KTVU-TV (Oakland, Calif.) (3/9), KPIX-TV (San Francisco) (3/9)
GIS technology to the rescue in an emergency
Crisis can occur anytime in a community. Learn how geographic information system technology can aid your community in deploying emergency resources safely, effectively and efficiently. ICMA's Center for Public Safety Management invites you to explore this concept by joining us for "Community Risk Reduction: Emergency Preparedness Goes High-Tech," a Web conference scheduled at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. Hear from communities in the U.S. and the U.K. on this concept, which utilizes risk and hazard data to better analyze and develop a plan for emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Learn more and register.
Do you want to lead your organization someday?
If you are an early-career professional who is new to local government, with less than five years of work experience, or you know someone who is, check out how the Young Professionals Leadership Institute can enhance your career. Held in conjunction with the 2013 ICMA Regional Summits, the Young Professionals Leadership Institute provides assistants, assistant managers and those beginning their career in local government with an engaging, interactive professional-development opportunity in five U.S. locations, with a registration rate of $99. The next session will take place in conjunction with the Northeast Regional Summit, scheduled March 20 and 21 in Portsmouth, N.H. Visit ICMA.org/YPLI to view the agenda and to register!
The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."
-- Socrates,
Greek philosopher
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