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October 5, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Scrap your PowerPoint slides and start telling stories
    PowerPoint slideshows are useless unless you've already figured out how to tell memorable and compelling stories, writes Paul Smith. Stories motivate workers, persuade potential customers and drive your company's narrative, Smith explains. "Master the art of storytelling, and you'll be a far more effective leader no matter what line of work you're in," he promises. ThoughtLeaders blog (10/3)
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • N.Y. city official's own job not included in his budget proposal
    Peekskill, N.Y., Assistant City Manager Brian Havranek proposed a $35.6 million budget that eliminates nine part-time positions, 31 full-time positions and his own job. Havranek, who has been acting city manager since December and does not have the four-year degree required by the city charter to qualify to be the permanent manager, said there is not enough money in the budget for a full-time city manager and a full-time assistant city manager. His proposal also includes a 6% tax increase., N.Y. (10/4) Email this Story
  • Commissioners, council disagree over health care, raise separation
    Allen County, Ind., commissioners want council members to decide by next week whether they will support a plan in which county employees switch to a single-provider health care plan in exchange for a 2% raise. Council members are reluctant to approve the plan, which takes the cost of the raises directly out of the projected money saved by switching to a single health care provider, which is not guaranteed. Council members said they would rather the raise come as a one-time bonus at the end of the year after the savings from the new health care plan are definite. The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) (10/4) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Mich. city manager plans to focus more on economic development
    Farmington, Mich., City Manager Vince Pastue said he will develop plans to help the city focus more on business and economic development by reorganizing City Hall and the Downtown Development Authority. Pastue said he plans to add a new position devoted to community and economic development and move the DDA's executive director to City Hall. He will reveal the rest of the plan to City Council later this month. (Mich.) (10/4) Email this Story
  • Lynchburg, Va., sees drop in unemployment
    The unemployment rate in Lynchburg, Va., was down in August at 7.7%, compared with 8.7% in August 2011, and it was down even more compared with July, which saw an unemployment rate of 8.9%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The city's August rate, which is below the national rate of 8.2%, comes after the City Council launched a task force last month to study factors leading to unemployment in the area after the city's unemployment rate turned out to be higher than the national rate for two straight months. The News & Advance (Lynchburg, Va.) (10/3) Email this Story
  • Fla. county makes plans to change ethics code down the road
    While Broward County, Fla., commissioners agreed that now is not the time to make changes to the county's Code of Ethics, they concede that changes do need to be made. Commissioner Lois Wexler said she will work with the county's attorney over the next year to make the code, which does not even allow commissioners to accept free bottles of water, less stringent. The ethics code was changed two years ago after several officials were charged with public corruption related to gifts. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (10/2) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Minn. city tries to work out preservation ordinance
    The Rochester, Minn., Chamber of Commerce and the city's Heritage Preservation Committee disagree over the specifics of an ordinance that aims to preserve historic buildings and sites. The chamber wants building owners to be able to choose whether to seek city permission before altering their property as part of an incentive-based program, while the committee wants seeking permission to be mandatory. There is also disagreement over whether the Heritage Preservation Commission should make decisions or recommendations pertaining to building permits for historic buildings. The Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.) (10/4) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • N.H. city council approves bridge replacement, other projects
    The Portsmouth, N.H., City Council approved more than $2.7 million worth of public works projects, including the replacement of the Sagamore Bridge. The city's public works director said the new bridge will be sturdier and have a wider sidewalk for pedestrians, but said that drivers will have to use detours to get around it during construction and that it will not have safety features built on it to prevent people from jumping off of it. The other public works projects approved by the council include new sidewalks, water and sewer enhancements, and traffic improvements to increase pedestrian safety., N.H. (10/4) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Utah city manager announces retirement
    Cottonwood Heights, Utah, City Manager Liane Stillman announced she will retire after eight years in the position. Stillman helped incorporate the city in 2005, and did the same for Holladay, Utah, in 1999. During Stillman's tenure, Cottonwood Heights stayed debt-free, did not raise fees or taxes, and formed a police department and school district. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (10/3) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • There‚Äôs Still Time to Register for the ICMA Virtual Conference and Bring this Premier Professional Development Opportunity to You and Your Staff Virtually.
    If travel restrictions or budget constraints prevent you from coming to Phoenix this year, here's a low-cost, no-travel alternative that lets you bring ICMA to your organization through your computer! The Virtual Conference option for the 98th ICMA Annual Conference, Oct. 7 to 10, highlights the best of ICMA's premier professional development event. By registering for this event, you'll gain access to the live stream of more than 20 educational sessions, including all the keynotes! You'll also have on-demand access to the content, allowing you and your staff access to the archives until Dec. 31. One full virtual conference registration fee allows you and your staff to view the live sessions together via the Internet in your conference room or individually from your desktop or coffee shop. For more details and to register, visit
  • Sign up for the Free ICMA Conference App
    To enhance your ICMA conference experience, we've developed a state-of-the-art mobile app that will put important conference information right at your fingertips. With the conference app, you can:
    • Create your own custom schedule
    • View session handouts
    • Take notes and export them to your e-mail
    • Connect with other attendees, speakers, and exhibitors
    • View award-winning Phoenix city content
    • And much, much more!
    To download the mobile app, search "ICMA 98th Annual Conference" in your app store or plug into your device's browser. If you're using an iPhone, iPad, Android or BlackBerry device, you'll be directed to the location from which you can download the appropriate native app. If you're using another type of device, you'll be directed to the mobile web version of the ICMA 98th Annual Conference app. (Note: A wireless Internet connection or 3G network is required to use this feature.)

    The first time you open the app, it will ask for your username and password. Use the same information you use when signing on to the ICMA website.

    Don't have an ICMA username and password? Sign-up is easy and free. Visit and click on "Create Account" (top right corner) and sign up! For more information about how to connect and engage with the Annual Conference, read more here.
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I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers."
--Ralph Nader,
American political activist, author, lecturer and attorney

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