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November 30, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • How great leaders close out the year
    As 2012 winds to an end, it's important for leaders to look back on the year that was, Les McKeown writes. Whether your company experienced significant success or colossal failure, you should be aware of how your team perceives what has occurred this year. "As the leader, it's your job to understand what narrative has taken hold in your team and to manage it accordingly," he advises. You should also attempt to get rid of policies or practices that are no longer useful. Inc. online/The Synergist blog (free registration) (11/27)
  • Calif. city council allows manager to hire assistant
    The Rohnert Park, Calif., City Council unanimously approved the city manager's request to hire an assistant city manager, as long as the manager agrees to spend more time working on economic development. City Manager Gabe Gonzalez was hired partly because of his past work in economic development, but he says he does not have time to work on long-term planning and policy because he must handle daily operations. Gonzalez plans to promote a city employee. The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.) (11/27) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • N.Y. city council and mayor disagree on budget
    The Niagara Falls, N.Y., City Council revised the mayor's proposed budget to eliminate an 8% tax increase; cut six, instead of 12, jobs; and reduce spending by an additional $3.1 million. The revised budget includes severe cuts to economic development and planning, reduced salaries for two department heads and lower funding for outside consultants. The mayor is expected to veto many of the revisions, but a budget must be approved by Saturday. The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (11/28) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Fla. city reassures tourists about beach erosion
    Fort Lauderdale, Fla., officials are reminding potential visitors that recent beach erosion makes up only a small stretch of the shore, after several hotels received phone calls from customers asking whether the erosion will affect their vacation plans. "It's only about 100 yards of beach, and we've got five miles of beautiful beach," a city spokesman said. Neither the city's Chamber of Commerce nor tourism bureau has reported cancellations because of erosion. WTVJ-TV (Miami) (11/28) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Toronto City Council kills plastic-bag ban
    The Toronto City Council repealed a plastic-bag ban after facing opposition from groups including the Ontario Convenience Stores Association and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. Instead, the council approved a plan in which the deputy city manager will report the pros and cons of decreasing plastic bags to the public-works committee. The ban was set to go into effect in January. CityNews (Toronto) (11/28) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • N.J. city council seeks beach replenishment after Sandy
    The Ocean City, N.J., City Council approved a resolution for a beach-replenishment project at the city's south end, after superstorm Sandy washed away dunes and caused considerable property damage. The project would bring more sand to beaches and dunes, which protect properties along the beach from storm damage, according to the resolution. The city is waiting on a similar project to be completed on the north end. Ocean City Gazette (Seaville, N.J.) (11/30) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Calif. city manager plans retirement and endorses assistant
    San Clemente, Calif., City Manager George Scarborough announced that he will retire in March, after serving in the position for nine years and working in municipal government for 35 years. Scarborough lists the city's beach trail, improved customer service, strong finances, traffic projects and Vista Hermosa Sports Park among highlights of his tenure. The City Council will consider whether to recruit a successor or appoint the assistant city manager, who is endorsed by Scarborough. The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (11/28) Email this Story
  • Ga. county makes top pick for manager
    Barrow County, Ga., chose Jock Connell, a consultant for another Georgia county, as the finalist for county manager. If contract negotiations succeed and the Board of Commissioners approves the terms, Connell will start Jan. 1. He is a consultant for Hall County and previously was the interim administrator there. The Times (Gainesville, Ga.) (11/28) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • ICMA's Leonard Matarese will conduct police/fire Web conference
    Back by popular demand, ICMA's eye-opening Web conference will help you make informed policy decisions by knowing what to ask of police and fire departments -- typically the toughest departments from which to get accurate, measurable information. Register for "Asking Police and Fire Chiefs the Right Questions to Get the Right Answers" and learn from a nationally known public-safety expert with a combination of experience as a city manager and a public-safety professional. The Web conference is at 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.
  • Study guide accompanies fire and emergency services book
    ICMA has released the "Managing Fire and Emergency Services" study guide, which accompanies the newly revised ICMA green book "Managing Fire and Emergency Services." The study guide is designed to help students of fire and emergency services and those preparing for promotional exams develop knowledge, skills and abilities to meet challenges in the increasingly complex field of fire and emergency services. The self-study format allows students to complete the review at their own speed and provides tips on how to make the most of the self-paced study. For professors, the study guide's format can be a helpful resource to organize lesson plans based on the primary fire text. Save $10 and order the self-study course.
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--Ralph Waldo Emerson,
American writer

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