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January 29, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • 4 ways to ensure your organization survives flu season
    It's a particularly rough flu season, and smart organizations are taking steps to protect their workers. Among the best strategies: Be generous with sick days to keep the contagious away from the healthy; let employees work from home when they feel up to it; and put a bottle of hand sanitizer on every worker's desk. CBS MoneyWatch (1/25)
  • Fla. city council says every code exception is unique
    The Naples, Fla., City Council sometimes makes an exception to city code for some businesses but not others, but councilors say they consider each exception case by case and make a fair decision. "Businesses need to know we're not just draconian in our enforcement of the rules, because each situation is unique," Councilman Doug Finlay said. "We're looking for a judgement call on behalf of seven elected officials." Naples Daily News (Fla.) (1/28) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Texas city council seeks additional funds for initiatives
    The Austin, Texas, City Council is discussing initiatives that are not part of a $3.1 billion budget approved in September, including building more affordable housing, developing a wildfire-prevention program, hiring more staff to process development permits and keeping three trails open around the clock. City staff has identified $8.6 million in additional sales tax revenue and development fees, but the cost of the initiatives likely would exceed that amount. Austin American-Statesman (Texas) (free registration) (1/27) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Police will examine school security in N.J. city
    A captain with the Jersey City, N.J., Police Department will review school security citywide, officials say. The review, which will begin early next month, will examine each school's security plan, visitor-screening process and communication between administrators and police in a crisis. The Police Department will review as many schools as possible before the next school year starts in September. The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, N.J.) (1/28) Email this Story
  • Mich. city's public-safety director addresses staffing, crime
    Ecorse, Mich., Public Safety Director Gerald Champagne said during a public forum that the city does not have money to hire more police officers. However, Public Safety Department staff was able to keep crime down last year, Champagne said. Some have expressed concern about the department's staffing level and the city's decision to cross-train officers for fire and police under a combined department, but Champagne said his department is making a dent in crime and that residents can help by being vigilant. The News-Herald (Southgate, Mich.) (1/25) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Mich. city wants residents' input on development
    Residents of Bay City, Mich., will have an opportunity to brainstorm with officials and the Michigan Association of Planners at a town hall meeting tonight on how to improve development. The city recently received a $75,000 grant to fund a year-long planning effort, and officials might change Bay City's master plan based on the outcome of tonight's meeting and other aspects of the planning effort. Bay City Times (Mich.) (1/23) Email this Story
  • Texas city council receives ethics training
    The Dallas City Council underwent ethics training during a retreat last week after providing similar training to city staff during the summer. The council's training -- administered by a former mayor of Santa Clara, Calif., who is a senior fellow at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics -- was specifically geared toward councilors and top city staff. The Dallas Morning News (free content)/City Hall Blog (1/25) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Conn. city council tables state public-works proposal
    The Norwalk, Conn., Common Council has tabled a proposal from the state Department of Transportation to streamline authorization of public-works projects. The Master Municipal Agreement for Construction Projects would implement standard terms, conditions and contracting language, but councilors say they want more information before approving it. The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.) (1/23) Email this Story
ICMA Web Conference: Service Delivery in Today's Economy — 2/7 @ 1pm ET
Times are tough. Costs are rising rapidly, yet citizens expect the same — if not better — level of service. Join us to discuss how to evaluate your operations to get the best value for the services you provide. Register here.
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  ICMA News 
  • Did you know?
    ICMA's Center for Management Strategies offers educational programming and technical assistance in ICMA-endorsed leading practices for local governments. Priority-based budgeting/fiscal health and wellness as well as high-performance organization strategies are being offered to assist city managers in addressing organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and leading practices in civic engagement and collaborative service delivery are coming soon! For more information, contact Cheryl Hilvert at or visit
  • 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 Retirement Corp., the cost of the Young Professionals Leadership Institute remains at $99. This year's featured workshop: Living Great by Choice. Visit for details.
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If fate means you to lose, give him a good fight anyhow."
--William McFee,
British-American writer

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