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October 22, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Are your workers disconnected? What will you do?
    Good leadership is about battling disconnection, writes Debbie Nicol. When workers disconnect from one another, from their managers and from the organization's goals and culture, disaster swiftly follows, Nicol warns. "Effective leadership dispels confusion, corruption and disconnection by demonstrating authenticity and building a foundation of trust," she writes. Great Leadership (10/18)
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Calif. city will develop a dam-failure plan
    The Cupertino, Calif., City Council approved a draft plan to prepare the region for the possibility of a partial or total failure of the nearby Stevens Creek Dam and Reservoir. While it is rare for a dam to fail, California is prone to major earthquakes, putting the region at a higher risk. Residents can participate in a voluntary simulation of the plan this month. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (10/18) Email this Story
  • Chicago will change 911 response
    The executive director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications revealed a plan to change its 911 dispatch so more officers would be free to respond to the most serious crimes. Currently, officers are dispatched to 70% of 911 calls, while most other cities dispatch them to 30% of calls. The plan will take effect after the public is informed of the change and improvements are made to the 911 center. Chicago Sun-Times (10/19) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Mass. city council rejects plan for energy efficiency
    The Medford, Mass., City Council rejected a proposal for energy-efficient upgrades to its City Hall and a local high school, citing the lack of a detailed, written report the council had requested and a lack of budgeted funds. The project, which would cost about $170,000 and earned the approval of the school's committee, could receive 40% of its funding from National Grid and could save the city more than $50,000 per year once completed. Wicked Local (10/18) Email this Story
  • Tenn. Ethics Committee loses support of county commission
    The Knox County Ethics Committee in Tennessee is facing criticism after it reappointed two current members for open seats, despite receiving 23 other applications. "This self-appointed Ethics Committee ... did a great disservice to Knox County and to the citizens who had appeared before them ... believing that they would be given fair consideration," said applicant Diane Jablonski, who along with other applicants brought her complaints to county commissioners last week. After the meeting, the commission refused to ratify the appointments to the Ethics Committee, which handles ethics disputes involving county businesses and workers. The Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tenn.) (free registration) (10/18) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • N.Y. City Council considers changing pedicab fares
    The New York City Council's Committee on Consumer Affairs is considering imposing a rule that would require pedicabs charge passengers by the minute, outfit their cabs with timers and post their rates on signs large enough to read from the curb. Some drivers already charge by the minute, but many still use a complex and obscure formula that produces shocking rates -- such as the $442 bill Brenda Rodriguez got after riding for a mere 12 minutes with her family in August. "What we don't want is the surprises at the end" of the ride, Councilman Daniel Garodnick said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/18) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • New Jersey Transit's new schedule causes widespread complaints
    New Jersey Transit's updated schedule for commuter trains -- which took effect Oct. 15 -- adds an extra train and 1,000 more seats during evening rush hour, but many commuters are complaining that the changes have gone too far. Fewer non-stop trains leaving from South Orange, N.J., and changed schedule departure times, for example, have angered many commuters., N.J. (10/18) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Raise the visibility of ethics at your workplace
    Now is the time to strengthen the ethical culture of your organization by ensuring that every member of your staff understands your organization's values and can deal with ethics-related, on-the-job issues. ICMA offers training, workshops and technical assistance on such ethics-related topics as: Ethics at Work, the Ethical Survivor, Promoting an Ethical Culture, the Leader's Role in Building an Ethical Culture, and Elected Officials and the Public Trust. Each program can be customized for staff, leadership, elected officials, and boards and commissions. Contact the ICMA Ethics Center at 202-962-3521 for more information. You can also visit for general information on ethics-related topics.
  • "Social Media: Are They Engaged or Asleep?" An Essential ICMA Web Conference
    Your fan page might have thousands of "Likes," but are you really engaging your citizens? For a practical Web conference on social media engagement, Juniper Korkie, ICMA's director of digital strategies, welcomes Nannette Rodriguez, chief information officer, city of Miami Beach, Fla., and Michelle Bono, assistant to the city manager of Tallahassee, Fla., for "Social Media: Are They Engaged or Asleep?" on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Register today to learn how to evaluate your social media strategy, deliver relevant information, creatively promote events, increase audience engagement, manage your social media reputation, and measure engagement.
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Not all those who wander are lost."
--J.R.R. Tolkien,
British writer, poet, philologist and professor

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