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October 8, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Leadership lessons from the first presidential debate
    Former Gov. Mitt Romney was the consensus winner over President Barack Obama in this week's presidential debate, writes Scott Eblin, and business leaders can take away some important lessons. Romney developed an aggressive game plan and stuck to it, while paying plenty of attention to his body language and overall self-presentation. "Romney had a clear picture of the impression he wanted to leave and followed through on it," Eblin writes. Level Blog (10/4)
  • Calif. city council weighs keeping neighborhood commission
    The San Jose, Calif., City Council will consider the pros and cons of its Neighborhood Commission when it discusses whether it should be discontinued later this month. While the commission, which is a pilot program, does assist with public outreach for the district’s budget meeting and offers a perspective on city issues including road work and emergency services, it also must have a narrow scope so it does not overlap with other city commissions, and its 30 members make negotiations difficult. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (10/4) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Md. county, schools disagree over $5 million
    Anne Arundel County, Md.’s governing body and its school district are at odds over $5 million the schools are supposed to receive through the state’s maintenance-of-effort law. The school board will not agree to the county government’s plan to take the money out of the construction budget and put it toward the schools’ operating budget, a plan that threatens construction at six county schools. The plan would also take money from the school bus, furniture and maintenance budgets. The Baltimore Sun (10/4) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Crime tips will go high-tech in three Va. cities
    Three Virginia cities will begin using text messages and the Internet to receive Crime Line tips by the end of the month. Hampton, Newport News and Norfolk, Va., will join Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, which already implemented the system that gives tipsters the option of remaining completely anonymous, even when cash rewards are involved. WAVY-TV (Portsmouth, Va.) (10/4) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Fla. city council member joins fight against plans for new pier
    A group of citizens opposed to the plans for a new pier in St. Petersburg, Fla., gained the support of one of the City Council members who had previously supported the plan. Council member Karl Nurse said he agrees with the citizen group that the plan for the new pier, called the Lens, is not right for the city or its downtown waterfront, and he is working to change the council’s plans for the pier before construction begins. The old pier will be demolished late next summer. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (10/5) Email this Story
  • Ariz. county puts effort into updating ethics policy
    Maricopa County, Ariz., is rewriting its ethics policy so that it is more clear and up-to-date. The new ethics code will include guidelines for how county employees can interact with vendors and for the county’s Combined Charitable Campaign, as well as new policies on participation in non-county activities and professional conduct regarding social media. The county's departments will have the opportunity to give feedback on the new policy before the Board of Supervisors votes on it, and the county’s new ethics handbook should be finished by the end of the year. (Phoenix) (10/4) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Md. sustainable growth law could be bad news for county
    Harford County, Md.’s planning and zoning director presented the County Council with the requirements of the state’s sustainable growth act, saying it would take away residents’ private property rights and give the county less control over land use planning. The Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act would reduce the land values of properties in the county through its rules on dividing up land, and the council hopes to soften the law’s requirements by changing the definitions of the tiers that county land will be divided into. The Baltimore Sun (10/4) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • N.M. county commissioner expresses need for warranties
    A Ruidoso County, N.M., commissioner urged fellow lawmakers to consider writing extended warranties on the major parts of public buildings into contracts for construction. His recommendation came after a public health clinic in the county needed emergency plumbing work in response to significant leaking and after cracks were discovered in the building’s foundation. El Paso Times (Texas) (10/4) Email this Story
  • Residents push for illuminating local bridge
    A group of residents in Portsmouth, N.H., has developed a plan for illuminating the Memorial Bridge with LED lights. The plan, which would cost between $60,000 and $80,000, would be funded partially by raised funds and also by the towns of Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine. The lights would span across the entire bridge, and the towns would have the option of leaving them white or having them be able to change colors. SeacoastOnline (Portsmouth, N.H.) (tiered subscription model) (10/5) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  ICMA News 
  • ICMA’s 98th Annual Conference Happening Now!
    The ICMA Annual Conference brings together nearly 3,000 local government management professionals and their guests to refresh their skills, move their careers to the next level, invigorate their passion, and connect with colleagues from around the world. This premier event kicked off officially in Phoenix/Maricopa County, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 7, and runs through Wednesday, Oct. 10. Stay connected with the ICMA Annual Conference through the conference website, the conference app, and social media. You can also through the virtual conference option of the ICMA Annual Conference.
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The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are."
--John Burroughs,
American naturalist and essayist

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