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February 4, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • How to tap talents you didn't know your workers had
    Managers who spend time getting to know their workers, who are more open to the initiatives that their workers suggest and who push people to take more responsibility for their projects may find those workers have skills they never knew existed, Laura Vanderkam writes. CBS MoneyWatch (1/31)
  • Calif. city council backs manager's reorganization plan
    Chico, Calif., City Manager Brian Nakamura's proposal to save money by reducing city staff has support from the City Council and other officials. The plan would reduce department heads from 12 to five and would consolidate those departments into administrative services, community development, fire, police, and public works and airport. Although specifics have not been finalized, Nakamura says he wants the changes to take effect this fiscal year. Chico Enterprise-Record (Calif.) (1/31) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • N.C. county faces competing economic forces in budgeting
    Mecklenburg County, N.C., commissioners will have to take battling economic forces into account as they decide on budget priorities for fiscal 2014. Jobs are being created, but wages are down, and while house prices and construction are on the upswing, consumer confidence has declined. "We've tried to provide the board a context for their decision making," County Budget Director Hyong Yi said. "Their challenge will be difficult to balance the need for revenue to provide services and being mindful that we want to keep the tax rate as low as possible." The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (1/31) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Wash. city forum will address mental illness and public safety
    Bellingham, Wash., will hold a community forum this month that focuses on helping those with mental illness before they become a threat to public safety. The event stems from a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December. Topics that will be discussed include recognizing signs of mental illness, getting help for those mentally ill and identifying public-safety resources in the event of a crisis. The Bellingham Herald (Wash.) (1/31) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Calif. city council OKs downtown-improvement plan
    The Berkeley, Calif., City Council unanimously approved the Downtown Streets & Open Space Improvement Plan, which aims to make downtown more pedestrian friendly and provides guidelines for designing parks, plazas and streetscapes. The project includes bike lanes, green infrastructure, landscaping, sidewalks and a transit plaza. Berkeleyside (Berkeley, Calif.) (1/30) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Ore. city considers requiring sick leave from employers
    The Portland, Ore., City Council advanced a proposal that would require employers to offer earned sick time. If the rule is approved, Portland will join three cities and one state with the requirement. During a meeting that lasted four hours and included testimony from residents, the council decided to form a task force to work out details of the measure, which is scheduled for a vote early next month. The Oregonian (Portland) (1/31) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  Recognitions and Transitions 
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.
  ICMA News 
  • There's still time to sign up for Thursday's Web conference: "Service Delivery in Today's Economy"!
    Times are tough. Costs are rising rapidly. Yet, citizens expect the same -- if not a better -- level of service. Learn how one midsize California city is addressing the economic downturn and positioning itself to save millions without sacrificing quality of service. Join us at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday for "Service Delivery in Today's Economy," an eye-opening presentation by Cynthia Haas, deputy city manager of Carlsbad, Calif.; and Christine Smith, principal of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, part of ICMA's Strategic Partners Program. Get details and register.
  • Sign up for the 2013 Brownfields Conference in Atlanta
    The National Brownfields Conference is the largest training and networking event in the nation focused on economic redevelopment and sustainability. This event is designed to bring people together from a wide range of fields to learn, discuss and take action on brownfield sites to ultimately revitalize communities and restore the environment. In its 15th year, this event attracts thousands of attendees and more than 200 exhibitors for 2½ days of interactive educational sessions, mobile workshops, keynote speakers and the exclusive economic-redevelopment forum. The National Brownfields Conference, co-sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and ICMA, invites you to be part of the solution from May 15 to 17. See details and register.
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--F. Scott Fitzgerald,
American writer

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