Helping employees develop their skills | Mich. city council sets finance and infrastructure goals | Mass. town council and mayor disagree on information access
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March 6, 2013
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Helping employees develop their skills
Make it a priority to help your employees learn and advance their skills, even if your budget is tight, writes Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Create a culture of opportunity and find creative, affordable ways to enhance their technical skills. "If your best people aren't growing in their careers as your business gains traction and expands, they will quickly lose enthusiasm for their work," he writes. "And before you know it, you'll be dealing with unsatisfied customers as well as unsatisfied employees." Entrepreneur online (3/5)
Mich. city council sets finance and infrastructure goals
The Petoskey, Mich., City Council has adopted an action plan with broad goals and associated strategies. The goals include ensuring finances are sustainable, addressing infrastructure issues, strengthening the economy and improving quality of life in neighborhoods. Petoskey News-Review (Mich.) (3/5)
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Mass. town council and mayor disagree on information access
West Springfield, Mass., Mayor Gregory Neffinger and the Town Council have discussed a breakdown in communication involving a request from Neffinger that the council vote before asking him for information. Neffinger originally said he wanted to reduce frivolous requests but said recently that councilors should call or visit him if they want information. "Every councilor is welcome to my office and to discuss things with me," Neffinger said. "Many differences would be ironed out." The Republican (Springfield, Mass.) (3/5)
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Quest Conference Showcases City of Irving, TX
The Quest for Excellence Conference showcases the best practices of Baldrige Award Recipients in a dynamic educational environment. Learn from the City of Irving, TX, a 2012 awardee, as they share how they transformed into an innovative and high-performing municipality. Register today for Quest for Excellence April 7-10, 2013 in Baltimore, MD!
Budgeting and Finance
R.I. city council adds $10,000 to elderly tax exemption
The Woonsocket, R.I., City Council has increased the elderly tax exemption from $2,000 to $12,000. The increase is meant to account for current income and adjustments to the homestead exemption., R.I. (3/5)
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Emergency Management and Public Safety
N.Y. city council withdraws plan for police layoff
The Beacon, N.Y., City Council has rescinded a resolution to lay off two police officers, after hearing comments from residents, police officers, firefighters and business owners. Only one person spoke in support of the resolution, while others voiced concern about domestic violence and crime. Mid-Hudson News Network (Middletown, N.Y.) (3/5)
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Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability
Wash. city council hopes tax break spurs development
The University Place, Wash., City Council has authorized a tax incentive meant to spark development at Town Center, which has a building with 100 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail space under construction. Through the incentive, apartments and multifamily housing will not have to pay property tax for eight years. The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) (3/5)
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Legislation, Policy and Grants
Calif. city council will remove manager-residency law
The Marina, Calif., City Council is moving toward eliminating a law that requires the city manager to live in the city. The decision comes as the council continues searching for a manager. The state constitution prohibits the requirement but says cities can offer incentives for residency. The Monterey County Herald (Calif.) (3/5)
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Public Works and Infrastructure
FEMA will put $3.6M toward replacement of La. city hall
The Westwego, La., City Council has advanced a plan to replace City Hall, which is prone to flooding and has needed replacement for two decades, Councilman Ted Munch says. The Federal Emergency Management Administration will provide $3.6 million for the building, which is being designed by city engineers. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (3/4)
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Recognitions and Transitions
Wash. city council hopes new manager can end volatility
The Union Gap, Wash., City Council has selected Rodney Otterness as city manager, hoping to end a negative period for the city. "People have now spoken on the change in management, and I guess I have the expectation that all of you want to do what's best for the community and want to move forward in a positive way," Otterness said. "I certainly would love to be part of that." Previously, Otterness served as a city administrator in Minnesota. KIMA-TV (Yakima, Wash.) (3/4)
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Reserve your Scottish adventure by April 1!
The ICMA Travel Connections program provides social travel events for members and their families to premium locales worldwide. The inaugural ICMA Travel Connections trip will carry members to Scotland from July 21 to 29. Many Scottish highlights await our members. Reservations are due no later than April 1. View the trip itinerary and download your reservation form, or contact Sallie Ann Burnett at or (864) 541-8678 with questions.
"Reinventing Government" workshop will focus on the book's continuing impact and its message for our future
Ted Gaebler, co-author of the best-seller "Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector," is the featured speaker for this thought-provoking workshop. Presented by ICMA's Center for Management Strategies, the Alliance for Innovation and Arizona State University, as well as sponsored by CH2M HILL, the workshop will kick off with a half-day program that features an interview with Gaebler, who will discuss the impetus behind the book, share his insight on improving local-government performance in the future and provide a critical review of criticism of the book. The afternoon session will feature leading managers' assessment of the impact of reinventing government principles and an examination of the future of and research into the profession. The discussion will offer insight and tools to address issues and challenges you face. Register to join us from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain on March 28 in Phoenix. (Note: Reread the book before you come!)
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."
-- Alexander Graham Bell,
Scottish-born American inventor
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