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November 28, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • How leaders can overcome their fears
    Many bosses have fears that hold them back, writes Mary Jo Asmus. Overcoming them requires having a clear moral compass and using that conviction to work past jitters. "If you are a leader who has a solid value system in place ... fear becomes a non-issue," Asmus writes. (11/26)
  • Idaho city council plans meeting streaming
    To make meetings more accessible to residents, the Twin Falls, Idaho, City Council approved a plan to live-stream public meetings. The plan, which will cost more than $5,000 to set up and about $650 per month to run, will allow the City Council and its committees to stream and store meetings. Such streaming, along with an updated city website, will be available early next year. The Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho) (11/27) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • N.C. county earns top marks in financial audit
    Surry County, N.C., received the best possible opinion after an annual audit that evaluated finances through June 30. The audit revealed that the available fund balance climbed 2%, revenue increased 5% and expenditures rose 1%. "Last year, our departments and outside agencies really tightened their belts and lowered their budget requests, which helped us bring down the cost of doing business," the county manager said. The Mount Airy News (N.C.) (11/27) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • N.H. city is split on scrap-metal operation
    Several Portsmouth, N.H., residents voiced concerns about fugitive dust and stormwater runoff from scrap-metal business Grimmel Industries. Residents say they are concerned about environmental effects and would like to see another business replace Grimmel at the Port of New Hampshire. However, some officials defended the business, saying Grimmel is responsible for much recycling and that it brings money to the city., N.H. (11/27) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • N.H. city council OKs Main Street redesign suggestions
    The Concord, N.H., City Council unanimously approved recommendations for redesigning Main Street. The plan, which will cost about $7.85 million, aims to improve safety, increase accessibility and attract business. The council will be presented with designs in the spring, and construction is expected to start next fall and last through 2015. Concord Monitor (N.H.) (11/27) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Swedish officials ask Danish mayor to abandon pot legalization
    Officials from 19 Swedish councils sent a letter to the mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark, asking him to forfeit an effort to legalize marijuana. The officials say legalization could affect nearby cities that do not want to change marijuana law. Copenhagen's mayor says he and the City Council have been working toward legalization to reduce illegal trade. United Press International (11/22)
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Fla.'s A1A is constricted to one lane after wave damage
    After waves tore away at four blocks of sidewalk and sea wall on State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., traffic north of Sunrise Boulevard has narrowed to one lane in both directions and workers are constructing a temporary sea wall using water-filled plastic blocks. "I'm hopeful we can maintain it as four lanes, but obviously that is up for discussion," Mayor Jack Seiler said. "We might need to leave it one lane each way for the foreseeable future." Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (11/27) Email this Story
  • Highway changes are opposed by residents but not yet council
    Changes to Highway 280 proposed by the Alabama Department of Transportation faced opposition from Mountain Brook residents and business owners at a City Council meeting, but the council made no promise of a formal objection. Some council members expressed concern that the changes, which would include removing a traffic light at a plaza intersection, would harm the public, but Mayor Terry Oden warned the council that it should not "alienate" state officials with an objection. (Alabama)/Real-Time News from Birmingham blog (11/26) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Ill. city council irons out criteria for next manager
    The Champaign, Ill., City Council is finalizing a job description for a city manager as the current manager prepares to retire in March. After officials amassed input from the public and council members, they formed a list of qualifications that thus far includes a public-administration graduate degree, public-sector management experience and a strong track record in initiatives of affirmative action or equal employment opportunity. The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana, Ill.) (11/26) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • ICMA's Leonard Matarese will conduct police/fire Web conference
    Back by popular demand, ICMA's eye-opening Web conference will help you make informed policy decisions by knowing what to ask of police and fire departments -- typically the toughest departments from which to get accurate, measurable information. Register for "Asking Police and Fire Chiefs the Right Questions to Get the Right Answers" and learn from a nationally known public-safety expert with a combination of experience as a city manager and a public-safety professional. The Web conference is at 1 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 5.
  • Study guide accompanies fire and emergency services book
    ICMA has released the "Managing Fire and Emergency Services" study guide, which accompanies the newly revised ICMA green book "Managing Fire and Emergency Services." The study guide is designed to help students of fire and emergency services and those preparing for promotional exams develop knowledge, skills and abilities to meet challenges in the increasingly complex field of fire and emergency services. The self-study format allows students to complete the review at their own speed and provides tips on how to make the most of the self-paced study. For professors, the study guide's format can be a helpful resource to organize lesson plans based on the primary fire text. Save $10 and order the self-study course.
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--George Herbert,
Welsh-British poet, orator and priest

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