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January 22, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • How to lead without making decisions
    It's often best for bosses to avoid making some decisions, says Kon Leong, co-founder and CEO of ZL Technologies. Answer your workers' questions with questions, and encourage them to find the answers for themselves. "It can be very frustrating to my employees, but I'm trying to get others to scale up and learn," Leong explains. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/19)
  • Calif. council discusses switch to charter city
    The Buellton, Calif., City Council is considering letting voters decide whether to change from a general-law city to a charter city. Becoming a charter city would allow the government to adopt rules based on specific needs, which might be different from the state's, and would give residents more control. If the City Council approves a charter, voters likely will decide on the issue in November 2014. Santa Maria Times (Calif.) (1/21) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Maine city faces major cuts under proposed state budget
    City and school budgets in Augusta, Maine, would lose more than $2 million next year under the governor's proposed state budget, City Manager William Bridgeo says in a memo to the City Council. The city would lose $1.6 million from revenue sharing, as much as $350,000 in teacher-retirement contributions and $115,000 in excise tax on tractor-trailers. "[W]e have entered into a fiscal crisis circumstance where council's options look to be dramatic increases in property tax rates ... or cuts in valued services to a community that has already struggled in this regard over the past four years, or some 'worst of both worlds' combination," Bridgeo wrote. Kennebec Journal (Maine) (1/20) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • U.K. mayor forms development plan despite budget cuts
    Bristol, U.K., Mayor George Ferguson aims to revamp the city, despite £35 million in budget cuts and the loss of 320 council jobs. Ferguson's plan includes squares with organic food and poetry, an urban beach, vertical gardens, water taxis and a 12,000-seat arena covered in solar panels. "This is not about beautifying the city," he said. "It is about making it vibrant. None of this is about what the council spends but is about making partnerships with the private sector. This isn't in conflict at all, and, in fact, it may achieve real returns for the city." The Guardian (London) (1/21) Email this Story
  • N.J. county firms up economic-development council
    The Salem County, N.J., Freeholder Board has appointed the inaugural eight members of the Salem County Economic Development Council, which aims to bring in more business. The council has two representatives each from agritourism, education, large business and small business, as well as the county planner, the county tourism director and a freeholder liaison. "It's a good cross-section of individuals from various types of business backgrounds, who were selected because of their individual expertise," Freeholder Bob Vanderslice said. "This is a group that can help lead the freeholders in seeking out and attracting new business into Salem County." The Times (Trenton, N.J.) (1/21) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Ill. city council considers earlier Sunday alcohol sales
    The Galesburg, Ill., City Council's Liquor Advisory Commission has proposed an ordinance amendment that would allow alcohol sales starting at 7 a.m. on Sundays, instead of noon. Business owners favor the change and say it would keep the city from losing sales to nearby Knoxville, which recently started selling alcohol at 7 a.m. on Sundays. The Galesburg City Council is scheduled to decide today. The Register-Mail (Galesburg, Ill.) (1/21) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Wash. city manager outlines goals at council retreat
    Bainbridge Island, Wash., City Manager Doug Schulze said at a City Council retreat that he will conduct a study in coming months to determine how City Hall can work more efficiently. Other issues on Schulze's agenda: a possible restructuring of operations at City Hall, improving communication within the city, preparing for issuance of a road bond and re-establishing an island television channel. Schulze has been city manager since November. Bainbridge Island Review (Wash.) (1/19) Email this Story
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 
  • ICMA Annual Awards Program is under way; deadline for nominations is March 8
    Each year, ICMA recognizes outstanding contribution to the profession of local-government management through the Annual Awards Program. Recipients will be recognized in two umbrella categories -- for individual achievement through the Professional Awards and for jurisdictional achievement through the Program Excellence Awards -- during ICMA's 99th Annual Conference, scheduled Sept. 22 to 25 in Boston, and will be highlighted in a fall issue of ICMA's PM (Public Management) magazine. Visit the awards page of ICMA's website at for complete information on the Annual Awards Program and the nomination process. Then celebrate the value of professional local-government management by nominating your colleague, your community or yourself for a 2013 ICMA annual award. Nominations are accepted through March 8.
  • Don't miss Web conference Jan. 31 on public-safety concept
    The public-safety concept, through which individuals are trained as police officers and firefighters, has been successfully implemented in the U.S. for more than 100 years. However, the concept remains one of the most politically controversial ideas a local-government manager can champion. At 1 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 31, ICMA will host a fascinating Web conference titled "Police-Fire Mergers: Understanding the Public Safety Concept," featuring Leonard Matarese, director of research and project development at the ICMA Center for Public Safety Management, and Jane Bais-DiSessa, city manager of Berkley, Mich. During this event, the speakers will discuss the theory behind the public-safety concept and provide insight into how one community has successfully implemented it. Visit the ICMA website for more information and to register.
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16th U.S. president

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