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January 30, 2013
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Leaders must overcome resistance to teams
    Although 95% of workers say teams are important, only 24% prefer working in them, and younger workers are even more keen to work alone, according to a University of Phoenix survey. The research shows that leaders need to be more aware of resistant team members and develop an approach that lets them "help the team develop a way to trust one another," says Barry Feierstein, the university's chief business operating officer. USA Today/Gannett News Service (1/27)
  • Minn. city council plans to compare data with other cities
    The Duluth, Minn., City Council approved a resolution to use data about the city and Bloomington, Rochester, St. Cloud, Minneapolis and St. Paul as a tool to compare the cities' finances, staffing, taxing, population income and sizes. However, several councilors warned against looking for one-size-fits-all policy because Duluth is different from the other cities. "When we do get the data, we do have to be cautious about it because frankly it isn't an apples-to-apples comparison," Councilman Dan Hartman said. Duluth News Tribune (Minn.) (1/28) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • N.H. city council's plan to manage school finances hits snag
    A proposal by the Franklin, N.H., City Council to consolidate financial management of the school district with that of the city has hit a roadblock because of a lack of communication between the council and the school board. The plan is meant to increase efficiency and lighten the burden on taxpayers, but the school board's finance committee must approve the plan before it can move forward. Concord Monitor (N.H.) (1/28) Email this Story
  • Wash. city might have to pay $65M for environmental projects
    Port Angeles, Wash., City Manager Dan McKeen says the city might have to spend as much as $65.2 million over two decades on projects required by the state Department of Ecology. McKeen says the projects will have a significant effect on the city and residents. They include working on sewer overflow, stabilizing a landfill, attaining a municipal stormwater permit, updating the Shoreline Master Program and cleaning up Port Angeles Harbor. Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles, Wash.) (1/28) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Mont. city council adopts climate-conservation plan
    The Missoula, Mont., City Council unanimously passed the Conservation and Climate Action Plan, which is meant to help the city become carbon neutral by 2025, reduce energy use and emissions, and save money. Strategies involve fleet and facilities, internal policies and renewable energy. One councilor called the approval a "watershed moment for the city." Missoulian (Missoula, Mont.) (1/29) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Utah city council might adjust snow-clearing ordinance
    The Salt Lake City City Council might change an ordinance that requires residents to clear sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowstorm. People have complained about enforcement of the ordinance, and the council might give enforcement officers more discretion when issuing citations or create a graduated citation system. "I've been getting calls on both sides of the issue," Council Chairman Kyle LaMalfa said. "On the one side are people from the disability community who are stuck because they can't navigate the sidewalks. And on the other side by people who said they made a good-faith effort and got cited anyway." The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (1/28) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
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.
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Mich. city manager surprises commissioners with resignation
    Traverse City, Mich., City Manager Ben Bifoss plans to retire at the end of June, after more than four years in the position and 28 years in city administration. City commissioners say they were not expecting the announcement. "I'm surprised and disappointed," Mayor Michael Estes said. "He's been a true pleasure to work with, and if I had my choice, I wouldn't let him retire." Traverse City Record-Eagle (Mich.) (1/28) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Professional-development opportunity for early-career professionals
    Whether you are new to or only a few years into the profession of local-government management, plan to join us at the Young Professionals Leadership Institute, presented by ICMA University right before each 2013 ICMA Regional Summit. The institute is designed exclusively for assistants, assistant managers and individuals embarking on their local-government career, and it helps participants understand the art and practice of leadership and builds skills through peer-to-peer interaction. Managers are encouraged to invite appropriate members of their staff to attend. Thanks to a generous grant from ICMA-RC, the cost of the Young Professionals Leadership Institute remains at $99. This year's featured workshop: Living Great by Choice. Visit for details.
  • "Service Delivery in Today's Economy": ICMA Web conference Feb. 7
    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 Feb. 7 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.
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I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse."
--Florence Nightingale,
British social reformer, nurse and statistician

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