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October 2, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • How to boost worker productivity without burning them out
    Restaurants need to strike a balance between keeping service staff busy and giving them wiggle room for activities such as upselling. Researchers found that three-quarters of restaurants were typically overstaffed, and that pinpointing optimal staffing levels could boost the average restaurant's sales per customer per hour by 41%, and its total sales by up to 35%. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (9/28)
  • Md. county eliminates positions, hires new county manager
    The Frederick County, Md., Board of County Commissioners approved a plan last week that eliminated four director and seven deputy director positions that were unfilled and named Lori Depies, former director of the county's finance division, as county manager. The plan does not include layoffs and will save about $350,000. Depies replaces David Dunn, who is now the county commissioners' liaison to residents, businesses and local municipalities. The Frederick News-Post (Md.) (9/29) Email this Story

The Ferguson Group congratulates Karen Pinkos, Assistant City Manager from El Cerrito, CA, for winning the 2012 TFG/ICMA scholarship to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Visit our booth in Phoenix!
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Ga. county aquatic center will come in under budget
    The cost of Cherokee County, Ga.'s new Aquatic Center, which could be completed as early as April 2013, will come in under budget, said Bill Echols, the county's capital projects director. The project's total budget was $19.8 million and the center will include a 50-meter swimming pool and seating for 700 spectators, and it will be used for high school and college competitions. Cherokee Tribune (Canton, Ga.) (9/30) Email this Story
  • Mich. city manager requests raises for non-union city employees
    Kalamazoo, Mich., City Manager Kenneth Collard requested a one-time lump-sum payment and a 1% wage increase for non-union city employees "in order to promote internal equity," according to a memo from Collard and the city's chief financial officer and human resources director. Union city employees received raises between 1% and 2% in 2010 and lump-sum bonuses last fall, while non-union city employees have not received a raise since 2009. (Michigan) (free registration) (10/1) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • N.Y. county's plan to upgrade emergency radio system faces delays
    Essex County, N.Y.'s $10 million plan to update public-safety radios has hit delays related to construction permits and a standards deadline from the Federal Communications Commission that requires the county to purchase new radios and pagers. According to the FCC's radio standards, the county needs new radios and pagers that can be used with VHF low-band frequencies by Jan. 1, 2013. The project, which county officials hoped would be completed by spring of next year, includes replacing a radio system from the 1950s with a digital communications network for the county's emergency medical services and fire and police departments and building a new radio tower. Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) (9/30) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Ariz. city still working out details on possible new arena
    The Glendale, Ariz., City Council will receive an update today on the city's $300 million plan to build a new arena for the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes. The tentative deal is with Greg Jamison and his fellow investors, who are in negotiations to purchase the hockey team. Glendale's city manager wants to reduce the amount of city money that will be paid in the first five years, but plans for the arena or Jamison's purchase of the team have not yet been finalized. American City Business Journals (9/29) Email this Story
  • Texas mayor seeks additions to city's ethics code
    After San Antonio, Texas' deputy city manager failed to disclose a possible conflict of interest, the city's mayor requested four changes be made to strengthen disclosure regulations in the ethics code. The changes include making the list of committees that evaluate and award contracts public; requiring members of those committees to file disclosure statements; requiring companies bidding for the contracts to disclose their directors, officers and partners; and appointing a city official to look into whether committee appointees have conflicts of interest. San Antonio Express-News (10/1) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Pa. county council will consider two grant applications
    The Allegheny, Pa., County Council will consider two proposals to apply for a gang-intervention grant from the state's Commission on Crime and Delinquency, as well as a federal grant the county would use to reduce the backlog of DNA-analysis cases handled by the medical examiner's office. The gang-intervention grant would total $236,275 and would go toward combating issues with youth gangs in Pittsburgh. The federal grant would total $290,221. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10/1) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Fla. city official says water supply violation not due to contamination
    Boca Raton, Fla., Assistant City Manager Mike Woika said the city received a Notice of Violation from the Palm Beach County Health Department because the city missed deadlines to submit water supply test results, not because the city's water supply is contaminated. Woika said the city conducted the proper tests for copper and lead in the water, and that the city has maintained check valves in the water system properly. He said the city was late in submitting test results partly because of constantly changing rules that are passed down from the federal government to the state government to the county government. Broward-Palm Beach New Times (Fla.)/The Pulp blog (10/1) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • New Wash. city manager maps out his first year
    Bainbridge, Wash.'s newly hired city manager mapped out what his first year on the job would look like before he was even selected by the City Council. According to his plan, Douglas Schulze's first year as city manager would include meeting with business leaders, employee associates and legislators; learning about the city's departments and systems; conducting a financial analysis of the city within the first three months; hiring a new police chief within the first six months; and working with the City Council to meet its strategic goals within the second half of his first year. Schulze's first day on the job will be Nov. 5. Bainbridge Island Review (Wash.) (9/29) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Sign up for the Free ICMA Conference App
    To enhance your ICMA conference experience, we've developed a state-of-the-art mobile app that will put important conference information right at your fingertips. With the conference app, you can:
    • Create your own custom schedule
    • View session handouts
    • Take notes and export them to your e-mail
    • Connect with other attendees, speakers, and exhibitors
    • View award-winning Phoenix city content
    • And much, much more!
    To download the mobile app, search "ICMA 98th Annual Conference" in your app store or plug into your device's browser. If you're using an iPhone, iPad, Android or BlackBerry device, you'll be directed to the location from which you can download the appropriate native app. If you're using another type of device, you'll be directed to the mobile web version of the ICMA 98th Annual Conference app. (Note: A wireless Internet connection or 3G network is required to use this feature.)

    The first time you open the app, it will ask for your username and password. Use the same information you use when signing on to the ICMA website.

    Don't have an ICMA username and password? Sign up is easy and free. Visit and click on "Create Account" (top right corner) and sign up! For more information about how to connect and engage with the Annual Conference, read more here.
  • There‚Äôs Still Time to Register for the ICMA Virtual Conference and Bring this Premier Professional Development Opportunity to You and Your Staff Virtually.
    If travel restrictions or budget constraints prevent you from coming to Phoenix this year, here's a low-cost, no-travel alternative that lets you bring ICMA to your organization through your computer! The Virtual Conference option for the 98th ICMA Annual Conference, Oct. 7 to 10, highlights the best of ICMA's premier professional development event. By registering for this event, you'll gain access to the live stream of more than 20 educational sessions, including all the keynotes! You'll also have on-demand access to the content, allowing you and your staff access to the archives until Dec. 31. One full virtual conference registration fee allows you and your staff to view the live sessions together via the Internet in your conference room or individually from your desktop or coffee shop. For more details and to register, visit
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--Pablo Picasso,
Spanish artist

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