Texas officials oppose Trump's idea of using emergency funds for wall | Judge: Birmingham, Ala., within its rights to cover monument | Federal appeals court hears case over Mo. searches of commercial vehicles
January 18, 2019
News for public administrators advancing excellence in public service
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and a group of Texas lawmakers this week voiced their objections to President Donald Trump's suggestion that he might use emergency funds to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border. The officials said in a letter they support the idea of securing the border but object to funding border improvements with money earmarked for hurricane damage recovery or mitigation.
The city of Birmingham, Ala., can legally leave up screening around a Confederate monument in Linn Park, ruled outgoing Judge Michael Graffeo, who declared a state law cited in the case unconstitutional. "A city has a right to speak for itself, to say what it wishes, and to select the views that it wants to express," Graffeo noted.
A federal appellate court is considering a case concerning the constitutionality of Missouri law-enforcement officers' authority to stop and search commercial vehicles without cause, which is allowed under state law. The case centers on a farmer who was pulled over and searched by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 2013.
President Donald Trump has selected six candidates to fill open positions in the federal court system, with half of those nominees to be assigned to courts in Texas. Among his selections were Justice Mark Pittman, who currently serves the Texas 2nd Court of Appeals, and James "Wes" Hendrix, a federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Texas.
Montgomery, Alabama's capital, is the middle of a smart transportation project that includes testing streetlights, free Wi-Fi and app-based parking management. The Smart City Living Lab, in downtown Montgomery, is a public-private partnership.
Transportation Security Administration officers are calling in sick at twice the normal rate due to financial troubles stemming from the partial federal government shutdown. The officers are working without pay, and some say they can't afford to pay for child care or the gas they need to get to work.
The idea of humility is important for leaders who want to recognize and work on their shortcomings, and humility as a value can also improve organizational culture, writes Nick Martin of Aon's Assessment Solutions Group. "Once there's a collective understanding of what this behavior looks like, screening processes can be developed to identify this trait in potential talent," he writes.
Taking place March 8-12, ASPA's 2019 Annual Conference is less than two months away. Attracting 1,300 of the discipline's top practitioners, researchers, scholars and students, this year's event will focus on the most critical issues of our time: Public finance, infrastructure, social equity and public service. These issues affect the lives of citizens every minute of every day, and this conference is a Call for Action on these issues. We who are dedicated to the public good must answer the call. The early-bird rate of only $439 (members) will expire Jan. 19. Visit the conference website to find more details and register.
ASPA and NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement are collaborating on another great procurement topic: smart cities and public procurement. Taking place next Thursday, Jan. 24, at 1 p.m., this panel of speakers will talk about what "smart cities" are and how public procurement professionals work within those cities. Panelists will talk through those who are working with the demand for "smart" solutions that are innovative and flexible as well as how communities are making long-term decisions while working with current trends and demand. Find more information and register online.