Don't let urgency make you solve the wrong problem | Miss. city faces power loss over unpaid bills | Grant supports Iowa city's sustainability efforts
October 30, 2020
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Leadership and Management
Don't let urgency make you solve the wrong problem
Nietzsche (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Avoid falling into the problem-solving trap of "any explanation is better than none" elaborated by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche by taking time to fully understand the conundrum, seeking feedback and reassessing your motives, writes business professor John McCallum. "Even when you think you have nailed a decision, be prepared to slow down, listen, and think again when someone says you are in too big a hurry to be rid of a problem," he writes.
Full Story: Ivey Business Journal (September/October 2020) 
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Transformative Ideas for Finance Directors
A day late and a dollar short is not where you want to be in a pandemic. Timely and relevant data is crucial for planning, budgeting, and reporting. Learn how local government leaders are making budgeting and planning more understandable for their communities in a year of extreme uncertainty. Learn more here.
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Budgeting and Finance
The city-owned electric system in Itta Bena, Miss., is $800,000 in debt -- including $300,000 in residents' unpaid bills -- and is facing a total power shutdown on Dec. 1 if the city can't pay the Municipal Energy Agency of Mississippi. Former Mayor Thelma Collins says officials in the city have known about the outstanding debt for years, and the current mayor contends the rates are set appropriately.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/28) 
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Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability
Officials in Dubuque, Iowa, will use an $8,500 grant from The Funders Network and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network to kick off the city's plan to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. Gina Bell, sustainable communities coordinator, says her team will begin reaching out to the local community next month to gather suggestions.
Full Story: KWWL-TV (Waterloo, Iowa) (10/27) 
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Legislation, Policy and Grants
Commissioners in Grand Rapids, Mich., this week voted to ban vaping, smoking and the disposal of tobacco products in municipal parks, starting Jan. 1. Violators will receive a verbal warning, and may be charged with a civil infraction if they fail to comply.
Full Story: WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.) (10/28) 
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Public Works and Infrastructure
San Diego to offer free solar-powered charging stations
(Pixabay)
San Diego is expanding its electric charging station network with an off-grid model that uses solar panels and takes less than five minutes to install. Beam Global will install 50 off-grid stations that will be free to the city and to drivers, with costs covered by a sponsorship and on-site advertising.
Full Story: Government Technology online/Bloomberg (10/26) 
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Human Resources and Development
Mesquite, Texas, is partnering with the AZAR Foundation to provide free mental health services to residents as police have reported an increase in requests for mental health assistance. "This surge in the mental health crisis has affected everyone from children, parents and employers, to the unemployed, healthcare providers, teachers and the list goes on -- no one has been unaffected," says Mayor Bruce Archer.
Full Story: The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (10/27) 
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Officials in Otsu, Japan, have partnered with Hitachi Systems to reduce school bullying by using artificial intelligence to predict the likelihood of escalating harassment following such incidents. Twenty cities in Japan have voiced interest in the solution, and others are considering it.
Full Story: The Mainichi (Japan) (10/29) 
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Recognitions and Transitions
Interim City Manager Erika Storlie of Evanston, Ill., has been sworn in to serve as the city's permanent manager. Storlie "is just the type of person we should want in this 24/7 demanding job; a job where many difficult decisions need to be made that inevitably leave some angry and vocal," Mayor Stephen Hagerty said.
Full Story: WBBM-TV (Chicago) (10/28) 
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ICMA News
There are a number of steps your jurisdiction can take to simplify and streamline its development review process, making them more painless for all parties involved. Join Jim Nichols, ICMA-CM, on Tuesday, November 10, for an upcoming ICMA University webinar as he discusses: how to identify inefficiencies in your current procedures; strategies for improving lines of communication between departments involved in the review process; and how to improve customer service at each point in the process. You will also gain an international perspective by learning practices being employed in the Philippines that may benefit your community. Learn more and register today!
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Why go through a lengthy recruiting process for your next management intern when ICMA can deliver top-quality candidates to your door? The Local Government Management Fellowship (LGMF) is a one-year program for recent MPA/MPP graduates of NASPAA-member schools. Participating as a host in the LGMF program gives you access to top MPA/MPP graduates, assists you in completing important projects, and helps prepare your community and your profession for the future! Interested in hosting? For additional information, visit the "Host a Fellow" resource page in the LGMF section of the ICMA site. Students are applying now for placement in late spring/summer 2021.

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