Clearer communication can put a stop to the rumor mill | Ind. county budgets $3M to replace voting machines | Mass. city mayor wants to retain land for wind development
March 18, 2019
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Leadership and Management
Clearer communication can put a stop to the rumor mill
Regular updates and easy ways for employees to give feedback are two tactics for limiting gossip, writes Michael Hartland, an internal communication specialist at SnapComms. If there is information available, sharing it is the best move "even when outcomes are disappointing," Hartland writes.
Ragan (3/15) 
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Webinar: Employee Surveys, Dread No More
Get insight into job satisfaction, staff needs, and improvements for the local government workplace from your next employee survey. Join National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) Vice President Michelle Kobayashi Apr. 4th for proven strategies and ways to move forward with results.
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Budgeting and Finance
Ind. county budgets $3M to replace voting machines
Commissioners in St. Joseph County, Ind., unanimously voted last week to allocate $3 million in the county budget to buy new voting machines. The funds will come from the local income-tax fund, leftover federal grant money intended for election equipment and funds that had been budgeted to maintain the machines that are now slated to be replaced.
South Bend Tribune (Ind.) (tiered subscription model) (3/13) 
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Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability
Mass. city mayor wants to retain land for wind development
Fall River, Mass., Mayor Jasiel Correia wants to use eminent domain to set aside a parcel of land known as Weaver's Cove for a potential wind site. The property will be appraised and the city's Redevelopment Authority may be able to secure a lease for it, he says.
The Herald News (Fall River, Mass.) (3/14) 
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N.J. county manager's consulting firm connection mulled by commission
A spokesman for Union County, N.J., said last week that County Manager Edward Oatman, who is still a partner in a political consulting firm that was paid to promote candidates in several areas of the county, won't have a conflict of interest as long as he doesn't vote on anything. Freeholder Christopher Hudak said the difference between conflict and disclosure has been "conflated" in discussions of the issue.
TAPinto (New Providence, N.J.) (3/16) 
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Legislation, Policy and Grants
Panel of judges rules against Airbnb, HomeAway over Calif. city law
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Airbnb and HomeAway, leaving a law in place that allows Santa Monica to hold them liable for illegal rentals. The court determined that the law did not run afoul of the US Communications Decency Act of 1996.
Skift/Bloomberg (3/13) 
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Public Works and Infrastructure
Atlanta's first DOT proposed
Atlanta's first DOT proposed
Bottoms (Riccardo Savi/Getty Images)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms plans to establish the city's first Department of Transportation, which will work closely with the city's Public Works Department. Councilman Andre Dickens, who proposed the idea a few years ago, will present legislation to City Council this week to authorize the DOT's creation.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free content) (3/14) 
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Power costs incentivize cities to find alternatives
Wiring smart devices to existing power grids can be prohibitively expensive, but the newest clean technologies help cities find ways around that cost. Miriam Tuerk points to Toronto's solar-powered smart streetlights as an example of how cities are improving infrastructure in ways that save money and increase reliability.
Forbes (3/14) 
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Human Resources and Development
Mobile stations in Pune, India, increase restroom equity for women
Restroom equity for women in Pune, India, has improved through the development of mobile restrooms equipped with toilets, Wi-Fi, diaper-changing stations and other amenities. "The idea is to give women what is theirs: safety and dignity," says Ulka Sadalkar, one of the concept's creators.
CityLab (3/6) 
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Police staffing and recruitment webinars you don't want to miss!
Join the ICMA Online Classroom for the upcoming webinar "Asking Police Chiefs the Right Questions to Make the Right, Data-Driven Decisions" on March 20 at 1 p.m. EDT. Public safety expert Leonard Matarese of the Center for Public Safety Management provides data to help you rethink the workforce allocation of your police department. When registering, make sure to take advantage of the police staffing webinar special -- Buy one, get one half off. Register and save today.
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2019 Call for Volunteers is now open
ICMA invites all members to share their knowledge and skills by serving on a member task force, advisory board or committee in 2019. Member committees draw on the expertise and interests of a broad cross section of the membership to study issues of interest and importance to local governments and to the organization. They also provide opportunities for member connection, networking and professional development. To express your interest in serving, log in to your ICMA member profile here, find the "My Volunteer Opportunities" link in your profile and submit your selection(s) by April 12. If you have any questions, contact Member Benefits & Services.
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