Good morning! Today’s edition of the morning buzz celebrates the eye roll, brings you the story of how the people of Toronto discovered patio dining, explains why some cities in New York have LED street lights, and asks if pharmaceutical companies will be on the hook for local gov drug take back programs.
Right Now with Matt Yager
What I’m Listening to: Gates of Dawn by Heartless Bastards
What I’m Watching: Avengers: Age of Ultron
What I’m Doing: Applauding my daughter for eating her entire Whataburger. She’s almost three. This is a massive accomplishment.
Cities Outpaced Suburbs in Job Growth during the Great Recession: From 2007 to 2011, jobs grew faster in many downtowns than in surrounding areas, reversing a nearly 60-year-long trend in the United States. This is according to research by economist Joe Cortright of the City Observatory, a think tank based in Portland, Oregon, funded in part by the Knight Foundation. Three Sun Belt cities recorded the fastest growth rates in their urban cores. Jobs in downtown Austin, Charlotte, and New Orleans increased at rates of 3.4, 2.5, and 2.1 percent per year, respectively, outstripping their outlying areas.
Have a Seat At The Table For An Apprentice: The idea of “every company needing to make a seat at the table for an apprentice” really stopped me in my tracks. Switzerland has an apprentice system in place for young folks that don’t want to go to college and the USA is really lacking a similar track in my opinion.
How Toronto learned to love the patio: For all the time Torontonians will spend sipping lager and pinot on patios this summer, it would be easy to conclude that the people of this city have always embraced eating and drinking al fresco. Not so. It wasn’t until the 1960s and Yorkville’s counter-cultural era that prudish diners were finally coaxed outdoors en masse.
- Pushed or Pulled? Responses to the Push/Pull Survey
- Take the “Workforce of the Future” Survey
- ICMA Case Study: My Team Is Overwhelmed (And So Am I!)
- Portland! Portland! Global Smart Cities Hackathon
- Northwest Chapter Happy Hour – Local Government Happy Hour with AWC and ELGL – May 5
- Springbrook Ignite Conference – May 5-7
- #LocalGovAdvice Twittersation – May 6
- Webinar: Localgov Mobile App Essentials – May 13
- OpenGov Webinar – May 20
Thousands celebrate the official opening of Razorback Greenway: Residents of Northwest Arkansas celebrated Saturday alongside federal, state and local officials as the ribbon was cut shortly after noon to mark the official opening of the Razorback Greenway, a 36-mile paved multi-use trail extending from Bella Vista to the south side of Fayetteville.
Will California Mandate Local Government Data Inventories?: California could become the first state to require that local governments maintain a list of the technology systems used to collect and store public data. Senate Bill 272, authored by Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, calls for California’s 58 counties and nearly 500 cities to catalog the software they use that accumulates public information, including how often it is collected and who’s in charge of it. The measure is meant to help local agencies and citizens better understand what data exists and empower them to use it, according to a fact sheet on the bill.
Fibertech Networks receives $1M state grant to boost internet speeds in Sussex County: Gov. Jack Markell announced fiber-optic provider Fibertech Networks has been granted $1 million to expand and improve internet connectivity in southern Delaware. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company (which, just this week, was acquired by Boxbourough, Mass.-based fiber-optic company Lightower Fiber Networks) will lay 18 miles of new network to Seaford and another 18 miles east to Lewes. Those lines will connect in Georgetown and supplement pre-existing Fibertech infrastructure running north through Kent and New Castle Counties. The company already has 300 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure throughout Delaware.
Mayors plead their budget case in Springfield: The mayors of Danville and Decatur were among scores of municipal leaders in Springfield Wednesday to urge lawmakers not to cut state-shared income tax revenue with cities and village. Gov. Bruce Rauner has said that he wants to cut the Local Government Distributive Fund revenue shared with cities and villages by 50 percent, beginning in July. But no legislation has been introduced to make the cuts.
Kansas election change is a takeover ruse by the right: Meanwhile, there is a much greater danger lurking that could have a lasting, treacherous effect on Johnson County cities, school boards, the community college and probably, eventually, the county commission. The insidious plot in Topeka is to fill every locally elected position in Kansas with a right-wing extremist, particularly in Johnson County, where right-wing candidates, by and large, have been rejected in local elections. The first step is to change local elections from the spring of odd-number years to the fall of even-numbered years — when voters are casting their ballots for federal, state and county officials.
2014 Tornado: Local government response was quick, coordinated: The progress Tupelo made in one year after being devastated by an EF3 tornado reassures Mayor Jason Shelton and other city leaders that the “Tupelo Spirit” is alive and well. Since the tornado touched down in Tupelo and devastated neighborhoods and businesses, it’s been all hands on deck for the All-America City. Though some of those efforts, such as debris removal, might have been more apparent in the days and weeks following April 28, 2014, steps are still being taken one year later to ensure the city and its residents eventually will return to life as normal.
Debate on raising Nebraska’s gas tax boils down to shortfall vs. windfall: A recent infusion of sales tax dollars has Nebraska’s road construction budget at its highest point in recent history. So why the Legislature’s push for a 6-cent gas tax increase?
Why Yonkers can save millions with LED streetlights and Syracuse can’t: The city of Yonkers is saving $1 million a year after replacing its streetlights with energy-efficient LED technology. But Syracuse, which does not own most of its streetlights, can’t get LEDs. Neither can many other cash-starved Upstate cities. National Grid, which owns most of the 19,000 streetlights in Syracuse, says it would be too expensive to install LED fixtures. And National Grid representatives have told city officials the utility will not sell its lights, which would free Syracuse to pursue LEDs or other ways to cut costs.
Who’s the boss?: Last year, the Ohio legislature enacted an absurd law that forces communities that use traffic cameras to deploy police officers personally to observe violations caught on camera before citations can be issued. This wasteful duplication of effort makes the cameras practically useless, as the law’s sponsors intended.For good measure, the law also requires officers to be present whenever traffic cameras are in use, and imposes an effective three-year moratorium on the installation of new cameras.
13 Current and Former North Carolina and Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Indicted: Federal officials said at a news conference Wednesday that 13 current and former law enforcement officers are accused of protecting cocaine and heroin shipments along the East Coast. All were arrested Wednesday morning after a two-year undercover investigation called “Operation Rockfish”. “Corruption in local government – especially involving law enforcement – threatens the social compact that binds our communities together,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell in a statement.
Local Gov Confidential
Pharma Frets as Local Governments Adopt Drug Take-Back Programs: Should drug makers be required to pay for take-back programs in which consumers can drop off unwanted medicines? A growing number of local officials believe they should. Earlier this week, San Mateo County in California became the fourth local government in the country to adopt an ordinance that mandates the pharmaceutical industry underwrite the costs of a take-back program. In doing so, the county joined two others in California, including San Francisco, as well as one in Washington State.
Civic service for a new generation: Shelburne Town Manager Joe Colangelo is striving to help young people become a part of local town governments. Students, educators and towns all would benefit through internships and youth roles on town boards and committees, he said. “I have a passion for creating opportunities for people to get interested and involved in civic life,” Colangelo said.
In Carmel and Westfield, how much debt is too much?: In Carmel, Rick Sharp’s supporters have been posting campaign yard signs with a simple message that sums up the issue facing longtime Mayor Jim Brainard — $1 billion. That’s roughly the amount of debt, including interest, the mayor has racked up redeveloping Carmel.
Take A Bow
David Beckham’s many hairstyles as he celebrates his 40th birthday: David Beckham turned 40 on Saturday so, to wish him a happy birthday, ESPN FC commissioned exclusive art to commemorate his many hairstyles. Now sporting a mature quiff, Becks has gone through virtually everything that a hairdresser could manage, including boy band curtains, corn rows, a shaven look, alice bands, side- and centre-partings and, of course, a mohawk. Here are 12 of the best to remind you how hair should be done.