This morning’s Buzz is all about public hearings and forums. As I sit through my first budget related public hearing I am amazed at both the number and passion of the citizens that have come to give their view on the recommended budget. 

Also featured in this post are how performance measures have impacted policing, the struggle to track police shootings, and the difference between state budgeting and local budgeting.

Right Now with Ben Kittelson

What I’m Listening to – The Decemberists whole catalog, saw them in concert on Wednesday and it was amazing.

What I’m Watching – Breaking Bad. Yes I’m late, but it’s so awesome.

What I Want to Know from You – What questions or tips do you have for Engaging Women in Public Service?



We’re Buzzing

Did Performance Measurement Cause America’s Police Problem? We’ve become aware of a troubling question that lurks in the field of performance measurement: What happens if we’re not measuring the right things in the first place? Sometimes, for example, states and localities focus their measurements on the speed with which a service is delivered. Faster always seems better. But often delivering a service quickly means doing so less effectively.

Why The State Budget Process Is So Different From The Way Local Budgets Are Crafted Government employees across the state are working on budgets this month. Officials in rural towns, big cities and the Capitol are finalizing spending plans for the fiscal year beginning July 1st. But the process, speed and  public involvement required to craft a fiscal blueprint can vary significantly.

Why City Fees Keep Rising Instead of Taxes According to a report released in May by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, user charges and fees are the only sources of city revenue that have increased in recent years. In many cities, this trend represents a surge in a form of revenue that is often regressive: People who require more city services wind up paying more fees for those services.

Why Is It So Hard to Track Police Killings? The recent spate of highly publicized killings of black men by police officers has driven many people to wonder how common such police violence is. Incredibly, no one knows—not even FBI Director James Comey. The federal government doesn’t track it, and until this week, no one else did either.

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#ELGL Trending

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Upcoming Events

50 Nifty

Oregon Could Start Collecting Pot Taxes by October Oregon lawmakers are hashing out the details of a plan to let medical marijuana dispensaries sell pot to all adults starting this summer.

The Changing Carolina Coast: When Storms And Dreams Collide For those who do not live on the coast, names like Hazel, Fran, Irene and Sandy might sound like the champion shuffleboard team at the local senior center. But for those who live on the Outer Banks, they are the names of storms over the years that, often enough, destroyed their homes and businesses.

California’s War Over Water Has Farmer Fighting Famer The fact that farmers are pointing fingers at other farmers shows just how big of a disaster this drought has become, and how political the issue of water is here in the country’s most productive food-growing state

Wisconsin governor announces deal for new $500 million Milwaukee Bucks arena Taxpayers would foot half the cost of a new $500 million arena for the Milwaukee Bucks under a financial deal that would rely on current and former team owners for the rest, Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday.

Crashes prompt renewed push to strengthen distracted-driving laws A bill to expand the state’s ban on using a cellphone while driving appeared dead in the Legislature in early April.But since then, at least two major traffic accidents have been linked to cellphone use, and supporters of tougher distracted-driving laws hope that those crashes could prompt lawmakers to see the need for change.

Of fish and faucets On a recent chilly Friday morning, Burke Strobel walked into the Lower Bull Run River just above its confluence with the Sandy River in Dodge Park.

City Council approves landmark Weston Urban/Frost Bank downtown development plan – San Antonio Business Journal City Council has voted 9-0 to approve a public-private partnership proposal that will include Weston Urban developing a new headquarters tower for San Antonio-based Frost Bank, according to District 1 representative Robert Treviño. Two members of council were absent.

What Houston Millennials and Baby Boomers have in common when it comes to housing – Houston Business Journal Houston homebuilders, apartment developers and architects have found that what appeals to Millennials actually also appeals to Baby Boomers. They both want to live in apartments, smaller homes and mixed-use communities where they can walk to live, work and play.

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Local Government Confidential

San Francisco’s Proposed Housing Moratorium Is a Bad Idea  It will come as no surprise when I say that the debate in San Francisco over housing is, well, heated. The latest in the drama playing out in the City by the Bay comes from Supervisor David Campos, who represents the city’s Mission District. Campos is requesting the city impose a moratorium on all new so-called luxury construction projects

Light Rail Doesn’t Always Mean Fewer Buses  One common argument against new rail service is that rail cannibalizes bus ridership. One version of this argument is that riders of new light rail systems are nearly always former bus riders, so that any increase in rail ridership comes at the expense of bus ridership. A second version is that the costs of rail make it impossible for a region to maintain a first class bus system.

Matching Affordable Housing with Affordable Working While solving America’s affordable housing conundrum is a priority concern, there’s another dimension worth heavy consideration for low- and moderate-income workers, especially in trying to close wealth gaps: Affordable work space.

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And one more…

Craft brewer may derail Bud’s plan to trademark “Brewed the Hard Way” Most of us remember the recent Budweiser Super Bowl ad that mocked craft beers and introduced Bud’s new “Brewed the Hard Way” slogan.  The story continues: a prior application by a small Missouri brewpub to trademark its Hard Way IPA beer name has resulted in the suspension of Bud’s application for a trademark on its slogan.