Today’s Buzz looks at how money drives decisions along the Missouri-Kansas border, whether America really wants meritocracy or something else, as well as marijuana, millage rates for parks & how Georgia cities aren’t reaping the benefits of LED lighting.  Also, in honor of #MancrushMonday, some fun Justin Timberlake moments are on full display.  Read on!

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Right Now w/ Matt Yager

What I’m Reading: Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh

What I’m Watching: Spurs vs. Thunder – Game 4 (GSG)

What I’m Listening to: Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

What I’m Doing: Calling my mother. You should too. Yes, I know Mother’s Day was yesterday.

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Why Did The Job Cross The Road?: States across the country are at war right now. A war over jobs. They are competing with each other to get companies to move within their borders. Politicians love to call this “job creation.” States dangle incentives like tax breaks, training programs, freshly paved roads. According to one study, states all over the country are spending $70 billion a year to “create” jobs. But is it really creating a job if it came from a few miles away across the state border? Usually, this competition happens over great distances: California and New York battle it out over tech start-ups, New Jersey and Georgia fight for car companies. But in Kansas City, which straddles two states, Kansas and Missouri, this war is happening very close up, right along State Line Road.

10 Habits Of Well-Liked Bosses: If you’ve ever had a truly great boss, you know how important they can be to a company’s success. In fact, Gallup’s 2015 report, “State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders,” chalks up 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores to the quality of the respondents’ bosses. But the term “good boss” isn’t really clear. What’s the difference between a great boss and one that’s just so-so? Here are 10 habits that great bosses share.

Is a Meritocracy Really What We Want?: “Together we can break down all the barriers holding our families … back. We can build ladders of opportunity … so every single American can have that chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.  Then and only then can America live up to its full potential, too.” – Hillary Clinton. This aspiration forms, in a nutshell, the central vision of Hillary Clinton’s quest for the Democratic presidential nomination. What it boils down to is the desire to create a flourishing meritocracy in America. When we “break down all the barriers” holding people back, “every single American” will have the opportunity “to live up to his or her God-given potential.” Simply put, once individual potentialities have been liberated by the removal of barriers blocking advancement, all persons will have the chance to reach a place in American society determined not by the limited opportunities they face, but rather by what they truly merit.

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50 Nifty

  • Bothell City Council fires city manager during his vacation (Washington): The Bothell City Council voted Tuesday to dismiss City Manager Bob Stowe, leaving some council members confused and others saying they are hopeful the decision will chart a new course for the city. Mayor Andy Rheaume said hiring and firing of city managers is one of the only personnel decisions council members can make. He said the council chose to dismiss Stowe to change leadership and direction for the city. “I think the process going forward definitely should have a clean slate,” he said. “It’s more important to talk about it moving forward than looking back.”
  • How Alaska’s population might change by 2045:  Alaska’s population will continue to climb over the next 30 years, inching closer to the 1 million mark, a new report says. The state’s population is projected to increase by 162,200 from 2015 numbers to 899,825 people in 2045, according to a report released last week from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The population of Alaskans age 65 and older is the group expected to grow the fastest, and annual natural growth — births minus deaths — is expected to slow.
  • ‘Revolutionary’ street lights save bundles – but not for Georgia’s cities: Across the nation, cities are installing energy-saving, low-maintenance LED street lights that should cut their electric bills by half or more. The savings are so much that the lights are expected to pay for themselves in a few years, industry experts say, freeing up money that can go to cash-strapped programs or to fund other services. But most Georgia cities won’t be seeing those savings. In some cases, municipalities that have converted to the more efficient lights have even seen their bills go up. The reason: Georgia Power, which gets about $80 million a year from leasing street lights to cities, got state regulators’ approval to charge governments higher monthly fees for the newer models. The new fees consume all of the savings from one of the biggest technological advances in lighting in generations.
  • Oklahoma, Nebraska AGs target Pueblo County pot approval (Colorado): The attorneys general of Oklahoma and Nebraska, in their legal fight to overturn Colorado’s legalization of recreational use of marijuana, are aiming at Pueblo County. Pueblo County officials are targeted by the neighboring states because the county licensed a pot-grow operation at Rye. The attorneys general of the two states want to join an existing court case that challenges the county’s approval of the grow site. The case also challenges the state’s legalization of recreational use of marijuana.

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  • Land Buys to Widen Broadway on Tucson City Council Agenda: The Tucson City Council Tuesday will consider authorizing land purchases along East Broadway leading into downtown for a road widening project. The controversial project has been proposed for nearly three decades, and $71.3 million for the widening was authorized 10 years ago in the Regional Transportation Authority’s plan. The council will take up a resolution allowing the city to negotiate with owners of more than 100 parcels or parts of parcels between Country Club Road and Euclid Avenue, about a two-mile stretch. The city already owns parts of more than two dozen parcels along the way.
  • Wayne County residents to vote on parks millage renewal (Michigan): Wayne County commissioners have OK’d putting a parks millage renewal on the August ballot after sometimes heated debate at recent meetings that pitted some suburban commissioners against their Detroit counterparts over funding issues. The approximately 0.24-mill parks millage request passed today on an 11-4 vote, with Commissioners Martha Scott, D-Highland Park; Irma Clark-Coleman, D-Detroit; Jewel Ware, D-Detroit; and Alisha Bell, D-Detroit, voting no. The five-year measure is projected to raise almost $9.9 million in 2016, according to information from the commission.
  • Geffken tasked with filling Fort Smith gaps (Arkansas): New Fort Smith City Administrator Carl Geffken and city directors all agree that one of his first tasks will be to fill top-level vacancies in several departments. “That’s very important,” Geffken said. “That’s one of the very first things, obviously.” The city is without permanent bosses in Human Resources, the Utility Department and police and fire departments. “We have a lot of holes we need to fill immediately, so I think that’s something out of the gate we need to get moving on,” At-Large Director Kevin Settle said.Those hires will be left to the new city administrator, directors said.
  • Some Atlantic City investors bet on bailout from New Jersey: Wall Street hopes state lawmakers, deeply divided over how to help the seaside resort town, will not let it go bankrupt. In New Jersey, the state must approve bankruptcy filings by local governments. If that happened, it would be the state’s first since the Great Depression and would further damage its reputation in the U.S. municipal bond market. Default could lead to more downgrades and higher borrowing costs for other struggling New Jersey cities such as Newark, its largest. On Thursday, Governor Chris Christie said lawmakers needed to immediately squash their differences and pass a takeover and aid package because Atlantic City would run out of cash in 10 days.

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LocalGov Confidential

Georgetown Public Works Director Sterling Geathers retires: After spending more than two decades at the City of Georgetown, Public Works Director Sterling Geathers is calling it a career. Friday, May 6, marks Geathers’ last day at the helm of the Public Works Department, which oversees the streets, sidewalks, sanitation and ground maintenance throughout the city. “I enjoyed working here,” Geathers said. “It’s a good atmosphere here … but I feel as though it’s time to move on. Maybe I’ll do something else when I get out of here, but right now, it’s time to move on.” The McClellanville native and Lincoln High School graduate has worked in Georgetown’s Public Works Department since 1995, when he applied for a position after finishing a 25-year career in the U.S. Air Force. Geathers spent his time in the Air Force as a support equipment mechanic, and rose to the rank of E-7 (master sergeant) before he retired in 1995.

Archaeology ordinance proposed to preserve artifacts in Pensacola: A wealth of knowledge buried for centuries under city parks and streets. A proposed ordinance would specify who owns those artifacts. Bombs, bullets, and fuses on display at the Florida Public Archaeology Network are from the Civil War. It’s one of the exhibits at the resource center. Dr. Della Scott-Ireton explained they were found at a state park so they belong to the state. Similarly, if anything like this were found on Pensacola City property, she’d want it to belong to the city so it can end up here for research or on display like these. “There is a lot of construction that goes on downtown, you never know what will turn up,” Della said.

Nassau County needs to do more to prevent future scandals: The people of Nassau County are sick of business as usual, but the elected officials are fighting change. In a poll in February, 84 percent of Long Islanders agreed that corruption among local elected officials is a serious problem, and one they are not willing to ignore. Eighty-one percent said that corruption must be ended once and for all because it damages our democracy and costs taxpayers financially. But in scandal-rocked Nassau County, Republican officials are betting that half-measures and short memories can make scandals fade away. They’re wrong, and the moves the county has made are not enough. The county’s new law on disclosure of political contributions from county vendors may be helpful, but it does not go far enough. It covers only contributions to candidates for office. It does not cover donations to political parties or clubs, or made by people living at the business owners’ homes, like spouses. Those holes are too big.

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