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1. Michigan emergency manager law defended in court – The state of Michigan on Wednesday defended a law that allows the governor to send powerful emergency managers into distressed communities, dismissing claims that it illegally tramples the rights of poor, black residents whose elected officials have no authority.
2. The Problem of Finding Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Just Got Sunnier – The approach most cities take toward electric car charging can charitably be described as helter-skelter. With little data on where and when people need to juice their jalopies, local governments and businesses have spent millions of dollars to install chargers in the hope that if they build it, drivers will come.
3. Alternative transportation makes dollars and sense – Alternative transportation and active transportation modes such as cycling and walking have demonstrated benefits for cities, but in an age of constrained budgets, can the economic argument be made for investing in such infrastructure?
4. A Charming Glimpse at Morning Commutes Around the World – Architecture firm NBBJ is quite big — with locations in 10 global cities, the employees can feel rather disconnected. To help workers get to know each other better, the company recently invited its workers to film their morning commutes.
5. Drug war winding down? – Since the “War on Drugs” began 40 years ago under the Nixon administration, billions of dollars have been spent annually to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate nonviolent offenders – mostly young, minority males, according to a study released by the Vera Institute of Justice.
Newport, RI City Manager Proposes $122m Budget, Tax Rate Increase of 3.33 Percent – City Manager Jane Howington has delivered her proposed fiscal 2015 budget and it calls for a tax rate increase of 3.33 percent over last year.
Oakley, CA hires new economic development manager – The city has hired a new economic development manager to help draw more business to town. Dwayne Dalman, who has worked for El Cerrito in the same capacity for the past eight years, will start Monday.
Officials vie on URA reform – The city of Loveland, CO and Larimer County have found themselves on opposite sides of an urban renewal reform bill that’s currently making its way through state legislature.
City of Shelbyville, AL budget hit hard by state law – A change in state law dealing with the mixed drink tax will result in some decrease in revenue for Shelbyville. It does not mean that taxes will be going up, instead, cuts will have to be made to the budget, the city manger said.
Marysville’s ‘living shoreline’ wins statewide engineering prize – Marysville’s shoreline restoration project, which recently won a regional award for environmental design, now has won statewide recognition.
Reno, NV City Council Vote 5-2 to Approve Firefighter Layoffs – The City of Reno is moving forward with plans that will eliminate 35 firefighter positions by July 1st. The City Council voted 5-2 on a resolution that finds it necessary to make the layoffs.
San Bernardino city charter committee eschews ‘nuclear option,’ instead makes a few recommendations – It took took three-and-a-half meetings, mounting impatience from residents and the specter of the “nuclear option” — repealing the city charter completely — but on Tuesday the citizen committee charged with recommending changes to the city’s governing document began to do that.
City of Dillingham Asks Judge To Reconsider Annexation Ruling – The City of Dillingham has asked Judge Patricia Douglass to reconsider her March 27 ruling that struck down the 2012 Nushagak Bay annexation and fish tax. Meanwhile, officials are planning that the fish tax will not be a part of the city’s budget.
Lauderdale OKs projects that fail flood rules – The city is scrambling to fix a mistake by its building department that could prove costly for several developers — and if unresolved could potentially hike flood insurance rates for all property owners.
Seaside council will seek grants for West Broadway project – The city of Seaside will try to tap several grant sources to pay for part of the $13.7 million in infrastructure upgrades needed for the West Broadway Urban Village project.
Cornelius Budget Committee approves upcoming year’s budget; now it goes to City Council – The City of Cornelius Budget Committee unanimously passed the proposed budget and taxes for the upcoming fiscal year at a Tuesday night meeting. It was the second of two Budget Committee meetings during which residents could comment.
Portland named best beer city in America – Oyster.com, the hotel-rating website, placed Portland in the No. 1 spot in its recent ranking of “The 7 Best Cities for Beer.” Denver and San Diego rounded out the top three.
Questions Emerge in the County’s Scramble for a New Courthouse – For more than a century, the seismically deficient Multnomah County Courthouse has threatened suffocating murder. If the big one hits, it’s coming down.
Streetcar Money Arrives Late in Water District Ballot Fight – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has been working the after-hours phones and sending out mass emails trying to raise money to fight the ballot measure that would remove City Hall’s control of water and sewer utilities.
Longview City manager calls hiring of contractor ‘mistake’ – The city manager of Longview admitted Wednesday that is was a mistake to hire a sewer contractor who was not in compliance with the city.
Public gets to weigh in on City of Corvallis budget Thursday – On his third foray into the city budget wars, Corvallis City Manager Jim Patterson said he found a better way to tame the financial beast.
Oregon’s air quality improves but work remains, American Lung Association report says – The air quality in Portland and Eugene is getting better but improvements still need to be made to protect human health, according to “State of the Air 2014” report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association.
As Oregon legislators grapple with oil train safety, Portland fire chief warns city is not equipped – Dozens of elected officials, firefighters and bureaucrats met Tuesday morning in Portland at a Linnton rail yard to hear what’s done in Oregon to address the risks posed by the rapid rise in crude oil moving by rail.
Support shown for Brown to remain Hillsdale, MI city manager – With a little more than two weeks left until city manager Linda Brown’s contract is set to expire, a handful of residents and employees of the city spoke in her favor Monday night at the Operations and Governance meeting.
Lincoln Park, MI council falls short on vote to hire city manager candidate – The City Council failed Monday to hire the only candidate under consideration for city manager. The council voted 3-3, one short of the majority needed, to hire Robert Cady for the job.
Flint emergency manager’s budget proposal would cut 36 cops, 19 firefighters – The city’s police and fire departments would lose 36 police officer positions and 19 firefighter jobs under a new $55-million budget proposed today, April 30, by emergency manager Darnell Earley.
Public quiet at City of Midland, MI budget hearing – No one spoke on Monday night at the first of two public hearings on the proposed 2014-15 City of Midland budget.
St. Clair, MI City Clerk Janice Winn to retire after 34 years – If it’s possible for a person to be an institution, Janice Winn qualifies as a St. Clair institution. For more than three decades, city politics has flowed through Winn.
South by Southwest
Fort Worth city manager finalists announcement delayed – The three finalists for the Fort Worth city manager job won’t be released until Monday.
4 finalists chosen for El Paso city manager; some touched by controversy – The City of El Paso has narrowed down the search for a new City Manager to four candidates. Half of the candidates are locals, the other two are from other parts of Texas and one comes with a touch of controversy.
Selma, AL Council plans recruitment of new city manager – The Selma City Council gathered for a special meeting last week to discuss the retirement of City Manager D-B Heusser and to plan the hiring of a new city manager for the town. Heusser announced his retirement at a Selma City Council meeting on Monday, April 21.
City graduates 15 from leadership academy – The Leadership Academy was the result of a partnership between the city, the Chamber of Commerce and APS.
Emotions still strong over departure of St. Pete Beach city manager – The surprise 3-2 decision last week to fire the longtime city manager brought out deep divisions buried within this small beach community, with some residents holding signs outside city hall calling for newly elected Mayor Maria Lowe to be recalled.
Offer made to Hanson for Orange Park,FL town manager – After almost a full day of interviewing the final two candidates for the Orange Park town manager position, the town Council voted 4-1 with Councilman Scott Land dissenting to offer the job to former Atlantic Beach City Manager Jim Hanson.
Good recreation programs can help cities, county attract new business – The cities of Laurens and Clinton, SC as well as Laurens County Development Corporation, have hired Retails Strategies of Birmingham to conduct a market analysis of retail needs in the county – and then go find companies to fill those needs.
City of Charlotte concerned about business tax changes – The city of Charlotte is wary of a proposal working through the General Assembly that would revamp the Business Privilege License Tax, which provides the city with about $17 million a year.