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Posted on December 15, 2014

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Today’s buzz theme is all about the #UrbanRural divide in North Carolina, today we have a SE ELGL lunch & learn on the topic and each picture features a town or county that one of our forum speakers worked (or works) in. The news stories include how Uber has been successful even when it isn’t wanted, a cool interactive minimum wage map, and how communities are working with nature to reduce floods.

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We’re Buzzing 

Uber pressures regulators by mobilizing riders and hiring vast lobbying network – How does Uber keep operating despite working poorly with local and state officials, sometimes even operating illegally? They use two powerful weapons, the voices of their customers and a vast lobbying network. From coast to coast the tech company has lobbyists putting in work at every level of government. And if a city or state doesn’t want to play ball a simple email to local users of the ride sharing app will send 100s of emails to the official in charge.

Interactive Map Shows Wage Requirements for Rent Affordability – In the wonkiest map of the day Planetizen highlights an interactive map that shows the minimum wage needed for a two income household to afford the median rental in that city. As expected in places like the Bay Area, New York and DC the wage needed is close to $30 an hour while in parts of the midwest and the south a meager $7.00 an hour will do.

Communities work with nature to reduce flood risks – Instead of relying on heavily engineered features like dikes or levees some cities in Washington have gone back to nature. Flood managers are buying up land to use as a flood plain, planting trees and vegetation to direct water. All this is being done to allow the rivers more room to meander, hopefully preventing the flooding of inhabited areas.

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  1. 6 Tips for Writing a Resume by Katie Babits, Veneta, OR
  2. 12.14.14 Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (Bye Felicia Remix)
  3. Guidepost #20 – Michelle Crandall, Dublin, OH
  4. It’s Almost Here…..A Show About Local Government
  5. Leadership Case Responses: Patrick Rollens & Pam Antil

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Upcoming Events

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50 Nifty

Durham City manager expected to receive report on protest response this week – The City of Durham’s mayor says the city manager is expected to receive an internal affairs report reviewing how police have handled protesters the last several weeks. Officers have arrested a total of 51 people during three protests since Dec. 6, that includes 11 people arrested Saturday night as protesters marched toward the Durham Freeway to attempt to block the roadway.

In Unalaska, housing shortage hits city employees especially hard – Single police officers in Unalaska sometimes need to live on living room sofas in the absence of quality affordable housing, according to a report presented last week at a crowded special city council meeting on housing for everybody in general and city employees in particular. A housing shortage makes it hard to fill vacant city jobs, according to assistant city manager Patrick Jordan.

Empty lots becoming common in Danville, VA – With ever more empty lots springing up around Danville as the city’s blight eradication program accelerates, the question arises about what will happen with the gaps left in various neighborhoods’ landscapes.

Cities push for King County levy to replace emergency radio system – Officials of King County cities and county officials want the Metropolitan King County Council to ask voters next year for a nine-year, $200 million to $250 million property-tax levy to pay for a new emergency radio-communication network.

First Cincinnati streetcar loop gets final touches today – The first loop of the Cincinnati streetcar will be completed today. Crews are expected to weld together the final rails of the Over-the-Rhine portion of the streetcar route and then begin installing overhead power cables today.

Past, future intersect on farm-to-market road some call Collin County’s worst – In its sinuous run through south-central Collin County tracing the western edge of Lavon Lake, FM1378 shows off the area’s history and its future — the convergence of country, city and suburb along 10 miles of rough two-lane road.

These Pedal-Powered Pod Cars Travel Above City Streets, So You Can Avoid Traffic – Why drive to work when you can arrive in your own pedal-powered pod car, far above traffic? That’s the vision of a Canadian company called Shweeb, which hopes to soon begin installing what it calls the “most sustainable form of public transit” in cities around the world.

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Local Government Confidential

Will Cincinnati approve TIF districts? Should it? – Ahead of a City Council vote on creating new taxing districts, a group of Cincinnati residents is questioning the rushed nature of how they are being vetted.

After the city reorganization vote, what’s next? – A City Manager’s efforts to reorganize city services and save money failed when presented to the council for a vote. Now the city looks for a new way to balance savings with a high level of service.

Frisco volunteer panel compiling list of projects for bond vote – A committee in Frisco has a big task ahead as it reviews the city’s needs and decides which capital projects to recommend. City officials are looking to hold a bond election in May. They will be relying on a group of 21 volunteers to review all the possibilities and come up with a list for voters to consider. The City Council will make the final cut.

Utilities superintendent retiring after 42 years with city of St. Paul – After 42 years of service one public servant is calling it quits with a legacy dating to the 1970s and a city that he helped shape.



And One More…

Length of council meetings inappropriate – Several Portsmouth City Councilors speak out about the length of their council meetings and why some councilors feel the need to ‘talk and talk and talk.’

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