Around the World in Local Government – August 2014
Three Biggest Issues Facing Local Government
What’s something you (or a neighboring community) are working that will change the way local government operates?
Brian H. – Assistant to the Director (Chief) at San Antonio (TX) Police Department
Changing the way local governments operate, eh? That’s a tall order. I know San Antonio is about to start its second year of City funded pre-K. This is an initiative that is more likely to influence other large cities rather than smaller ones, but SA is near the forefront of this initiative nationwide. Several other larger cities are considering it as well.
Brian S. – Management Analyst at the Village of Elk Grove Village, IL
This past month I was able to attend an ELGL lunch workshop at the Village of Oak Park and see how they use social media to become more involved with the public. As I discussed earlier, one of the largest issues facing local government is engaging a younger generation. The short videos that the Village of Oak Park showed were exciting and engaging. A YouTube video by itself will not change the way a local government operates. However, if these videos can bring a younger demographic into the realm of voiced public opinion in local governments, the entire way local governments operate and who they respond to will have to change.
Marc – Special Projects Coordinator at the City of Roanoke, VA
I think the City’s innovative use of performance agreements to address specific public infrastructure needs is a tool that could potentially change the way local governments do business. The use of such agreements has allowed us to put abandoned City-owned buildings back on the tax rolls, ensure the installation of public infrastructure in new developments, and assist in the construction of valuable amenities. To ensure developer compliance, our agreements include situation-specific thresholds, such as minimum investment requirements for property rehabilitation or the generation of certain types of taxes. In my opinion, this innovative approach could serve as a model for other cities hoping to revitalize a struggling downtown or to attract certain types of development.
Stephen – City Clerk at City Of Guelph, ON (Canada)
Although not something that I am solely working on, the City of Guelph has identified a “frame changer” in the area of Open Government. We are working to implement Open Gov projects and deliverables that will help to position Guelph as a leader in the ways that citizens connect with, access and interact with their local government. This project is still in its relative infancy but it is exciting and will hopefully change the ways municipalities and local governments interact with the communities they serve.
Knope of the Week: Joe Kreml, VOP-TV Manager
Roanoke City Council approves changes to old Ukrops site
City to sell slice of Countryside site
Proposed Open Government Framework for City of Guelph