Kittelson’s Corner is here for your reading pleasure. Snuggle in and read my takes on the week that was and whatever local government thing I’m nerding out about.
Road Trip to Winston-Salem
I got to take a field trip this week to the City of Winston-Salem, NC. ELGL friends and fellow budget nerds Steve Hawryluk and Patrice Toney invited me out to talk to their Citizen Budget Advisory Council about our work in Durham to engage residents in the budget process. I had a lot of fun and it was a great conversation, the council had some great questions and we got to go deep in the weeds on the survey we used in Durham and how we do our engagement meetings.
Plus I forced to budget staff to take a City Hall Selfie with me afterward:
Had an excellent #localgov day. Got to talk about our work engaging @CityofDurhamNC residents in the budget process and then forced the @CityofWS budget team to take a #CityHallSelfie pic.twitter.com/1LqSsTcYy8
— Ben Kittelson (@benkittelson56) November 16, 2017
If you want to check out the PowerPoint here’s a link: Winston-Salem – Durham Budget Engagement
What I Read
Mayors to Young America: ‘Can We Talk?’
“Craft beer helps, but affordable housing is key.” I thought this was a good read. Politico polled mayors from across the country on their opinions of m-words and what they are doing to attract or keep young people in their city. It wasn’t just the usual stereotypes, most identified affordable housing and transportation as a key issue to keeping m-words around. And there was even some recognition that millennials aren’t all the same:
“[We] act as if millennials can all be lumped into one group when in reality they have varied interests and beliefs,” one mayor said. “They are each their own person and not just a hipster caricature.”
Don’t worry that didn’t stop Politico from an avocado-based jab, but I think the article shows that remaining a competitive city that attracts people to it will mean dealing with big issues, not just getting a craft brewery to open.
Roger Stancil is leaving Chapel Hill’s town manager office
ELGL member and star of the Durham Pop-Up Conference, Roger Stancil is retiring. He’s been leading Chapel Hill for 11 years and there’s been a ton of change over that time. He’s been in local government for 45 years, so hat tip to him. Now he doesn’t actually step down until September 2018, which if it was me would only lead to 10 months of senioritis. We’ll have to get him on GovLove before he leaves Chapel Thrill.
What I Listened To
4eva is a Mighty Long Time – Big KRIT
I have been crushing my runs lately and I think it’s directly correlated with the release of Big KRIT’s new album. I listen to it and I run faster. There are so many good songs on it but Get Away is by far my favorite.
GovLove: Brent Stockwell, Assistant City Manager, Scottsdale, AZ
This episode was awesome, definitely one of my favorites from our recordings in San Antonio. Brent was easily the most prepared guest we have ever had on GovLove, he came ready to answer questions I didn’t even ask. He shared the work Scottsdale is doing to communicate better and improve reports as well as how behavioral economics can improve the work of hiring a diverse police force. It was a great conversation and his belief on the superiority of the color blue is a :fire: take.
Tweet of the Week
It was a tough choice this week (the Richmond, VA Animal Shelter might have made me cry and want to adopt a bunch of dogs), but the City of Mesa, AZ’s water Tweet was my favorite. City staff were out taking samples and flushing pipes, only to have a neighbor break out their kayak…
Flushin’ lines, takin’ samples … and a resident who took advantage to kayak! ?#KnowYourH2O #MesaWaterResources pic.twitter.com/WBsd3S0vDx
— City of Mesa, Arizona (@MesaAzgov) November 15, 2017