The Confidential: House of Cards vs. Lalaloopsy

Posted on December 18, 2014

ELGL green icon

Kent Wyatt is back with the Local Government Confidential. This members-only post discusses all things that non-members shouldn’t know. 

Saturday, February 28

Missing Zoe Barnes


The days of binge watching are over in the Wyatt household unless watching two episodes of House of Cards – Season 3 counts. We plowed through the first two episodes after sitting through the awful children’s show Lalaloopsy. Caillou (another evil given to us by Canada) was the worst children’s show I had encountered until Lalaloopsy arrived on the scene. I am pretty sure that my kids don’t care for Lalaloopsy but are too stubborn to admit it. Glad to see they have at least one of my traits.

tumblr_mkrowi9U511qdmbouo1_500Onto House of Cards – The first two episodes left a number of unanswered questions including Kirsten’s desire to know “what’s up with all the eggs?” There was no “Zoe Barnes” moment to start Season 3 instead bourbon was the big victor. (Note: Zoe Barnes remains one of my celebrity girlfriends along with Mandy Moore, Claire Danes, and Lyla Garrity – Friday Night Lights) I am picturing college students around the country drinking bourbon through a syringe at the next house party.

Who knows when I can return to my binge watching of House of Cards but I just hope Lalaloopsy doesn’t make a return appearance today.


Hot Reads



Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self


How to Make an Attractive City

H/T to Shanna Lodge for tweeting this video. 


Thursday, February 26

You’ve Got the Right (Public) Stuff

We’ll take this…..ELGL is a fantastic group that consistently creates interesting and engaging content around government technology and innovation.”

Link: Don’t Miss Out: The ELGL Webinar on ‘Mobile Apps at Your Service’

Hot Reads

Llama Llama Red Pajama

For those of you who joined us for the Virginia Tech webinar, you missed the Great Illama Chase of 2015. Luckily, Mashable can get you up-to-speed.


Snow on the East Coast Equals……


Wednesday, February 25

Say N-O to P-D-A

I am a die hard UNC basketball fan. (Although I cancelled my cable over the weekend which renders me unable to watch most games.) This picture from last night’s game is priceless and properly shows the passion for college basketball in North Carolina. Note: I vehemently oppose public displays of affection.


Just because — here’s another action photo from college basketball.



ELGL appears for the second time this week in the national media. GovLoop highlighted ELGL’s work in 13 TIPS FOR FINDING STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOBS. HUGE thanks to everyone who believed in what ELGL was doing when we started and has contributed to our content. These types of recognition speak volumes about the quality product we’ve produced. I am most excited by the fact that we’re are only getting started. We have a ton of new ideas, columns, events, etc. in the works.

Hot Reads

  1. Panel: Young women in sports journalism share their experiences
  2. The NYPD is using the movie “Road House” to teach cops how to “be nice”
  3. Marijuana set to be legalized in D.C. at midnight
  4. Will Parks and Recreation Be the Last Great NBC Comedy?
  5. Why Are Developers Still Building Sprawl?

Leavin’ Local Government

You probably don’t fit into this category if you are reading this blog but we’re surveying women who have left local government. Please send along this link to those you know who fit into this category.

Tweet of the Night

Bridget Doyle reacts to the end of Parks and Recreation.


Monday, February 23

Our Rallying Call GovExec published a large part of Patrick Rollen’s article on the #13Percent. In the write up, the writer noted, “13 percent, has been a rallying call for ELGL, which has aimed to raise greater awareness around the gender equity gap in leadership in local government administration.” 10984549_760110854074479_5401568684838938627_oI have mixed feelings about the “rallying call” tag. I first think it’s unfortunate that the #13Percent (or more accurately known as the #12.6Percent) issue exists. Being that my lens is now through the eyes of my 3-year old and 5-year old daughters, I am angered that we are at this point. 30 years and no improvement in the percentage of women leaders in local government. Why wasn’t the issue taken up by another professional association before now? You know one of the associations that have hundreds of staff and a well stocked fund balance. (Note: ELGL has 0.0 FTE and only a few hundred of dollars). Before the recent ICMA report, other reports had highlighted the lack of diversity in local government, yet the issue apparently did not warrant devoting resources on. On the bright side, ELGL is changing the inaction of the past. I smile when I hear Mike Madrid noting that ELGL has done more in the last twenty years for the diversity issue than any other organization. You (yes, you reading my ramblings) have made a noticeable impact in just the last two months. You (yes, I’m still talking about you) have helped ELGL compensate for our non-existent staff and very limited resources. So, while I wish ELGL was known more as an innovator in all areas of local government, we must embrace the “rallying call” and continue to show that we (now I’m talking about all of us) can change the “male, pale, and stale” environment in local government. I know that any impact that we have on the #13Percent issue will be the greatest legacy that I can leave for my two daughters. If you want to play a role – large or small – in our #13Percent, please contact me via email –

Hot Reads









Freeze Frame

Pablo Picasso kisses his daughter Paloma, 1953 1111

Me Running

This is what I would look like at the NFL Combine.


Elmo Meets Frank Underwood

Sesame Street did a “House of Cards” parody. And it’s way better than the original.


Sunday, February 22

Racist History of Portlandia


What a fascinating story on the unfortunate racist history of Portland, OR. Most people don’t associate Portland with racism but they should think twice, and having moved to Portland from Virginia, I concur.

Portland’s whiteness is often treated more as joke than a blemish on its reputation, but its lack of diversity (in a city of some 600,000 residents, just 6 percent are black*) stems from its racist history, of which Vanport is an integral chapter.

How Oregon’s Second Largest City Vanished in a Day neatly ties together the history of Vanport and how it was just another event in a lengthy history of racist actions in the Portland area. Other examples:

  • In the early 1900s, Oregon was a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity, boasting over 14,000 members
  • The law barred blacks from voting in the state wasn’t revoked until 1927.
  • In 1919, the Realty Board of Portland approved a Code of Ethics that forbade realtors and bankers from selling or giving loans for property located in white neighborhoods to minorities.

A final startling statistic: Portland is still one of the nation’s least diverse cities—the 2010 census shows diversity in the city’s center is actually on the decline.


Celebrate! Celebrate!


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Saturday, February 21

Tweet of the Day

Job Drop Hat tip to Patrick Rollens for passing along this position with the Better Government Association, DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT EDITOR   Saturday Soundtrack Not recommended as workout music but the Ben Harper and Ellen Harper album is solid listening music while you’re hangin’ around the house today. Hot Reads








On the Move Congrats to Justin Cutler, Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District and ELGL board member has accepted a new job as the Westminster (CO) Recreation Division Manager.  If you’re in the Westminster area, make sure to welcome Justin –   Passing of a Great Sad news — Douglas Ayres, a giant of local government, has passed away. Douglas Ayres, Former City Manager of Inglewood (CA), Melbourne (FL), and Salem (OR), was profiled in the 50 Nifty series in 2013.   New Kind of Mascot B-ZoHuVIgAA8uH8

Tuesday, February 18

Meet the New Governor? 111Hot Reads










The Gay Thing Phil Smith-Hanes, Humboldt County, CA, has penned a must-read on what it’s like being a gay man in local government. It may be the only article ever to quote Train and Romanovsky & Phillips. I hope Phil’s honesty will be comforting to others navigating the local government profession. Phil would love to hear from you –     Central Oregon Awaits The City of Bend, OR is on a hiring spree. Check the many openings including a Project Manager – City Manager’s Office.

Sunday, February 15

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!









My New Favorite App


I admit it, I spend a lot of time on my cell phone — keeping up with latest news, taking pictures, and trolling people on Twitter. I am always looking for cool new (free) apps. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon Longform which posts great new and classic non-fiction articles, curated from across the web. Check it out.



ELGL Member Turned Elected Official


Emma Williams, ELGL lifetime member due to her famous selfies, is running for Portland School Board. For her daytime job, Emma works at Metro, Portland’s regional government. Even if you can’t vote for Emma, make sure to follow her campaign on Facebook and Twitter.



The Future of Local Government Is….. 91fc759a-1440-4485-8fbc-c8113fb854ad Take five minutes to complete the local government workforce survey. ELGL is working with a number of groups to collect input. Link: Survey: Lowdown on the Local Government Workplace



Random Brain Dump

My time online often yields some random pictures and useful information. Here’s a few of the recent ones.


Aging NBA players can’t figure out iPads.  

Link: On Valentine’s Day, the Cowboys are still heartbroken about that Dez Bryant catch


In case you were thinking about an NFL career, here’s a guide to preparing – How to Survive the NFL Combine.

Oh, how I wish I could do this even on a 8-foot hoop.


Finally, if you hate snow, you hate this guy. This Weatherman Is So Freakin’ Pumped About Thundersnow


The Next Shakespeare

Hat tip to a couple of ELGL members who are showing off their writing skills.

Jared Wiener, Portland Development Commission, works on fixing Portland in the day, and at night, he’s fixing the NBA Draft. Link: Fixing the NBA Draft. If only Jared wasn’t an NC State fan.

Eric Chambers, City of Gresham, went one step further and wrote a book — Tidal Grace: Family, Fishing and Faith on Yaquina Bay.




Wednesday, February 11

Uber Punk’d on Twitter

City of Eugene just laid the smackdown on Uber in the below Twitter exchange.

I’ve never seen a city so aggressive via social media but I like it. It’s about time local government communicates their side of the story. Free ELGL pint glass if you can tell me who tweeted that message for Eugene.

Meme, meme, meme

Sarah Hazel, City of Charlotte, NC, drops by with a #13percent meme. 2


Status Update

Chris Rock tweeted a status update that sums up ongoing news in the US.



Hot Reads











Saturday, February 7

Meme, meme, meme The #13Percent Memes keep rolling in. Here’s a few of the latest: Gwen Voepel, City of SeaTac 10984280_10206162526721918_1371757241673484844_n Slam Dunk Champion If I tried to dunk in a college basketball game, here’s what it would look like.

Hot Reads


Goin’ Back to Cali

As you might imagine, I am fan of West Coast rap despite my East Coast roots. I welcome any chance I get to break out the ol’ school hits, such as this:

That’s a long-winded way of saying, ELGL has extended its footprint into California. Props to Julie Underwood and Creighton Avila for leading the effort. You can keep up with ongoings in California by following the Twitter account –


Friday, February 6

Goin’ to Carolina

Tell a friend….the North Carolina League of Municipalities is hiring a Governmental Affairs Coordinator.

Hot Reads

Rainin’ Memes

ELGL has launched a #13Percent meme contest. Here’s one of many websites you can visit to create your own. Link –

Couple of my entries:




Tuesday, February 4

Keep Hope Alive

Today’s webinar on the #13percent issue provided a much needed glimmer of hope that we can make a difference. So much enthusiasm, varying opinions, and desire for change. My hope is educational efforts, increased opportunities for meaningful work experience, and a real commitment from current professionals will drive us toward a better future.

Two points that I want to emphasize:

YellingOur actions and conversations need to be all-compassing with males, females, black, white, heterosexual, homosexual, etc. All of these groups make up our workforce and will be the ones who can impact change. One group can’t fight the battle by shouting at itself in the mirror.

As a white male, I am not proposing less opportunities for our gender but I am proposing we work to create more opportunities for gaining experience and more opportunities for educating the future local government workforce. For example, the MPA@UNC ELGL Fellowship is a great opportunity to advance your education in a low-cost manner.

Finally, Kirsten and I have heard feedback (positive and negative) from various individuals and organizations on the #13percent. All of the feedback is helpful. I would continue to ask that you talk to your other professional associations about their action plans. We are always looking for partners.

Fries With That Burger

I work in Tigard so I am biased when I say that this is my favorite story of the week. You have to read the details as this lady did not spare any expense in cooking up herself a bean burger. Link: Woman climbs inside Tigard Burgerville’s drive-thru window, cooks veggie burger, police say

Hot Reads

Saturday, January 31

I Know Why You Are Depressed…..

It isn’t the winter blues, it’s your constant binge watching of House of Cards, Scandal, and Paw Patrol. These are the findings (minus the Paw Patrol reference) of a University of Texas study. Link: Depression a Factor in Binge-Watching TV Shows.

The NFL is a Non-Profit


It’s true, our wise Federal elected officials slipped the language into a 1966 bill that granted such status to the NFL. The absurdity of this is indescribable and demonstrates the power of lobbyists. Link: Two Days Before Super Bowl, The NFL’s Status As A Nonprofit Is Challenged.

So while you are watching the Super Bowl and finishing another plate of wings and Funyuns, feel good about yourself because you’re support a non-profit.

Friday, January 30

And So We Meet, Again

Meetings, meetings, meetings…..we have way too many of them in local government. The typical meeting is scheduled for an hour, has an agenda that no one follows, and lasts longer than the allotted time. My pet peeve is the meeting where we spend 45 minutes on the first agenda item and then rush through the rest of the agenda.

I found my new work bible in this NPR article – And So We Meet, Again: Why The Workday Is So Filled With Meetings. And thanks to the wonders of Twitter, I stumbled upon this picture in a tweet related to the NPR article.


Double Down Hot Dog

What are the Wyatt’s serving for the Super Bowl? Oh, that’s an easy one. We’re going with a tray of KFC’s new Double Down Hot Dog – a cheese-covered wiener wrapped in a fried chicken fillet (in lieu of a regular bun). The pictures says it all.



Hot Reads

Chris Pratt and Anna Faris: Love via Seahawks shirt

What Can a Pregnant Photojournalist Cover? Everything

Does public radio sound too ‘white’? NPR tries to find the answer.

John Kerry Fined for Not Shoveling Snow at His Boston House

Wednesday, January 28

Many Pictures of the Refined Media



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The true media was out and about at the Super Bowl and it was quite the scene.

Link: How dare Marshawn Lynch make a mockery of these reporters and Super Bowl XLIX Media Day: All the best from the annual circus

The Next President of the United States

Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can agree that Sarah Palin’s speech over the weekend was one big, hot mess.

Link: Sean Hannity, puzzled, quizzes Sarah Palin on Iowa speech


Now Hiring

Cool opportunity to work for the City of Seattle – Equity & Environment Program Manager


Monday, January 26

Chris = Josh

We have a new Josh’s Job Search, kinda of. Chris McKee is relaunching Josh’s Job Search. He’ll be conducting informational interviews with local government stakeholders. The column is half-reality show as you can determine who he meets with. Send your suggestions to Chris at



Hat tip to Chris Harder, Portland Development Commission for passing along this article. Now everyone knows all of my passwords.

Link: ‘Jordan23’ Remains an Iconic Name, Number and Internet Password


Regressing to childhood


I banned myself from wearing jeans when I was in high school. Long story. So, unfortunately, this chart rings a little too true.


Family Bonding Time

  Flu The Confidential was defeated by the flu for the last week. Not fun for me; very fun for my kids. Way too many episodes of Spongebob and Sofia the First were consumed by them as my wife and I zoned out on the couch. I respect Michael Jordan’s flu game even more after last week. On the bright side, I am up-to-speed on Deflate-Gate.

Tuesday, January 20

Seahawks v. Packers 11 Seahawks vs. Packers – who did you have? ELGL was proud to broker a friendly wager between the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and League of Wisconsin Municipalities. The Seahawks rallied to win which means the AWC will receive some sort of cheese product. I benefitted from the victory as ELGL member Josh Dukelow wagered cheese curds to my Stumpdown Coffee. I am not sure what a cheese curd is, and quite frankly, I am a tad frightened by the name. Do I put the curds on pizza? How about in my morning cereals? Please help. photoAs a Seahawks season ticket, I had the privilege of attending Sunday’s game. I brought along Sam Taylor, Randy Ealy and his wife, and Kirsten since every major sporting event must have a local government delegation. If you’re a Packers fan, you’ll probably stop reading but I feel obligated to share some pictures and “interesting” stories from the game. Most of the pictures come from the first half since ironically CenturyLink has poor internet connectivity. Really? Simply put, this was the best sporting event that I’ve ever attended. I might stop attending sporting events since there will be none better. Why not go out on top? Plenty of Packer fans at the stadium. My entry into the stadium was delayed slightly as stadium security searched each of the “cheeseheads.” Oh, the smells that must come from that headgear. 333 Despite the rumors, Aaron Rodger was able to walk. I captured his footsteps in this action photo. 444

While we watched pregame warm up (this makes me officially old), Kirsten struck out with her iPhone to capture the sights and sounds of the day. She ended up capturing cheese graters and monkeys. 555   Still on the edge of your seat wondering who won the game. Sam Taylor has your answer. photo 1 I know you’re loving my pictures but my favorite story of the game came from Bleacher Report – Seahawks Fan Pulls Down Pants, Chugs Drink on Field After NFC Championship Game 2c3356d9cb1757620493074e33b15f49_crop_exactShout out to the Marqueen Hotel for leaving the “Miracle” newspaper (pictured above) outside our hotel room. If you aren’t booking your hotels via Priceline “Name Your Own Price,” don’t start as I am getting all the good hotel rooms. One final note – Kirsten and I visited the new Starbucks Roastery. It was well worth the visit – unique coffee drinks, cool atmosphere, and decent food. photo 2 photo 3

Monday, January 19

The Ultimate Compliment ELGL leaders do it for the “love of the game,” meaning they are not getting paid but they’re doing it because they believe we can change local government. In lieu of a big salary and benefits, ELGL leaders are paid with compliments that occur periodically. We received the ultimate compliment last week from one of our followers in Texas. 1 I can now die in peace.

Wednesday, January 14

Run with ELGL 10733994_722872027798362_740426031915783307_n Need some motivation for your next workout? Download SeeClickFix’s “GovLove” podcast and you’ll hear the latest in local government. The first three installments feature interviews with ELGL members. So download it, set your iPod on repeat, and start lifting those 10 lb. weights. Down Goes Dook You probably don’t care but my days are brighter when Dook basketball loses two games in a row. These students should spend less time crying and more time studying. B7SG8s3CMAAfikN Hot Reads Kill some time with these articles:










Monday, January 12

What keeps you in local government? 10 questions. 5 minutes. Take our survey about your local government career. Link: Input Needed: State of the Local Government Workforce

Quack, Quack, Quack City of Springfield, OR was clearly fired up for the BCS Championship Game





Sunday, January 11

All Points Bullet If you encounter this rabid LSU fan, immediately contact the local authorities. She is likely to dispatch a verbal assault like you’ve never seen.


Hot Reads

Priceless reaction from Chris Christie after Dez Bryant reception is reversed.


Let’s Just Let Frats Run America

You Can Now Play Oregon Trail Online for Free

Personal View: A city with a bruised ego

Transforming Tampa Bay: Tampa’s finally getting its cycling act together

Boards and Commissions – Volunteer Your Voice


Saturday, January 10

Tweet! Tweet!

The incredible reach of social media was on display this week during the tragic events in France. Here’s a heat map illustrating where people were tweeting about . It become one of the most popular hashtags ever. (3.4M tweets in 24 hrs).


In God We Trust 

Mayors come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds including God. According to a mayor of one Alabama city, God officially owns the town. H/T to the SWELGL Twitter feed for this gem.


Thursday, January 7

The Intern Problem

I am lovin’ Laura Lake’s new column From the Desk of the Intern. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to email Laura – –  about your internship experience – where was it, what did you learn, what didn’t your learn, what’s your advice for others.


Dance Dance Revolution

Ever wondered wanted to see Kirsten Wyatt dance. Here you go.

Uber Plays a Game of Chicken Personally I love using Uber and Lyft to get around in cities such as Seattle and Denver. I believe that had the ride sharing companies been around when I was in college (1996-2000, Elon College, NC) that many DUIs would have been avoided. Local governments, across the world, are doing an awkward dance in figuring how what to do with Uber and Lyft. It appears that some of the awkwardness will end (one way or another) in 2015, but not before lobbyists reap the benefits. Link: UBER, ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH CITY OFFICIALS AROUND THE WORLD, DOUBLES DOWN ON POLITICO HIRES

Wednesday, January 6

Hoppin’ on the High Horse I am hoppin’ back on my high horse for a quick minute. ELGL is a bit of an “open source” network that relies on the feedback of its members. We have three ongoing projects that need your feedback. Parks and Rec – We’re honoring the end of the show by bestowing the Knope of the Week to the show. Please send me ( your input on why you loved the show – favorite episode, memorable lines, etc. Input is due by 5:00 p.m Thursday. You Be the Producer – Civic Leaders, the show that we distribute, is gearing up for future episodes. Take a minute to tell the produces the speakers and topics that you want covered. Survey Link Upgrading – We’ve heard your feedback that the website needs to be easier to navigate. Tell us what else you want to see. Survey Link   Jurassic Parks and Rec H/T to Ben Kittelson for sending along this gem.   #WIMuniSelfie Our friends in Wisconsin have launched their version of #CityHallSelfie. They have already gotten a number of electeds and staff to participate. Check out the action here. Our favorite one so far comes from ELGL member and Richfield village manager Jim Healy. B6mDFokIIAAG8eP   Being Bad Luck Brian What if you were the star of a meme? The Washington Post has the answer – Being Bad Luck Brian: When the meme that made you famous starts to fade away. images     Oh Boy! Councilor Throws a Fit A Frederick County Councilor is threatening a lawsuit against the local newspaper. Why, you ask? Because the newspaper is using the councilor’s name…without the councilor’s permission (as if the paper needs a permission slip to do so). Do yourself a favor and check out the response from the Twitterverse – #KirbyDelauter. Breaking News: Delauter: Statement to The News-Post threatening legal action was ‘wrong and inappropriate’

Monday, January 4

I’m Too Busy! This phrase has become the clutch of local government. And rivals “it is what it is” as the worst phrase ever. People fall back on “I’m Too Busy” without thinking about the message that they’re delivering which is “I have better things to do” or “my time is more important than yours.” My friends at Inc. (actually I don’t know anyone there) have come to my defense with this article – Why ‘Busy’ Is Not the Same as ‘Productive’. Consider eliminating “I’m too busy” to your list of New Year’s resolutions. Oregon, OH images Yes, that is a place in Ohio. But have no fear the Mayor of Oregon, Ohio has come to the rescue by changing the town’s name to “Oregon, Ohio: Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters.” As if we needed more evidence that we place too much importance in athletics. Awkward Rich People Hugging No commentary needed for this video.

Saturday, January 3

River, City, Town, Beach

Here’s some trivia that is sure to impress or frighten you dinner party guests. This map is courtesy of Reddit so the whole thing could have been made up.


Speaking of Reddit, the Washington Post profiled the outgoing Reddit General Manager – Erik Martin helped make Reddit huge, then he left. What’s next for an Internet master?

The Fixer

I love watching college sports but I am not naive to think that the oversight of college athletics is a hot mess. How this hot mess functions is highlighted by Sports Illustrated and it’s not pretty. Luckily, my children show little upside of playing college athletics so I won’t have to deal with the sliminess. Read on!

Secret Handshake

On the topic of athletics, here’s what my handshake would be if I played in the pros.

Close But No So Much

Quick, tell me how much a new iPhone costs? A few hundred dollars you say? $500? How ’bout $7,500? That’s what one contestant on the Price Is Right guessed. This person has either been getting a really bad deal or is out of touch with reality.


Friday, January 2

An Interior #CityHallSelfie B6WxcDgCUAA3a-3 It’s too cold for many of us to go outside and snap a #CityHallSelfie. Matt Yager, City of Plano, TX, did the next best thing, an interior #CityHallSelfie.   The Internet Explodes Where to start after last night’s inaugural college football semifinal. Most of the chatter revolved around Jameis Winston, the FSU QB. It felt like Oregon was Team USA and FSU was the Russians in the “Miracle on Ice.” This author is not a fan of either team but I appreciate the creativity that is brought out in people when they try to insult the other team. Here are a couple of greatest hits. Live look-in at the game in the late 3rd quarter.

The legend of Lance Stephenson

Oregon players dive into the gutter with this chant. Nose picking is really trendy right now. Win the Day! B6Tiv8nCUAAGwtk

Wednesday, December 31

We’re #1, We’re #1, We’re #1

I know you’ve been engrossed in random college football bowl games which caused you to miss our top 10 stories of the year. Here’s what you need to know – the birth of the #CityHallSelfie grabbed the top spot.


This Vine might not be for everyone. However, I feel the need to highlight it since the kid seems really proud of his work which means we should also be proud of his work, right?


Many of you don’t care about the NFL or you root for the Cowboys, Packers, Lions, etc….Luckily I have the keyboard so I am highlighting this cool YouTube clip on the crowd noise at the Seahawks stadium. Being that I am a Seahawks season ticket holder, I take primary responsibility for the powerful noise of the 12th Man. Note: I do not (nor will I ever) own a 12th Man jersey. I do have some self respect.

Hot-lanta Is a Hot Mess

I am not a fan of sprawl which also is why I am not a fan of Atlanta, But, God bless Atlanta for trying. The City has opened a three-mile streetcar route that they hope will foster a new urban image. What a timely opening, just as the Braves move out to the suburbs, far away from the streetcar. Regardless of what you think, the New York Times article is worth a read.

On a related note, Politico has you covered on the streetcar efforts in DC – A streetcar not desired?

Before I Go

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The best part of New Year’s Day is no longer having to listen to “see you next year” cracks that pop up every mid-December. While you fight to keep your eyelids open until next year, get yourself up to speed on soda taxes that are sweeping the nation.


Tuesday, December 30 

Dumb and Dumber

The creative folks at The Atlantic Cities have compiled a wall of shame of local ordinances. Saggy pants, clutter, starving the homeless….it’s a pretty comprehensive list.

City Manager’s Best Friend

I’ll put this in the “why was the article written” category. Granted, most of us love dogs but this article would make you think that a dog is the real mover and shaker in St. Helena, CA. (Insert your own sarcastic joke if you must.)

What the Fleek?

I am disappointed in myself for missing the news item that announced “fleek” was a trendy word. As you probably don’t know, fleek means smooth. This article also introduces “bae” to your vocabulary.

It’s Tricky…..Tricky, Tricky….


Fun Fact: 34% of parents plan to fool their kids into thinking it’s the new year before the clock actually strikes midnight. That means 34% of parents are smarter than me because I would have never thought of this.


Monday, December 29

Whimsical Bike Lanes


The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is spicing up bike lanes with help from Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and a Transportation Superhero. The City is personalizing bike lanes by adding images that connect with the area. Link: PBOT’s whimsical bike lane characters make a comeback. We’ll work on getting memorable ELGL images in the bike lanes before #ELGL15.

Hardest Hit Ever

This is how I would feel if someone tapped me on the shoulder.

New Job Opening Teri Bankhead, an ELGL member in Arizona, passes along this new job opening for a Communications Coordinator in Sahuarita, AZ. Bet the weather is better than where you are?

Saturday, December 27

If I Had a Million Dollars… Occasionally we like to read about problems that we’ll never have – They made a fortune in Silicon Valley. Now they’re giving most of it away.

Friday, December 26

Ultimate Guide to the Twitterverse LOL, ROTFL, ICYMI….Twitter language seems to confound many people (which is probably good because it keeps your parents away). New York Magazine gives an assist with its the 2014 Twitter Glossary: Hot Take, Shruggie, and More. Next on your list….get rid of the egg as your profile picture. Wealthy People Problems While some people debate whether to eat at Subway or McDonald’s, others are faced with a more difficult decision – Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. How anybody can afford to shop at Whole Foods is beyond my imagination. I am semi-boycotting Whole Foods since my last visit when I could not find regular vanilla creamer – soy-free, sugar-free creamer does not quite do the trick.

Thursday, December 25

Give Me a Lyft B5VigSEIMAARJBS I feel sorry for Lyft. Uber continues to rack up press clippings by bulldozing into cities and then figuring out whether they’re compliant with local regulations. Their competitor Lyft is the mature big brother who works with city officials before launching the ride sharing program. We spread Christmas cheer to Lyft by highlighting the Vox article on “Lyft says its drivers can make $35 an hour. I spent a week driving to see if that’s true.” Cold Feet, Warm Heart Police departments have experienced a rough year – some of it deserving, much of it not. The Portland Police department has experienced its share of woes over the years, but today’s Oregonian story is a fresh reminder that the majority of police officers are making a positive difference. Christmas Morning Here’s how we spent Christmas morning at ELGL headquarters.


You’re correct in assuming this wasn’t a big hit with the kids.

Wednesday, December 24

Cash Money We all know that state and local government is where the money is at, right? All of us are in it for the riches and fame. The Washington Post has helped us out by highlighting how much each state pays its government workers. The report also gives us another reason to avoid moving to West Virginia. The True Meaning of Christmas

Tuesday, December 23

downloadGovernment and Golf How does these two relate? Sports Illustrated has the story of how Pierce County, WA built a U.S Open-worthy golf course from scratch. We hope to hear a first account of the story from ELGL member and Pierce County staffer Hunter George at #ELGL15. But, for now, enjoy the SI take. How the USGA built a stadium from scratch to host the 2015 US Open

Monday, December 22

Raised by Local Government Royalty Who knew that the author of Seabiscuit and Unbroken was raised by local government royalty. Laura Hillenbrand’s dad was the executive director of the National Association of Counties. Her relationship with her dad and her fight with chronic fatigue are detailed in this must-read article from the New York Times Magazine. Moonlighting in Public Service Danny Watkins chose firefighting over continuing his NFL career. His NFL career was off to a great start with the Philadelphia Eagles, then things changed when his coaches started to question his dedication. Instead of giving up his dreams, Danny chose the path least traveled. Here’s the rest of the story.

Sunday, December 21

Elf on the Shelf: Part of Government Surveillance? This lil’ guy above has caused many stressful mornings in the Wyatt family. (Note: I hope my kids aren’t ELGL members who read this blog.) Kirsten and I have woken up many mornings in a panic attack on whether we remembered to move the Elf on the Shelf. In the Wyatt household, the Elf must be moved each night and the Elf cannot be touched, and if he is, he loses his magic. On a side note, our Elf on the Shelf had a near death experience when he burnt threw his pants from chilling on a light bulb. 1507930_10152968636572780_7644064152735307083_n A Washington Post article highlights the work of a Canadian (crazy Canadian’s) professor who argues Elf on the Shelf is threatening our collective definition of privacy. Who be the judge? “Power” Fights the Power The New Yorker has an excellent profile on Samantha Power and her growing influence on the Obama administration. Power is set to be the the youngest-ever American Ambassador to the U.N.

“My thing in confirmation was, I can’t say anything that is not true.” If she received an awkward question, “I need to find something that is responsive, and that may just take it in a slightly different direction, but feels deeply true to me. That was what I felt I was able to do.”


Saturday, December 20

Future French Fry Fun Fact: Before a potato becomes a french fry, it has a lot of cool dance moves.


“Oh God, It’s Mom”

I love a good public family squabble, makes me feel better about my family situation. This interview brings an up-close look at divided household.

WATCH: Partisan Brothers Get Call From Mom on C-SPAN

What does Michael Jordan want for Christmas?

Do you buy holiday gifts for your pet(s)? You are not alone (as Michael Jackson would sing) as 50% of dog owners, 36% of cat owners and 28% of small pet owners will buy them a holiday gift.

My dog, Michael Jordan got a “Line Barker” jersey for Halloween. I’m thinking he might want 62′ TV for Christmas.

Help a Brother Out….

Rafael Baptista poses the question of the day, “What is your favorite question to ask during an informational interview?”

I thought this was an easy question to answer, but after 10 minutes of staring at my computer, I realized I don’t have a great answer. So help us out by tweeting your answer or posting on our members-only Facebook page.

Friday, December 19

Jacksonville’s Theme Music

The City of Jacksonville, FL has unleashed a video that has all the snarky blogs talking. (H/T to Mark Bondo for sending it to us.) Is it horrible? Is it awesome?

“The Landing, Libraries, Park District/ And fun things to do at the Zoo/ When you think that you have finished/ Look around and they’ve built something new.” They’re always building things in Jacksonville. It never stops.

So many things happening in this video that it’s hard to decide. We should all hope that they didn’t spend too much taxpayer money on this beautiful train wreck.

Thursday, December 18

Taste of the Rockies

Fort Collins, Colorado is one of the most popular places to live in the U.S, and now, you have the opportunity to work there. They are recruiting for a new management assistant. If you end up there, we’ll be happy to come and visit.

Our Family Expands

Today we added another organizational member, CostTree. You can learn more about CostTree in this article. CostTree joins the City of Boulder, CO and Wells Fargo as our newest organizational members. The benefits of organizational membership? Unlimited job postings prominently featured on our website, 10 free memberships, and opportunities to provide content to our website.

Jerky Boys

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It took longer than we expected but everyone’s favorite “Don’t Jerk and Drive” campaign has been pulled. (Link: South Dakota Yanks ‘Don’t Jerk & Drive’ Campaign) How this idea got off the drawing board will remain a mystery. Who was the mastermind behind green lighting the idea? At least they were smart enough to stay away from insulting the Supreme Leader of North Korea (who we will not mention by name as can’t risk being hacked and losing all of our GIFs).

California, Knows How to Party

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The famous lyrics of TuPac. We hope it holds true for ELGL. Behind the leadership of Julie Underwood (Daly City), Cheryl Hughes (Palmdale), and Creighton Avila (El Dorado), we are doubling down our efforts in California. We’ll be offering more California-specific content and hope to offer in-person events.

Please contact Julie – if you are interested in getting involved or know others in California who would be interested.

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