March Confidential: Bullied by the Council

Posted on March 1, 2016

With February 2016 in the rear view mirror, ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt returns with all the news and happenings that are deemed important in the Wyatt household.

March 29


Heels! So, you guys are as excited as I am about UNC being in the Final Four? (Kansas fans: Now you know how UNC fans feel when we lose to you in the tournament each year.) While we should celebrate UNC’s success, we can’t overlook Coach K’s childish behavior. Here are a couple reminders: This isn’t the first time Coach K has lectured an opponent and denied it and Gary Williams: Coach K’s hypocrisy after loss to Oregon ‘bothered me a little bit’

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Reader question: I know you are a big UNC fan. Will you be attending the Final Four in Houston?

Answer: Absolutely not. Unless one of the loyal readers wants to fly me first class to Houston and gives me courtside seats. Otherwise, the view from my living room will be just fine. Only downside? My kids might learn a few new adult words on Saturday night. I thank you (the reader) in advance for rooting for UNC and putting in a few extra prayers for a UNC national championship.


Hot Job

Economic Development Coordinator, Westminster, CO. Just think you can work with the ELGL member Justin Cutler.

Philadelphia Potholes

And now we bring you the mayor of Philadelphia. He’s just hanging out in a pothole. A regular Tuesday afternoon.



Transaction Wire

Heading into evaluation, City Manager Marc Ott has mayor’s support

City manager refuses to make decision on $1 million police over-hire, sends it to City Commission

4 finalists named for Ann Arbor city administrator job

City manager finalists announced

Minot city manager defends ethics of city employees

‘Bullied by the council members’

Council eyes fiber growth


March 27

Bustin’ Into Easter Like…


My Two Man Crushes

Yes, it’s true. I love Eddie Vedder and Bruce Springsteen. Kirsten and I went to a Bruce concert last week. Bruce puts on a great show and we’re always some of the youngest people at the show. Score.

I missed my dream of dreams by one day. Eddie Vedder and Bruce joined forces for one song in Seattle. This may be the only time I’ve wished that I live in Seattle.

Watch Eddie Vedder Join Bruce Springsteen on ‘Bobby Jean’

Rockers perform ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ cut at E Street Band’s Seattle concert


Trump Goes Local

The sphere of Donald Trump’s influence has reached central Washington. A war of words erupted in Kennewick, WA over this Facebook post.

Bob Parks FB

Kennewick councilman’s anti-Latino comments draw community ire

“Apparently I’ve caused quite a stir on facebook for supporting trumps border wall? You wouldn’t believe what people are calling me, and so close to Easter. I forgive them for their ignorant views,” he wrote.


Transaction Wire

Parks: Public board, private foundation often operated as one

Proposed $84K assistant to the city manager questioned

After mass exodus, Portsmouth has highest employee vacancies in Hampton Roads

First impressions: City leaders know the value of having a strong web presence

Councilors ask for their own offices in new City Hall

Editorial: Quick settlement shows, again, a dysfunctional Port Hueneme City Council

How City of Industry spent $284K on city credit cards: Meals, massages and pricey hotel rooms

Who will be the best city manager for Pasadena?

Austin city employees bring discrimination concerns to City Council

Council puts new interim City Manager on paid leave pending investigation


Dear Coach K Lovers:

You know who you are (Stacy). Coach K showed his true colors on Thursday night. He was caught red-handed in a lie.

CBS offers proof Coach K wasn’t 100 percent truthful about what he said to Dillon Brooks

So, if you are a Coach K apologist, please take down the Coach K fathead and immediately join Tar Heel nation.


Make America Great Again



March 23


That’s right – #ManInTree beat Hillary Clinton in Twitter popularity yesterday. #ManInTree hung out atop a 80 ft. tree in downtown Seattle for 25 hours. He busied himself by periodically throwing apples and branches at onlookers. I would be failing you if I didn’t share my favorite #ManInTree tweet.

Hat tip to the #ManInTree as it was the perfect time killer while waiting for Bruce Springsteen to take the stage last night.


Double Secret Job Posting

Victor Sin dropped by to let you know about this job opening with the City of Beaverton, OR, Temporary Neighborhood Outreach Support Specialist.


World Wide Web

Apparently, Utah Republicans made a decision at some point (this was the first I heard of it) to try online voting for the primary. Great idea, right? Not so much. The only success of the effort was learning a lot of fine tuning is needed. Link: Utah GOP’s online voting experiment has some hiccups


Dropping Truth Bombs

Read the article below and watch out for the upcoming podcast with Taylor.

This Is Our Reality: Why I Couldn’t Hold Back About the Bay Area’s Real Transit Problem

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Image result for SF Bart Tweets

Faced with a flood of complaints during a messy commute last week, the official Twitter account of BART got frank about the system’s woes. Taylor Huckaby, who manned the account that day, explains why he started tweeting truth bombs, and why public transportation in America must be saved.


London Bridge is Fallin’ Down, Fallin’ Down

Stop me if you’ve heard this one – America has an infrastructure problem. The problem is our infrastructure is failing and nobody cares enough to do anything. Media outlets are writing infrastructure failing stories and will be quick to remind you that they warned you when disaster strikes.

Link: Tens of thousands of US bridges are literally falling apart


Skyscrapers but No Sewage System

Skyscrapers are great and everything. Pretty to look at, they make for a nice picture, but not if the smell of sewage permeates in the air.

What happens when a city is managed almost completely by private corporations? Visit Gurgaon, India, a boomtown of millions without a citywide system for water, electricity or even public sewers.


March 20


Cd9Xx6bXEAEDgRlThis is the first of a few NC related updates. (I know you’ve been refreshing your browser for the last five days looking for updates and hoping that I was healthy and alive. I am both.)

The UNC vs. Providence game ended last night at midnight. I woke up at 4:45 a.m. today so my memory of what transpired in the last five days is spotty at best. In retrospect, I should have worn this onesie to last night’s game.

Literally a gray cloud was lifted from my head when I landed in North Carolina. Imagine this, 85 degrees, sunshine, and not a gray could in sight. That was the weather for most of my visit.

I would argue that March to May is the worst time to live in the Northwest. It’s during this time period that everyone is posting pictures, on Facebook and Twitter, of happy hours outside, parks without a slide covered in puddles, and short sleeves shorts and shirt without a hoodie in sight. (I showed the NW in me by rocking a hoodie on Thursday afternoon. It was quickly suggested that I didn’t need it.)

My birthday came a couple of weeks early with a kid-free return flight home. So peaceful.

Busted Coverage

When you are a Twitter nerd like myself, a RT from Busted Coverage is almost as rewarding as your child walking for the first time or finding out that Nickelback broke up.

If you had any doubt that Texas loves guns, look at this picture. This is a Texas Tech Red Raider fan who broke out his pretend six-shooter to cheer on the team. He would do this lil’ gun motion anytime a Texas Tech played took a breathe. He showed incredible resolve by continuing to shoot even at the end of the Texas Tech loss.



Sweatin’ to Jos. A. Banks

I am no fan of Jos. A. Banks. I frown upon the buy 3 dress shirts, get one free. After watching Arizona coach Sean Miller, I am convinced that he should become a loyal Jos. A. Banks customer. Coach Miller blew up Twitter on Friday night as he grossly sweated through a suit after five minutes during their NCAA Tournament game. Another alternate for Coach Miller would be wearing an undershirt but who am I to judge.


Link: Arizona’s Sean Miller Sweated Through Your TV


Netflix and Pill

You might use the World Wide Web to check your fantasy team and post pictures of your kids on Facebook. You are in the minority. The rest of the universe is using the World Wide Web to watch Netflix, buy cat liter from Amazon, and purchase pills from international pharmacies.

“The Internet may still reshape humanity. We haven’t seen the ending yet. But if these data are any indication, we’re just going to watch videos on YouTube and buy stuff on Amazon till the sun goes out.”


No Love for Renters

I hope you are reading this in a home that you own and do not plan renting out.

I, for one, was a renter when we first moved to West Linn and I loved every minute. No yard work, no fixing the toilet, no spending weekends picking out paint.

This great country of ours have turned against renters and those renting out room in their homes as highlighted in this article.

Dean, who completed five tours as a U.S. adviser and Army contractor with the Human Terrain System in Afghanistan and Iraq, owned a three-bedroom home near Winona State University. While he was on his fourth mission in Afghanistan between 2011 and 2012, he arranged to rent his home to students of the university.

“I started getting nasty notes from the government while I was in Iraq,” Dean told Fox News. “The notes were from the city treasurer telling me that it was illegal to rent out my home. I had no idea what they were talking about.”


Got Me Feeling Like


March 15

Last Call

Join the ELGL Bracket Challenge. Prizes from Amazon, CPBB, Balancing Act, and GovSense. I hear Elon University has a good chance at making the Final Four.


2 Kids and a Plane

I am high above middle America with my two kids and a plane full of others. We are flying into the land of Trump a.k.a North Carolina.

I was listening to mundane political chatter for most of the flight when I was interrupted by John Kasich’s victory speech. Kasich delivered the best political speech of the election cycle. He talked like a human (which stuck out even more with Rubio speaking beforehand), he had bed head (I am debating on whether to send him my special Lush hair product), and he connected with real examples that lacked political rhetoric.

Direct TV and wireless internet makes five hours on a plane with a 6- and 4-year old somewhat enjoyable.


Johnny Football Is a Hot Mess

If you aren’t interested, you can move to the next item. Johnny Football has fallen, and fallen hard. This article takes the good ol’ deep dive into the life of Johnny Football. You could shrug off some of his antics until he struck his girlfriend so hard that her eardrum ruptured.

The Fall of Johnny Football

Whether this was such a spell or not, friends thought nothing of Manziel sleeping well into the New Year. Three days later, on the eve of Cleveland’s finale for another lost season, he vanished. Several people, including Cleveland coaches, called him repeatedly, each time reaching his voicemail. Manziel, it turns out, was in Las Vegas, sporting a blonde wig, glued-on mustache and hoodie while telling people his name was “Billy.”


Transaction Wire

Former Oregon City Manager David Frasher: Mayor warned against election violation

“I told the mayor that you cannot use city resources to tell people to do or not do something with regard to a ballot measure,” Frasher wrote in the email.

Know H20: Flint emergency manager says water experts failed him

“In relying on experts, the solutions I oversaw failed to ameliorate the troubles plaguing Flint’s water,” Earley says in prepared testimony for a hearing Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Charlotte City Council gives departing manager 3-month extension and pay hike

Democrat LaWana Mayfield, who voted yes, said she thought the manager’s contract should have been on the council’s agenda before the vote. But she said the manager was underpaid compared with peers in other cities.

March 13

March Madness

It’s bracket time. The 5th annual ELGL Bracket Challenge will be better than ever as we will be adding prizes throughout the week. Maybe we’ll give away $1 million dollars. Who knows? Fill out your bracket here.


The Internet Wins

Watch out network TV, next time you turn a 30-minute show into a two hour show, keep in mind the disaster that was the 2016 CBS Selection show. CBS executives thought it was a slam dunk. Drag out the selection show since anyone with a cat in the fight has to watch the exclusive release of the NCAA tournament bracket.

The show was a disaster from the beginning. Charles Barkley stumbled around using the touch screen, an endless run of commercials, and very little prepared material to cover the two hours.

Lucky for us (unlucky for CBS) a bomb was dropped after the first quarter of the bracket was released. “Richie” took the bracket into his own hands by tweeting the complete bracket to the American public. Allow me to share a few of my favorite tweets.

We would give Richie props for his good deed but his Twitter account has been deleted. I am guessing CBS will form a number of task forces, subcommittees, and advisory groups to find the identity of Richie. Link: Disaster! NCAA tournament brackets leak during Selection Show

Today America won; greed from CBS lost. Amen. The NCAA tournament bracket was leaked mid-show, and America rejoiced


March 12

Today’s Clock

Uncle Anthony kept his word. He’s sporting a bigger clock today. You can learn more about Uncle Anthony by following his official Twitter feed.



Transaction Wire

Want to be Clarksville’s first town manager?

Outgoing Iowa City Manager Suggests Consolidating Area Police Forces

City Manager Announces Six Appointments to Key City Management Positions

Addison officials, former city manager debate credibility of report on town’s finances

County official leaves for city manager job

Search firms narrowed in bid to hire new Savannah city manager

Does Plattsburgh need a city manager?


Shave and a Haircut

You won’t see anything better in March – incredible dunk, crazy uncle wearing a Flavor Flav clock, and Brent Musburger’s perfect call.

Good news the Uncle plans on wearing a bigger clock for today’s game. Link:  Wayne Selden’s uncle: I’m bringing a bigger clock, reaction on Saturday.

In a sign of a more accepting country, breastfeeding and basketball was happening at the West Virginia-Oklahoma game last night.

This should get you fired up for the ELGL Bracket Challenge, right? ELGL Bracket Challenge: Ballin’ for the Fund Balance


Cookie Monster



Where Is Richard Simmons?

Many of you have “Sweated to the Oldies” with Richard Simmons. Some of you have heard Richard during one of his many appearances on the Howard Stern show. Unfortunately, the gleeful Simmons’ life has taken an odd turn which may involve black magic and witch craft.

My first read this morning was this article:

Two years ago, the flamboyant fitness guru abruptly disappeared from public life. Now, his closest friends, banished from his inner circle, have grown increasingly concerned. They worry that the pop-culture icon is being held against his will inside his Hollywood Hills mansion — with one suggesting more sinister notions are at play.


March 11

Digging for Gold

I am officially a parent of a school age child now that I have survived a field trip with a bus full of kindergartens. Field trips are great – it’s a chance to see who you child hangs out, meet the teacher, and ride on a school bus for the first time in 20 years.

I am puzzled that seat belts haven’t found their way onto school buses. If I have to wear a seat-belt on an airplane (which is virtually useless), why isn’t a bus of 60 kindergartens given the option to wear a seat belt. Do schools think that seat belts are a phase and will eventually go out of style? I can’t leave my driveway without strapping my two kids into a tank-like car seat. So, buses don’t have seat-belts but they must stop at every railroad track and look both ways, basically begging to be hit by a train.

Back to the field trip, the Portland Children’s Theater was our destination. Bad Kitty was the show. I must pat myself on the back because halfway through the show I looked around a number of the other chaperones were sleeping and playing on their phones. Not me, I was focused on Bad Kitty and dying for a strong cup of coffee (anything but Folgers).

Two observations:

  1. Kindergarten’s cannot go anywhere without using the bathroom. The teacher begged them to use the “potty” before we left, and several of them did. However, once the ol’ yellow bus rolled up to the theater and the kids unloaded, it was a race to the bathroom. I have seen shorter bathroom lines at a Seahawks game, but unlike the Seahawks game, the girls bathroom was packed with a line running halfway done the hallway.
  2. Kids love picking their nose. Not just other people’s kids, my kid was also knuckle deep searching for boogers. At the beginning of the field trip when the teacher was introducing the chaperons, I looked at the kids and there were more kids picking their nose than listening to the teachers. The question that I don’t want answered but I can’t help wonder is where do all those boogers go. Safe to say, the boxes of tissues are not a common final destination.

All in all, being able to experience my kid’s field trip is why I love working for a city with a four-day work week.


If You Do Only One Thing Today…


Leave a review for the GovLove podcast. ELGL members spend a tremendous amount of time interviewing guests, editing the interviews, and spreading the word about the 40 episodes. Special kudos to Ben Kittelson for leading the effort.

GovLove is an outlet that we are using to expand the reach of ELGL and to keep members on top of the most relevant topics in local government.

I know that you are thinking that you’ll leave a review later, but that doesn’t work, click on this link and leave your review now.


Parks and Rec

Props to the National Park Service for trying. Although I don’t think this strategy is incredibly unique or will be particularly impactful. As far as I can tell, millennials are not a bunch of aliens. They aren’t much different than a 43-year old or 53-year old. Sure, they raised with technology which makes them better at a number of things (coding, SnapChat, etc.) than older generations.

Stereotyping a whole generation is lazy. The National Parks Service should use the computer game to reach all ages, races, and genders. Most people (under the age of 70) are capable of learning through a computer game without blowing up our devices or downloading random files from Nigeria.

Link: The National Parks Service Is Recruiting Millennials Through A Computer Game


Sly As a Fox


Guess Who’s Back…

Back again. Kirsten Silveira returns to the ELGL leadership team. Kirsten is a graduate of the Kansas MPA program. She works as a budget management analyst for the City of Baltimore, MD. Kirsten will be the point person for ELGL efforts in the NE. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

If you can’t get enough of Kirsten, here’s the more formal bio.

An Ethan Allen scholar, Kirsten graduated from Colorado State University with a B.A. in Political Science. At CSU, Kirsten held a variety of leadership positions including News Editor of The Rocky Mountain Collegian and President of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. She is also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society. Kirsten has held internships with The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Stratton-Carpenter & Associates, a Denver-based political consulting firm, The University of Louisville’s Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods and the City of Fort Collins Economic Health Office.

Kirsten’s Work for ELGL

Budgeting for a Better Baltimore by Kirsten Silveira

Guidepost #8 – Kirsten Silveira

The Decision: Why Baltimore?

New Sensation: Kirsten Silveira

March 9

Jump Into the Confidential

This guy was the other winner from last night’s primary.



Transaction Wire

East Lansing city manager gets warning from state

New Hurst city manager to be announced soon

BG community members meet city manager finalists

Fort Smith To Negotiate With Pennsylvania Man For City Administrator Job

Garner council to meet behind closed doors to talk to Dickerson about town manager job

It’s Alive

$725M program Army ‘killed’ found alive, growing

The Army misled Congress and taxpayers when it said it had killed in 2014 a program that embedded social scientists with combat units, according to a congressman, a Defense official and Army documents.

Last year, the Army said it had terminated the controversial battlefield anthropology program, known as the Human Terrain System, which had been plagued by documented time sheet fraud, racism and sexual harassment. It is not clear why the Army said the program was dead, according to a Defense Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about the program.

March 8

Let’s Go

We’re fired up for the latest local government happenings.


Beyond the Show

Mike Ekey does his homework. He checked up on the Town of Litchfield Mosquito Control District which was referenced during John Oliver’s take on special district. The below video is worth a watch. It’s full of passion but light on audience members. Fast forward to the 25 minute mark if you are short on time.



California Love

Thanks to Greg Hermann for sending along these job postings. Link: Now Hiring: City of San Luis Obispo, CA


Transaction Wire

Scottsdale city manager fired after months of illness

Council adopts change-order policy

Sue McLaughlin: Macomb’s First Woman to Hold City Administrator

4,500 Kids Without Child Care if City Council Enforces Old Rule

WeHo City Council Meeting Gets Ugly in Discussion Over Deputy Suit Settlement

Ferguson Council Expected to Reconsider DOJ Agreement

Lake Oswego: Second thoughts on city-backed fiber network?

Even with $20 million surplus, Portland’s wish list too long


March 7

Guiding You Into the Confidential


Civics Lesson

The City of Damascus (not THE Damascus) incorporated in 2004 has become a grand, failed civics experiment. The City, located in the Portland metro area, has been on the brink of failure for a number of years.

In 2013, ELGL learned first hand about the dysfunction at a forum with their then-city manager (Knope of the Week: Greg Baker, Damascus City Manager). When Greg resigned as city manager, a city councilor was quoted as calling the city a “hellhole.”

In today’s Oregonian, we catch up with the city and realize it may be entering its final days.

Damascus’ great civic experiment could be nearing an end

Only twice in the past 34 years has a new city been formed in Oregon.

It’s rarer yet for a city to dissolve itself. Disincorporations have occurred a grand total of three times since the state was founded in 1859.

Number four may be just around the corner. Damascus, one of Oregon’s newest cities, is poised to end more than a decade of political and community rancor in May, when its 10,700 residents vote on a measure to disincorporate.

If that happens, Mayor Diana Helm said she won’t be surprised if it passes.

“Most cities provide 16 or 17 different services,” said Helm, who voted in favor of disincorporating the first time the issue was put to voters, in 2013. “We don’t provide any. People will have to decide for themselves if that constitutes enough value to remain a city.”


Fist Bumps All Around


House of Cards

I am two episodes into Season 4 of House of Cards and I am liking what I see. The critics don’t share my opinion as I’ve read a number of negative reviews about the season. And, in full disclosure, part of my enjoyment may stem from the addition of Neve Campbell. Teenager Kent had a bit of a crush on Neve Campbell and her role in Party of Five. Fun Fact: Neve Campbell is a Canadian.

Despite my former love of Neve, I give a slight edge to Kate Mora (Zoe Barnes) who appeared in season 1 and season 2 (for about 45 seconds).


Down Goes Dook

In honor of the only Dook fan that I know and like, here’s a gif of how Carolina fans felt after the Dook/UNC game last night.

For those less familiar with the UNC/Dook rivarly, this picture does a pretty good job of summing it up.



#KleinTreat Update


The book giveaway continues. We’re getting ready for the Book Club and podcast on The Start-Up Start. Leah Treat, director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Gabe Klein, author of The Start-Up City, will record a GovLove podcast in late March.

Here are the lucky winners of free copies of The Start-Up City:

  • Sierra Moore, GovSense
  • Megan Doherty, Leon County-Tallahassee
  • Maggie Bizzell, Connect NC
  • AJ Fawver, City of San Angelo, tX
  • Kim Sandoval, Central Piedmont Community College
  • Dean Shankle, Town of Hooksett, NH
  • Pam Weir, City of Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Erik Clarke, THE Ohio State University
  • Ian Davidson, State of Oregon
  • Shahrzad Rizvi, Dallas County, TX

Due to popular demand, we are giving away five more copies of The Start-Up City. You can reserve your copy by following the steps outlined in The Start-Up City Is Coming to GovLove.


March 3

Building the Bench


Stacy Schweikhart led a killer presentation at the recent Ohio City/County Management Association conference. While the session was not recorded, we have obtained the PowerPoint presentation, and if you ask nice enough, I am sure Stacy will reenact the presentation for you. Link: Build the Bench


Time to Move On, Time to Get Going…

I know Kirsten appreciates your support throughout this whole ordeal. You can’t imagine how much your support mattered especially during the darker days. An email here, Facebook message there, phone call out of the blue — each was helpful in Kirsten (and the Wyatt family) maintaining sanity and perspective.
What’s next? Who knows…I think Tom Petty said the best.



March 2

O’ Canada, O’ Canada…



Back from Space

I have no desire to year in space. (The only good part would be having plenty of time to tweet.) My feelings were reinforced when I saw this picture of Scott Kelly who just returned from 340 days in space.


Morning Read

How A City Is Slashing Gun Crime With A Paid Fellowship For Would-Be Shooters – Richmond, California, has created a controversial program that breaks the cycle of violence with mentorship, services, and a $1,000-a-month stipend.


Here are the winners from Super Tuesday. Great to see that they get along.


The best part of the night was Donald Trump’s speech, not because of what he said, but the awkwardness of Chris Christie lurking behind Trump.



Smoke Them If You Got’em

If you are 21. The City of San Francisco voted that anyone buying tobacco products — including e-cigarettes — must be at least 21 years old.

March 1

In Case You Can’t Sleep

In case of an emergency in San Antonio, dialing 9-1-1 might not be the best option for finding help. One out of every five 9-1-1 calls in San Antonio not answered by person


Boys Club

Canada takes the 13 percent notion to the extreme. You only need a quick glimpse at the picture below to see the maleness and whiteness of the City of Edmonton. Reorganization means not one of the City of Edmonton’s general managers will be female



33 Percent Chance

Good luck to ELGL member Dan Biles who is a finalist for the Fort Smith, AK city administrator position. Fort Smith Begins Administrator Interviews. Here’s our interview with Dan – The Deputy: Dan Biles, Jefferson County, AL.



Let’s begin the month the way we do each month.

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