September 2016 The Confidential: Texas, Georgia, and Pennsylvania

Posted on September 3, 2016


In the Confidential, ELGL Co-Founder Kent Wyatt bares his soul in bringing you important and interesting information from local government, pop culture, sports, and dad life. If you are wondering what Kent looks like, this should help.


Sunday, September 18

Just another day of football, a visit to the mall, and running/walking a few miles. A lot of competition for today’s laugh, cry, and think. Here’s what came out on top.


There was an easy choice. As with everything on the World Wide Web, there’s a slight chance that the video was staged. I don’t think it was and even if it was I enjoy someone going all-in by running into a window.

There was a time in life, between the ages of 8 and 14, that I might have acted like this guy. Thankfully having children provided perspective and a reminder that it’s only a game, and in this case, a game played by 18-year olds.


Yesterday we highlighted Penn State’s celebration of Joe Paterno. Very sad, bizarre decision. Despite pressure to reverse course, Penn State pressed on by honoring Paterno with videos throughout the game. Penn State’s opponent Temple decided to join the celebration by turning their backs during the Paterno videos.

If you agree with Penn State’s celebration, try reading this powerful article –  PENN STATE DOESN’T GET TO DECIDE JOEPA’S LEGACY: I KNOW.

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. I write this for myself, because I am the one who should decide when and if to forgive my uncle, and I also write this for the adult survivors, the men who were victimized by Sandusky.

I know now it wasn’t my fault. I’ve purged my shame and guilt. I believe in family, now more than ever, as I’ve got a family of my own. I’ve even forgiven my relatives, the ones who knew. But I’m not ready to honor them on a college football Saturday.

It’s not up to the Penn State community – the unaffected fan in the stadium’s third row – to decide how Paterno’s legacy should be treated. It’s not up to his widow, Sue Paterno, who persuaded the university to have this weekend.

It’s up to the men who were molested. They get to decide.


This cry comes from the place that you’d least expect – Texas high school football. We’ve seen Friday Night Lights (I don’t want your life) and read articles about Texas high school football stadiums that are bigger and better than some universities.

For the first time in memory, a Texas high school football team modeled the true meaning of sportsmanship.

Texas JV football team honors injured player with show of sportsmanship that costs them the game


Saturday, September 17

We’ve returned to a two-parent household. Kirsten has returned from the Mitten just in time for a rainy Saturday. In honor of Kirsten’s return, let’s take a minute to laugh, cry, and think.




Protein…protein…protein…It’s all the rage. I start each day with a protein shake (technically, it’s a breakfast shake from Nestle but protein shake sounds better). Sometime in my 38 years on earth, the protein lobby (note: I’m note sure if there is an actual Protein Lobby) won the war against my brain and convinced me that I needed protein, protein, and then, more protein.

Turns out, I might be an idiot. (Surprised?) A recent Quartz article – Wildly effective marketing has led Americans to eat way more protein than they actually need – walks us through the timeline of how and when protein started dominating our society.

In the 1990s, protein supplementation hit the mainstream market. Dan Duchaine, a bodybuilder, created a powder from whey, a byproduct from making cheese. Around the same time, A. Scott Connolly, an anesthesiologist, founded MET-Rx. His company developed a powder that contained the same amino acid composition as breast milk, originally intended to help hospitalized patients recover from atrophied muscle. But they realized they could exponentially grow their reach by changing the marketing. Soon, MET-Rx powders were sold in convenient packets, designed so that anyone could quickly whip up a muscle-building shake—a direct appeal to those who wanted to bulk up or get toned.

Another huge moment in the protein movement was the growth of the Atkins diet. When I was in college, I knew a girl who ate bacon as a snack because she was on the Atkins diet. That never seemed like a great idea, and probably not, great for the cholesterol level.



ESPN Game Day signs always produces a few laugh. Here’s my favorite so far.



Penn State is celebrating Joe Paterno today. I am sure he was a great father, friend, and coach but he also led a program where an assistant coach sexually assaulted numerous young boys. For this, the school chooses to ignore the optics of how this looks to the victims and their families. The New York Times takes a deep dive into Penn State’s decision making. Link: Why Is Penn State Celebrating Joe Paterno?



Friday, September 16

It’s Dad’s day. This morning I recorded a podcast with four local government professionals who each have children under the age of four. The conversation will be released as a podcast, but for now, you can watch the raw podcast recording. Apologies for the sweatiness at the beginning. My 4-year old daughter and I raced home from dropping our oldest daughter off at school. #DadLife is real.

Onto items that will make you laugh, cry, and think.



I met a number of kids at Elon University who grew up in Roanoke, VA. My lasting impression from being around the Roanoke natives was that they referred to their hometown as Roatoke, in honor of the abundance of marijuana that was consumed.

My opinion of Roanoke has grown over the years, especially after visiting the Roanoke area during our two-year stay in Richmond, VA. However, I was impressed (and somewhat surprised) when Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery selected Roanoke over Asheville and numerous other cities as their East Coast hub.

I did not know (nor did I expect) to be scrolling through Twitter and see Politico’s lovefest on the Roanoke area – Trains Built Roanoke. Science Saved It. A well-written article highlighting that Roanoke is transforming and doing so relatively quickly. My favorite paragraph,

When the Deschutes news broke, one industry publication declared Roanoke the new Asheville. Over at the Roanoke Times, Yancey’s editorial responded: “We’d gently beg to differ,” he wrote. “We’re the new Roanoke.”

I shouldn’t have been caught sleeping on Roanoke. Two Traeger Award winners – Chris Morrill and Timothy Martin – work in Roanoke and my fellow UNC MPA alum Marc Nelson works in Roanoke and has contributed to the economic development success in Roanoke. It’s time to say goodnight to Roatoke.



ed55ddf210f7de3183aee453c32a4e91My wife is a grammar snob. I said it. She can’t hold back in correcting text messages, emails, and tweets. I’m the receiver of most of her grammar snobiness which is why my greatest joy in life (more than my kids, dog, or bobblehead collection) is when I find one of her grammar miscues.

(I resisted the temptation to litter this entry with grammatical miscues. Harder than you think.)

New ammunition has arrived to the grammar snob community – Grammar Snobs Can Now Correct People’s iOS Text Messages. You thought the red pen ended with school, nope this app has the ability to bring back your worst English class memories.



This is a different cry than a police department befriending a boy with cancer. This is an embarrassment cry for America. You might not know that Olive Garden released 21,000 “Never Ending Pasta Pass” cards this week. Predictably the cards sold out in less than a second.  But, fear not over-eaters of pasta and supporters of gluttony, you have another outlet for landing one of these golden tickets,

Those unable to get one of the coveted passes during Thursday’s sale can make a bid for one on eBay, where 21 are being sold and one bid already tops $800. Proceeds of the auction being donated to the non-profit group Feeding America.

Not to rub it in, but while you are eating your organic, gluten free tofu bowls, 21,000 Americas will have access to unlimited pasta, soup, salad and soft drinks for seven weeks.


Thursday, September 15

Jim Valvano, former NC State basketball coach, famously said that each day you should “laugh, cry, and think“. The Confidential will try to highlight an article, event, or photo that will help you with your daily laugh, cry, and think.

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

Daily Cry


Today’s cry comes from the story of a 9-year old battling brain cancer and the police department that helped meet his wish.


Daily Laugh

I’ve always argued that “goofball” should be a bigger part of the English language. My man Kevin Harlan agrees which he demonstrated by dropping a “goofball” reference during the Monday night football broadcast.

Hear radio announcer Kevin Harlan’s epic call of a fan on the field during the Rams-49ers game

“Someone has run out on the field – some goofball in a hat. And a red shirt now he takes off the red shirt. He’s running down the middle by the 50, he’s at the 30 – he’s bare chested and banging his chest”

Daily Think

My annual pilgrimage to North Carolina was shot down this week. In a decision that should have been made months ago, the NCAA moved championship events from North Carolina because of HB2. Every March, I head to North Carolina for the NCAA Tournament which is usually held in Charlotte, Greensboro, or Raleigh. My dude’s weekend has been indefinitely postponed for the foreseeable future. North Carolina had bid on the rights to host the first rounds of the basketball tournament well into the 2020’s. Even if the state was to address HB2 tomorrow, their bid is contaminated. The situation has become an issue of stubborn politicians who refuse to budge despite jobs and tourism dollars fleeing from the state.

When I moved to Oregon nine years ago, I was very defensive when people thought I was from South Carolina. I quickly corrected them and explained that North Carolina was a much more progressive state. This is no longer a valid argument.

My love of North Carolina continues but my defense of the state (and UNC-Chapel Hill which has endured an academic scandal and an ongoing sexual assault issue) does not.


Monday, September 12

Street Fight Between the Whistles…

Can’t help but write a bunch of agenda item summaries after watching this video.


After the Media Goes Away

What happens in Ferguson, Baton Rogue, Baltimore, and other places after the media goes home and those impacted are left to figure out a path forward. The Washington Post takes us back to Falcon Heights, MN to chronicle the life of Diamond Reynolds, who live-streamed the aftermath of her boyfriend being killed by the police.

You are reminded that the people involved in such incidents have a family, bills to pay, and psychological wounds from witnessing a tragedy.

Almost everything in the apartment belonged to him. They had been dating on and off for four years as Diamond’s life went up and down, and recently they started to talk about marriage and decided to move in together. She and Dae’Anna had come to the apartment directly from a homeless shelter in Red Wing, Minn., their ninth move in less than a year, and by then their possessions fit into one suitcase each. Diamond was a high school dropout with no savings and two jobs at a motel and a dollar store; Castile was a supervisor in a school cafeteria, with a steady salary and a 401(k). He had bought their big-screen TV and their new bed. Diamond had always fallen for extroverts more like her, but Castile preferred to play Xbox and go to bed by midnight. “Isn’t it boring dating a mute button?” some of Diamond’s friends had teased her, but in Castile’s case she was ready for boring. He bought her gifts. He remembered what time to pick Dae’Anna up from day care.


Tweet of the Day


Sunday, September 11

Freakin’ Weekend


Another weekend, another hotel pool. We’re in Eugene for the Oregon vs. UVA football game, and a Wyatt weekend is incomplete without spending a few hours at the hot, over chlorinated hotel pool.

I learned my lesson, a few years ago, when we spent money and time on a family trip to Hawaii. Beautiful Hawaii. I can’t confirm its beauty because we became a fixture at the condo pool and city playground, basically what we could have done at any Super 8 on the mainland.

You’re in luck because my time supervising the little ones at the pool allows for time to work on this soon-to-be-award winning column.



Today is an odd day. The 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001 and the beginning of the NFL football season. Not exactly two things that go hand and hand. I would argue that 9/11 should be a national holiday. (That discussion for another day.) Hillary Clinton’s “overheating” episode has brought another distraction on a day that should be focused on remembering those impacted by 9/11.

Your Twitter will be full on 9/11 articles and pictures today. Before you read any of the articles, make time to read Politico’s ‘We’re the only plane in the sky.’ It’s the closest that you’ll get to understanding what it was like being the President on September 11, 2001. You’ll be reminded about living in a time before the Internet was a main source of information, in fact, you were probably better informed than the President in the early hours of the 9/11 attacks.

Ari Fleischer: As we were flying out of Sarasota, we were able to get some TV reception. They broke for commercial. I couldn’t believe it. A hair-loss commercial comes on. I remember thinking, in the middle of all this, I’m watching this commercial for hair loss.

On September 11, 2001, I had recently graduated from Elon University and was working as an admissions counselor at Elon. Part of my job was traveling in a white minivan to every high school in North Carolina. That particular day I was in the Gastonia area when traveling in between high schools, I heard Montel Williams (guess he had a radio show at the time) starting to talk about a small plane or helicopter hitting the World Trade Center. Upon arriving at the next high school, I found a room full of students and teachers who were aware of the events transpiring. Word slowly spread, and within 10 minutes, everyone was crowded around an old school TV cart.

After leaving the high school, I spent the rest of the day in a Hampton Inn. Alone. Unable to turn away from the television coverage. 15 years later, I found myself lounging at a hotel pool watching a 6-year old and 4-year old who are unaware of the events on 9/11. I hope that their generation does not experience an event on the scale on 9/11. I hope that teachers and their parents (that’s me) will find an meaningful way to convey the loss of life and how our country was transformed on September 11, 2001.


Saturday, September 10

Send Money!

The young kids love Venmo. Why….I have no idea. Venmo is PayPal with a different name and the young kids have fallen hook, line, and sinker. Jokes on them. Anyhow, the power of Venmo was demonstrated yesterday along with some people have too much extra money.

A kid held up a sign with his Venmo ID on ESPN and thousands of people sent him money



Slightly Inappropriate, But Best Sign of the Day



Wednesday, September 6


Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), and Tom (MySpace) — we are used to hearing from the founders of the tools that we use to communicate. One founder that we don’t hear a lot from is the founder of Slack. Care to name the founder of Slack? Stewart Butterfield (not exactly a CEO-type name) is the founder of Slack and he appeared on a recent edition of the Ezra Klein podcast. It’s a fascinating  interview because you learn that Stewart, who also founded Flickr, did not set out to create either company. He created Flickr and Slack during his endless pursuit to create a meaningful video game. He’s yet to create that meaningful video, but Stewart has impacted the world with two incredibly useful tools.

Full disclosure: The ELGL management team uses Slack. You can learn more about Slack in this webinar recording – Rewind: The 4-1-1 on Slack.


Now Hiring….Anyone, Anyone…

A unique problem is facing police departments across the country. They have money to hire new police officers, but they can’t find the candidates to fill these positions. Inadequate pay, the dangers of the job, the tensions between police departments and the community, and the multi-layered hiring process are a few reasons why the struggle is real for a growing number of police departments.


Listen to the experience of the Portland, OR Police Department: OPB’s Think Out Loud with Police Chief Mike Marshman


Prize Alert

“I like Wanna Be That Song” and “Drunk On Your Live” by Brett Eldredge — Shelby Teufel submitted these songs for the dynamite “Fall 2016” playlist that I am compiling. For sharing her musical favorites, Shelby will receive the finest sticker ever created.


You can be like Shelby, if you tweet or Facebook your favorite song, you will also receive the exclusive #CityHallSelfie sticker. Additional details on my quest for the perfect playlist under the “Just One Song” blog entry below.


Spoiler Alert




Monday, September 4

Labor Day

It’s Labor Day! Let’s celebrate with a lil’ 9 to 5 and our picture of the day courtesy of Matt Yager’s Buzz.

The Washington Post gets into the Labor Day spirit by updating us on the state of labor unions. Takeaways: The relevance of unions is shrinking slowly.

The state of the unions: Membership is up, but density still drops



Double Dongle in the Box

MashTalk, one of my favorite tech podcasts, added to my vocabulary by introducing “dongle in the box” during their last podcast. (They also managed to drop “double dongle in the box”) What is a dongle? It’s not what you think. A dongle, in this instance, was used in discussing potential changes to the iPhone specifically the rumored removal of the headphone jack.

We turn to the most reliable source on the World Wide Web, Wikipedia for the definition of a dongle.

A dongle is a small piece of hardware that connects to another device to provide it with additional functionality. In relation to computing, the term is primarily associated with hardware providing a copy protection mechanism for commercial software—in which the dongle must be attached to the system that the software is installed on in order for it to function.

The folks at MashTalk believe that a “dongle in the box” will be included with each purchase of a new iPhone. The dongle will appease the masses that do not yet own wireless headphones.

Do yourself a favor – try to drop “dongle” in a sentence today. You’ll be a better person for it.


Birds Meet Earthquake

This answer to “what happens to birds when an earthquake strikes in Oklahoma” is answered in this handy-dandy visual.



In last couple of month, my Google Alerts has been delivered a number of these type of stories – Fourth female department head leaves Lynden, citing city administrator’s behavior.

Like Salminen’s letter, the lawsuit, in part, accuses Martin of dismissing the women’s work. Martin, the lawsuit says, often would not accept the work until a male employee reviewed and signed off on it. The lawsuit also says Martin would interrupt or ignore female employees in meetings but would hear ideas from male colleagues “with interest and enthusiasm.”

Once you get past the disbelief of these type of situations occurring, you get to the point where you hope that this is a sign of women feeling comfortable enough to report inappropriate and discriminatory contact at work.


Back to School

The Wyatt girls are ready for the first day of school tomorrow, for some reason, they’ve grown tired of hanging out with their local government focused parents.

I overcame the big day last year when my oldest daughter started kindergarten. It sucked. It sucked in the weeks leading up to the beginning of kindergarten. It sucked when I dropped her off the first day. Tears may have been shed. That’s an unconfirmed rumor. The whole miserable process of your child starting school which, to me, symbolizes the end of the innocence will replay beginning next August when I mentally begin preparing for my youngest child to enter kindergarten.

Until then, let’s rejoice with British Twitter humor about back-to-school.

British Twitter provides hilarious guidance on first day back to school


Job Alert



Saturday, September 2

Busting into September Like…

College football is upon us which makes the Confidential very, very happy. We’re spending the glorious weekend in our new favorite beach Pacific City, OR. The place has everything – a brewery on the beach (Pelican Brewery), huge sand dunes (Cape Kiwanda) for climbing, wild but friendly bunnies, whales swimming in the ocean, cable TV, and a reasonably reliable internet connection.

Extra props to our hotel – Inn at Cape Kiwanda for complimentary happy hour on Friday and Saturday. While my kids polished off cookies and cider, Kirsten and I tasted the Pinor Noir which came from a real bottle not a box.

Anyway, with the kids nestled in for nap time, let’s begin the September Confidential which has us like…..

P.S: Kylie, we haven’t forgotten that you stole our theme music.


Just One Song

As I do with the changing of every season, I create a new playlist via Apple Music. I have access to any song for $10 a month. I have stumped myself on new music for the “Fall 2016” playlist so I am soliciting help from the award-winning ELGL members. Tweet or email me with a newer song that I should add to my playlist. With such a creative playlist name, the playlist is bound to be incredible.


Losing Hope in Humanity

Interested in losing faith in mankind? I have the article for you – Inside the Republican creation of the North Carolina voting bill dubbed the ‘monster’ law. And yes, this is 2016 not 1916.


Episode 205: Ezra Klein

Longform produces a great podcast. As a ran/jogged/walked on the beach, I listened to the episode with former Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein. He started the Wonkblog at the Post which employs our favorite current Post reporter and #ELGL14 speaker Emily Badger.

Ezra details the decision to leave the Post and how he landed at Vox after considering numerous offers. I am still unsure with what Vox is or does. Note to myself and you: I researched it (googled it) and learned that Vox is a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news. Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business. I think I knew more about Vox before I read their mission statement.

The podcast is worth a listen because you will gain insight into the changing media landscape, the sometime inaccurate world of journalism, and which media outlets will exist in 2020.


Bumper Sticker Material


Some people love to read. The people in Pacific City must really, really love to read. I spotted this sticker on the beach. If this doesn’t motivate you to hole up in your house and read a book or two, then you probably aren’t a book guy or gal.


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Executive Director, Government Finance Officers Association

Field Auditor, State of Massachusetts

City Manager, Spokane Valley, WA

Downtown Revitalization Manager, Amarillo, TX


Smooth Operator

When life kicks you in the backside, you can be thankful that you aren’t this guy.


Transaction Wire

The job listings for local government positions grows each time we compile a new Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. The next five year will be full of turnover caused by retirement which will lead to cities taking a chance on some folks with less experience. If you are working in local government or want to work in local government, hold tight because you will be in high demand.

On that note, a couple of Portland area hires were announced this week:

Oregon City picks Phil Lewis as new community services director

Ann Ober offered position of Milwaukie city manager


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