THE ELGL in OH-IO: Circlin’ Back

Posted on March 3, 2018

ELGL is representin’ in Columbus, O-HI-O at the 2018 OCMA Winter Conference and ICMA Midwest Regional Conference from March 7 to 9. Jennifer Teal, Stacy Schweikhart, & Kent Wyatt are leading two sessions & ELGL’s “Pins & Pints” receptionIn this blog post, Kent writes about Ohio, the conference, and other random thoughts. 

Link: Join ELGL

Link: Photo Album from Ohio

March 9, 2018

Circle Back…

We’re circling back on the resources that we mentioned during the presentation.
Filling the Talent Gap – Slides

Good Government Book Club

Expand Your Candidate Pool – Unlimited Jobs Postings with ELGL ($300/year)


Youth leagues are becoming a revenue generator for an increasing number of cities. Check out this recent Real Sports segment on the trend.

Clogged Pipelines

We’re talkin’ about pipelines this morning, talent pipelines….

The FBI must be scared to battle head-to-head with us at the 10:45 slot. Score one for ELGL. For those of you at the session reading this (why aren’t you listening to the presentation), if you are reading this after the presentation, thanks for being polite and waiting until the presenters are finished.
As promised (or as I’ll promise in about an hour), here are links to the resources that we discussed. Biggest takeaway… start bringing fun and true employee engagement into the workplace.
City of Aurora SHIFT Thinking
SHIFT Next Generation Workplace Project
Tigard YOUniversity – contact Brandi Leos

Tweet of the Day

It’s Official!

North Carolina is first in flight.

March 8, 2018

In the Pacific Northwest, the clouds spit rain every day. In Columbus, the clouds bring snow flurries throughout the day. It’s always snowing but never sticking.
We’ve finished our 1st dinner at Ringside Cafe in downtown Columbus. Our 2nd dinner is coming at the awards banquet and 3rd dinner arrives at “Pins and Pints.”

Game Time!

HUGE thanks to POLCO and Strategic Government Resources for sponsoring tonight’s “Pins & Pints.”

POLCO is sponsoring the games at tonight’s event. Check out their work. Chad Doran, City of Appleton, WI, can share his experience in using POLCO.

Let Me Take a Selfie, Selfie…

Storytelling with Data

Check out the final presentation. As promised, here are the follow items.
Tigard State of the City

We are not throwing away our shot. 
We are not throwing away our shot. 
City expenses outpace revenues from property tax 
So we might have to make some cutbacks. 

Podcasting in Local Government

Podcast: A Bottomless Pit of Ideas – LocalGov Podcasting


First In Flight

Leaving this here for my Ohio friends….

On December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright soared into history as inventors of the first successful airplane, which they called the Flyer. Since then, their “first in flight” status has been commemorated on the North Carolina license plate and in countless history books.

Let’s Rock….

It’s time for our first session. It’ll go a lil’ something like this…..


International Women’s Day

We’re recognizing the game-changing work of women in ELGL.

Getting Women & Girls Involved in LocalGov with Commissioner Denise Driehaus

#13Percent: Creating Added Value through Cross-Functional Participation

Bystander or Upstander: Harassment in the Local Government Workplace

From My Perspective: #13Percent by Bonnie Svrcek

Glacial Pace: State of Women Managers in Local Government

Her Name is Governor Brown

Our Missing Leaders by Mark Funkhouser, Publisher of GOVERNING

Rewind: City of Dayton, OH Take the Lead on Leave

Advice from The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Me and My Host Mom

My host mom (Stacy Schweikart) won the day yesterday by guiding me through the sights of Columbus. (Note: I went with host mom since Stacy rejected all other ideas.)
Noodles were also a big winner on Wednesday. Skyline Chili has to be one of the world’s biggest purchaser of noodles. Noodles at Skyline Chili are used as casually as salt and pepper at other restaurants.
Props to the friendly Skyline Chili staff. They overheard that I was from Portand where everything is allegedly farm-to-table, organic, and gluten-free. The Skyline staff made a hard pitch that their ingredients are fresh and made the same day. I didn’t push back on this one.
Fun Fact: Skyline Chili restaurants are invading the Sunshine State in the coming months. No plans for expansion to the great Northwest. I find it interesting that Ohio and Kentucky are the only states that worship at the plate of Skyline Chili. Apparently, they made a failed foray into Michigan.
Overall, I give an “A” to the chili and friendly staff and a “C” to the noodles at Skyline. Stacy and I racked up a $10 bill. For $20, you could probably eat yourself into a coma.

Back to the Buzzwords

You responded (loudly) with the most overused words and phrases in government…

Here’s the list.

  1. Accessible
  2. Accountability
  3. Alignment
  4. Amplify
  5. Area(s) of opportunity
  6. At the end of the day
  7. Bandwidth
  8. Benchmarking
  9. Buy-in
  10. Citizens
  11. Collective impact
  12. Collaboration
  13. Data-driven
  14. Deep dive
  15. Early wins
  16. Economic diversity
  17. Ecosystem
  18. EED (Equitable economic development)
  19. Efficiency
  20. Effectiveness
  21. Empowerment
  22. Engagement
  23. Good, bad, or indifferent
  24. Historic city
  25. Human capital
  26. Inclusive
  27. Innovation
  28. Iterative process
  29. KPIs (Key performance indicators)
  30. Leadership
  31. Live, work, and play
  32. Loop back
  33. Low-hanging fruit
  34. Millienial
  35. More with less
  36. Move the needle
  37. NIMBY
  38. On the other hand
  39. Open for business
  40. Outreach
  41. Paradigm
  42. Put it in the parking lot
  43. Ping
  44. Public outcry
  45. Quality of life
  46. Regionalism
  47. Resilent
  48. Root cause analysis
  49. Sense of place
  50. Silver tsunami
  51. Smart city
  52. Stewardship
  53. Storytelling
  54. Structural imbalance
  55. Sustainable funding source
  56. Synergy
  57. To be honest
  58. To piggy-back off of what so-and-so was saying…
  59. Transparency
  60. Walkablity
  61. What I hear you saying
  62. Win-win

Bingo with Buzzwords

Ellory Monks from the Atlas Marketplace tweeted this gem….

Dinner Time, Dinner Time….

Thanks to OCMA for a wonderful Italian dinner last night. A number of ELGL members – Charlotte Colley, Don Buczek, and others – were in the house. I feel like we need to start an ELGL chant to break out everytime more than one member is in the room.

March 7, 2018

It’s official! I am in the friendly skies headed toward the ATL and then Columbus. I haven’t landed yet but my companion Stacy Schweikhart (not sure if that’s the appropriate term for ELGL member who is picking me up from the airport. We’re both married with kids so I think companion works, I also considered buddy, pal, bestie, friendster, host, significant other, and CEO of Skyline Chili propoganda.)

Back to our minor skermish, Stacy recommended that I pack a jacket. I packed a hoodie. In my mind, jacket and hoodie are interchangeable terms. Stacy disagrees. There’s now a 50% chance that I don’t get picked up from the airport.

Tweet of the Day

Mt. Rushmore of Government Buzzwords

Leigha Boling, City of Topeka, KS, listed her favorites in an ELGL article posted yesterday.

  1. Transparency
  2. Low-hanging fruit
  3. Deep-dive
  4. Economic diversity

Josh Dukelow added engagement and sustainable funding source.
So, I thought I’d share my top four….

  1. Efficiency
  2. Effectiveness – These first two are the all-time champions. You can’t make it to the morning smoke break without someone uttering these words.
  3. What I hear you saying
  4. Early wins

I’d welcome your favorites. Let’s see if we can 64 different ones and we’ll create a bracket to determine the champion.

Separation Is In the Preparation

The best way to prepare for a road trip is reading the headlines in the local paper. Here’s what I found in The Columbus Dispatch.

After I pulled my eyes away from those headlines, I looked at what’s hot nationally.

Ohio Meets GovLove

While in O-HI-O, I might as well podcast, but first, I should find a guest. If you have ideas for people to interview at the OCMA Conference or someone who works in the Columbus area, send me an email – [email protected]. If I don’t hear from anyone, I’ll be forced to record a podcast about Ohio’s favorite jelly bean flavor.


I am fasting today to prepare for dinner. If anyone wants to cause a major traffic jam on the roads highlighted below, feel free.

March 4, 2018

I am reading Daniel Pink’s new book, “When.” That’s right, I read books. What I’ve learned from the book is that I need to complete any writing assignment before noon. I am considered a “lark” – early to bed, early to rise. Unforunately, and this is a spoiler, Einstein and the majority of creative geniuses are owls which means that they accomplish their work in the evening.
This is a long way of saying that you should tamper down expectations for this blog post.

Storytelling with Data
Since most of you cannot be in Columbus with me eating spaghetti/hot dogs/chili, I am enlisting your help. I am finalizing my presentation and I’d love examples of how you or others are tackling these two topics…
Visualization – I am looking for examples of data turned into attractive visuals. An example that I have so far is from Macon-Bibb, Georgia. Props to Chris Floore and his team.

Retaining employees – What is your organization doing to keep the employees that you have? City of Aurora, CO applies the SHIFT prinicple and City of Durham, NC offers City College for new employees.
If you can help, please shoot me an email – [email protected]. or slide into my Twitter DMs.

Who Do You Think You Are…

ELGL is hosting a bowling event on Thursday night. I am a horrible bowler. Both of my daughters can beat me. My wife owns a bowling shirt (enough said). My bowling strategy focuses not on striking pins, but how fast my ball travels down the lane. I also bowl fast. I want to get those bowling shoes off my precious feet ASAP.
Anyway, I witnessed Stacy bowl at #ELGL17 Detroit. I didn’t capture it on video but I found a YouTube that closely resembles Stacy attacking the pins.

Fingers crossed that Jen Teal is a calmer bowler.


The #BigLocalGovBaller recognition returns. As you know, it’s the highest honor in local government. It’s like the “Skull and Bones” secret society at Yale University, except it’s not secret and members do not become president.
St. Louis and Chapel Hill held Supper Clubs this week. Pictures do not exist from the Chapel Hill event, or perhaps, they accidently checked the five-day development option at the CVS Photo Center.
A picture exists from the St. Louis gathering and it’s impressive…..

Huge thanks to Sarah Gamblin-Luig (also the selfie champion) for organizing and promoting. My only gripe is Nelly didn’t attend.

March 3, 2018

Let the preparations begin! I guess the preparations technically began last week when Stacy posted this poll in the ELGL50 Facebook group.

I am down for a tasty deluxe wet burrito anytime of the day. I am not down for a deluxe chili burrito wet from Skyline Chili. I make it a rule to avoid food items that look like this…

Complicating the situation, this item picture above is not exactly something you can push around the plate to make it look like you eat some of it. There is literally no room on that plate, except for that poor piece of lettuce hangin’ on for dear life.
Also, in my detailed research, I stumbled on a troubling advertisement. What exactly happened here.

Script Ohio

THE University of Ohio State is not located in downtown Columbus. This is news to me but everyone else apparently knew this. This will not stop me from pregaming for the conference by watching YouTube videos of “Script Ohio.”

Details, Details

Here’s how you can join THE ELGL fun in Columbus. (Note: I – THE Kent Wyatt – will be capitializing THE in honor of the self-proclaimed THE Ohio State University.)

Pins & Pints with ELGL & SGR Reception – Reserve Your Spot Here

Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. 
Join us at THE Pins Mechanical Company for ping pong, shuffleboard, giant jenga, pinball, foosball & duckpin bowling. $5 Reservation Fee; includes drinks and food, plus games.

Conference Session: Filling THE Talent Gap
Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. 
Presenters: Kent Wyatt, Co-founder ELGL and Senior Management Analyst, Tigard, OR, Jennifer Teal, J Teal Consulting, and Stacy Schweikhart, ELGL Board of Directors and Community Information Manager, Kettering, Ohio)

Conference Session: Beyond the Buzzwords: The Practical Application of Data and Storytelling
Friday, March 9, 2018 from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Presenters: Kent Wyatt, Co-founder ELGL and Senior Management Analyst, Tigard, OR, Ben Kittleson, Jennifer Teal, J Teal Consulting, Stacy Schweikhart, ELGL Board of Directors and Community Information Manager, Kettering, OH)

ELGL Ohio Content

ELGL’s membership in Ohio continues to grow. Our Ohio members are contributed valuable content throughout the years, including

On the most recent GovLove episode, James Hardy, City of Akron, Ohio, discussed his role as chief of staff. You might know James from his role in the band, Crimson Rain.

Close window