The June Confidential: The Really, Really, Really Big One

Posted on June 19, 2016

In the Confidential, ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt brings you all the news and happenings that you probably shouldn’t know about.

June 30

Welcome to the Holiday Weekend



The Really, Really, Really Big One

Some of you, especially those in the Pacific Northwest, are still shaking from last year’s New Yorker article, The Really Big One. The article depicts everything west of I-5 falling off the map because of an earthquake followed by a tsunami. If you enjoyed the article or possess an odd fascination with destruction, check out the Longform podcast with Kathryn Schulz, the journalist behind The Really Big One. You’ll learn about Kathryn’s NW roots and what it’s like to stand in front of an elementary school classroom that would quickly disappear by an event anywhere close to the one predicted with the Cascadia fault line. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, keep listening to Pardon My Take and their interview with Death.

P.S: I had no idea that this was going to be such a dark entry.



What took so long for local government to parody Adele’s “Hello?” We’ll blame it on global warming and/or Zika. Fear not though, the City of St. Paul, MN has broken the drought with this ditty.


Stickers, so much fun!

Perhaps, Twitter launched their sticker feature a long time ago. I just stumbled upon it today and proceeding to spend 20 minutes plastering one image with a myriad of stickers.


Link: Now You Can Use Twitter Stickers to Search Your Photos


Ashes Ashes We All Fall Down

Admit it… love a good ol’ slip and fall.

Link: Pittsburgh Pirates radio announcer falls out of chair on live TV


Daily Spill

The playground of the future is here – A typical American playground is easy to picture: a swing set, monkey bars, a plastic slide, maybe a low-level jungle gym. But imagine a playground made of rainbow nylon cord crocheted into a massive hammock-like construction. Or one where kids can hammer nine-penny nails into junkyard forts and slap paint onto loose pieces of piping.

Watch 6,000 Years of Urbanization – Max Galka at Metrocosm has taken the most comprehensive dataset on cities and made it come alive in a new video.

Doctors issue warning about LED streetlights – Municipalities are replacing existing streetlights with efficient and long-lasting LEDs to save money on energy and maintenance. Although the streetlights are delivering these benefits, the AMA’s stance reflects how important proper design of new technologies is and the close connection between light and human health.


June 28

Staring Right Back at You

At the College World Series, this boy has stolen the show. I’m working on this look for the next time I get airtime on public access television.

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Link: Kid Hilariously Trolls ESPN Broadcast During TCU-Coastal Carolina


Daily Spill

Redwood City: Assistant city manager hired. Kimbra McCarthy, a deputy city manager in Mountain View, has been hired as an assistant city manager for Redwood City, according to a statement from Meghan Horrigan, of the Redwood City city manager’s office.

Opinion: Arroyo Grande city manager a bad fit. Only recently, she took a page out of Mayor Jim Hill’s playbook, where he has had some neighborhood “coffee with the mayor” chats. Thompson held a couple of “coffee with the city manager” where she’s met with a handful of residents and business owners to discuss their concerns about the city.

Vallejo city manager’s pay ranks 3rd in Bay Area, group says. The city is ranked 76th statewide in employee pay, while Vallejo is the 13th highest and Vacaville 22nd, according to Transparent California.

Late city manager named to hall of fame – “Tom was a tireless advocate for cities and a fierce protector of municipal home rule,” said GMA Executive Director Lamar Norton. “Whenever a significant policy issue emerged that required careful thought and analysis, GMA staff was quick to call on Tom for his insight and advice. And he answered the call.”

EDITORIAL: Right time, right leader – City Manager Augustus deserves high marks for performance. Perhaps most emblematic of the city manager’s impact has been the vision behind the WRA’s Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan. It was unanimously approved two weeks ago by the council and praised for the transparency and collaboration of its development. The only criticism was that it didn’t encompass an even larger area.


Do City Councils Hate Cats?

It appears the answer is “yes.” It figures that the long-lived conspiracy cast by elected officials toward cats would end at some point.

“That cat doesn’t have anything to do with whether somebody can have their puppy at City Hall. That cat doesn’t hurt anybody. … The council just went out and did this on their own because they don’t like cats.”


Suburbia Divided

Suburban families and hipster Portlandia residents rejoice. The Trader Joe’s vs. Whole Foods debate is finally being shown the proper respect. I have no grocery store in this fight but I must warn you to avoid buying flowers from Trader Joe’s. My attempt at expressing love to my wife through a floral arrangement at Trader Joe’s was a dud, unless you are a lady who likes semi-conscious flowers.

When I think about the best popular grocery stores in the United States, two immediately come into my head: Whole Foods, the organic-friendly mecca of clean eating, and Trader Joe’s, the charismatic and fun-loving grocery that feels more like a neighborhood playground than a store.

 I love shopping at both stores, but I decided to look as objectively as possible at their plusses and drawbacks to determine which one comes out on top. Here is the breakdown.


City Council Chronicles

Let’s check in with our second favorite website, City Council Chronicles. Here are the highlights from a recent Lebanon, IN council meeting review.

Youthful Councilor Corey Kutz wanted to know how the monied classes were living in Lebanon’s rival city. “What did the amenities look like? I know they’re maybe fetching $1,000 [per apartment] in Zionsville, but are they getting a pool? Are they getting a gym?”

The developer waved off the Z-town envy. “We’re in ‘downtown.’ We’re not sitting out in a corn field,” he slammed Zionsville, which is a puny little burg known only for [find literally anything interesting]. “We’ve got a historic gymnasium. You can’t compete with that!”

Since, you have a few minutes. Check out our interview with the creator of City Council Chronicles. Link: ELGL Live! with Michael Karlik.


June 25

Blake Bortles


It’s the greatest book club ever, the Blake Bortles Wikipedia Reading Club. My favorite podcast, “Pardon My Take” has taken book club to another level. In the first episode, Bortles and the PMT crew discuss “snow” and “the 1936 US rowing team.” True confession: I found myself laughing out loud as a ran/jogged five miles today. (Had to sweat out the fried cheese curds.)

Fun Fact: It’s a myth that every snow flake is different. (Two snowflakes may actually be alike.)


Daily Spill

Meet Hood River County administrator candidates on June 29 – The five county administrator candidates include….

Santa Ana city manager kept romance a secret, report says – A private investigation of City Manager David Cavazos initiated by the city found that he failed to disclose a romantic relationship with a Santa Ana employee until a year after the fact, and that his complaint of sexual harassment by a councilwoman was meritless.

Shawnee hires new assistant city manager – At 15, he took part-time jobs with the small town’s parks and recreation department. By college, he was assisting city officials with opening a new aquatics center and putting together information about his county’s sales tax initiative.

Retiring city manager leaves Fredericksburg on sound fiscal footing – Today, Fredericksburg has a lively downtown dining scene and stores galore in Central Park. It also enjoys a AA+ bond rating, which Cameron said was something that he was “especially proud of” when he announced last September that he would retire June 30.

Austin council gives City Manager Marc Ott a $22,000 raise – Ott notified the council Monday that he is a finalist to run a prestigious association and lobby group, the International City/County Management Association, for government officials in Washington, D.C.

Departing Hickory City Manager tops salary list of 12 cities at $169K – The city’s current manager Mick Berry – who will be departing the city offices to succeed the retiring Tom Lundy as the Catawba County Manager beginning July 5 – earned $169,148.25 in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

For the mayor-elect, a hyphen separates power and preference – He’s not letting that official distinction stop him from an all-out push to have a big part in a crucial upcoming vote: the hiring of the new city manager.

How much do O.C.’s public city workers earn? More than $145,000 on average – Orange County’s public city employees earned $144,817 on average last year, amounting to a 3 percent raise from the year prior, according to data released Tuesday by an open-records advocacy group.

City manager: Racial disparity, satisfaction with police continued problem – I’m “excited about our path forward, but there are some storm clouds ahead,” Matthes said to a crowd of about 100 city leaders and residents gathered at City Hall.


June 19

“Be Proud of What You Do, Each and Every Day”

These are words to live by, and were delivered by Diana Moffat when she announced her resignation as the Local Government Personnel Institute (LGPI) Executive Director. In her resignation speech, Diana alludes to the turmoil between LGPI and the League of Oregon Cities (LOC).

Many of you know me as a very strong and confident leader and lawyer who advocates for management labor rights.

But now I want to ask how many of you have ever seen me cry? Ok, maybe a few.

Well, I must tell you that now you will all see me cry. For today, in case you had not yet heard, I must tell you that I will be leaving LGPI. After nine and a half years with all of you, and with LGPI, I never thought that it would come to this. But it has. My goals, my standards, and my vision are not in alignment with the priorities of the League of Oregon City’s Director, Mike McCauley. I find that our disagreements have become a source of punishment to my employees, to myself and to you, my members. They are limiting my ability, as your Director, to provide the types of services which I believe that you need and deserve.

I am proud of what we have built (and yes, I say “WE”), and no one can ever take that away. Be proud of what you do, each and every day, just as I have been proud of what all of you do – the pressure, the limited budgets, the challenges. I will NEVER forget you. It has been my HONOR to serve you!

I want to thank each of my staff for being the most AWESOME team that a girl could ever ask to work with! You all are amazing. I will think of you, and miss you, each and every day.

And, just know that I am just down the road…a bit South off of I5 at the Speer Hoyt law firm, the Local Government Law Group!

So with that said, let me wipe my eyes, and I think one of my Board members has a few words to say.

Diane’s complete speech can be viewed here.


Why the Rift?

As for the root of the rift between the LOC and LGPI, one of the reasons involved office space.

Mike McCauley reported that the Local Government Personnel Institute (LGPI) will be moving out of the LOC space they have been leasing since 2008. He requested authorization to spend up to $25,000 from the Building/Equipment Fund for: possible tenant improvements; minor staff office repair/painting; professional office leasing assistance for the LGPI space; and architectural concept development.

The first sentence is the important one. The rest of the paragraph was included in the meetings of an LOC Board Meeting in February 2013.


June 17

The $1 Million Administrative Fee

Last month, we told you about trouble at the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) – Kyle Awesome, incredibly high staff turnover, and the lack of success of the LOC legislative agenda. This resulted in a wave of off-the-record comments from current and former League of Oregon Cities staff. Each told a similar story about the work environment and practices that they found questionable. Today we focus on LOC’s relationship with the City/County Insurance Services (CIS), and in particular, the $1 million administrative fee.

4-1-1 on CIS

The CIS Trust was formed in 1981 by the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) and Association of Oregon Counties (AOC). Over 98% of Oregon cities and over 55% of counties participate in one or more CIS program. The LOC is governed by Executive Committee and Directors. The Executive Committee is comprised solely of elected officials; only 9 of the 12 directors are elected officials. The remaining three directors are city managers.

Why Should You Care?

Cities must have an active LOC membership to join the CIS insurance pool. This has resulted in the LOC’s high renewal rate. A number of cities who do not find value in their LOC membership would like to take their $30,000 annual fee to LOC and use it buy equipment, fund FTE, purchase supplies, and other items that provide more of a benefit to the community. Ultimately, the LOC has them trapped because buying insurance outside of CIS would prove too costly.

A local government in Oregon noted, “many of our smaller jurisdiction feel they are forced by circumstance to participate in CIS the insurance system offered by the League of Oregon Cities.”

“Administrative Fee”

The LOC collects an membership fee from cities. LOC membership is a requirement for CIS insurance coverage. Big deal, right? It becomes a bigger deal when you learn about the annual “administrative fee” that CIS pays the LOC. In FY 13-14, the administrative fee was $925,447 which accounted for roughly 30% of the LOC budget. An annual 3% increase to the administrative fee has brought the total to roughly $1 million a year.

Even while local governments were mired in the Great Recession, LOC was collecting this administrative fee from CIS. Even in years when cities did not not receive insurance credits from CIS, the LOC received their “administrative fee” check from CIS.

A number of local governments have argued that the administrative fee is inappropriate and the money should be returned to the local governments. The LOC administrative fee is not illegal. The debate is whether the fee is an underhanded approach to collect a hidden fee for financially strapped local governments.

Cities have a convincing argument that the LOC is collecting the administrative fee at an excessively high rate. Cities would argue that instead of funding 30% of the LOC budget that CIS should be returning the money to their customers – local governments – to lower premium costs.

Resistance to the Administrative Fee

The administrative fee has not been embraced by everyone.  In recent years, the LOC applied pressure to the Local Government Personnel Institute (LGPI) to return more than 10% of LGPI revenues to the LOC. The previous director of LGPI refused to comply because it would have meant raising LGPI membership costs, or hourly rates. Also, LGPI members, without their knowledge, would have been funding the LOC, which they were already doing through the LOC dues.

The result of LGPI’s refusal – the LGPI Executive Director and much of their staff was forced out. The former LGPI Executive Director shared her side of the story at an LGPI Conference before she left.

We’ll dig into the details of the forced demise of LGPI in the coming weeks. We’ll also highlight numerous complaints about the work environment at the LOC.

Final note: thanks to those who have warned us against speaking out about the LOC. We apologize to those who the LOC has pressured to discontinue their support of ELGL as a result of our post in the May Confidential. 

Second final note: We are aware of the negative comments made about ELGL at today’s LOC meeting. Thanks to those who passing along those enduring comments.


Repost: Trouble at LOC?

May 13

Trouble at League of Oregon Cities

Full Disclosure: The League of Oregon Cities (LOC) has openly expressed their disdain about ELGL since our inception. Is this my crazy speculation? No. Current and former LOC staff have told us that LOC leadership forbids employees from joining ELGL or attending ELGL events. The reason for the disdain? I have no idea. We have never spoken to LOC leadership and have never written or talked publicly about the LOC.

It’s worth noting that we have working relationships with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Texas Municipal League, and Association of Washington Cities (AWC) . In fact, for the second year in a row, we’ll host an ELGL Day at the AWC Conference.

It’s important to note that Oregon City/County Management Association (OCCMA) is extremely supportive of our efforts. OCCMA is an organizational member. They have invited us to speak at their conferences and we’ve co-sponsored events.

Back to the story at hand, an ex-LOC employee has exposed what most involved in Oregon local government already know – LOC management is vindictive, self serving “leadership.” Here’s the entire LinkedIn post written by Kim Shook, former LOC employee:

League of Oregon Cities loses another dedicated staff…

I would hire this young lady in a heart beat if I had a position! So if anyone needs a dedicated amazing administrative professional who is an incredible team player, has great office skills and personality to boot!! please contact me for her information…Kristie Marecek is leaving her position with the League of Oregon Cities after 11 years. Another dedicated amazing cheerleader and supporter of cities in Oregon bites the dust. Not sure when the “leaders” of that regime will finally get the boot!! I was her, as many of you well know, a few years ago (ironically I gave my notice 4 years ago today!!). No one deserves what she, I, and so many others have been thru under that regime. Cities in Oregon have lost some amazing, dedicated people because of the vindictive, self serving “leadership” they have entrusted that organization to. I absolutely loved my job and the service that I provided to cities around Oregon, the friends I made, many of whom I still have today. It tore me up to leave but it was the best thing that I could have ever done for myself. Another ex-employee and I were just talking the other night about how amazingly happy we are being able to get together and enjoy our friendship as opposed to getting together and vomiting on each other about our frustrations and disappointments about the league, how poorly people are treated there, and our total disgust of what they have done to so many good people. No one deserves that crap , and just remember Kristie what comes around goes around, God sees all.

We have enough problems in local government that we cannot afford dysfunctional state associations. The dysfunction can be seen by simply looking at the growing number of job openings at the LOC.

Not only is the dysfunction causing staff to leave, its wrecking vital resources for Oregon cities. The Local Government Personnel Institute – LGPI –  (which is part of LOC) was blown up a few years ago. On the way out, the outgoing LGPI Executive Director pointed to vindictive, self serving “leadership” as her reason for leaving. The Oregon Municipal Electric Utilities Association separated from the LOC after the LOC tried to impose unreasonable financial burdens.

This is great, Kent, but why does the LOC tout a 99% renewal rate. Good question, simple answer. In order for Oregon cities to participate in the City/County Insurance Services (CIS) insurance pool they must be LOC members. A mid-sized city pays $35,000 in LOC dues annually. It would cost more than that to either self-insure or find another insurance carrier. Just ask the cities of Lake Oswego and Keizer.

My question is why hasn’t the LOC board controlled the situation. Former staff are criticizing the LOC publicly and privately. Cities are complaining about the lack of value in LOC membership. Members of the Oregon General Assembly talk about the ineffectiveness of the LOC lobbying, and these sentiments are supported by the legislative scoreboard which shows no major legislative victory for the LOC in recent years. The current property tax system continues to strangle cities with no relief in sight.

Just add this situation to the growing number of challenges facing local government.


June 16

Do You Like Yourself — Really, Really Like Yourself?


Great news for all of us who think that we’re funny and informative on Twitter. We can now retweet ourselves. I haven’t created a tweet yet that is worthy of my own RT but I am certainly trying. I’ve set the over/under on Sunday for whether I will have RT’d myself by then. (Gambling advice: I like the under.)

Since you asked, I am not a big fan of this new feature. I am mainly not a big fan but I know that I will overuse it and RT at least 50% of my own material. And yes, this is very pathetic and sad but you aren’t allowed to judge since it’s Father Day month.

Link: You can now retweet yourself, because you’re good enough, smart enough, and you like you


Twitter Graphs

I love these. I wish my whole life was full of Twitter maps. I could see real-time the other Dad’s who are yelling at their kids, the other people expressing displeasure at the new credit card chip, and and the other local government professionals who shake their head when a co-worker mentions “the Google.”


My Gift List

Please tell me that you’ve not bought my Father’s Day gift. I found an item that triumphs all other items on my list. I need to own this and you can be the one to buy it for me. For $5,000 you can own one of Stephen Curry’s old, dirty, used mouthguards. Note: This price has risen to $10K. I am well worth that price tag.



June 15

Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day week which means Dad’s have a free pass to do virtually anything except wearing jean short and knee high socks. An NFL player used his free pass to…..get fat.

Overweight Bills running back says fiancee’s pregnancy ‘gave me an excuse to eat’

“I like to eat and then her being pregnant gave me an excuse to eat, so eating anything and everything. She’d wake up, one or two o’clock, ‘I want a snack.’ Well I’m not going to sit here and watch you eat because I don’t want you to feel bad, but it’s back to football. She’s getting back to working out herself, so kind of motivating each other, feed off each other’s energy, and we’re getting ready for camp.”


June 12


I don’t have anything insight to add to the tragedy in Orlando, FL. I harken back to the powerful words of Pat Kelsey, who was the head basketball coach of Winthrop after the Newtown shooting.

Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey explains his intense Newtown speech

Ditto for these comments from Pat Martel, ICMA President.


The Orlando Police


Started from the Bottom Now We Here

Barack Matite started as an intern in Eudora, KS, and in four short years, he has become interim city manager. Read about his journey – Eudora interim city manager in city’s top job four years after starting as intern and then check out the ELGL interview with Barack.


Just a Reminder

The Chicago Bulls are the best NBA team ever. Luckily, the nice journalist from Sporting News wrote this article for me. Link: Warriors seem bound for championship but already lost title of greatest team ever.

Unlike the Warriors, the Bulls carried over their sheer dominance to the postseason, losing only three times, with one coming in overtime on the road. Their three losses, all outside Chicago, were by a total of 35 points. With their three blowout losses staining their case for historical greatness, the Warriors already have doubled the Bulls’ loss total, with six playoff defeats.


Unfortunately, Michael Jordan doesn’t have a Twitter feed, but you can follow another all-time Bulls great Scottie Pippen on Twitter.


One Week Until….

Father’s Day. Time to get to work ordering a random piece of clothing or accessory that your Dad will never wear. I’d recommend electronics, maybe a set of headphones, or an ELGL membership. But definitely don’t buy him these shoes.



Daily Spill

Performance review: Work of Topeka’s city manager draws residents’ ire, praise – Since coming to Kansas in 2012, Colson has been a bullish leader who aggressively pursues agendas, winning him both praise and criticism. Supporters and critics express concern that his communication skills are lacking. He is described as an act-first, tell-later operator, a habit that triggers unnecessary friction. He faced rebuke for his vague living arrangements in Topeka and a series of public relations debacles, including the attempted bailout of Heartland Park Topeka.

Council may look within for next city manager – Hiring a recruiting firm hasn’t been taken off the table, although some council members have voiced opposition in going that route. Several have suggested that they may need search no further than someone who already works in the executive offices on City Hall’s fifth floor.

Editorial: Council must follow up on city membership – The Bend City Council recently dropped its membership in the Bend Chamber of Commerce because of the chamber’s political activity. In particular, council members questioned a scorecard that ranked councilors on various positions, including positions the chamber board was neutral on.

Help Fort Collins make spending choices – Think you’re pretty good at managing a budget? Would you do just as well with a big number to work with, say, $466.7 million?

PolitiFact: Austin’s city job vacancy rate still tops 5% – Former Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez had questioned the city manager’s 2013 proposal to add 365 jobs in the next year’s budget while 934 existing positions were unfilled, including 500 posts that had been vacant for more than six months, the American-Statesman reported at the time.

Editorial: Thousand Oaks city manager, council diminish the public’s trust – “When one city government fails in its duty to conduct itself with integrity and professionalism, it diminishes public confidence and trust in all local government institutions.”


June 11

Charging Into Saturday Like




Fuzzy Math

Kirsten Wyatt and Stacy Schweikhart launched a five-part series on the recently released data on the numbers of women in local government management, as collected and distributed by ICMA.

Why should you care? Because the establishment story-line had been “change is happening” just look at the numbers. Not so fast, Stacy and Kirsten actually looked at the data and what they found is disturbing and contrary to any notion that we’re evolving as a professional.

The initial article posted by Kirsten and Stacy this week has not been popular with more established professional associations. This, in itself, shows that Stacy and Kirsten are filling the need to watchdog hollow analysis that is made available in hopes everyone will agree and move on.

With these additional insights, we noticed that while 28.5% of the 6,617 ICMA Full and Affiliate members working for U.S. local governments are women as ICMA displayed, only 8% of the total ICMA Full and Affiliate members working for U.S. local governments are women serving as CAOs and a mere 6% are women serving as Assistant CAOs.

Maybe Kirsten and Stacy are off their rockers. After all, Kirsten has been known to question my sense of humor at times and Stacy is a Dook fan who worships villains such as Bobby Hurley and J.J Redick. You can determine for yourself by reviewing the data.

ELGL’s ethics were brought into question earlier this week when we endorsed “Jonah Ryan for Congress” and now some question are data analysis. Lucky for us, we are an independent professional association which will continue to endorse fictional characters and question fictional story lines about an increase of women in local government leadership.


Last One

I promise this is my last reference to Steph Curry’s dad shoe, unless another version is released this time next year.


June 10

My Celebrity Twin

I am 38-years old, husband, and father of daughters which makes me celebrity best friends with Band of Horses’ singer Ben Bridwell. Was I celebrity stalking to find this out, nope, I happened upon the intel when I saw the article posted on my brother’s Facebook page.

With four daughters and a wife at home, Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell is the serf in a queendom

In fact, Bridwell wrote each track on Why Are You OK in his home’s basement studio, a new approach to songwriting for the singer who’s embraced his family-man status. Even the album title is taken from the time his four-year-old daughter got a hold of mom’s iPhone; the autocorrected phrase that resulted was “Why are you ok,” which she then texted to her sister’s teacher. For Bridwell, stopping to find the humor in that incident, which he saw as “genius,” helped him to zero in on the here and now. It’s that sense of being in the moment that essentially informed the whole record. “It’s not hard to be a bit emotional or honed into emotions now, having four daughters and a wife and sometimes even a nanny stop by. It’s like I’m a serf in the queendom,” he says moments before a red-eye flight to Charleston from Los Angeles. “It’s funny, I get to live double lives, you know? I go out in my work life, or touring life, and it’s like, ‘Hey, man want a million cold beers? You want a comfier chair? You want, like, a better hotel room?’ And then I get home and it’s like, ‘Hold these babies, I’m takin’ a nap!'”

Ben – call me, we should hang out.


The Official Shoe of ELGL?

The new Steph Curry shoes won’t be considered the next Air Force Ones. In fact, the Internet was ruled that the shoe is “choice of all four Golden Girls”, “great for nurses”, “Kirkland Signatures”, but wait, there’s more.

Steph Curry’s New Under Armour Shoes Are Getting Roasted on Twitter

The Internet’s roast of Stephen Curry’s new shoes is relentless

Stephen Curry’s “middle-aged dad sneakers” are being mercilessly mocked by the internet



Now that we’ve established these shoes won’t be trending at Foot Locker, we take this opportunity to play Nelly’s “Air Force Ones” jam. Because we can.


Daily Spill

Lacey City Council to commission: Plastic bag ban survey needs public component – “Despite the lack of unanimity amongst Lacey council members on the issue of plastic bags, there was genuine interest by all council members to solicit a clear opinion from the public,” the draft letter reads.

Elgin Council approves negotiating city manager’s contract with Kozal – “It is not about the person, but the process,” of replacing Stegall, Councilwoman Tish Powell said of her dissenting vote.

Park Township manager resigns, says ‘board needs someone new’ – “You know when it’s time. The board needs someone new,” Felix said. “We have disagreements on management styles. … They may have a different direction than I do.”

Newly-elected officials learn the ins-and-outs of government – “You may not understand what authority you have to make decisions, to spend money, hiring and firing, those kinds of things,” Ross said.


June 8

Clubhouse Leader

The city of Greenville, SC is the clubhouse leader for the best local government video of 2016.

Link: Greenville gets down to Justin Timberlake



Well, well, well….look who got retweeted by the best podcast ever.

That, my friends, is what we call a not-so subtle #HumbleBrag.


Share This



June 7

For Sale

A number of ELGL members are house shopping. They’ve discovered it’s a seller’s market. This has pushed things to the extreme in Portland. Link: Smelly, tiny home ‘for sale’ in Southeast Portland


“This cozy, 1/2 bath contemporary tiny home includes a large front door. It is an ideal retreat for an artist/writer or a married couple on the fence about divorce,” the unidentified seller wrote. “The entire building is outfitted with high efficiency amenities like slots for natural light, ventilation for comfort, and lightweight siding certified to endure some climate change related disasters.”



My presidential platform would include banning the right of adults to wear athletic jerseys.  It doesn’t matter which sport, jerseys are not meant to be worn by 38-year old dads with 2 kids and a dog. I grant a minor exemption for those wearing a jersey to a game where their team is playing.


I examined this picture and quickly added another tenet. If you decide to wear a jersey, please do not tuck the jersey into your pants.



First, Rancid sang about Olympia, WA now the City of Olympia is singing about Olympia’s “Sweet Oly Parks.” Full disclosure: My wife is from Olympia; however, I would never live there.

Check out this video about “Sweet Oly Parks” from City of Olympia ELGL members Paul Simmons and Mayor Cheryl Selby!


Podcast Alert!

In November 2000, Kirsten and I were living in downtown Richmond, VA. Close enough to walk to work, but not safe enough to walk at night. I worked for the Virginia General Assembly and Kirsten worked for the Virginia Department of Education.

We cast our ballot in the Bush/Gore presidential race. We expected that Bush would win. We were right but there was so much more to the story of how the election was decided. Check out this podcast for enlightening conversation about hanging chads, certified elections, and the Supreme Court.

Link: The Man Who Tried To Help Al Gore Win The White House

The 2000 presidential election was 16 years ago. But for Ron Klain, a lawyer for Vice President Al Gore, the loss still hurts. Klain sits down with Huffington Post’s Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis to explain the intricate



H/T to Zach Nash for tweeting us this video.


June 4

Daily Spill

Internal Affairs: Bummer for San Jose’s pot czar; she’s out – Gaeta’s gig in the manager’s office (which paid her $146,248 a year) regulating pot dispensaries wasn’t always easy. In December, some medical marijuana shop owners accused her of lying and making threats during an internal meeting — charges she denied. Other dispensary owners defended her, and Gaeta’s boss, City Manager Norberto Dueñas, dismissed the claims, praising her work on the complex issue.

Killeen council must take stand on transparency – Newly elected City Councilman Gregory Johnson has taken it one step further, formally requesting that the city’s new mayor, Jose Segarra, and interim city manager, Ann Farris, look into the city’s protocol regarding public information requests. He asked that the issue be listed as a discussion topic at an upcoming council meeting, and Farris has placed it on the agenda for Tuesday’s workshop.

Elgin City Council mulling what goes into next manager’s contract – Over the last four years, Stegall charged almost $9,000 in expenses to a category he labeled “training.” Stegall said that those expenses were related to attendance at four International City/County Management Association conferences held annually and in different cities each year, as well as attending one Illinois chapter conference in 2012.

Vancouver hires assistant city manager – She’s worked previously in Snohomish County, Seattle and for nonprofits.


Best. Video. Ever!

Link: Triplets And Their Garbage Men BFFs Define Everything We Want In A Friendship

A video of an interaction between the triplets and their sanitation worker friends made the internet smile after it was shared on Facebook by the kids’ mom, WFTV anchor Martha Sugalski. 

“We’ve been doing this for over two and a half years,” Sugalski told BuzzFeed News. “Over time, it’s just really become a caring, close friendship with these guys.”


Trouble in PDX

It was not just another Saturday night in Portland.


Beast Mode Knows Pucks

Marshawn Lynch isn’t coming back to the Seahawks anytime soon. He is busy playing the Lucky Charm for the San Jose Sharks.


Link: Marshawn Lynch sends San Jose Sharks onto ice in Game 3 (Video)


June 3

Rollin’ Into the Weekend

Band of Horses gets your weekend started.

In a Van Down By the River

We have a growing contingent of ELGL members from the San Francisco area. I hope none of them are in this situation.

In pricey Bay Area, some turn to vans for cheap living quarters

Others besides Allen try to market their ideas to struggling renters. In March, after the story about an illustrator living in a wooden box in a friend’s living room went viral, the man offered on his website to build boxes for other people to live in or rent out. And Craigslist seems to serve up more absurdity, with listings such as a crawl space in Pacific Heights for $500 or a shipping container in Bayview for $600. The horrors go on: bug infestations, toilets inside closets, and roommates packed into bunk beds and partitioned living rooms.

The van “is an alternative to outrageous rent in this city,” Allen said. “You have to be a good planner. You have to be discreet.”

I checked with journalism police and they agreed that this story is enough justification to show this clip.

Special Underwear

Just another normal Saturday morning in the Wyatt household – my 4-year old and 6-year old daughters are arguing over the rightful owner of the “special underwear.” Not sure what makes them special and I don’t care to know. I’m just living the #dadlife.



Not so much…the ol’ U.S of A remains questionable at best in soccer. We lost to Colombia and the crowd went wild.


June 2

Like We Always Do About This Time

Dan Band

Props to Dan Weinheimer, City of Fort Collins, CO, for being appointed assistant county manager for Routt County, CO. Dan was instrumental in getting Fort Collins to become an organizational member.

What is in Routt County? Who knows but our trusty friend Wikipedia can help.

Placer gold was found near Hahn’s Peak in 1864 as part of the Colorado Gold Rush.

Routt County was created out of the western portion of Grand County on January 29, 1877. It was named in honor of John Long Routt, the last territorial and first state governor of Colorado. The western portion of Routt County was split off to form Moffat County on February 27, 1911.


Favorite Email of the Week

No-brainer! This email is also in the running for email of the month. (Yes, I know it’s only June 2.)


Rollin’ Into the Weekend


Breaking News!

A Colorado politician is fed up and he’s not going to take it anymore. City Councilman Andrew Shoemaker is clearly willing to risk the college vote by seeking to outlaw beer-pong tables.

“You drive through the Hill in the spring or the fall, you see them. You see them laying out all winter,” the councilman said in an interview Thursday. “What I’m talking about is getting these things out of the yard.”

It might look a lot like the existing city ordinance that has since 2002 informed couch governance on the Hill. Get caught with a couch or another piece of upholstered furniture outside your home, as 65 Boulderites were in 2015, and you’re staring down a $100 first-time fine.

It’s a seed of an idea for now, and it may never see daylight, but Shoemaker wonders if perhaps a similar rule is in order for neglectful pong table stewards. He says he plans to gauge the interest of his eight council colleagues in pursuing such a measure.



Pete Dame rocks the #CityHallSelfie at City of Grosse Pointe, MI.



Daily Spill

Here’s a round up of the most interesting local government news that you’ll ever read in your whole entire life (or at least for today).

Scio to start search for city manager in July – “Right now, we’re just trying to get through the budget. … That was the priority of the council. Once that is finished, my direction is to start with the recruitment process,” she added.

Thousand Oaks city manager’s dealings with Westlake High boosters among closed-door meeting topics – In April, Mitnick began requesting copies of boosters bylaws and financial documents. Mitnick said he did so at the request of other parents. He said he thought the documents, including bank statements, financial reports and outside audits, should be available to any parent.

Profiles of 2 finalists for Moultrie city manager – A week ago, Moultrie City Council narrowed its search for a city manager to two candidates. One that made the cut is Moultrie’s own Peter F. Dillard and the other is J.D. Cox of Alliance, Neb.

10 apply for deputy city manager job – After receiving Carver’s original notice to retire, the city’s plan was to find a qualified candidate in three months, then have that candidate work alongside Carver for another three months for training and easy transition before he officially retires. That process has since been expedited.

Dallas City Council weighs the good, bad and very ugly (streets) in new citizen survey – “In spite of the never-ending whining and complaining by several colleagues, the average citizen thinks the city is doing well,” she said. “A.C., thank you for that.”

Naples adopts stricter travel policy for city employees, council after former mayor’s China trip – “We are politicians whether you like it or not,” Finlay said. “If there’s nothing to hide, nobody’s going to be able to make anything out of it anyway.”

EDITORIAL: A Tale of City and Town Manager Employment Contracts – Not surprisingly, when I Googled “town manager contracts,” the controversial or unusual ones appeared first.

Governments owe citizens transparency on making decisions – When word got out in Bessemer City a few weeks ago about the city manager’s possible involvement in misuse of his unmarked police car, officials did what officials habitually do – they clammed up.

Kennesaw to review social media policy for elected officials – On official city social media pages, if the elected official refuses to remove the post or is unable to be immediately reached, the city manager may remove the post.


Welcome! Welcome!


OpenGov, Inc. has joined the ELGL organizational member family. And, who could be against open government?

OpenGov (Facebook, Twitter, and World Wide Web) is setting a new standard across the country for how governments analyze, share, and compare financial data.  With OpenGov’s cloud-based platform, state and local governments of all sizes collaborate more effectively, make smarter data-driven decisions, and achieve greater transparency.

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