The May Confidential: Workin’ on the Base Tan

Posted on May 8, 2015

Kent Wyatt – LinkedIn and Twitter – provides the latest in local government, pop culture, and random musings in this members-only post. 

May 31

One more day….

Until we can jam out to one of our favs – First of the Month by Bone Thugs N Harmony. Truly one of the most underrated songs/raps of all-time. Until then, I take a break from working on my base tan to bring you a few relevant and irrelevant items.

We Head to the NAIA Playoffs….

to find our new athletic hero. Check out this 300 lb. pitcher blasting away batters with some nasty stuff. 120 more pounds and this could be me.


News! News! News!

In the most unexpected news of the week, Portland got whiter (didn’t know that was possible). And I would argue that this lack of diversity causes a lot of underlying racism for the minority population in the area. My experience from living in North Carolina and Virginia was people were at least able to have educated conversations about racism or perceived racism because of daily interactions with folks of all races. In the Portland area, you can go weeks without see a non-white, mid to upper income person.
Here’s a priceless reaction from the co-winners of the Spelling Bee.
Finally the nation’s infrastructure is gaining attention. I’ve recently read a number of articles and watched a 60 Minutes piece but this cartoon wins the award for highlighting the uphill battle.
CGVZhyYWgAArdTJRain, rain, go away….as Texas deals with the onslaught of rain, Nashville ponders whether they are prepared for a similar situation.
Twitter Throwdown – Water vs. Library
Here’s an example of a couple public agencies showing their human side. DC Water and DC Library battle back and forth via this Twitter battle. Good stuff.

May 26

What I Am Reading

download (1)You don’t care? Well I’ll tell you anyway. Missoula by Jon Krakauer is occupying my night stand and leaving me worrying for my two daughters. Is it possible to home school college age kids?
When I am not being scared away from sending my kids to college, I focus on the lighter reads such as Nature faces off against politics in North Carolina.
Other recommendations:
Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade? An elementary school tried and here’s what happened.
Portland, Oregon, is the alternative commuter’s paradise. I drive to work in a gas-guzzling 2005 Nissan Pathfinder covered in dog hair and occupied by two car seats. I know nothing about an alternative commute. I consider leaving early to pick up a sick kid as an alternative commute. That said, congrats to Portland for leading the way in the alternative commute. I honk my horn in respect.

Mattress! Mattress! Mattress!

I am in love with this article. It’s not an earth shattering one but it’s a fascinating look at the world of a mattress salesperson. I’ve always wondered about these folks and why we need so many mattress stores. It reminds me of the outbreak of Fro-Yo and bagel stores that opened, and then closed a year later except the mattress stores seem to remain open. Good for them. I personally only need one mattress. That should last me for a while but apparently there is a demand elsewhere for mattresses.

Smelt It, Dealt It

Huge hat tip to Allie Bitts for sending this one our way. Will regulating farts overtake marijuana in regulation circles? So many ways to go with this one. My favorite comment came from the ELGL Facebook Group:
Mike Ekey Not sure is he is familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Missouri vs. He Who Smelt it Dealt it…

Tough to top…

The fart ordinance but we will try. I am looking for communication plans and how you measure the success of them. Please send any examples my way – [email protected].


ELGL is sponsoring a webinar tomorrow with a Facebook staffer. Registration is required. Do not steal my question about the origin of the Facebook poke.

May 20

Snitches Get…

images (4)ELGL “staff” had a conference call with Goodsnitch this afternoon. You might have heard of them from articles in Governing and USA Today. They work with Fortune 500 and sports teams including the Dallas Cowboys (Romo stinks!). In the government arena, the City of Albany, OR uses the Goodsnitch app “to encourage users to recognize “everyday heroes” – city employees, community residents, and volunteers who provide great service.”
ELGL is thinking about using the app so readers and members can highlight the good deeds of other ELGL members or other local government professionals. For us, there would not be a cost. It would require “staff” time to monitor and respond to the app.
I am looking for your opinion. Take a look and let me know if you think it could be a useful tool.

Treat Yo Self…..Like a Baby

I am the dad of 3-year old and 5-year old daughters so I am well versed in Pedialyte. However, I was not well-versed in its use as the cure for the common hangover. New research indicates that this “kid-approved taste” beverage could have saved us many mornings at Waffle House, Jersey Mike’s, and Biscuitville.

Best City Manager Ever in the History of the Universe

Clear Point Strategy, which I had never heard of (but I’ll assume is a New York Times-like publication), follows up its list of city managers on Twitter with City Managers: Make Social Media Work For You. The article interviews four managers including Sam Anselm, Joplin (MO) City Manager
Sam cemented his place in ELGL lore with his response to “How do you get your citizens to follow you?” His answer, “I think the majority of my followers come from interacting with ELGL (Emerging Local Government Leaders) on Twitter.” 
download (9)Sam is the model for how city managers can effectively use Twitter. He doesn’t overdo it but he presents enough to engage his followers. Before we heaped all this praise on him, we tested him yesterday by tweeting him a question about the Joplin Blasters (minor league baseball team). A short while later, Sam responded with background on the origins of the Blasters name — “grew as a result of lead and zinc mining, “blaster” was one of the mining job titles. #Mantle played on this field.”
Folks, it doesn’t take much to make a positive impression via social media. Hanging onto your strategy of hoping social media goes away isn’t a practical response. Instead of turning away, try engaging with your professional colleagues, friends, and family. As I was told recently by an executive recruiter, lack of a presence on social media and the World Wide Web raises questions about whether a candidate is technologically savvy.

Speaking Of Which….

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Sam Taylor, City of Ferndale, WA, has tweeted recently a number of helpful tips for building our Twitter presence. For example,

  • RT: Do this! Aim for 40% informational posts, 40% promo & 20% other (questions, polls). Take time 2 craft meaningful content!
  • Proactive community conversation is just so important, &, I think, really is a movement in and of itself. It’s not about PR. It’s education.
  • RT: Great quote at this morning’s leadership breakfast: “Government ignoring social media is like ignoring your spouse”
  • Using an app or aggregator to kick posts to your social media? Make sure they send out actual sentences. Keep seeing app posts w/just links


So Long Farewell

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Sam Taylor is takin’ his Twitter talents to Morro Bay, CA. He’s been named the new deputy city manager. Here are Sam’s deep thoughts about his four years in Ferndale. Much deserved but if Sam tries to hide from us in California we’ll find him.

May 17

Sunday Funday

Bet your day started better.

Perhaps this gentleman from Australia had too many Jell-O shots at Emily Leuning’s birthday party last night. This handy-dandy map from the Washington Post provides insight into the drunkest countries. Big ups (I guess) to Estonia. U.S and Canada get to work…

You Can Do It

Apparently this holds true in Louisiana when LSU wants to build an $85 million lazy river while the university system goes bankrupt. I will admit I am a tad jealous that Elon University didn’t compliment my education with an overpriced aquatics center.

#Trending: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Instead of another Twittersation maybe ELGL will hold a rock-paper-scissors contest like the Phillies and Diamondbacks. This Twitter activity is more interesting than any MLB game in May. Link: Phillies and Diamondbacks play rock-paper-scissors on Twitter during a rain delay.
For whatever reason, rock-paper-scissors overtook the baseball word on Saturday. Two college baseball teams decided they didn’t need Twitter to play, instead they gathered at home plate for a spirited game.

Congratulations Graduates!

I’d imagine writing a commencement speech is tough. Writing a fake commencement speech may be even more difficult. The fake Twitter commencement speech contains more substance than most real ones. Link: Fake Newsman Tweets Commencement Speech to Journalism Students: ‘You Suck At This But You’ll Get Better’

May 16

State Pride

I hope I never love a state so much that I break out an outfit with its flag. This dress was spotted at the Preakness Horse Race in Baltimore, MD.
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 May 15

I’m Rich

Now that you know I am a self-proclaimed idiot let’s move onto another topic. You probably spend several hours of day thinking about the fame and glory that is bestowed upon the co-founder of ELGL. Dirty diapers and milk stained car seats are the rewards from my kids, but what ’bout everyone else. Well, hat tip to Doug Barrick, Rutherfordton, NC Town Manager. Doug was kind enough to send a limited edition of The Municipal which featured a write up on the #13Percent. He also sent along a few Rutherfordton pens. As corny as it sounds, I really appreciate this type of interaction with members and I love getting mail. It shows that folks are invested in the profession, and most importantly, proud of the work that they do. And don’t worry, you’ll also benefit from my relationship with Doug. He is working with another member, Carmen Mays, to create a running blog of their intern’s experience in Rutherford and Spartanburg, respectively. I’ve also heard rumors of an intern swap. Hold onto your seats.

My Former Celebrity Girlfriend

Reese Whitherspoon, who I broke up with after her run-in with police a few years ago, is trying to win my heart back. Check out this tweet –


Ever spent time pondering how you are going to die. The Washington Post adds an assist by highlighting the most distinctive causes of death by state. Louisiana appears to be the big loser.

Ridin’ with the King

The man reached every demographic.

For Your Consideration

Stop Snapchattin’ and read these articles:
I’m From Philly. 30 Years Later, I’m Still Trying To Make Sense Of The MOVE Bombing

The Land Taxers of Fairhope

Ohio’s DUI Scarlet Letter Plates


May 13

Another Sick Day

My view this afternoon. Extra points if you spot my kid.

My kids are sick again so I have plenty of time to blog while they are dreaming of Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse, and ELGL.
After a couple of weeks of a stomach bug running through the Wyatt household, I have a better appreciation of why some parents decide to become a stay-at-home parent. I dread having to tell my boss that I am leaving at noon to care of my kids again or that I won’t be at work at all. I dread rescheduling lunch meetings (sorry Skip) or other meetings. Thankfully I have an understanding boss but for me it’s more of a personal pride thing. I want to be the Cal Ripken of local government. (Note: my dad is the Cal Ripken of Rotary. He hasn’t missed a meeting in 30+ years. You can decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing. All I remember is spending many lunch hours sitting in the car at the local Golden Corral while we waited for him to get out of a Rotary Club meeting.)
Before becoming a parent, I wondered why parents were leaving work so much. It seemed like it was always something. At the time, I wondered if these folks were really dedicated to their job. I thought they were going home, kicking off their Crocs, and watching Sonic Highway on HBO.
I now feel like a complete idiot for having these thoughts. I know it can appear to those without kids that parents are gone from the workplace constantly. Also, I now know that you can easily work from home, work early in the morning, or simply be more productive while you at work (i.e. spend less time talking about the weather).
I am glad that both Kirsten and I decided to continue working after having two kids. I subscribe to the “Lean In” theory that taking a break from the workplace to raise a family may be a short-term victory financially, but in the long-term, you gain more from staying in the workplace. That said, I admire the “full-time parents” and I hope we (local government) creates opportunities for them to re-enter the workplace.

 A Few More Ramblings

The pesky hatchet problem is back.
Not me.
You have too much money if you are renting billboard space for this.

May 9

Smells Like Teen Spirit

In between Mother’s Day shopping and the Portland Thorns game, I polished off the rest of ‘Montage of Heck’ on HBO GO. The documentary focuses on Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. I didn’t care for Nirvana, always leaned toward Pearl Jam, but this documentary is well worth your two hours. (Note: Since you asked, I rank Nirvana: MTV Unplugged as a top 5 album.)
There’s a heavy NW feel as the documentary retraces Kurt’s childhood in Aberdeen, WA, Olympia, WA, and Seattle, WA. My takeaways:

  • Parents matter. Cobain came from a broken home which he never seems to recover from.
  • Mental health is a constant battle. Never-released ramblings from Cobain show the ongoing battle to maintain some mental health.
  • Drugs = Bad.  Without the heroin Cobain would probably still be around.

Link: Five Kurt Cobain Myths Dispelled in ‘Montage of Heck’
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If you insist on a local government angle to my ramblings, the death of Cobain left Aberdeen, Olympia, and Seattle trying to figure how, if at all, to recognize Cobain.


 May 8

Best of the Month

Here’s what we can’t stop watching – city councilor goes into the bathroom but forgets to turn off their microphone. We could watch this all day. Scratch that, we could listen to this all day.

Tough to top that, but here are a few other items you’ve missed this month.

Sonic Highway

If you also have kids and are stuck in the house every Friday and Saturday night, I have the cure for you. Check out the HBO show “Sonic Highway.” The Foo Fighters documented the making of their last album by writing a song about eight different U.S cities. The show is about much more than the Foo Fighters. Each episode provides a look at the history of music from that particular city. If you have limited time, watch the Seattle and Chicago, and that is my Mother’s Day present to you.

My Mancrush

I admit it….I had a mancrush on Tom Brady back in 2004-06. Our relationship ended when he had children with multiple women. Anyway, I got my revenge when this week’s Deflategate report was released. What great material for the Twitterverse. It also reaffirms my decision to break off our imaginary relationship.
Link: Jon Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ take on Deflategate is funnier than yours

“Great ones don’t need to cheat. Did Michael Jordan cheat to get his six championships? No. In fact, Michael Jordan decided to play a sport he sucked at, just to give other people a chance to win a championship.”

Uber, What!

I love Uber. I know, I know….for some of you it’s quickly becoming the Wal-Mart of the sharing economy. My love of Uber stems from the love of the Uber driver. They are interesting, polite, and never once have locked me in the car, blindfolded me, and dropped me off on a random country road.  The Willamette Week brings you the story of the Republic Party Chairman who is an Uber driver. Multnomah County Republican Party Chairman Becomes an Uber Driver


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