The November Confidential: Short and Sweet

Posted on November 1, 2015

ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt documents the wonders of the World Wide Web and the latest transactions in local government. Get up to speed by reviewing the October edition.

November 30

Emerald City

When we roll to Seattle for an NFL football game, we make sure to include a #CityHallSelfie.
Don’t like Uber? Or walking? Try the Pronto Bike Share throughout Seattle.

Just a lil’ artistic photo that I took. #NoFilter

Let their be light – Pioneer Square is ready for the holidays.


Transaction Wire

Wheaton City Manager Don Rose to retire after 35 years at the helm
Interim city manager called ‘the gold standard’
Muskegon Heights pursuing city manager finalist despite mayor’s no vote

Civic hacking group in Wichita pursues open data policy

Newspaper: Agencies deleting emails of former administrators

‘Topeka in Two’ program shares city information in manner that’s short and sweet
Dan Walters: Our cities have become vulnerable

November 28

Best of Saturday


Spell Check?!?!

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Something I Didn’t Do This Morning

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Will Your Marry Me?

Born in 1978, I unfortunately remember this on-air proposal. This was back in the day when the remote control was in its infancy. I love seeing the grainy studio footage from 1985. Link: With TV Proposal, Ahmad Rashad Married Sport and Pop Culture  

Transaction Wire

  Plans for Southeast Raleigh business incubator delayed   Second ousted official says Opa-locka ‘all but bankrupt’   City to hire new economic development chief after expanded search   Peoria adds 3rd deputy city manager   Bakersfield continues to feel oil industry’s pain, city manager says   City manager set to receive salary hike based on national trends  

Midwestern Trash Talk


November 27


Gender Bias

  You See This Gender Bias On The Road Every Day. There are nearly 5,000 U.S. streets named for George Washington, but shockingly few named after notable women.  

LinkedIn Spam

It has appeared in everyone’s mailbox –  “Hello, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” The New Yorker takes a deep dive into the reach of LinkedIn’s most famous line. CPhxSawWsAAdPAv1 #FunFact: You can (and should) personalize the body of your LinkedIn invitation. Easy way to make a good impression.  

Transaction Wire

  City of Greenville hires new Economic Development Manager   Palo Alto: City looks to spend $837K for fiber push   Yakima might hire outside investigator for city employees   Saratoga City Council makes final contract offer to four employees   Hackensack city government to provide complete agendas prior to meetings in order to boost transparency   City to pare down manager resumes   Glenwood Springs considering former GarCo manager for hire  

November 26



kerblaa In what has been one of the more difficult weeks for the Wyatt family, I am thankful for the public support of Kirsten and her ongoing challenges. You can read about it here and here. A number of you have asked how you can support Kirsten. It’s simple — leave a comment on one of the aforementioned articles. Takeaway: there’s a reason that the percent of women leaders in local government haven’t changed since 1984.  

Fighting Terrorist with Cat Memes

The creative residents of Brussels are tired of the police state that they’ve been living in since the Paris terrorist attacks. They are fighting back, the only way that they know how, with cat memes. Link: Brussels Social Media Drowning in Cat Photos As Citizens Attempt to Cover up Police Action Embedded image permalink  

Outside Local Gov

Why won’t Americans eat “ugly” produce? The true story of a GM disappearing just before the Super Bowl How Chicago tried to cover up a police execution The New Yorker wants younger readers — but not enough to change itself.    

A Message from the Arizona DOT?!?!


Transaction Wire

  Long Beach Public Works Director to Resign, Accept Similar Position for City of Pasadena   East St. Louis City Council approves 2016 budget with projected deficit of almost $6 million   Opa-locka City Manager Fired at Heated Meeting   Audit: No problem with former city manager’s raise Austin City Manager Marc Ott announces new city executives Leesburg city manager gets high marks from commission   Oberlin city manager hired in Delaware   BG City Council appoints interim city manager   Glendale approves Kevin Phelps as city manager   City manager rolls out new tool for crafting budget   Tattoos are not the most interesting thing about this mayor  

November 23


It’s Data and It’s Open

ELGL member and Kansas City’s chief data officer Eric Roche writes about the city’s commitment to open data in an article for the Sunlight Foundation. There’s no arguing with KC’s commitment. Excellent article, Eric.  

No Love for the Government

Would you recommend that your child pursue a career in government? That’s the latest ELGL poll and it was the topic of a recent Pew Research Center survey. Read all about it – Poll: 1 In 5 Americans Trusts The Government6 key takeaways about how Americans view their government, and Americans don’t trust government. But they still want government to do a lot.  

Cat Memes

Mark me down in the column of those who can’t stand cat memes, however, you combine cat memes with local government and I change my opinion. Link: 9 THINGS PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY AT ZONING HEARINGS, ILLUSTRATED BY CATS.  


CUid97rUcAA9pvc (1) Waiting for the arrival of #ELGL15 has been know to cause anxiety attacks. Rest assured, 90% of the orders were shipped this past weekend. If you haven’t received your package by the beginning of next week, let me know and I’ll personally deliver it to your house.  

Transaction Wire

  Dates and dollars are focus at city hall Corporate housing practice ends: Several Redwood City apartment buildings ordered to stop short-term rentals Deleted email accounts for former Joplin administrators spur questions   Costa Mesa: City of plenty, with work to do He’s the mayor and city manager Why Michael Veale Won’t Stop Pestering Dallas City Hall Profiles of the three candidates vying to be Lawrence’s next city manager  

November 22


Where Are They Now?

You’ve heard of Living Social but you probably haven’t heard of them recently. The New York Times investigates what happened to this once thriving company. Full disclosure: I never bought anything from Living Social, nor did I ever consider buying anything from the site.  

Fighting Christians

I graduated from Elon College/University in 2000. On Saturday night, what to wondering eyes did appear was the Fighting Christians (now known as the Phoenix) battling Syracuse in basketball. A 10-point loss to Syracuse is a moral victory for alma mater. Embedded image permalink Fun Fact: Coolio played at Elon while I was in school. He ran off with one of our team’s basketball jerseys. By the way, here’s what a Fighting Christians looks like. download    

Transaction Wire

Top local-government managers got big raises — or didn’t — depending on which entity they worked for A Changing Landscape: Ferguson Hires New City Chief, First Starbucks To Open Spring 2016 Three Panhandle cities seeking new managers Contra Costa Times editorial: Richmond city manager’s new contract irresponsible Mayor column: What I’m looking for in Ann Arbor’s next city manager East St. Louis city manager says payless paydays are a “distinct possibility” in January City Manager Rick Cole On Dangers, Opportunities Of Rail’s Return To Santa Monica City credit card statements of former Neptune Beach City Manager show nearly $4,000 in personal purchases Seaside tabs new city manager   Iowa City Manager Tom Markus candidate for Lawrence, Kan. job   Pasadena’s City Manager Michael Beck leaving for UCLA job  

November 21


It’s the Weekend!

Giving Thanks

Sarah Hazel posted this must-read Charlotte Observer article in the ELGL Group yesterday. Between reading the article and watching Wild as I type this entry, I have mixed emotions – grateful for life, family, friends but aware that we have limited time. Thanks to Sarah for reminding us to be thankful for what we have. Here’s what she had to say about the assistant city manager featured in the Charlotte Observer. Here is Charlotte’s Assistant City Manager, Hyong Yi, who has shown so many people in the City what it means to be vulnerable, give and receive empathy, and share love – love for our communities, and ultimately love for each other. So on this day, I say thanks ELGL for being such a great community of passionate, caring people who support the profession, and support each other! ‪#‎100lovenotes‬


We can all agree (except Ben Kittelson) that Pearl Jam is the best band to grace the face of the earth. Incredible live band, solid studio albums, and longevity. This week Pearl Jam showed its attentiveness to world affairs by covering the Eagles of Death Metal’s “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)” at Brazil concert. For those of you who don’t read the news, Eagles of Death Metal was playing when the terrorists attacked a concert hall in Paris. Even Ben can agree that this is pretty cool.   

Pre-owned Cats

Are you looking for a cat? Calgary has you covered. H/T to Matt Yager.  

November 20


Meme! Meme! Meme!

A new tradition has been born. Each new organizational member will receive an individual meme. That alone is worth $230. City of Raymore, MO 1   City of Charlotte, NC uid7c   Town of Highland Park, TX — Home of Angie Harmon uidly  

November 19



Today I had the privilege of interviewing Darrin Tangeman and Will Doerfer for a future episode of the GovLove podcast. We spent an hour discussing what if anything local government is doing to attract veterans to the workforce. As for the answer, you’ll have to wait until the release of the podcast.  

Pic of the Day?

Embedded image permalink I haven’t worn jeans since high school so I clearly disagree with this sign.  

Transaction Wire

City Manager Allen Parker confirms departure, gives thoughts on San Bernardino Tallahassee Honors Outgoing City Manager Anita Favors Thompson Ferguson City Council Thanks Interim City Manager for Service Brighton sets date for city manager interviews Should one of Alabama’s top cities change its government? Petition’s success puts utility users tax in Glendale voters’ hands  

November 18


Transaction Wire

Ferguson council chooses city manager Madison continues to explore possible city manager Headhunter chosen for city manager search Ex-Austin official tapped to be Missouri City manager BG city manager reflects on successes, opportunities in city Mason picks state economics official as new city administrator City Commission names three finalists for city manager vacancy Council Hears Details of City Hall Changes Implemented in Wake of Embezzlement  

November 17


The Grand Strand

Myrtle Beach, SC (known for being the home of cheesy dance clubs) is taking the lead on the #13Percent. This is one of the most in-depth articles that I’ve read about the demographic breakdown of a workforce and what can be done to attract a workforce that represents the community. Link: Myrtle Beach attempting to increase diversity among city staff.  

Profile Pic

charlotte farhan french flag
charlotte farhan french flag

Since you asked, I am against changing your profile picture to the French flag. Look someone else agrees with me – This letter to the editor makes a strong case against French flag profile photos on Facebook and Got a French flag on your Facebook profile picture? Congratulations on your corporate white supremacy.  

Transaction Wire

On Pacific Grove to-do list: Hire a city manager, police chief Steven Gibson named Rock Hill’s new assistant city manager Burbank city manager threatens to resign over vote City Manager retiring after a decade of service Del Mar estimates City Hall complex would cost $17.8M    



Frappy with Beast Mode


Transaction Wire

Mascotte city manager mourns loss in Paris attack Pacific Grove city manager poised to replace Jim App in Paso Robles

Harpole: Mayor pays tribute to former city manager City Hall steadies its path to new era Salary survey roundup: Local government adds jobs, personnel costs stay flat   Myrtle Beach attempting to increase diversity among city staff




Now Hiring: Slate Communications

Our friends at Slate Communications are hiring a Business Development Coordinator. Think about it….Fort Collins would be a nice place to live. Learn more about Slate. City Staff Turned PR Firm, Meet Slate Communications Storytelling: Local Government’s WD-40 98% Think Local Government Is Boring* Fact or Fiction: Outsourcing Communications Is a Good Idea ASAP Doesn’t Always Mean Now Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Deciding between Marketing, Communication, or Public Relations    

Digesting Breaking News


It’s the Weekend


Transaction Wire

Former city manager to run for council

Council, city manager focus on teamwork

Two city directors named assistant city managers for Abilene
The back story on the departure of Fort Pierce’s city manager
Lemon Grove to hire new city manager
Committee recommends city manager-mayor-council
Fresno council eliminates future bonuses for top city officials
How one plucky Michigan town is rebuilding its housing market
A bench, a tree and a flag in Clifton

Ironic – 2015 Remix


Transaction Wire

Menlo Park: City amends salaries again

Accusations fly at Dallas City Hall

Richard M. Hinojosa, with more than 40 years municipal government leadership, selected as Edinburg City Manager by Mayor and City Council

Our View: Mayor made right move in city manager search

Loveland Assistant City Manager/Finance Director accepts Michigan job offer

Interim city manager appointed
Cambridge Hires First City Manager


Debut of the ELGL Way

When I was a child, I learned about the Carolina Way from watching UNC basketball. (Fun Fact: I cried every time UNC lost. This stopped after having kids.) Dean Smith instilled 10 leadership principles to his players that would last a lifetime. The Carolina Way is centered on caring and concern for others. One of my favorite quotes from Dean Smith is, “There is a point in every contest when sitting on the sidelines is not an option.”
ELGL’s version of the Carolina Way debuted today in the West Linn Tidings. Many of you left the sidelines to support our embattled co-founder Kirsten Wyatt. (Fun Fact: we’re married.) You left the sidelines to deliver a positive message that highlighted accomplishments over anger. You modeled how local government can ‘tell its story’ to the 99% who operate outside the local government arena.
While your message was written for one individual, your message was felt by an entire profession. Your message conveyed hope to those who doubt local government is the right profession. Your message conveyed the incredible potential of a united local government profession. Your message conveyed that change will occur as we find the courage and opportunities to leave the sidelines.
Note: You can share your opinion in the comments section in the article. I’ll bet your comment is more insightful than ‘friar truck.’


Much Respect

Much respect to our veterans including ELGL members Darrin Tangeman, Mark Van Baale, and Will Doerfer. Check out Will’s group, NC VIPS.
Other ELGL veterans? Leave their name in the comments section.

Transaction Wire

City of Morro Bay addresses syringe needles near park

Delta announces four finalists for city manager position

Mayor Knowles Denies That Decision Has Been Made On City Manager

Rock Hill deputy city manager switching to part-time job promoting BMX Supercross track

Merced residents want next city manager to improve quality of life

Broken hip sidelines Calistoga city manager


I have no motivation to go running once the temperature drops below 50 degrees. (I would hibernate like a bear if I didn’t have kids, a job, and bills.) I have gained a tiny bit of motivation by listening to podcasts while I run/jog/walk.
Since you asked, my favorite podcasts are:

  1. GovLove – Enough said.
  2. The Axe Files with David Axelrod – interesting guests from Mitt Romney to Jorge Ramos
  3. The Bill Simmons Podcast – only show where Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly drops the word  ‘asshole’
  4. SI Media Podcast – behind the scenes with interesting media personalities.
  5. Find Your Dream Job – Mac Prichard is involved so it must be good.
  6. Harvard Kennedy School Policy Cast – full disclosure: I have never listened to the podcast. Just found it today but the show description is intriguing.

I realize my top 5 might not be appealing to you but we can agree that no one is listening to the Government Accountability Office podcast.
Your favorite podcasts are….

Hiring, NOW!

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Sierra Club

Return of the Mac

One of the best rap songs of all-time which pops into my head every time I think about Mac’s List. I am thinking about Mac’s List today because my wife is celebrating our anniversary by appearing on the Mac’s List podcast, Find Your Dream Job.



Hiring, Now!

Hat tip to ELGL member Megan Dale for sending along this job opportunity with the Town of Chapel Hill, NC. Job Opening: ADMINISTRATIVE ANALYST.
Tough to pass up a chance to work with Faith Thompson and Rae Buckley.

Transaction Wire

Hearing call for faster Internet at lower cost, Boulder launches fiber study

Rick Fernandez is right man for City Manager job

City of Cocoa Announces Matthew Fuhrer As New Assistant City Manager

Coweta Assistant City Manager Joyce Terry retires from public administration

Ann Arbor’s departing administrator leaves City Council with advice in exit interview

Pros and cons of city admin and mayor form of government

Weaver takes oath as Flint’s first woman mayor, promises ‘real change’


Transaction Wire

Looming bridge work drives city manager search

To avert disaster, Richmond must apply the fiscal brakes — now

Cash-Saving Options For County
Here’s how three open records requests went awry at Austin City Hall
Cedar Falls city administrator will retire
Cheyenne not only city to debate government

Forming a foundation: City Hall, rec center renovation momentum starts to build

New Flint mayor will not be able to clean house at city hall

Oberlin City Manager Eric Norenberg is leaving his job

Michigan law prevents dead candidate from filling Flushing City Council seat

Former Gladstone Administrator Pete Boyce wants 77K from city

In Flagler Beach, City Manager’s Choice is Down to “Old Shoe” and “Shiny New Pair”



Somewhere Above Minnesota

We’re headed back to the homeland, and thanks to my complaints about spotty WiFi on our trip out, I have unlimited access for my return flight.
I can’t proceed without telling you about my celebrity sighting. Michael Brown, city manager of Hillsboro, OR, is on my flight. For any Hillsboro taxpayers reading my column, you’ll be pleased to know that Michael is flying coach and has a middle seat. So far, no autographers seekers have approached Michael but it’s only a matter of time.

North Carolina Takeaway

Many takeaways from this trip to the UNC MPA Conference in Chapel Hill. A theme that has emerged from our recent travels is that people are a lot taller than they appear in their Twitter picture. (I am talking to you Mike Ekey and Sarah Henricks.) Also, I learned that “Netflix and chill” is what the young people are up to these days.
More importantly, I am returning from the trip committed to creating a more inclusive environment for Veterans who are interested in a local government career. I didn’t serve in the military. My closest connection is one of my grandfathers who served in the U.S Army.  A conversation with Will Doerfer, Hyde County, NC, from raised my awareness and stimulated ideas for how ELGL play a role in attracting Veterans to local government.
The Federal government has been successful in attracting veterans. In my opinion, local government has not. Lip service has been paid to the issue, but much like, the next gen and diversity initiatives, there has been little of substance.
A number of ELGL members are veterans and we’ll look to them for direction. Similar to other ELGL initiative, our approach will be all encompassing – veterans and non-veterans. If you are interested in helping, send me an email at [email protected].
In the meantime, Darrin Tangeman, District Manager, Pueblo West, will share his thoughts in an upcoming article and Will will share some of the research that he’s completed on the topic.
Conference Takeaways



UNC MPA Presentation

Kent, Kent….where is the presentation from the UNC MPA Conference? I got your back. Here’s the handout that we discussed during our lunch session at #UNCPAC15.


  • Local government needs to find ways to integrate veterans. H/T to Will Doerfer.
  • Lightning Round Question: Which elected office would you run for?

Sarah Henricks wants to run for President. Another attendee remarked, “I don’t want to run for elected office, if you put a gun to my head, I still won’t run for office.” Other comments: Soil and Water Conservation District, Clerk, City Council, and County Commissioner.

  • Urban/rural divide is a growing concern.
  • Strategies for convincing people to strive to be city manager, instead of stopping at assistant city manager.
  • Host a GovLove Podcast on local government and non-profit relations.
  • Bo and Michelle Ferguson should be interviewed for GovLove.


Transaction Wire

Denison hires interim assistant city manager

Gainesville City Manager Russ Blackburn announces resignation

City manager receives high marks – and criticism – at yearly review
Coopersville hires assistant city manager with economic development experience

Richmond city manager blocked release of report forecasting city’s financial fall

State’s budget stalemate may mean higher tax levy in Elgin

2 arrested, city official injured at Alameda City Council meeting on rents


Meet Our Public Affairs Assistant

It’s raining pictures of Sarah Henricks at the UNC MPA Conference.
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Transaction Wire

Business anything but usual these days at Yakima City Hall

Bunnell city manager resigns

Walnut Creek boosts city manager pay

Meet Casper’s new city manager V.H. McDonald

Portage council incumbents say re-election signals support for city’s direction

A Well-Regulated City

3 North Carolina cities, including Charlotte, elect women as mayor



Constructive Criticism

My favorite question that we’ve received about the ELGL website is “why do you have all those moving pictures?” Anyone who refers to GIFs as moving pictures might not be a good fit for ELGL.


I’ll be live-tweeting the UNC MPA Conference this afternoon. It’s safe to say that they will not have a mascot at the conference or Dutch Bros. Coffee. They will have…
Christine Todd Whitman is president of the Whitman Strategy Group, a consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues. Whitman served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Prior to that, she served as the first female governor of New Jersey.

Fun Fact

With the help of Rebecca Olson, we’ve launched a partnership with the Association of Public Management Professionals (APMP). Expect to see a dramatic increase in ELGL members. For now, let’s hear your favorite thing about Minnesota. We’ll start….


The Rollens Show

The City of Corvallis is brilliant. This is clear after the hiring of a Mr. Patrick Rollens as public information officer. The Northwest awaits (with gray clouds and drizzle) the arrival of the Rollens Family in December. I will continue to bang the drum that communicators such as Patrick are the next wave of local government managers. An effective communicator can cover up a lot of warts in an organization.

For Your Reading Pleasure

This photo shows what diverse government leadership can look like

A French mayor ranted against kebabs. His critics retaliated by declaring an international kebab festival.

The Joy Returns

In the last 24 hours, I have dined at Bojangles and Chick-fil-a which has brought unbridled joy to my life. That’s all.


The Agenda, Please…

We’re in Chapel Hill, NC visiting the grandparents and attending the UNC MPA Conference. You ask, “whats’ on the agenda for the conference?” Here’s the goodness planned for the next two days. Please keep the academic fraud jokes to yourself. They can’t take back my diploma (I think).



Fun Fact

From Emily Badger, “More people in San Francisco have used Airbnb this year than voted in Tuesday’s election.”

Transaction Wire

Yakima City Manager O’Rourke revokes resignation
Greeley: By slim margin, Greeley voters eliminate city manager retention vote
City of Sunnyside employee survey left in hands of city manager
Carbondale council looking to have open discussion about employee contracts
Newberg police chief, placed on leave amid scandal, cleared of misconduct
Bakersfield on the rise as minor league sports city


Demolition Derby

Props to the City of Olympia, WA for this cool destruction video. We need more positive destruction in local government.


Transaction Wire

3 finalists in running for Ann Arbor police chief position
City attorney accuses commissioner of using influence on behalf of ‘church friends’
Mason administrator field down to 4
Neptune Beach mayor questions merit raises given to 5 city employees

The ups and downs of a city manager

Battle Ground loses city manager to Moses Lake
City Selects new Assistant City Manager, David Scott
Simi Valley City Council to consider compensation hikes for managers
Powder Springs Council booed over charter change
City of Waseca hires first economic development staff
Carmel City Administrator Doug Schmitz resigns, effective immediately.
Attorneys: O’Rourke not entitled to severance
Whitewater task force aims to increase involvement of Hispanics, immigrants in city


And the Winner Is…..

ELGL member & West Hollywood, CA staffer Laura Minnich is the recipient of the California Excellence in Government award. Read more about Laura – Who Are You and Mixing in Perfect Harmony. Show her some Twitter love at @Laura_Minnich.

Transaction Wire

Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter addresses criticism, future role leading city
Beverly Hills sent to timeout for using too much water during the drought
Economic development manager is Annapolis’ business ‘conductor’
Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan’s final term won’t include city/county push
Maple Grove hires Wayzata manager for administrator job
Lackey excited, challenged by new role as Gainesville city manager
Residents share concerns at city manager meet-and-greet
Mt. Pleasant votes on top candidates for city manager

Front Page

The good work of ELGL member and Knox County staffer is highlighted in the Columbus Dispatch – Prosecutors use social media to teach concepts, update public.

Roll Out, Roll Out…

Here’s a nifty map of where people of moving to in the U.S.
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Twitter Fingers

Huge props to Chad Doran, City of Appleton, WI, whose fingers must be tired after live-tweeting an all-day budget presentation. Chad is also responsible for many of us having verified Twitter accounts.

First of the Month

We kick off this month with our November theme music, and by wishing my pops a “Happy Birthday.”

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