Kent Wyatt, ELGL co-founder, writes a running blog on everything from My Little Pony to government fund balance.
Picture of the Day
Outside Local Government
My favorite news story of the day, by far, is the brewing Twitter war between the libraries in Kansas City and New York. One of the most clever Twitter battles that I’ve read about, and extra points for use of images.
Twitter war erupts between N.Y., K.C. libraries
Bookish bragging rights
I must have been paying too much attention to my kids because I missed the previous library battle between Toronto and Kansas City. Link: The ALCS has caused an international library Twitter beef.
Each of us has our personal theme music (or maybe that’s just me), and now, cities are getting into the game. A rare example of Canadian beating us to the punch is shown in this article, A City Bureaucrat Created an Ode to an Ottawa Bus Route.
Civil War Beards, Of Course…
Seneca Systems, one of ELGL’s new organization members, profiles Julie Underwood, Daly City (CA) Assistant City Manager. My favorite quote,
Over 15 years ago when I started as an intern in local government, I thought I would change the world! My membership with ELGL has re-inspired me to have the audacity to believe that I truly can.
Everyone loves a good ol’ fashioned love letter. In the last few months, local government has been the receiver of a couple of these letters. Most recently, Hayley Roberts, Metro Matters, shared her appreciation of Hazel Park, MI.
Revisit Bert Lowry’s letter – Dear Local Government, I Love You!
Turn It Pink
I’ve always been impressed with breast cancer advocates’ ability to turn the month of October pink. At the grocery store, you’re asked to round up to the next dollar and donate the difference to fighting breast cancer. Watch a Seahawks game and you’ll see pink on the uniforms, field, and crowd. (This is somewhat ironic due to the NFL’s spotty record on punishing players who have been accused of domestic violence.) The New York Times tells the story of the ‘pinkification’ of October and the growing disenchantment among breast cancer advocates and others.
Link: A Growing Disenchantment With October ‘Pinkification’
The Perfect Troll
My disdain for Nickelback is hard to contain. The Dallas Stars made my day by trolling the Vancouver Canucks, who are from Canada, the land of Nickelback. While playing the Stars, the Canucks were treated to all of Nickelback’s greatest hits. Link: Dallas Stars troll own fans by playing Nickelback for an entire period
Sam Taylor shares the new inspirational video from the City of Bell, CA. You may remembers Bell from the Los Angeles Times series, Scandal in Bell.
The City of Bell is back. There’s a renewed sense of pride amongst the residents and government leaders in Bell, California. The city has undergone a dramatic turnaround following a devastating corruption scandal. Once almost bankrupt, the City now has General Fund reserves of more than $20M and a budget that is sustainable. And Bell recently received an A- grade from an independent organization that rates government transparency and is actively at work rebuilding the City’s economy and neighborhoods. ICMA TV walks you through the recovery process that has made both government leaders and long-time residents feel proud to call Bell their home.
City Manager Podcast
The City of San Antonio podcast bringing the most important issues and exciting city projects discussed by City Manager, Sheryl Sculley. This episode the City Manger discusses the newly adopted FY2016 Adopted Operating and Capital Budget and Collective Bargaining negotiations.
Link: The City Insider with Sheryl Sculley, Episode 1
GIF of the Century
I would rank Aberdeen, WA (which is known for being Kurt Cobain’s hometown) as one of the five most depressing cities that I’ve visited. My father-in-law grew up in Aberdeen so I’m breaking the circle of trust by admitting my disdain for the city. (Father-in-law: I mean this in the nicest way possible, please don’t hold this against me when you’re Christmas shopping.) Turns out, Macklemore is not a huge Aberdeen fan either.
Most Frightening Pumpkin Ever
How ‘Bout Them Cowboys?
Politico examines a span of 24 hours that marked the fall of Chris Christie. As with most things in life, the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones deserve part of the blame. Ironically, the numerous hugs between Christie and Jones accelerated the fall. You can argue that a few of the hugs are deserving of punishment.
I learned at #ELGL15 that the Dutch Bros. secret menu is going mainstream. The first offering will be ‘Unicorn Blood.’ Here’s more information on future offerings – The Inside Scoop on the Dutch Bros. Secret Menu.
Picture of the Day
We’re moving our main conference to the spring 2017. In 2016, we will organize the first ever ELGL Day on October 21. Pop up conferences will be held throughout the country.
On an unrelated/related note, I bring you my favorite song with the word “pop.” This brings back memories of middle school.
The Zack Dean Collection
The official #ELGL15 t-shirt has arrived. Zack Dean, Founder of YouPickPocket and Tigard High School student, produced the shirts. Zack is in high school but he’s already been in the news for the success of his small business. If you see Zack at #ELGL15, take a minute to thank him for his work on #ELGL15.
Civic Leaders has become the best selling ELGL book of all-time! It’s also the first ELGL book of all-time. I checked in with Clint Bowers, Volsta Media, who is responsible for putting the book together. He was received a number of bulk orders including from several groups in California. Orders have also been placed from North Carolina to Oregon. Hats off to Clint for producing such a quality product!
In response to the demand, a digital version of the book is available for purchase. For my loyal Confidential readers, I am giving away a free digital copy to the first person who recommends five professionals we should feature in season two and submits a song for the #ELGL15Mix playlist. Submit your entry in the comments section below.
Facing Criticism Head On
The Colts ran the worst fake punt in NFL history on Sunday night, and it just so happened the Colts had a Twitter chat scheduled for Monday morning. Props to the team for not cancelling the chat but as you’ll find out the chat did not go well.
My daughter turns four this month, and thankfully her crazy lil’ head, never dreamt of a CVS-themed birthday party like this girl. Undecided on what this means about the parents.
Cards of Urbanity
ELGL member and Card of Urbanity Lisa Nielseson is back in the headlines. She continues to receive much deserved praise for producing an interesting game about local government. Will it be the Sim City for the next generation? Link: How a Not-Entirely-Polite Card Game Is Changing Urban Planning
The Knope of the Week card in Cards of Urbanity is one of the highest honors that ELGL has received.
Michigan Wins! Michigan Wins!
Another low moment for local news occurred during the Michigan State vs. Michigan football game.
Pictures of the Day
Outside Local Government
As I was jogging this morning (not many people readily admit that they jog, but I do) I stumbled across my new favorite podcast. Former Obama top staffer David Axelrod has started a podcast, and in the most recent episode, he interviews Mitt Romney. That’s right, the Mitt Romney. It’s a refreshing episode where two people with different perspectives can talk it out in a civilized conversation. Fun Fact: Mitt believes local government is the only level of government that is getting things done. Amen.
Link: Mitt Romney had an emotional interview with Obama’s top campaign adviser
Six days until #ELGL15…
“The Mayor Is a F-ing Addict”
That’s the title of a new article in Politico which examines the tenure of former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. The article reinforces what we know about the former mayor. A more detailed report of the craziness around the mayor is contained in the book, Crazy Town.
This sign spotted at the Kansas City vs. Toronto baseball game showed that former Mayor Ford remains on the minds of the world.
One Week Until #ELGL15
Thanks to Kylie Bayer-Fertterer for the theme music.
Need more evidence that the US is falling behind the rest of the world? Japan has landed a My Little Pony-themed cafe. That’s a long trip for all of the many ELGL members who fancy Flutter Shy.
Put a Bow on It
A final note on the ELGL/ICMA Mixing in Perfect Harmony event. ICMA posted a nice write up on the event. Onward to Kansas City where everyone can crash on Mike Ekey’s futon.
Pizza Hut was my second home as a kid growing up in Fairfax, VA. We went to Pizza Hut to redeem Book It rewards, birthday parties, recreation basketball celebrations, and random Tuesday nights. I consumed a few pounds of the thick crust pepperoni pizza. It was a big day when I aged out of the personal pan pizzas.
What happened to multitude of Pizza Huts that could be found in every city. Many of the traditional locations closed with the rise of delivery pizza. The Washington Post documents the transformation of the former Pizza Hut buildings. The Used to be a Pizza Hut blog takes a deep, deep dive into former Pizza Hut locations. You find out that this former Pizza Hut in Yakima, WA is now a morgue.
Trick or Treat — Things Just Got Weird
You know that neighbor that takes it too far with the Halloween decorations. This Ohio woman took it one step too far by hanging an actual dead person from a fence.
New York, New York
Life Outside Local Government
Picture of the Day
Sorry Ranger fans, it’s too good a bat flip to ignore. If you want more entertainment, check this out – Munenori Kawasaki Gives Awesome Interview After Blue Jays Advance to ALCS.
Seven more sleeps until #ELGL15 which gives you time to download the #ELGL15 app and follow the #ELGL15 Twitter list. Attendees at #ELGL15 will represent all regions of the country. For example, our friends at GovSense are making the trip from Georgia. Here’s why they decided to make the trip.
Those Cold, Odd Colored Wraps from Costco
If you have kids, you’ve attended at least one birthday party with Costco cake. The double whammy is when the entire food spread is from Costco. I hope to live a life where I never have to eat one of the cold, odd colored Costco wraps. And yes, I know I am food snob.
One dad doesn’t agree with me – Costco-shaped cake grants lucky dad his birthday wish.
34-Year Old Leader
Excellent read on the new interim deputy city manager in Lakeland, FL – Lakeland interim deputy city manager drawn to community activism. Proof that the media will writes positive stories about local government.
Local Government Is Life Saving
The haters will always hate but local government does a lot right. Plano, TX brings us the latest example – Plano parks and rec staff save man’s life at Oak Point Park racquetball court. Not to downplay the lifesaving actions of the Plano staff members but these remarkable deeds happen daily in local government whether a police officer is saving a child from domestic abuse, firefighter stopping a fire from spreading in a neighborhood, or a utility worker saving the life of another worker.
Add to the list of lifesaving efforts of local government by sharing yours in the comments section below.
Mike Ekey Comes From Good Blood
Found out this from Twitter –
#FunFact: There is a park in Hays, KS, named after my great grandfather, my grandfather was Mayor.
Hear from current city manager – Toby Dougherty, city manager for Hays, Kansas, talks about his city’s efforts to implement a Strong Towns approach.
Quote of the Day
Bixby city councilors: Private firm will audit city manager’s office
Amarillo city manager resigns
Next Eau Claire city manager likely a staff hire
Powder Springs may change charter regarding city manager
And Then There’s This….
Readin’ and Ridin’
Today you reap the benefits of my long car ride from Gold Beach, OR to Portland, OR. I rode shotgun for half of the drive which allowed plenty of time to read articles on the best app ever (beside the #ELGL15 app) Longform.
Tom Brady’s Personal Guru Is a Glorified Snake-Oil Salesman
WeWork Used These Documents To Convince Investors It’s Worth Billions
In Fantasy Sports, Signs of Insiders’ Edge
BUYING POWER: The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Election
Creepy Pic of the Day
Lewis and Clark
The State of Oregon has very little history, what history they do have is centered around Lewis and Clark. As an elementary schooler, I would have traded anything to take “Oregon History” instead of “Virginia History.” My class was full of learning about the major battles fought in Virginia, while Oregon students could answer “Lewis and Clark” on any given history test and there’s a 50 percent that they’d be right.
Why I am rambling about elementary school history class? Well, the University of Oregon football team has found another way to recognize Lewis & Clark.
Arcata Community Park
We visited Redwood Park yesterday by taking a short trip to Arcata. Incredible scenery and huge trees were the highlights. The disappointment was the number of folks we encountered doing shady things in the woods – drug deals, smoking pot, and sleeping. The afternoon can be summed up by the playground at Redwood Park which had more hippies than kids. Instead of hanging around Arcata, we headed back to Eureka for dinner.
Lost Coast Brewery
What’s memorable about the brewery? They have the best mustard that I’ve tasted, and they have pretty good beer.
Fun Fact: Lost Coast Brewery is unusual in the male-dominated world of brewing because it was founded by two women; it is one of only two female-owned breweries in Humboldt County, the other is Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville.
Former Eureka City Hall
Grammar Police, Grammar Police
If you are going to throw stones, make sure you use proper grammar.
Unlike the Grants Pass newspaper, the Humboldt County paper does not have a paywall; therefore, I can bring you the most important headlines from the area. First, and most importantly, sea otter sightings have been reported by the community. And, not to brag, but I spotted one last night but I decided against reporting it. (Who exactly would I report it to? Would they believe me? Would they accuse me of filing a false report? Would they not like me since I live in Portland?)
First Humboldt coast sea otter sighting in years
Not exactly Humboldt news but must read material – Cat helps San Francisco police talk man off building ledge
Arcata City Council addresses graffiti
City approves Creamery District zoning changes
State association awards county for collaborative marijuana policy work
Dolla Dolla Bills
If you are looking to throw away a couple of dollar bills in downtown Eureka, this machine is willing to take them. Each of the kids had their fortune read. Please note: this was not my idea.
Continuing on the theme of wasting money, I hope Ben Kittelson is sitting down. A vinyl record store is located in Old Town Eureka. Who needs these fancy CDs or music downloads when you can buy a record. Fun Fact: Barnes and Noble has begun selling vinyl records. Ben and hipsters everywhere might change strategy to embrace the 8-track player.
Spend Your Money Wisely
If you want to spend your money wisely in Old Town Eureka, Cafe Nooner is the place to be. Recently featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, the restaurant rocks the party that rocks the party.
Fun Fact: My 3-year old did not enjoy the experience. She tore a pita into tiny pieces and then ate a plain bagel from another joint in downtown Eureka.
Other good spots in Eureka….Sequoia Park Zoo, Banana Hut, and Humboldt Chocolate.
Biggest disappointment? Learning that Eureka, CA is not the birthplace of Eureka vacuum cleaners. So sad.
Pierce County deputy executive seeks city manager job in Glendale, Arizona
Engage new council on city manager and interim
Simi Valley’s Former Assistant City Manager Named City Manager of Palmdale
St. Cloud selects new city manager
Council readies to recruit
New Port Orange city manager looks to lessen turmoil
Local government isn’t the only thing that produces awkward moments. A Jeopardy contestant is gaining worldwide fame for a creepy smile.
Jeopardy! Contestant Becoming Internet Sensation With Awkward Smile, Winning Streak
‘Jeopardy!’ contestant Matt Jackson’s smile, attitude is obsessing the Internet
Reigning Jeopardy! Champion Matt Jackson Is Internet Gold
Raleigh, NC took the unique approach to cleaning up downtown. A group launched an advertising campaign aimed at decreasing the public drunkness which has taken over the Glenwood area. Did it work? Results are mixed.
What you should know about Raleigh’s DrunkTown wars
#Drunktown has become a trending topic on Twitter, where some have pointed out that the ad wasn’t even produced downtown.
In a blog post titled “Vomit Politics,” Democratic political consultant Gary Pearce argued that Baldwin’s win is a loss for Debnam.
I picked up a couple of the local newspapers to find out what’s happening in Humboldt County.
The Nae Nae Prezi
The wait is over. Here’s a link to the Prezi that we presented to the Humboldt County Leadership Team. For those in attendance, I’m including links to a few of the projects that we discussed.
Awkward County Hall Selfie
Our youngest child wasn’t too sure about the Humboldt County facility.
Wake up….wake up….we woke up in beautiful Grants Pass, OR. I can’t confirm its beauty yet as it was dark when we arrived and it was dark when we awoke. What I can confirm is Grants Pass is home of #ELGL15 headliner Dutch Bros. and everyone’s favorite Chief Administrative Officer Randy Ealy (Beaverton, OR). Since you asked, I made a makeshift map of Grants Pass.
Still tuned for all sorts of blurry selfies in Grants Pass, OR.
Supplemental Read: How Dutch Bros. grew from a pushcart in Grants Pass. I would share current headlines from Grants Pass but the local newspaper has a paywall which makes since because I’ve always compared the New York Times to the Grants Pass Daily Courier.
Today is a very special day – it’s our first presentation with a Nae Nae theme. Humboldt County, CA employees are in for an awkward treat.
Fun Fact: My favorite Nae Nae moment happened after Mercer beat Dook in the NCAA Tournament.
On a related note, I saw this gem this morning – These Youth Football Players Quit Their Game To Do The “Whip/Nae Nae”
Local government has struggle for years to strengthen relationships with the media. Some have succeeded, others don’t care and put up an artificial wall between local government and the media. In Dothan, AL, a city commissioner took it one step farther – Watch an Alabama politician hit a TV reporter and Dothan Commissioner Amos Newsome arrested, charged with third degree assault.
Turner and Hooch
If you’re thinking about committing a crime in Boston (admit it the thought had crossed your mind), you might think again after reading about the Boston Police’s new K-9. Boston Magazine reports that the German Shepherd puppy’s name is Tuco, named for the volatile “Breaking Bad” character named Tuco Salamanca.
All Day Breakfast
If you read this week’s Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, you know that we are fired up about the all-day breakfast from McDonald’s. We dream of the days that Mickey D’s will sell a 6-pack of Sausage McMuffins. The Internet shares our love of the new offering – The catch about McDonald’s all-day breakfast, McDonald’s all-day breakfast starts today: Here’s what to expect, and Excited to eat Egg McMuffins all day?
Sad Fact: McGriddles will not be offered 24/7. For the love of syrup…
Matt Monedero, City of Garland, TX, will kick off #ELGL15 with his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. He assures us that it’s a cross between Carl Lewis and Rosanne Barr.
Fact Checking Parks and Rec
It appears Matt is on the same brainwave as many ELGL members who wondered, “who did the TV show Parks and Rec consult to accurately portray the nuisances of our profession?” Unlike the rest of us, Matt made it his personal motivation to find out. In one of the most unique ELGL stories, Matt interviews the City of Santa Monica, CA planner who was a consultant for Parks and Rec. Lucky!
To the Redwoods
Eureka, CA….here we come. (We may need directions.) ELGL will be presenting to the Humboldt County leadership team on Friday. Phil Smith-Hanes has invited us to spread the gospel of local government and ELGL. Our presentation will be void of generational stereotypes and war stories. (I fear that Ben Kittelson will break my knees if I mention how Millennials oppose daily showering.) So, while I have your attention, I’d welcome your input on where the Wyatt clan should visit in northern California or southern Oregon.
Wednesday: Grants Pass
Thursday: Eureka, CA
Friday: Eureka, CA
Saturday: Southern Oregon
Are You Having a Twitter Moment?
While you were sleeping or watching batted balls on Monday Night Football, Twitter dropped a new feature – Moments. I am a big fan. Moments summarize the top news on Twitter and elsewhere. Even if Moments was a dud, I wouldn’t admit it since Twitter is my last hope before Snapchat takes over the country.
What does everyone else think about Moments?
Twitter’s ‘Moments’ Will Try to Tame the Chaos
Meet Moments, Twitter’s Most Important New Feature Ever
Twitter Moments Are Like Snapchat’s Live Stories
Life Outside Local Gov
Five things you should know on 25th anniversary of the Fifth Down Game
Firings are common, but it’s not routine for those going through it
Trump left his mark all over NYC. Some wish they could erase it.
How ESPN’s fear of the truth defeated “Black Grantland”
Sports Meets Politics
Accounting Manager, Multnomah County, OR
Budget Analyst, Multnomah County, OR
Research and Evaluation Analyst Senior, Multnomah County, OR
Strategic Communications Coordinator, Multnomah County, OR
Strategic Project Specialist, Multnomah County, OR
California Pizza Kitchen
HUGE props to California Pizza Kitchen! Why? It was the site of Elenaor’s 6th birthday party. We’ve made the rounds to every jumpy castle, trampoline, and indoor playground in a 20 mile radius. These locations are typical spots for birthday parties. Some genius (Kirsten) found out that CPK opens early for birthday parties. We were crackin’ the doors open at 9:30 a.m. for a tour of the kitchen, pizza making, and unlimited pink lemonade. A six-year old’s dream. I know you probably don’t care but in case we have some CPK staffers in ELGL membership I thought a shout out was needed.
Saturday is great because of the Internet fodder produced by college football.
This gif has so many characters and subplots, it’s like a Shakespearean tragedy pic.twitter.com/rUYl1SOGIc
— Senongo (@senongo) October 2, 2015
Clemson Clemsoning pic.twitter.com/VsrWWOxYsh
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) October 3, 2015
Last month the Confidential got a little off track due to travels to Kansas City, Dallas, and Seattle. This month brings relative calm. A trip to Humboldt County to present in front of their employees, birthdays for both kids, and Halloween are on tap. This should be plenty enough reason to avoid picking up a rake.
Less than #13Percent
I preface my comments by noting that this year’s ICMA Conference was a first class event. A highlight of the conference was attending a desserts and drinks reception hosted by gay and lesbian managers. The reception was not include in the schedule of events for the conference so this might be your first time hearing about it. A partner of a local government manager organized the event which was especially important because Pat Martel was being installed as the next ICMA president. The reception included a speech from Pat and a great opportunity to interact with a wide range of local government managers.
What I found disappointing was the group had to fund the event themselves. ELGL made a small contribution but other than that they were forced to use the pass-the-hat approach. This group is made of some of the finest and most experienced managers, and yet, their event was not listed on the program and not funded.
I don’t know pretend to know the backstory of what has happened in the past with gay and lesbian managers organizing an event during the ICMA Conference. But, in a time where the local government profession barks about diversity and inclusion, the opposite message was sent by the lack of resources provided to the event by ICMA.
Welcome to Texas
ELGL and the Texas City Management Association are partnering up to bring more benefits to our members. Here’s a quick blurb about the partnership from TCMA. We celebrated the beginning of the partnership at the ICMA conference. By celebrate, I mean enjoying slow service and average Italian food at a restaurant in Pikes Place. The following night, the TCMA folks turned it up a notch with an open bar reception for conference attendees. We have a lot to learn from them.
Carbondale city manager steps down
Paso Robles city manager search narrowed to 3 candidates
Second candidate for Ottumwa City Administrator withdraws
At Issue: Should Decatur popularly elect its mayor?
Alan Mond, founder of MuniRent, has a suggestion to solve your internal communication problems. He doesn’t work for Slack but he can promote the hell out of the product. He describes it as a mix between Twitter and Facebook for internal use. ELGL uses GroupMe but we’re experimenting with Slack and so far have been impressed. In fact, it’s safe to say that Ben Kittelson has fallen in love with it. You might consider it for your local government or other groups that you are part of. If it doesn’t work, blame Alan.
Fun Fact: NASA uses Slack.
A Dookie in Governing
It’d been a good year for Duke University. The basketball team wins the national championship and one of their biggest fans is published in Governing. I overcome my Dook bias to request that you read Stacy Wall Schweikhart‘s, Kettering, OH community information manager and ELGL Ohio leader, article in Governing – Cycling’s Lessons for Government Leaders – Whether it’s about pedaling or public administration, the challenges are much the same.