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Focus Archive - October 2007

Please note that Focus section links were valid at the time of their original posting. However, since Web sites and addresses change frequently, we cannot guarantee that all links will remain operative.

2007 Growth and Transportation Survey (October 31)
A new survey shows that Americans prefer to spend more on mass transit and highway maintenance and less on new roads. More from Smart Growth America.

Management - Focus (October 31)
Being an effective manager doesn’t mean trying to tackle everything. More from Governing.

WCMA Members Build Self-Sustaining Relationships with Counterparts in Poland (October 31)
A number of Washington City/County Management Associaiton (WCMA) members have been working to establish and strengthen self-sustaining relationships with their counterparts in Poland through a wide range of professional and cultural exchange activities. More from ICMA.

America's Most Sedentary Cities (October 31)
Forbes set out to discover which cities were the worst offenders when it came to leading a sedentary lifestyle. Their list is 20 cities long and is topped by Memphis and New Orleans. It also includes surprising entries like Miami and San Diego. More from Forbes.

Build, Crumble and Build More (October 31)
Why don’t we fix old roads and bridges? Because it’s more fun to make new ones. More from Governing.

eNATOA Seminar - Solving Government Business Problems (October 31)
Solving government business problems using your government or institutional network is the focus of the latest National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) seminar. The November 5 seminar will offer case studies of cutting-edge applications that solve government business problems.

Does Not Drain to Bay (October 31)
Using a revolutionary series of "natural drainage systems," Seattle is attempting to detain and slow stormwater by trying to mimic the forest floor and pasture that once covered its landscape. More from Terrain.

Collaborating With Developers to Make Strip Redevelopment a Reality (October 31)
Developers overhauling outdated community shopping centers say collaborating with suburban governments is essential to a successful redevelopment project. More from Nation's Cities Weekly.

Smart City - Demanding New Choices (October 31)
For the past 50 years drivable suburbanism has been the norm, coupled with decaying central cities. But that familiar pattern is reversing according to this week's guests on Smart City.

Power Play (October 31)
Climate-change awareness and rising prices for electricity and natural gas are pushing wastewater facilities to produce and use renewable energy. More from American City & County.

City Finances OK for Now; Storm Clouds Ahead (October 23)
The fiscal condition of the nation’s cities improved in the past year, according to a new report released last week by the National League of Cities. The picture for 2008 is less optimistic with city officials predicting a slowdown in revenues and increased spending pressures. More from Nation's Cities Weekly.

Transportation Finance at the Ballot Box (October 23)
A recent report from the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE) shows that since 2000, few issues have proved to be as consistent a winner at the ballot box as measures related to transportation. More from CFTE.

The Road to Financial Sustainability: Planning Challenges (October 23)
Long-term financial planning is a vital discipline for creating and maintaining financial sustainability, but there are many challenges to overcome along the way. More from Government Finance Review. (Adobe Acrobat Document2312 KB)

Federal Aid to State and Local Governments (October 23)
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released their Federal Aid to States for Fiscal Year 2005 (Adobe Acrobat Document1321 KB) report containing federal agency and program-level data on grants to state and local governments.

Report Evaluates Local TDR Programs (October 23)
A report published by Resources for the Future, Transfer of Development (TDR) Rights in U.S. Communities: Evaluating Program Design, Implementation, and Outcome (Adobe Acrobat Document2288 KB), found that while over 140 local jurisdictions use TDR progams as a tool for achieving land preservation goals, successful implementation has often been difficult.

Transportation - A La Mode (October 23)
We need to look at economic and life-style questions when we decide on our next investments in infrastructure. More from Governing.

Metropolitan Travel Forecasting (October 23)
A new report from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), "Metropolitan Travel Forecasting: Current Practice and Future Direction," examines metropolitan travel forecasting models that provide public officials with information to inform decisions on major transportation system investments and policies. More from the TRB.

Watershed Protection Protection Grants (October 23)
The Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection Web site is a searchable database of financial assistance sources (grants, loans, cost-sharing) available to fund a variety of watershed protection projects.

Cities Change Course on Golf Operations (October 23)
A recent decrease in the number of rounds played — a key barometer in determining golf course profitability — has some municipalities searching for ways to bring golfers back, alternative uses for the land, or private companies to take over the property. More from American City & County.

Smart Growth Around America (October 23)
The Smart Growth Around America blog is a "one-stop source for the latest news from Smart Growth America" that showcases recent and developing smart growth issues from throughout the United States.

Downsize Me! Shrinking the McMansion Diet (October 17)
The McMansion phenomenon is likely to survive both the residential property slump and the popularity of green design, but communities are increasingly opting to regulate house size. More from the Architectural Record.

Overcoming the Police Shortage (October 17)
It's time to think about a new way to compensate police officers by sweetening the pot with higher salaries and more realistic retirement benefits. More from Governing.

FCC Cell Tower Order Affecting Municipalities (October 17)
Neil Lehto, a telecommunications attorney who advises local governments nationally, has issued a notice alerting jurisdictions to new federal requirements concerning backup power supplies for cellular antenna facilities. Those dealing with the permitting of antenna facilities, or administering existing leases for antennas on public property should pay heed.

Smart City - Shaping the Urban Environment (October 17)
Many things influence the way we experience the urban environment - the history of the place, certainly its form, others who share the space with us, even the sounds and smells. This week's guests on Smart City discuss the trends shaping our urban environment.

King County Recognized for Government Innovation (October 17)
King County is among the winners of this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. More from NACo's County News.

Study: Americans Commute an Average 25 Minutes (October 17)
A new study shows that commutes have worsened over the last two decades because highways haven't kept pace with population growth and urban sprawl. More from National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

Hyping the Hip (October 17)
Cities need to attract both the "creative class" and blue-collar manufacturing to survive in the 21st century. More from Governing.

New Report on Housing for Working Families (October 17)
A new report from the Center for Housing Policy, "The Housing Landscape for America's Working Families, 2007," updates national trends on the number of working families paying more of their income for housing and/or living in dilapidated conditions.

A Nationwide Public Safety Wireless Broadband Network (October 17)
The ability of public safety agencies to have seamless nationwide roaming capability on a wireless broadband network is not only achievable but essential for public safety agencies to meet their increasing responsibilities. More from The Police Chief.

Benefits of Conservation Development (October 17)
Conservation development can offer developers and builders a strategy to meet increased housing demand while employing responsible management of natural resources. More from Urban Land Green.

Communicating the Economic Benefits of Transportation (October 17)
A recent report from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), "Examples of Best Practices for Communicating the Economic Benefits of Transportation," explores strategies and techniques that have been employed in the field to effectively communicate transportation’s importance to the economy. More from the TRB.

Court Rules on Local Shoreline Development Moratorium (October 11)
In a 5-4 decision, the state supreme court in Biggers v. City of Bainbridge Island overturned the city's moratorium on shoreline development. However, five justices held that local governments have authority to enact moratoria on shoreline development without being in conflict with the Shoreline Management Act. See concurring and dissenting opinions.

America's Most Stable Housing Markets (October 10)
Forbes Magazine recently released its list of the most stable housing markets in America placing Seattle, which continues to buck national housing trends, at the top. More from Forbes Magazine.

Redeveloping Strip Centers Vital for Cities' Economies (October 10)
Many first tier suburbs, those defined as beyond central cities but "inside the ring of developing suburbs and rural areas," are plagued with underperforming neighborhood centers, according to research by the National League of Cities. More from Nations' Cities Weekly.

APA's Great Places in America 2007 (October 10)
The American Planning Association named their first 10 Great Streets and 10 Great Neighborhoods, which includes Seattle's Pike Place neighborhood, designated through its new national program, Great Places in America. More from the APA.

The $3 Trillion Challenge (October 10)
No one knows much about how public pension funds are governed or who’s governing them. It’s about time we did. More from Governing.

When Disaster Strikes: Dealing with FEMA (October 10)
When disasters happen, there’s little time to bring yourself up to speed on how FEMA works or how it can help you. That’s why we’ve prepared this quick overview of FEMA to keep handy before disaster strikes. More from NACo's County News.

Report on Baltimore's CitiStat Program (October 10)
A new report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, "What All Mayors Would Like to Know About Baltimore’s CitiStat Performance Strategy," summarizes and presents the questions most frequently posed to citiStat staff and to Mayor Martin O'Malley. More from the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

Trend Points to Neighborhood Privatization (October 10)
While a complete change in the structure of local government is unlikely in the near future, the trend toward private neighborhood ownership is becoming increasingly evident. More from MuniNet Guide.

Webcast on Environmental Management Systems (October 10)
The International City/County Management Association's free "Environmental Management Systems: A Powerful Tool for Local Governments" Webcast, discusses how environmental management systems save on long-term costs and improve environmental compliance and performance.

Online Risk Management Basics Courses Offered (October 10)
The Risk Management Basics for Local Governments series of online courses from the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) were developed to train employees and managers of small to medium sized public entities on the essential elements of risk management and insurance. More from PERI.

Washington Cities Combine 911 Dispatch Services (October 10)
The Tacoma Fire Department and Central Pierce Fire and Rescue will be combining 911 dispatch services on Oct. 1, 2008. More from Government Technology.

Counties Eye Outcome of Key Ballot Measures (October 03)
2007 is an off-year for initiatives and referendums in most states, but voters in the Pacific Northwest will consider several ballot measures on Nov. 6 that will affect counties — positively and negatively. More from NACo's County News.

Is There an iCrime Wave? (October 03)
A new report from the Urban Institute argues that the recent rise in violent crime and the explosion in the sales of iPods and other portable media devices is more than coincidental. More from the Urban Institute.

Performance Measurement - Visual Effects (October 03)
Using graphics to present performance data can help make the case for policy or budget changes. More from Governing.

Workforce Planning Guide (October 03)
A new report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, "Seven Steps of Effective Workforce Planning," (Adobe Acrobat Document674 KB) provides a framework for understanding the basic elements of workforce planning.

Are Volunteers a Part of Your Disaster Preparednes Plan? (October 03)
Incidents such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, showed police agencies that they can expect an outpouring of citizen volunteer support to assist with disasters or terrorist events. More from The Police Chief.

Where's My Free Wi-Fi? (October 03)
City dwellers won't be able to get high-quality wireless Internet access for free. If they want it, collectively, they'll have to pay for it. More from Slate.

Washington’s Minimum Wage to Increase on Jan. 1 (October 03)
Washington’s minimum wage will increase 14 cents to $8.07 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2008. More from L&I News.

Just how Sturdy are the Nation's Bridges? (October 03)
The rush-hour collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis in August has triggered shock waves of concern about the condition of the nation's bridges. More from American City & County.

Energy Efficiency Creates a More Sustainable Bottom Line (October 03)
An obvious starting point for local governments’ energy efficiency efforts is their own buildings. More from Public Management.

Planning - All Online All the Time (October 03)
The best thing about Edmonton's new automated application and review process is that no special software is required. More from Planning Magazine.

Urban Stormwater Retrofit Manual Released (October 03)
The Center for Watershed Protection's recently released "Urban Stormwater Retrofit Practices" manual provides all the resources needed to develop an effective local retrofit program. More from the Center for Watershed Protection.

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