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Focus Archive - March 2011

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.

Waterfront Development (March 31)
Waterfronts provide unique opportunities for economic development, recreational activities, and water dependent uses, such as marinas, port facilities, and ferry landings. Many cities have revitalized their urban or industrial waterfronts or created shoreline parks and waterfront trails. See Waterfront Development, a new MRSC page, for information on how to best develop a waterfront.

MRSC Services Webinar: Date Added (March 25)
Due to the high level of interest in the webinar on MRSC Services, we have added a third date: Wednesday April 13 at 10:00. Register for the April 13 webinar and forward the link to any colleagues who might be interested in learning more about MRSC Services and the MRSC website.

Web Sightings - Energy (March 16)
Local governments are becoming increasingly involved in energy conservation, efficiency, and sustainability activities. This month we have selected some resources on energy-related topics.

MRSC Web pages on Energy Topics

Federal and State Energy Resources

Washington Cities and Counties

Other Organizations and Resources

Developing Policies for Responsible Social Media Use (March 16)
Having a social media policy can ensure that government employees utilize social media as a tool and not a distraction. More from Governing.

Planning for a Range of Housing Options (March 16)
Planners and policymakers should ensure that their communities allow the flexibility to reflect the range of housing options to accommodate the changing economic and demographic trends of a less affluent, more prudent American middle class. More from Next American City.

The Future of the Strip? (March 16)
Evolving consumer behavior, changing demographics, high-priced gasoline, internet shopping, and the urbanization of the suburbs are all pointing to a new paradigm for commercial development. More from Urban Land.

NACo Survey: Recession’s Effects Continue in Counties (March 16)
Economists say the national recession is over. But local governments are still feeling the aftershocks of the economic slowdown, according to a new NACo survey released at the association’s Legislative Conference. More from NACo's County News.

The iPad: Risky Game-Changer (March 16)
Will the iPad, and competing tablet computers, help us manage information overload or add to the distractions? More from Governing.

Online Citizen Profiles Improve Emergency Response (March 16)
Online profiles for citizens allow emergency call centers to improve their speed and quality of assistance. More from Governings Idea Center.

Fairness and Neutrality: Addressing the Issue of Race in Policing (March 16)
The challenge to both understanding and transforming the relationship between the police and the community served, particularly minority and disenfranchised communities, is as old as policing. More from The Police Chief.

Local and State Government Web 2.0 Efforts to Engage the Public to be Recognized (March 16)
To recognize the efforts of state and local governments for excellence in the field of Web 2.0, Public Technology Institute (PTI) has launched the "Web 2.0 State & Local Government Awards & Recognition Program." More from Nation's Cities Weekly.

San Diego County Tags Graffiti Artists (March 16)
Whether it’s considered art, vandalism or the tip of a criminal iceberg, graffiti is getting attention from San Diego County, Calif. Law enforcement. More from NACo's County News.

Public Records Act Compliance Seminar (March 11)
The Greater Seattle Chapter of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) will be hosting a Public Records Act Compliance Seminar at Everett Community College on Thursday March 17, 2011.

The Perils of Performance Measurement (March 09)
If you want performance management to really take hold in your organization, follow these 12 steps. More from Governing.

Picking Measures is Leadership’s Job (March 09)
The leadership team (not the analysts) needs to establish the agency’s performance targets. More from Bob Behn's Performance Leadership Report.

Identifying a Cyclical vs. Structural Budget Imbalance (March 09)
Identifying the type of budget imbalance a governmental unit is facing is a critical first step in developing appropriate strategies to resolve it. More from MuniNetGuide.

Dude, Where Are My Cars? (March 09)
Across the Northwest, traffic volumes are falling short of projections. More from Sightline Daily.

Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in Public-Sector Innovation (March 09)
25 individuals from state and local government, academia and the private sector who have deployed innovative technologies and IT policies that address a wide range of public-sector challenges. More from Government Technology.

Survey Finds Contracting to be More than Shifting Responsibility to Private Sector (March 09)
Contracting produces high-quality services to citizens, but only when local government managers ensure strong relationships with contractors, vendor competition, and contract accountability. More from Nation's Cities Weekly.

NACo Produces Video Success Stories for County Energy Projects (March 09)
The National Association of Counties (NACo) has created 11 short videos featuring successful implementation of energy projects by counties around the United States. The videos were filmed at NACo’s County Forum on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in January 2011.

Emergency Workers Push for More Bandwidth (March 09)
Public safety workers and the Federal Communications Commission have feuded over the future of a section of broadcast spectrum known as "D Block." More from Governing.

Despite Falling Revenue, Counties Aren't Raising Taxes (March 09)
Despite local governments' continued struggles with revenue shortfalls, the overwhelming majority of counties are not raising sales and property tax and instead are opting to reduce personnel costs and dip into savings. More from Governing.

Setting the Record Straight About Public Pensions (March 09)
Is there really a public pension crisis? And what can – and should – be done to address legitimate concerns about the sustainability of the pension benefits of public workers? More from Government Finance Review.

Our Suburbs: Re-imagined, Re-invented? (March 02)
In the coming decades suburbia will pose a growing problem, due to a number of converging factors. More from Citiwire.

Tablets: Government's Newest Tool (March 02)
From mayors to police departments to high schools, tablet computers are changing the way government works. More from Governing.

America's Biggest Brain Magnets (March 02)
College graduates, for the most part, are heading not to the big cities on the coasts, but to smaller, less dense and quite often Sun Belt cities. More from New Geography.

Public Servants as Public Enemy #1 (March 02)
At all levels, denigration of public service is a legacy of the recession. More from Governing.

Fight the Urge to Reorganize (March 02)
Do everything in your power to resist the temptation of taking what may look like a discombobulated office and "streamlining" it by moving around boxes on an org chart and cubes on your floorspace. More from Governing.

KaBOOM! To Offer $2.1 Million in Grants to Cities (March 02)
In an effort to combat the Play Deficit among children, KaBOOM! And Dr Pepper Snapple group will award 103 grants totaling $2.1 million during the next three years as part of the Playful City USA program. More from Nation's Cities Weekly.

A Leg Up (March 02)
The world’s largest cities are failing in their historic role of providing opportunities for upward mobility. More from Metropolis Magazine.

New Report on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (March 02)
A new report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, A Guide for Local Government Executives on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, describes an important trend in local government—an increased focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

New Web Resources Added for Green County Projects (March 02)
A new NACo Green Government Database provides short case studies and links to successful county programs, plans, policies and capital projects to provide quick reference for county elected officials and staff on sustainability best practices.

Apply now for EPA’s National Award for Smart Growth Achievement (March 02)
The application period for the EPA's 10th annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement is now open. More from the EPA.

Need more information?

Feel free to Ask MRSC. Washington cities, counties, and our contract partners can call or email MRSC for more information and advice - free of charge.