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Ron Carlee

Blog Entries by Ron Carlee

The Most Important, Least Sexy Use of Tax Dollars

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 5:19 PM

Last week I was contacted by Bill Wilson, a reporter for the Wichita Eagle for a story on the city's infrastructure. The mayor had announced that the city needed $2.1 billion for repairs and upgrades to its water/sewer system.

The question asked: "Are Wichita's infrastructure problems unique?" No,...

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Preparing Cities for a Mass Shooting

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 12:28 PM

The magnitude of gun violence in the United States is undeniable and, as with all social phenomena, the extent of the problems and political attitudes can vary dramatically from one local government to another. What is consistent, however, is that a significant act of gun violence can occur anywhere and...

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Thank You, LA Times

(3) Comments | Posted August 4, 2010 | 2:47 PM

By now anyone who reads this blog is familiar with the case of Bell, California, a suburb of Los Angeles: a city of 2.64 square miles, with a population of less than 40,000 that is 90% Latino and has a median household income of $30,0000 to $40,000. It is a...

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I Love You Because You Are The Garbage Man

(3) Comments | Posted May 17, 2010 | 10:40 AM

On May 11th, I was listening to a heart-warming story on All Things Considered about Brad Metzler's book, Heroes for My Son. I was feeling all warm and teary until the story ended like this:

Meltzer ...says, the most important lesson in the book [is]: "Love yourself first and everything...

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Give Local Workers a "Financial Thank You" - When You Can

(4) Comments | Posted April 30, 2010 | 9:15 AM

Employees of local government earn an average of 12% less than comparable private sector employees.

So concludes a new study, "Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation over 20 Years," written by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers Dr. Keith A. Bender and Dr. John S. Heywood...

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Learn More on Alternative Roles of Libraries

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2010 | 9:46 AM

It's National Library Week, a time to celebrate and recognize the valuable contribution libraries make to our communities. Four ICMA Public Library Innovation grantees and Jill Nishi of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation discuss their projects and the role libraries play in helping communities recover from the economic downturn.

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How Deeply Can We Afford to Cut Library Budgets?

(2) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 1:29 PM

April and May are critical months for local governments whose fiscal years begin the first of July. In the continuing economic downturn, local leaders are struggling with further reductions in services - some for the third consecutive year. Against the service loss, they are balancing increases in taxes and fees...

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Is a Blog on the Huffington Post a Violation of ICMA Ethics?

(8) Comments | Posted March 25, 2010 | 9:24 AM

Writing a blog hosted by the Huffington Post has elicited concern among some of ICMA's members. The complaints were not the content of the blog, but its association with the Huffington Post.

A city manager wrote, "Can someone please explain to me how a blog on the Huffington Post...

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City/County Managers: More than Technocrats

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2010 | 11:43 AM

In response to my last posting on the council-manager form of local government, one person expressed concern about "corporatizing" government. Another response noted that the manager form of government could be technocratic.

Both writers raise excellent points. While the business of local government is the retail delivery of services, local...

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The Local Government CEO: Making the Business of Governance Run

(2) Comments | Posted March 2, 2010 | 12:24 PM

What is a city, town, or county manager?

This is the question I heard repeatedly as county manager for Arlington County, Virginia, and even more often now that I work at ICMA, the International City/County Management Association. ICMA advances the professional management of all local governments. We require allegiance...

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