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1. How Tolls Could Help Prevent a U.S. Transportation Crisis – Earlier this week, Joseph Kile of the Congressional Budget Office outlined for a Senate committee the dire situation that is the Highway Trust Fund. The fund that pays for U.S. highway and transit projects — largely populated by the weak federal gas tax — will more or less run out of money by the end of fiscal 2014.
2. That Plan to Turn a Steep Street Into a Giant Water Slide Was a Huge Success – Back in March, artist Luke Jerram announced his plan to turn a hilly street in the city of Bristol, England, into a 300-ft. waterslide. Since then he managed to crowdfund the £5,621 (~$9300) needed to cover operation costs. And on Sunday, the urban slide—made of plastic sheeting, hay bales, water, and soap—came to life.
3. Huge margin in favor of Grand Rapids streets tax: ‘The potholes won this election’ – Mayor George Heartwell stood in front of cheering supporters and pointed to a big screen showing the last voting results being tallied.
4. With revenues up, Palo Alto looks to beef up workforce – Riding the wave of a booming economy, City Manager James Keene on Tuesday unveiled a proposed budget for the coming year that adds 17 new positions to the city’s workforce, including additional staffing in the Library, Planning and Community Services departments.
5. University City Meeting Draws Big Turnout In Support Of Firefighters – The suspension of six University City firefighters drew scores to City Hall on April 28, many of whom held yellow “I support our firefighters” signs during the often tense three-hour city council meeting.
Veteran Poplar Bluff city manager voted out by new political faces – In a move that would have been unfathomable less than a year ago, longtime Poplar Bluff, Mo., city manager Doug Bagby was escorted out of City Hall on Monday night by police after a new wave of councilmen voted to terminate his contract.
‘Tight’ 2015 budget proposed by Worcester City Manager – The “tight budget” proposed by City Manager Ed Augustus preserves services while channeling an additional $1.1 million to the Worcester Public Schools.
Casper, WY city manager, police chief recording reveals police department politics – The selection of Jim Wetzel as the chief of the Casper Police Department on Feb. 28 may have led to the departure of at least one police veteran and stirred some discord within the department, according to statements made during a recorded phone conversation between City Manager John Patterson and Wetzel.
Ogdensburg city manager says sale of property to Growth Fund for $1 is ‘advantageous’ for citizens – Ogdensburg City Manager John Pinkerton says the decision to sell a 611 Rensselaer Avenue property to the Growth Fund for $1 is “advantageous to the citizens of the city.”
Ex-city manager to be sentenced next month for corruption – Former D’Iberville City Manager Michael Janus will be sentenced on June 24 in Hattiesburg before U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett.
Modesto council approves downtown incentives, beautification – The Modesto City Council signed off Tuesday night on two programs designed to boost downtown and took a big step toward hiring a city attorney and an interim city manager.
City of Helena, MT putting its budget together – The machinery that allows the city of Helena to provide the services that residents expect and need is getting a review as part of the process for assembling a budget for the coming fiscal year.
Lake Wales City Commission Votes to Pay Part of Airport Fix – City commissioners voted Tuesday night to move ahead with a partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation to help pay for airport improvements at the Tuesday night commission meeting.
Marion, IA Amphitheater To Help City’s Growth – Marion residents now have a true outdoor performance space. On Saturday, city leaders dedicated their Amphitheater after almost ten months of construction.
Criminal probe shuts Lowell City Hall snack bar – The snack bar in the basement of City Hall has been closed in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation involving a registered sex offender who worked there, The Sun has learned.
Port questions answered – the Port of Rochester is not living up to its full potential, city officials say. A redevelopment project, done right, will boost the port’s profile, make the port a year-round destination, bring in traffic for Charlotte businesses, and raise tax revenue for the city, they say
Portland ready to kill $200 million urban renewal district created for Siltronic – Ten years ago, politicians in Portland City Hall fast-tracked a $200 million urban renewal plan to add hundreds, if not thousands, of industrial jobs along the Willamette River.
“America’s Bicycle Capital” Mural Will Be Erased This Week – It’s a question that’s been asked again and again in recent years: Is Portland truly America’s Bike Capital, or just a bike-filled flameout ready to give over the crown to a more-motivated city?.
Portland Business Alliance to Commissioner Steve Novick: ‘Slow down’ on street fee, let’s talk – The leader of Portland’s largest chamber of commerce wants Commissioner Steve Novick to “slow down” his rapidly moving plans for a citywide street fee on households and businesses.
Home demolition and infill construction: before and after photos – The Oregonian visited homes that were listed for sale by major infill developers. These photos show the homes they built and what they replaced.
Report: Climate-change effects are apparent in NW – Bigger, more frequent forest fires, shrinking snowpacks and changing ocean chemistry herald greater risks in the Northwest, a new report says.
Megaprojects’ troubles add to political gridlock – Political disagreements and bad news over the damaged tunnel-boring machine under Seattle’s waterfront complicate attempts to revive a stalled state transportation-funding plan.
Tacoma council votes to require gun background checks – All firearm purchases at gun shows on city of Tacoma property will now require a background check of the buyer. The Tacoma City Council unanimously approved the change Tuesday night, closing the so-called gun show loophole for events using city space.
Charter Review panel suggests strong mayor – When Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland asked Charter Review Committee members Tuesday to explain in a sentence why a mayor should be in charge of running the city, she got equal helpings of support and dissent.
North Muskegon hires Grand Haven’s Sam Janson as new city manager – Janson’s first day on the job included a drive through North Muskegon with retiring city manager Dennis Stepke. Stepke has been North Muskegon’s city manager for more than 30 years.
Wellington City Manager taking job with Winfield – Wellington City Manager Gus Collins has accepted the position of Director of Gas and Waste Water for the City of Winfield, to start August 4. He recently resigned as Wellington’s City Manager.
These Cincinnati leaders are living outside the city – Some of the department directors who earn six-figure salaries from the city of Cincinnati aren’t living within the municipality’s boundaries and may be in violation of a city ordinance.
Flint emergency manager agrees to pay off 54 sewer damage claims – Fifty-four households will split a $206,000 settlement from the city of Flint for damages related to sewage backups and flooding two years ago.
South by Southwest
Oklahoma City, City manager details plan to increase police hiring – The city manager’s budget proposes money for 28 additional police positions, including 21 uniform officers, in the fiscal year beginning July 1.
City manager releases proposed budget, contains no cuts to services – The city manager’s proposed budget no longer includes closures of city community centers, but it does include employee concessions and $11 million in additional revenue for the city.
Austin seeks new standards to secure area residents’ personal data – A new committee comprised of city staff is examining the personal information maintained by the city of Austin with a goal of presenting a set of recommendations about how it could be better managed and secured by the end of the year.
Commission proposes 60 percent City Council pay hike – Dallas City Council members — some unhappy with a proposed 32 percent raise — will now decide whether a 60 percent pay increase is enough to suit them.
McCaslin to become interim High Point city manager – High Point Assistant City Manager Randy McCaslin will become interim city manager on July 1. Strib Boynton will continue to be city manager until he retires July 1.
City Manager Calls Special Meeting To Prevent Midway Police Dept From Unionizing – On Monday, the City of Midway’s City Manager Dot Johnson called members of the Midway City Council to request a special meeting to discuss the Midway Police Department and its efforts to become unionized.
Delray Beach city manager faulted in purchase of garbage bins – Delray Beach City Manager Louie Chapman misled the city commission over a $57,000 purchase of residential trash bins, an inspector general’s investigation found.
Zephyrhills fire chief under investigation – Interim City Manager Steve Spina has begun an investigation of Fire Chief Verne Riggall for “numerous allegations of wrongdoing and poor judgment” in carrying out the duties of fire chief.
Raleigh City Council OKs borrowing for Moore Square renovations – City Council members voted Tuesday to borrow up to $15.3 million to renovate downtown’s Moore Square and replace an aging fire station.