With #ELGL16 now behind us, today’s buzz looks forward to #ELGL17 with a celebration at some of the all-time great artists who recorded under the Motown Label.  There’s also a look where inflation is headed in 2017, cooperation between a university and its city and state where one group is 38% of the population, but holds just 10% of the mayor and county executive offices.

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Right Now w/ Matt Yager

What I’m Reading: How the Man Who Bombed Oregon Became an Honorary Citizen by Stacy Conradt

What I’m Watching: 73 Questions With Emma Stone

What I’m Listening to: White Flag by Joseph

What I’m Doing: A little decorating for Halloween

What I want to know from you: What’s your favorite Motown song?

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Angry “sovereign citizen” meets polite police officer: This patient police officer does not take much stock in the legitimacy of the sovereign citizen movement.

Here’s How Self-Driving Cars Will Transform Your CityElon Musk says every new Tesla comes with all of the hardware needed for fully autonomous driving. He is hardly alone in trying to spare humans the tedium of car operation. Audi, GM, Google, and Uber are among the many companies working toward the day when autos do everything and you’re just along for the ride. This technology promises to radically remake the very form and fabric of our cities, even if it remains to be seen just what those changes will look like. We asked eight urban planners and futurists to share their visions of a driverless future.

Inflation to Creep Up Next Year: Look for small increases in energy prices to boost inflation to 2.4% at the end of 2017, from 1.8% at the close of this year. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, will also end 2017 at 2.4%, up just a tick from the 2.3% rate we expect this year.

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Upcoming ELGL Events

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  • Sanitation employees happy privatization no longer under consideration: A year after the Decatur City Council chose not to outsource the city’s garbage service, privatization is no longer under consideration. The financials are better, city leaders are more content and sanitation employees whose jobs were threatened are happier and more relaxed. “Everything is different,” said Reginald Carter, who was promoted from supervisor to manager in a department reorganization.
  • Brunswick police dept. struggles to keep officers: In a small town with big city crime problems, the starting salary for a Brunswick police officer these days is about $15 per hour. It was less than that at the start of 2016, a year that has seen Brunswick police deal with two murders, citywide shooting sprees from a petty gang turf war and the dismantling of a massive drug-dealing enterprise run by the notorious Bloods gang. Five of the Brunswick Police Department’s seven new hires so far in 2016 started at $14.46 per hour, the probationary salary for a civilian police cadet, according to public records obtained by The News. The starting salary for a certified officer on the Brunswick Police Department was $15.18.

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  • City’s public safety team ready for homecoming: With an estimated 80,000 OSU alumni returning to Stillwater for the 2016 OSU Homecoming Celebration Oct. 20-29, the City of Stillwater’s public safety team understands that the public has concerns about safety at large public events. “As with any public event of this size, we follow up by examining what took place. Then, we apply any lessons learned to improve safety for any upcoming events,” City Manager Norman McNickle said. “Stillwater is fortunate to have dedicated, hard-working professionals who make sure events like homecoming are as safe as possible for our residents, our student population and our out-of-town guests.” While McNickle acknowledges that the public safety officials will be making some adjustments for this year’s event, he declines to share those operational details.
  • Savage rejects ordinance on zoning for gun shops: The Savage City Council has rejected an ordinance to regulate the distance of gun shops from certain establishments, such as schools. The council’s unanimous vote on Monday followed an hourlong public hearing earlier this month, when residents and business owners offered mixed opinions on gun shop zoning. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, zoning ordinances require firearms dealers to be at least 500 feet away from schools. The last gun shop in Minneapolis closed in August amid zoning fights. But suburban areas are less likely to regulate such zoning.

  • Actress who grew up in city libraries is ready to tell her story: Sharon Washington spent most of her childhood worried about feeding the dragon. Washington, 57, lived with her parents and grandmother in a series of apartments tucked into the top floors of New York public libraries and often watched as her father, a custodian, shoveled coal into a raging furnace — her fire-breathing, insatiable dragon. Her new one-woman play, “Feeding the Dragon,” opens Friday at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre and chronicles a childhood in which she had birthday parties in the libraries, played hopscotch on the black-tar roofs, but also stepped in with her mom to shovel coal when her alcoholic dad went on a binge.
  • FSU researchers transforming Tallahassee into a smart city: Florida State University researchers are working towards transforming Tallahassee into a more efficient and reliable city for its local residents through their urban mobility project.  However, what is unique about their project is that they are incorporating direct, practical implementation through contact with the City of Tallahassee.

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LocalGov Confidential

The State of California is watching these 6 cities closely for financial fraud: The City of Maywood had once counted on to bail it out of earlier financial troubles, Bell had become wrapped up in a major corruption scandal in 2010. The Bell fiasco led the state to take a proactive look at local governments, from cities to municipal agencies, like it had not done before. Last year, the California state auditor launched a new program to crack down on fraud, waste and mismanagement — with six cities, including Maywood, identified as being vulnerable.

Ballot study would explore government merger for Gainesville-Hall County: Voters will have their say on Election Day about a little political posturing and a long simmering difference of opinion between Hall County and Gainesville officials. That’s when results will be known from a referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot asking voters if they support a study on the cost and feasibility of merging the two governments. County officials got a jump-start last week on understanding the practical and tangible applications of consolidation. Several commissioners and administrators traveled to meet with officials in Macon-Bibb County.

Silent majority – Texas’ booming Hispanic population deeply underrepresented in local politics: More than 1.3 million Latinos in Texas live in cities or counties with no Latino representation on their city council or commissioners court. In a state where Hispanics make up 38 percent of the population, on 10 percent of Mayors and County Judges are Latino.

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