The High Five
What E. L. Konigsburg Taught Me About Cities – The beloved children’s book author captured the essence of urban life better than just about anyone else.
Let the Free Market Not Bureaucrats Build Bridges – For a country that prides itself on a robust private sector, the U.S. lags behind many other nations in using the private sector to finance, build and operate infrastructure.
Rahm Emanuel Has an Idea – The Springfield Avenue Pumping Station doesn’t look like much. The squat pile of bricks with a tall smokestack is tucked at the end of a residential street on Chicago’s northwest side. A cloud of steam rising from the roof is the only clue to what goes on behind its steel door. It looks like any functional city building anywhere.
A Powerful Measure of Urban Health: the Stroller Index – When Governing’s Jonathan Walters and David Kidd were in Hoboken to research and shoot photos for an article in the April issue about the mayor’s plans to better manage the next superstorm, they noticed baby strollers all over town. David coined the term “stroller index” and said Hoboken seemed to be way up there on that measure.
How Smaller Cities Hold onto Major Employers – When a city’s economy depends on one employer, leaders will go to great lengths to make them happy. But to survive, towns need to attract new businesses.
4-1-1 on E-L-G-L
May 8: OPB President Steve Bass
Weekly Reader – Top 5 Blog Posts of the Week
- 04.24.13: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (Softball Guy Remix)
- Americans Love Local Government. Why?
- ELGL is Searching for a Project Assistant
- 04.18.13: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (Peace and Love Remix)
I’m Just a Bill
Kitzhaber: Without light rail, new span across Columbia is history – Comments come as Washington Legislature considers project funding.
House passes bill cutting PERS – The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would reduce pension benefits for public sector retirees and end a state income tax remedy for some. In the 33-27 vote, Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, was the only member to cross the aisle.
Composting facilities, teen tanning, vending machines: Oregon Legislature today – Now that the House votes on raising taxes and reforming public pensions are over, legislators are turning their attention to teen tanning, vending machines, composting facilities and other issues.
States Push Bills to Ease Voting – With little hope for a federal fix to widespread elections administration problems, nearly half the states are pressing ahead with measures to ease voting access and counteract more restrictive measures passed recently.
State, locals fight over realignment funds – When the strapped state in 2011 approved shifting programs — incarcerating some prison inmates, for example — to the counties as part of a budget-balancing act, the idea was to give the locals enough money to handle the new responsibilities.
Federal Road Fund Could Go Broke by 2015 – With federal transportation money drying up, will the burden fall to the states?
Clark County expects to pull $6.2M from reserves – Official says spending plan anticipated need to cover expenses
Parks Commission fights to keep funds – Between $650,000 and $1.8 million could be moved from parks to the city general fund
County budget cuts funding to senior program – Last week, the Klamath County Budget Committee voted not to fund the Klamath Basin Senior Citizens’ Center’s meals program, something it has funded at an average of $50,000 a year for the past 10 years.
PDC hits financial turning point – The gravy days are over for the Portland Development Commission, the urban renewal agency that helped revitalize downtown.
City manager: Budget ‘balanced but not sustainable’ – These packages will outline potential reductions in services — and in employees associated with providing those services — along with a discussion about how the council might fund pressing facility needs, Coffee said.
Sheriff cuts come through attrition – Nobody will be left without a job as a result of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reductions in fiscal year 2013-14 due to budget shortfalls.
Oregon House scales back Democratic tax plan – The Oregon House significantly scaled back a Democratic plan to raise taxes on corporations
Washington County will again delay full phase-in of transportation development tax – Even with building application numbers starting to approach pre-recession levels, Washington County will again delay fully phasing in a voter-approved developer tax to help pay for mounting transportation needs.
Time to rethink Portlandnomics: Agenda 2013 – Portland has made it clear to businesses that it prefers employers of the clean and green variety to traditional manufacturers. A series of business decisions in the past two weeks underscore that if the city isn’t careful, it could end up without either one.
Tualatin Valley Water District selects Willamette River as future water source – The Tualatin Valley Water District voted 4-0 Wednesday to tap the Willamette River as the district’s need for water grows in the next 30 years and beyond.
Ex-Union Gap mayor quits council, settles for $38,400 – Lemon was serving as a temporary eighth council member to finish the last 32 months of his mayoral term, which was cut short in November when Union Gap voters ended the strong-mayor form of government. In a letter to the council accepted Monday evening, Lemon said he was resigning for personal reasons.
Utility services manager the latest to leave the city – Since the beginning of the year, the city of Lebanon has lost its police chief, the position of assistant city manager — and human resources manager — and its interim city manager.
Seattle has nation’s eighth-worst traffic, says Inrix – According to the sixth Inrix Traffic Scorecard Annual Report, Seattle drivers spent an average of 35 hours stuck in traffic in 2012, which is down 10 percent from the previous year.
Republicans longing for Chris Gregoire? Some Republicans praised former Gov. Chris Gregoire to reporters today as they drew an unflattering comparison with her successor, Jay Inslee, in the two Democratic governors’ approach to end-of-legislative-session negotiations.
Homeless camping moves ahead – City councilors back a motion that would temporarily allow camping in some public spaces
Sacramento, Calif.’s 311 App Helps Create Well-Managed City – When Sacramento, Calif., implemented its 311 customer call center in 2008, it was a huge success. In fact, it was so popular that staff couldn’t handle the daily call volume, losing 100,000 calls a year to customer hang ups.
In digital age, social media becoming valuable police tool – In Boston, Seattle and cities around the country, more and more Americans with cell phones and social media accounts are helping police solve crimes, whether they know it or not.
THUMBS UP AS RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW TABLET-FRIENDLY KEYBOARD, THE KALQ – TWO THUMBS GOOD, EIGHT FINGERS BAD.
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