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Whose Data?

Whose Data?

It is well-known that the pursuit of performance information can be perceived as threatening, risky or even scary. Governments see the promise of harnessing data to manage and improve their…

Community Fiscal Conditions and Cost Drivers

Many cities are beginning the process of budget planning and forecasting. Although aggregate economic research may be useful in understanding basic trends and cost drivers, it is important to note…

Financing Infrastructure Projects with Municipal Bonds

Financing Infrastructure Projects with Municipal Bonds

Municipal bonds are debt instruments utilized by municipal governments to finance infrastructure projects. The initial municipal bond offering begins with the identification of an infrastructure project and the authority to…

The Cost of Government

The Cost of Government

When people come together to create governments, they do so with a resolve to bear these costs. They see these costs as good things to be celebrated, not bad things…

Regional Transportation Planning and Policymaking

Regional Transportation Planning and Policymaking

Many large metropolitan regions are examining their transportation needs based on growth and urban renewal. In addition, rural areas are in need of transportation options for seniors and the poor.…

Are You a Leader or a Manager?

Are You a Leader or a Manager?

If you head an organization, you probably see yourself as either a natural leader or a born manager. While most people lean in one distinct direction, the success of any…

Making Oversight Win-Win

Making Oversight Win-Win

Mere mention of the word "oversight" can make a public administrator queasy. Too many oversight hearings are mostly partisan public-relations spectacles, causing immense distrust between public administrators and legislators. The…

Government Agencies Need Citizen Experience, Not User Experience

Rebooting the digital infrastructure of the federal government may be the most enduring legacy of President Obama’s administration; if he can accomplish this formidable task. 18F, a digital services agency…

Look for Opportunities to Collaborate Across Sectors

Look for Opportunities to Collaborate Across Sectors

Collaborative approaches are increasingly en vogue among government, business and nonprofit sectors alike. However, navigating these partnerships can be considerably difficult. There is a growing industry of training and advisory…

What Makes the Home Rule Cities Group Effective

What Makes the Home Rule Cities Group Effective

In last quarter’s column, I discussed the formation and organization of the Home Rule Cities over 20k group, an informal quarterly meeting of mayors from the described cities. The group…

Can We Do That? Capacity and Strategic Planning

Can We Do That? Capacity and Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is generally accepted as necessary for an organization to be successful. The goals set during this process may be appropriate given the external environment, the needs of the…

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