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The Attractiveness of Being Part of the Massive Federal Workforce: Is It for Everyone?

The federal workforce continues to be very attractive as a place to seek employment despite the constant discussion and banter about cutbacks and less government. The experts are pointing to…

Pay for Performance: Is it Good for Public Administration?

Being the inaugural column for PA TIMES online, I want to take the opportunity to briefly describe my rationale for undertaking this endeavor. My observations and perspectives stem from experience…

A Polemic for Financing Community Development

A Polemic for Financing Community Development

Last month, I discussed the need to view community development as a public good because development involves crucial governance areas, from education to infrastructure, that benefit all of society. And…

Democracy on Trial: The Rule of Law and the NSA

Imagine a government that spies on its citizens, often without warrants. A government that holds secret court hearings, or a government that asserts the right to detain and jail citizens…

What is Social Marketing? What’s in It for Public Agencies?

What is Social Marketing? What’s in It for Public Agencies?

Imagine a world where citizens eagerly adopt behaviors that public agencies promote, from getting annual flu shots and drinking only eight ounces of soda pop at lunch . . .…

Facing Bankruptcy

Facing Bankruptcy

The City of Detroit has declared bankruptcy. It is the largest city in the United States ever to do so, and the punditry—what the late Molly Ivins called “the chattering…

The Art of Disagreement

In a complex world, we seek to simplify. Too much information, too many decisions, too fast-paced. Over the years, we learn to form opinions quickly, make decisions and move on.…

Finding Future Leaders in Federal Government Matters

Finding Future Leaders in Federal Government Matters

As retirement and sequestration in the public workforce become common, we hear more concerns expressed about who our future public managers will be and where they will come from. In…

Pre and Post Termination Hearings: When Public Employees are Entitled to Due Process Hearings

Due to the fiscal woes plaguing many public entities across the United States, not all human resources managers have the luxury of picking up the phone and calling their organization’s…

Time to Revisit the Public-Private Debate

Several months ago, I attended a local government conference. One of the speakers was a county administrator who described the challenges of his job. A member of the audience abruptly…