Month: April 2010

Can Mass Transit be Cool?

When did people stop saying “mass transit” in favor of speaking about modes – high speed rail, light rail, street cars, and circulator buses? Undoubtedly the present views about transportation result from a combination of factors including the price of gasoline, traffic congestion, concerns about carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, and a general

Continue reading

Locals are Effective as Home Mortgages Collapse

Just-released figures from Treasury and HUD report that the number of homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages, even after securing lower payments through loan modification, nearly doubled in March. Relief efforts are diminishing rather than growing. The Federal Reserve has ended its $1.25 trillion program to buy mortgage backed securities. The first-time homebuyer tax credit

Continue reading

High-Speed Rail: Now or Later

In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), $8 billion has been set aside for the development of a high-speed rail (HSR) network.  And, additional money is on its way in the form of a provision by Congress providing $2.5 billion for fiscal year 2010 and a request by the President for another $1 billion

Continue reading

Do Tax Incentives Have Their Place?

The use of tax incentives to spur economic growth has come under scrutiny over the years.  There are claims that incentives allow businesses to play communities off one another, promote “zero sum” economic growth, and essentially do nothing to actually lure businesses (who in all likelihood have already decided on their location). And from the

Continue reading

How are trends in public administration affecting your city?

A recent article in NLC’s Nation’s Cities Weekly summarized the “top ten trends in public administration.” From new leadership styles to e-democracy to generational change, these trends are affecting city governments, elected officials, and communities. Antoinette (“Toni”) Samuel, Executive Director of the American Society for Public Administration, presented the analysis to the NLC staff at

Continue reading

Jump into Social Media

A recently released report from the Fels Institute of Government urges cities to get started in using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  It notes that all of the concerns about legal issues, increased workload, and potential for public criticism are manageable and unwarranted. Through interviews with a mixture of public information staff, information

Continue reading