Category: Cities – General

Are Municipal Incentive Prizes the Wave of the Future?

Incentive prizes have provided very large cash payments to innovators who solve specific problems.  They leverage private entrepreneur’s investment in advancing technology and services. “Incentive Prizes-Tools for Governments” in Searcher reports how government is using incentive prizes to pay only for results while stimulating private sector investment exceeding the size of the purse. Two cities

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FCC Gives Cities A Preview of Broadband Plan

During a meeting of local elected officials, Blair Levin, executive director of the Federal Communications Commission, Omnibus Broadband Initiative gave a sneak peak at the soon to be released National Broadband Plan. “Broadband is the common medium this country uses…’ he said during the meeting, underlying the need for a stronger technological infrastructure that would

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Municipal Bankruptcy – A Story in Search of a Trend?

NLC is receiving a lot of media inquiries about the prospect of cities filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  It’s not surprising that the chattering classes are agog about cities going under.  It’s a grabber of a headline: “City X Files Ch. 9!”  The problem with this story is that the numbers just aren’t there to

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The New Face of Government

Web/media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, RSS Feeds, Linkedin, and YouTube are fast becoming the trend many local government officials and staff are taking advantage of.  By getting the word out on local issues via these tools, not only are local governments able to influence their constituents in a quicker, more timely manner but

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Cities return to “old normal”

I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about “the new normal” – the prospect of the current economic malaise resulting in a longer-term pattern of stagnating economic growth. We’ve even thrown the term around a few times here at NLC. But, predictions about slow growth in the coming years are not new. The new piece

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The People Define the City

Technology allows lots of people to work from home in a snow storm. Colleagues email one another. They catch up on newsletters unread and webinars unviewed. But there is little satisfaction in it.  Most bide their time until the office or business reopens. Upon returning, friends and peers reengage with a vengeance. There is invigoration

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Cities Can’t Cut Their Way to Prosperity

“Cities to cut….” will be the prevailing storyline in much of the coverage of city fiscal conditions over the next couple of years.  But, city leaders still have the job of making decisions that position their cities for prosperity in the future according to 50+ local officials who participated in an NLC seminar in late

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There’s No Crying in City Finance

Anyone who has seen the movie A League of Their Own, about the first professional women’s baseball league, remembers the famous quote from Tom Hanks’ character, one of the team managers, when confronted with a crying player in the dugout: “You’re crying? There’s no crying in baseball!” The same can be said about city finance.

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Tragedy in Haiti

We just wanted to give a quick update on the Haiti earthquake. NLC has created a special page at www.nlc.org/haiti with resources and information. NLC has also set up a discussion forum on Facebook (facebook.com/nationalleagueofcities) for cities to share what they have been doing to encourage employees and citizens to assist Haiti at this time.

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The Creative Class revisited

The “Creative Class” has become a mainstay in the lexicon of city speak. Made famous by Richard Florida, the term refers to individuals whose jobs are inherently creative, like musicians and architects, or where creativity is a major function of the job, like doctors. As Florida defines it, the Creative Class generates wealth and lots

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