NEWS: August 4, 2010
Compensation | California
Controller to Post Local Officials' Pay
In the wake of the pay scandal in the city of Bell, state Controller John Chiang ordered cities and counties to report to him the salaries of elected officials and public employees, such as city managers, and said the information would be posted on the controller's website.
Furloughs Giving Way to Pay Cuts
The furloughs that popped up during the recession are being replaced by actual cuts in pay. In what is often described as a last-ditch effort to avoid layoffs, local and state governments, as well as some companies, are squeezing their employees to work the same amount for less money.
New York Times
Obama Freezes Bonuses for Political Appointees
President Obama issued an order suspending bonuses and cash awards for political appointees through the end of fiscal 2011. The order does not cover career federal employees.
Politics | Missouri
Voters Reject Federal Health-Insurance Mandate
Primary voters approved a direct challenge to the new federal health care law, giving Missourians the power under state law to ignore requirements to buy health insurance and nullifying penalties for failing to do so. Similar questions will be on November ballots in Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida.
Kansas City Star
Missouri Cities' Earnings Tax Heads for Ballot
With Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan certifying that a petition drive contained enough valid signatures, Missouri voters will weigh in Nov. 2 on whether a second vote should be held next year in Kansas City and St. Louis to scrap a 1 percent earnings tax.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mayor, Entrepreneur to Face Off for Michigan Governor
Michigan's race for governor will be a matchup of opposites: Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, a Democrat who has held four different public offices, against Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder, a Republican entrepreneur who has never held elective office.
The Military | Arlington, Va.
Contracting Changes Ordered for Cemetery
The secretary of the Army has ordered widespread changes to the way Arlington National Cemetery operates after a report found a "general breakdown in sound business practices" that included poor financial oversight, violation of contracting regulations and a lack of competition for lucrative contracts.
Technology | Ramsey County, Minn.
Public to Monitor
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office launched a website that will let people watch real-time camera footage of public areas. Dubbed "Neighborhood eWatch," it's a digital block club in a sense, with citizens encouraged to call authorities if they spot suspicious activity.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Homeland Security | The Nation
Postal Workers to Deliver Post-Bioterror Drugs
The Postal Service is ready to deliver lifesaving drugs to about a quarter of the residents of Minneapolis/St. Paul after a large-scale terrorist attack involving biological weapons. Efforts are underway in six cities to train postal workers to deliver the drugs.
Education | Atlanta
109 Educators Suspected of Test Cheating
An investigative panel recommended that 109 principals, assistant principals, school-based testing coordinators and teachers face further scrutiny or sanctions after it found evidence of suspected cheating on state standardized tests at 58 Atlanta public schools.
Public Pensions | Philadelphia
Mayor: End Costly Pension Program
Mayor Michael Nutter called on the city council to kill Philadelphia's deferred retirement option plan, citing a new report that the program increased pension costs by $258 million in 10 years and saying it "has not achieved the anticipated managerial goals."
Regulation | Indianapolis
Licensing Review Idles Seven Cab Companies
City officials put the brakes on seven cab companies, putting about 160 drivers out of work, and more could be shut down until they show they have complied with the city's taxi code as Mayor Greg Ballard's administration continues to review taxi licensing.
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“It's not like it will take them a bunch of time to figure out how much they make. Most people know how much they make.”
Karl Olson, an attorney who specializes in public-records litigation, on the failure of the city of Bell, Calif., which is embroiled in a salary scandal involving its top officials, to turn over public records involving elections, budgets, city financing and salaries to the Los Angeles Times, community activists and a Bell councilman
Los Angeles Times | More quotes
Salary, bonus and other benefits paid in 2008 to Roxanne Spillett, chief executive of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a compensation level cited by four U.S. senators who refused to approve a $425 million package of grants for the nonprofit group as federal and state officials take a more critical look at the salaries of leaders of nonprofits their governments do business with
New York Times | More data
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Education | Ruth Marcus
The Wrong Fight
There is, it turns out, something more galling than teachers' unions fighting proposals that would improve education for students in the worst-performing schools. What's more galling is that civil rights groups would oppose Obama-administration initiatives to improve failing schools--initiatives that hold the greatest promise for minority students.
American Legislative Exchange Council
Aug. 5-8 | San Diego
Academy of Management
Aug. 6-10 | Montreal
National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers
Aug. 7-11 | Charleston, W.Va.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing
Annual Forum & Expo
Aug. 12-17 | San Antonio
National Association of State Chief Administrators
Annual Institute on Management & Leadership
Aug. 15-17 | Atlanta
International City/County Management Association
Web conference on Using a Performance Excellence Strategy to Tackle Budget Challenges and Prepare for Recovery
Aug. 19, 1 p.m. ET
Full events listings