Some Goodies We Brought Back from Convention

July 7, 2017

This week is a compilation of ideas/trends/things that are good to know if you’re covering city hall. As always, feel free to email me anytime if you have some cool story you’ve done and want to share with other city hall reporters. Borrowing good ideas is always a good idea!

The International Municipal Lawyers Association has provided a write-up of recent Supreme Court cases that impact local governments. The cases involve police actions, the first amendment, fair housing and due process.

At the GMA Annual Convention last month, the Workforce Development Task Force rolled out its report. Among the findings is that cities, like many industries, are faced with an aging workforce where people are retiring and there isn’t a big pool of applicants ready to take their place. One of the big takeaways from the task force is that cities need to do a better job showcasing the jobs available in local government and promoting cities as a good place to work. Along those lines, today's job report shows that local governments (cities, counties and schools) are where the jobs are in government. A national organization, Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) promotes the people in local government and the contributions they’re making to good government. The topic of workforce development could be a really good story for just about anyone covering local government. Some key positions that cities are struggling to fill are in water/wastewater treatment. Many of the folks in those positions have been in city government for decades and take with them a wealth of information. Finding replacements – with the necessary certifications to do the job – isn’t easy.

Another serious topic facing Georgia and its cities is opioid abuse. GMA is organizing a workshop for August to discuss this issue with law enforcement, community leaders and health professionals. As we’ve been discussing this internally, one of the issues we come back to is how this affects public safety and health professionals who come in contact with the extremely deadly drugs. It might be a good story idea to talk to local law enforcement about how this epidemic has changed their procedures, have they had to order new safety equipment to avoid contact with them, are they equipped with Narcan to counter the effects of an overdose and if so, have they had to use it?

When we get the date and location for the opioid workshop nailed down, we’ll be sure to send out a press advisory; hopefully some of you will be able to attend and get even more story ideas about this critical issue.

Finally, some light weekend reading for you - if you like reading manuals for mayors on how to include the public in government. Enjoy!
Amy Henderson:; Cell: 404-387-0624, Twitter: @amyh_gma
Kelli Bennett:; Cell: 404-796-5508, Twitter: @KelliB_GMA
GMA on Twitter: @gacities


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