Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Giveaway winners

Congratulations to the LGT giveaway winners:

$10 gift certificate to a local business/restaurant: Annie Seeley

ICMA student membership: Benjamin

Winners, please email me at so I can give you further instructions.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


by Bethany Hansen

I think it has been said of local and state governments that you know they are functioning well when you hardly notice they are there.

Especially since having my son, I have developed an all new appreciation for having clean water come out of my faucet and having a nice, clean, well-maintained park next door to my apartment. Such amenities do not come without someone doing the work—I thought it was interesting to see a city worker cleaning up the park early on a Saturday morning. I do think it is terribly easily to take for granted the services we receive from our local and state governments—especially because we hardly notice the services until something interrupts them, or they are subpar.

We owe much of our quality of life to government in general, and to people who work in those governments, in particular. The administrators, clerks, public utility workers, and others create a combined effort that makes life better for all of us.

So I, for one, want to remember and appreciate those efforts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's not too late!

You can still enter Local Government Today's giveaway. Prizes include one student membership to the International City/County Manager's Association and a $10 gift certificate to the business or restaurant of your choice.

For more info, click here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Debt Ceiling

by Bethany Hansen

As Congress and the president stall (again) in their debt ceiling talks, it reminds me once more that local and state governments do not have the luxury of raising their debt ceilings as easily as Congress does. It is rather an odd concept: essentially, being able to raise one’s own credit limit. I know that many, such as Ben Bernanke, argue that defaulting on our debt would be destructive to the economy, but what about the long-term consequences of creating more debt?

President Obama and others argue that by raising the debt ceiling now, he and Congress can deal with the short-term crisis and then they can focus on really tackling the debt and spending. Judging by the nature of democracy, that is a false assumption. No democratically-elected politician will want to cut anything without the immediate pressure of having to do so.

Some states and even cities have major debt problems (e.g., New York, California, New Jersey, to name just a few), and they have been saved the past two-ish years by handouts from the federal government. But now is the time when they are being forced to seriously make changes to their budgets—because they cannot do what Congress is now considering doing.

As public administrators, we can help to avoid dire financial circumstances by planning and spending conservatively, and by helping elected officials do so as well.

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