Arlington County, Va., manager Mark Schwartz has presented county board members with a list of potential budget cuts that would facilitate a one-cent tax rate cut from his proposed 2018 budget. The $11.1 million optional cuts could affect libraries, parks, schools, human services, community planning, county jail staff and planned service improvements.
A committee of local emergency officials from will evaluate management concerns at the Porter County, Ind., 911 department after complaints from local police and fire departments. One area the committee will examine is an ongoing upgrade to an 800-megahertz emergency radio network.
Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., have adopted or are considering rules to prevent contractors who work on President Donald Trump's proposed border wall from being awarded city contracts. "I'm hoping that the more cities join in, the more powerful our voices will be in this movement to stop the wall," said Oakland City Council member Abel Guillen.
The city of South Perth, Australia, is working with Western Australia's Royal Automobile Club to trial an electric driverless bus that can carry up to 11 passengers for a distance of just under 2 miles. The RAC Intellibus has completed more than 350 trips so far, with 97% of passengers agreeing the technology could be useful.
St. Lawrence County, N.Y., has hired a risk manager to improve workplace safety for county, town and village staff with the goal of addressing rising workers' compensation claims. Workers' compensation payments cost the county about $120,000 per week, up from around $30,000 per week six years ago.
City Council members in Lewiston, Maine, previewed the city's 2017-18 budget, in which administrator Ed Barrett proposed an overall increase of 6%. The increase would be the first since 2010, and would cover rising staff and benefit costs, debt service and other expenses, Barrett said.
A bylaw in Calgary, Alberta, banning free-roaming pets and the city's program to cover emergency medical treatment for strays and spaying and neutering fees for pets of low-income owners has earned it the Safe Cats Safe Birds Award from Nature Canada. "Cities across the world, really, are following the Calgary model and figuring out ways to keep pets safe, but also reduce their impact on wildlife generally," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
County board members in Eau Claire County, Wis., have voted unanimously to extend paid time-off benefits to part-time employees in an effort to attract qualified applicants for county jobs. "As our economy has improved, that means people who are quality talent can go elsewhere," said Supervisor Brandon Buchanan.
Cullman City Parks and Recreation's inaugural Dinner of First event last May raised $20,000 toward a new park for the Alabama city. The dinner was named by the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association as the Innovative Program or Event of the Year.
Dallas will convert a downtown parking lot into a park thanks to a development agreement with nonprofit Parks for Downtown Dallas, which is donating $16 million to build and endow the park. The city will cover the site remediation, which could cost as much as $1.6 million.
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