Local Government
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/22/2019

Officials in Berkeley, Calif., last week approved an ordinance to remove gender-specific language from municipal codes, replacing words such as "manhole" with "maintenance hole" and "he" and "she" with "they." "Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality," says ordinance author Rigel Robinson.

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CNN
7/22/2019

Former Greenwood, S.C., city manager Travis Higginbotham, who died last week at 86, oversaw a downtown redevelopment project that involved removing old railroad tracks to revive the merchant district. County Council Chair Steve Brown notes Higginbotham was "a very forward-thinking type of person."

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County Council, Steve Brown
7/19/2019

The city of West Palm Beach, Fla., is trying to discourage homeless people from sleeping on a city pavilion by playing the songs "Baby Shark" and "Raining Tacos" on a continuous loop throughout the night. Parks and recreation director Leah Rockwell says the short-term measure has been working.

7/19/2019

Eureka, Calif., city manager Greg Sparks told council members this week that he plans to retire by the end of 2019, bringing an end to his 40-year career in local government. Sparks previously served as city manager in West Des Moines, Iowa, and as town manager for Mountain Village, Colo.

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Greg Sparks
7/18/2019

The Park and Recreation Commission in Charleston County, S.C., has acquired over 11,000 acres of land since the early 2000s, including rice field wetlands and coastal beaches. Roughly 50% of the sites are open to visitors, with more expected in the next five years.

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Recreation Commission
7/18/2019

Mayor Doug McCallum of Surrey, B.C., Canada, this week announced a plan to shut down the city's public safety committee and replace it with an interim committee that aims to create a local police department. Councillor Brenda Locke warned the dissolution of the public safety committee leaves local residents unprotected until a police force is in place.

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Doug McCallum
7/18/2019

Henry County, Iowa, has filed a request to dismiss a lawsuit from 15 residents challenging an Avangrid Renewables project under development in the area. The residents hope to have the project's special-use permit retracted.

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Avangrid Renewables
7/18/2019

Officials in Covington, Va., this week named Krystal Onaitis the city's new manager, filling the post left vacant for six months after the resignation of former manager Richard Douglas. "She brings a lot of experience from her time in Richmond, and some new perspectives for us," says Covington Vice Mayor David Crosier of Onaitis.

7/18/2019

Seven children attending a summer camp event Wednesday held by the Newington, Conn., Parks and Recreation Department were hospitalized due to dehydration and heat-related illness. The department said it had taken precautions to manage the heat and keep the campers hydrated.

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Recreation Department
7/18/2019

Residents in parts of Portland, Ore., may be forced to pay for and run their own community centers, while other facilities will be closed as the city seeks to close a revenue gap. The city's Parks and Recreation bureau's expenses have exceeded its revenues for several years.