Local Government
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/20/2019

Anoka County, Minn., officials are hoping to highlight the area's low taxes, affordable land and proximity to major cities in one place through a comprehensive website. The county's economic development specialist is also working with city leaders on business-development zoning and downtown-revitalization projects.

2/20/2019

The City Council in Highland, Ill., plans to consider merging two of its three tax districts as it seeks to ensure equitable cost-sharing for a $7 million public safety center. City Manager Mark Latham said the city's half-cent sales tax will remain the same.

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Mark Latham
2/20/2019

Commissioners in Brevard County, Fla., have approved a plan to stop using property taxes to fund art and cultural grants over the next three budget years. Property-tax monies currently account for $30,000 of the $130,000 arts grants the county awards annually, with the rest of the funds generated by a tax on hotels and short-term rentals.

2/20/2019

Michael Cleghorn stepped into the role of city manager in Lawton, Okla., last week and has made developing a mission statement one of his first goals. Cleghorn says he aims to improve the city's appearance, make operations more efficient and make city systems more transparent to residents.

2/20/2019

The Parks and Recreation Department in Lubbock, Texas, has created interactive maps of parks that are searchable by amenities and locations. The tool also highlights transportation options.

2/20/2019

Outdoor recreation contributed $412 billion to US gross domestic product in 2016, up 1.7% from a year earlier, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Meanwhile, local parks and recreation spending contributed $81 billion to US GDP in 2015, according to data from George Mason University and the National Recreation and Park Association.

2/20/2019

Diversity in marketing and public relations helps ensure that messaging reflects the makeup of the intended audience, writes Nysha King of MRINetwork. "Take a step back with your team, and check to see if patterns of unconscious bias or negative undertones appear in your campaigns," King writes.

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Forbes
2/20/2019

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is sharing photos on Instagram of the early arrival of bluebonnet blooms at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

2/19/2019

Officials in Weston, W.Va., are planning to eliminate some local taxes if a request to annex property along US 33 is approved. City leaders have already approved ordinances to eliminate the $100 annual municipal fee and a $275 annual fee on qualified commercial properties if the annexation measure passes.

2/19/2019

First responders and dispatchers throughout Kern County, Calif., are better prepared for callers with mental health issues or other complicating factors, because they have expanded Smart911 technology throughout the county and have been given Crisis Intervention Training. The county's database also has location information for homeless people that defines their approximate location.