And the Academy Award Goes to…ICMA?

September 30, 2009

Did you know ICMA has a YouTube site full of videos on local government? The run the gamut of topics and production quality, but all provide valuable information about ICMA and the profession. A personal favorite are films ICMA members submitted as part of our 2nd Annual Video Contest. This year’s challenge was to make a video that demonstrates the value of professional local government management and/or ICMA membership. The results are spectacular!

Some of my other favorite videos are the ones added most recently. Before and during the 2009 ICMA Annual Conference, staff coordinated the filming of several “PSA’s” to highlight various ICMA programs and services. There’s a mix of staff and members featured on camera talking about everything from credentialing to ELDP to the new design of PM Magazine to the benefits of 311 and CRM. Check them out to learn about the exciting opportunities that are out there. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what to expect:

Another great resource is ICMA TV, who produces high quality videos on local governments and various aspects of the conference. You can find their content at


We love the ICMA Staff!

September 15, 2009

I first got to know many ICMA staff members when I served on my very first committee: the Conference Planning Committee (side note: want to get involved and have fun? get on this committee). The amount of work that goes into making this conference successful is mind boggling. And yet the team, led by Ross Hoff, handle it with style, and year after year produce an amazing gathering of thousands of people with what appears to be the greatest of ease. But believe me…they work their butts off.

Now that I’m on the Board I have been so fortunate to get to know more staff members, and I want you all to know that all the staff beyond the Conference team are there year-round for you, me, and all of the 9000+ ICMA membership. All of the programs that serve us, all the work behind the scenes that allows us to make our own jobs easier, is due to our incredible staff. As President David Limardi noted the other day, they are all dedicated, amazing people who believe in this profession and help make it run…frankly, we couldn’t do it without them.

So to echo the President…when you see someone with a green staff ribbon, please take a moment to acknowledge them. Quite simply, they rock. Thanks ICMA staff for ALL that you do!!

The “I” in ICMA

September 14, 2009

Last night I attended the International Reception and met some amazing people from all over the world.  I’ve often said that in the States, every manager is no more than two degrees of separation from every other manager, and I’d love to think that it won’t be long before that also applies to managers worldwide.

John Hope Bryant noted yesterday in his keynote that the world is just really a series of cities and small towns…and our new International Board member from Australia, Noelene Duff, commented the other day that we all have more in common with each other than what we don’t.  I spoke yesterday with my new friend Rodney Cumby from Town Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, Newfoundland, who was attending his first ICMA Conference and was getting a lot out of it, especially the sessions focused on small communities (we’ll be looking to see you come back, Rodney).  I just left the Zero Waste Stream session, where I heard about great programs from the US, Canada, and England…and I’m heading to the Fiscal Crisis from an International Perspective session next.  We all have so much to learn from one another and as the globe really is shrinking, it’s crucial for us to foster and maintain our international network.

I also had a chance to chat with David Timmons, CM of Port Townsend, WA, who has been on the International Committee and has visited, connected and worked with ICMA in numerous countries, and I enjoyed hearing about his experiences.  ICMA has played a critical role in furthering the mission of effective local government worldwide and through its  international projects has provided technical assistance and served as a resource to create real change in communities around the world.  Check out  you might be surprised to learn about what ICMA International has been able to achieve.

I’d like to encourage all of you that for the rest of your time at the Conference, when you see a colleague from another country, take the time to make a new friend and increase your worldview.  It is all of us that make up the “I” in ICMA.

Happy Birthday to the ICMA Code of Ethics!

September 13, 2009
Just getting started cutting and serving the Code's birthday cake!

Just getting started cutting and serving the Code's birthday cake!

It’s been great to hear ICMA President Dave Limardi talk about the history of the ICMA Code of Ethics, particularly that the first version was signed here in Montreal. This year, we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the code–that celebration was kicked off with a cake.  A very large and delicious cake.

Learn more at

Get Advice from ICMA Consulting Services

September 12, 2009

Are you looking for expert advice on how to handle an issue facing your jurisdiction? Visit the ICMA Pavilion in the exhibit hall for one-on-one mini advice sessions with members of the ICMA Consulting Services team. You can receive free, onsite advice in fiscal health and wellness, workforce deployment and development, leadership and organizational effectiveness, and citizen engagement.

  • Craig Rapp, director of ICMA Consulting Services, and Chuck Schwabe, director of Management Services for ICMA Consulting Services, will provide advice in areas such as lean thinking, Baldrige for government, and council-staff relations.
  • Jon Johnson and Chris Fabian, senior management consultants, will offer advice in closing a budget gap and achieving long-term financial sustainability.
  • Leonard Matarese, director of Public Safety Services for ICMA Consulting Services, and his team of senior public safety services consultants will offer advice on appropriate, cost-effective staffing for police and fire departments, and more.

Visit for more information about how your membership organization can help your jurisdiction.