ICMA Congratulates Distinguished Service Award Recipients Dennis Beach and David B. Elder

September 16, 2009

In recognition of their lasting impacts on their communities and the profession, Dennis Beach, retired city manager of Fort Pierce, Florida, and David B. Elder, retired city manager of Worthington, Ohio, are the 2009 recipients of ICMA’s Distinguished Service Awards, conferred by the ICMA Executive Board earlier this year. The ICMA Distinguished Service Award is given to a manager who has retired from the profession and made an outstanding contribution to the management profession and local government. 

Descriptions of Mr. Beach’s and Mr. Elder’s contributions are included with the annual awards commemorative insert to the October issue of Public Management magazine. For more information on the Distinguished Service Award, contact awards@icma.org.


Do you know the way to San Jose?

September 16, 2009

Writing from the Closing Session, I’m once again struck by how fast the conference flew by…as it seems to do every year! It has been a great conference and once again want to thank ICMA staff, the Conference Planning Committee, and the Host Committee for an amazing time!

We’ll barely begin to catch our breath before planning begins for the 2010 Conference…and I couldn’t be more excited, as it will be in my own backyard: beautiful San Jose, California. The Host Committee and Planning Committee are already hard at work to bring you what I know is going to be an outstanding Conference. On behalf of the Board, my fellow California Board member Pat Martel and I invite you to come join us in Paradise, otherwise known as Northern California. San Jose is a fabulous place with great weather, shopping, eats, and almost too much to do (and for all my fellow hockey fans…it will be during the regular season, so hopefully we can all fit in a Sharks game)!

So today, we say au revoir à Montréal…but next year, you will find the way to San Jose! See you there!

Merci Montreal

September 16, 2009

Oprah often talks about having an ‘AHA Moment’ I have had several during my stay here in Montreal. I have discovered that I made the right decision to enter into this profession. I have discovered that serving the public in this capacity is my career calling.

Performance Measurement, Ethics, sustainability are not just the new trends in public administration but tools we are given to aid in the well being of the citizens we have been given the charge to serve.

I consider myself fortunate to be a fellow. I consider myself fortunate to be in Dubuque & Lancaster. AND I consider myself fortunate to have been given the opportunity to come to Montreal and cross paths with people I will be commarades with for the rest of my life.

C’est Montreal the place where it all made sense!! Au revoir!

Time the Revelator

September 16, 2009



            RevelatorNoun – One who reveals, especially one who reveals divine will.


They say Time reveals all things.  Gillian Welch wrote a song called Time (the Revelator).  If you aren’t familiar with Welch you should check her out – she is in company with country/folk greats such as Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams.  I have no idea why Welch wrote the song, but to me it speaks to how Time is the great revealer of all things in life, especially who you are. Time will tell your story, and not only reveal that story to you, but to others.

As mentioned in my first post, I am unable to attend this year’s conference. I always enjoy the annual conference because it allows you an opportunity to learn more about current issues, new books,  management, but it also allows learning about oneself.  What did your time at the conference reveal about you to yourself and to others? Perhaps it taught you about a health care savings option that saves your organization dollars and keeps you from laying off an employee. Perhaps the Conference taught you that you really don’t understand Gen-X’ers and Y, but you’re willing to listen to what they bring to the table. Or, perhaps you discovered that you need more balance in your life…to spend that extra time with your spouse and kids rather than in the office. 

One of the “Ah Ha” moments I had in my life several years ago is that you can never go back – you have to make each day count.  It seems like a ridiculous light bulb moment because it is so obvious, and yet many of us punch our timecard without realizing that you’re punching the timecard of life.  I encourage you to make each day count – be better than the day before. LBJ use to ask his staff at the end of the day “What could we have done better?”  Decide to work each day at being a better spouse and parent, a better boss, a better son or daughter, take a class you’ve always wanted to like painting, guitar, or photography.  You hold the keys to what Time will reveal.

Go here to listen to Gillian Welch and David Rawlings perform the song:

Out of the office: How to Maintain Healthy Relationships

September 16, 2009

ICMA member Cynthia Seelhammer attended yesterday’s session entitled, “Maintaining the Health of Personal Relationships”, which featured Dr. Andreas Rapp of Austria. Formerly a city manager, he now does mediation work. One of his key points was that, too often, couples have many small issues that are not major, but over time, these small things grow to a heavy weight. He emphasized the importance of the dealing with these issues as they come up to minimize the possibility that they blow up later.

He also emphasized the need for home to be a safe haven.  As we all know, though, that doesn’t happen on it’s own. Creating a healthy home environment takes time, attention and planning and is well worth the effort!  Session leader Kathleen Mc Alpine assisted Dr. Rapp in collecting audience comments and ideas about problems and solutions.  One thing was evident to all of us: relationships are ongoing conversations.

Members Talk with Media About Economy

September 16, 2009

Yesterday four ICMA members and staff held a 45-minute telephonic media session from the Palais to discuss how local governments are navigating the current fiscal crisis.  

Ron Carlee, County Manager, Arlington County, Virginia, and newly-appointed Executive in Resident/Director of Strategic Initiatives at ICMA; Scott Hancock, Executive Director, Maryland Municipal League, Annapolis, Maryland; and Peggy Merriss, City Manager, Decatur, Georgia, and former ICMA President; plus Elizabeth Kellar, Deputy Executive Director, ICMA, participated in the session.

Click on http://icma.org/documents/ICMA091509.mp3 to hear the audio of this presentation or visit icma.org to learn more about this session.

A Look Backward and Forward: Darnell Earley Takes Helm as ICMA President Today!

September 15, 2009
What’s the incoming president of ICMA really like? In this Q&A, 2009-10 ICMA President Darnell Earley discusses his career, his inspirations, and his future vision for ICMA.
Darnell speaking at NE Regional Meeting

Darnell speaking at NE Regional Meeting