Minnesota Cities Magazine

Bits & Briefs

SO15ShakopeeFB#AsktheCity in Shakopee
Shakopee is sharing the know-how of city staff with residents via a series of one-hour live chats on Facebook. The series, called “#AsktheCity,” invites residents to post their questions in the comments of an introductory post on the city’s Facebook page. Staff are at the ready to answer questions about the topic and provide their insight. Each live chat focuses on one department’s topic, with the goal of having an event for each department by the time the year is over. In January, public works answered questions about snow plowing. In April, police answered questions about evidence collection. July’s #AsktheCity event was with a city building official who answered questions about permits, codes, and inspections related to home improvement projects. Learn more at www.facebook.com/ShakopeeMN/events.

LMCIT Program Wins Top Honors
The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s (LMCIT) Training Safety Officer (TSO) program recently received a national honor when it was selected as the first-place winner by the Public Risk Management Association in the Outstanding Achievement for the Intergovernmental Risk Pool Program category.

Designed to improve the safety of police, fire, emergency management, and other first responders while they are training, the TSO program provides a model where public safety departments incorporate a safety officer into each training lesson plan. This safety officer provides oversight, control, and guidance while working with the already-present instructor to ensure that all trainees have a professional and safe experience with reduced injuries.

Developed in 2012 through work with several Minnesota public safety departments, the TSO program is overseen by LMCIT Loss Control Manager Rachel Carlson and LMCIT Public Safety Project Coordinator Rob Boe—who traveled to Houston to accept the award. Learn more about the TSO program at www.lmc.org/tso.

School’s in Session for Election Administration SO15ballot
Elections administration these days requires expertise in complex policy and legal issues, and even technology. To address the growing need for training in this important field, the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs has rolled out an online certificate course for election officials. The first of its kind, the program kicked off with the Fall 2015 semester. Learn more at www.hhh.umn.edu/electioncertificate.

NLC State of the Cities Report 2015
Economic development stole the city spotlight in 2015—that’s according to the National League of Cities’ (NLC) State of the Cities report released in July. The report is based on 100 State of the City addresses delivered throughout the country, which can provide a snapshot of local government trends based on the issues given coverage, and of those, which issues were given significant coverage. Economic development, including workforce development and regulatory reform, ranked first for the second year in a row as the most commonly discussed issue. Infrastructure (bike lanes in the West, sewers in the Midwest), budgets, public safety (No. 1 among small cities), transportation, and education round out the national top five. In the Midwest region, housing and education tied for 4th and 5th in receiving significant coverage, knocking out transportation. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1Tozjj8.

SO15mediationOct. 15 is International Conflict Resolution Day
International Conflict Resolution Day will be observed this year on Oct. 15. Created in 2005 by the Association of Conflict Resolution, the event aims to promote awareness of mediation, arbitration, conciliation, and other peaceful ways of resolving conflict, and to promote the use of these methods in governments and other organizations. Think about ways your city can mark the occasion. One thing you might do is simply review the League’s civility resources at www.lmc.org/civility.

Training to Become a Resilient Community
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a free online training module to help communities boost their resilience in the face of climate change. The training, which takes about half an hour, was designed for local government officials and developed with the help of the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee, which is made up of local government officials. The training connects the dots between climate instability and your local infrastructure, and then provides strategies and resources to help you protect the public’s investment and your city’s future. Learn more at www.epa.gov/localadaptationtraining.

2015 Congress Of Cities: Learn, Network, Explore SO15nashvillemusicNashville
City officials from across the country will be gathering in Nashville Nov. 4-7 for the 2015 National League of Cities Congress of Cities. The agenda includes workshops on everything from municipal bonds to promoting the arts, as well as 13 mobile workshops throughout the city and, of course, opportunities to catch some live music. Sound like a good time? Learn more at www.nlccongressofcities.org.

Read the September-October 2015 issue of Minnesota Cities Magazine

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