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01/24/2012 00 General Council Information• BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEMENT Item No. For Meeting of January 24, 2012 ITEM TITLE: SUBMITTED BY: CONTACT PERSON/TELEPHONE: SUMMARY EXPLANATION: Council General Information 1. City Meeting Schedule for week of January 23-30, 2012 2. Preliminary Future Activities Calendar as of January 23, 2012 3. Preliminary Future Council Agenda 4. Weekly Issues Report 5. 1/17/12 Letter to property and business owners in the Downtown Yakima Business Improvement District 6. 1/18/12 Memorandum from Chris Waarvick regarding 2012-2016 Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan 7 1/17/12 Response from Ken Mehin regarding Dial -a -Ride complaint 8. 12/27/11 Letter from Red Stone Equity Partners regarding Investment in LIHTC Development in Yakima 9. Newspaper/Magazine Articles: * "A Snohomish County program combats the lure of gangs," City Vision Magazine, January/February 2012 * "Star Map: Redmond's new tool plots community safety," City Vision Magazine, January/February 2012 * "Putting Safety First: A Lakewood team fosters collaboration and community." City Vision Magazine, January/February 2012 * "Dealing with public mistrust," 1CMA Public Management, January/February 2012 * "Think you can't measure resident engagement? Think again!," ICMA Public Management, January/February 2012 * "Starting your new board or council off right," 1CMA Public Management, January/February 2012 Resolution Ordinance Contract: Mail to: Contract Term: Amount: Insurance Required? No Funding Source: APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL: Other (specify) Expiration Date: Phone: City Manager STAFF RECOMMENDATION: BOARD/COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Click to download ❑ Council General Information • CITY MEETING SCHEDULE For January 23 — January 30, 2012 Please note: Meetings are subject to change Tuesday, January 24 9:00 a.m. EMS Operation Board Meeting — EMS Office 9:00 a.m. Tourism Promotion Area Meeting — Yakima Convention Center 10:00 a.m. Yakima County Commissioners Meeting — Council Chambers 1:00 p.m. Yakima City Council Boards/Commission Appointments — Council Chambers Wednesday, January 25 10:30 a.m. WA Utilities & Transportation Commission Hearing — Council Chambers 12:00 p.m. YVVCB Board Meeting — Hilton Garden Inn 3:30 p.m. Yakima Planning Commission — Council Chambers 3:30 p.m. Yakima Arts Commission — Planning Conference Room 5:30 p.m. Yakima Historic Preservation Commission — Council Chambers Thursday, January 26 9:00 a.m. Yakima Hearing Examiner — Council Chambers Monday, January 30 3:00 p.m. Bid Opening — Council Chambers • Office Of Mayor/City Council Preliminary Future Activities Calendar Please Note Meetings are sub.ect to change Meeting-, 'Organization' - Meeting Purpose,,; Participants ; Meeting Location , Date/Tii'ne Mon. Jan. 23 7.00 p m Speak to Boy Scouts Guest speaker Cawley Wesley United Methodist, 48th & Chestnut Avenues Tues. Jan 24 _ ro.. . 9:00 a m EMS Operations Board Board Meeting Lover EMS Office Conference Room 9.00 a.m Tourism Promotion Area Scheduled Meeting Coffey Yakima Convention Center Meeting 1 00 p m Council Scheduled Meeting City Council Council Chambers Boards/Commissions A..ointments Wed. Jan 25 12 00 p m. YVVCB Board Meeting Board Meeting Hilton Garden Inn 2 00 p m TRANS -Action Committee Scheduled Meeting WSDOT Conference Room Meeting 3 30 p m Yakima Arts Commission Scheduled Meeting Adkison Planning Conference Room 3 30 p m Yakima Planning Scheduled Meeting Ensey Council Chambers Commission 5 30 p m Yakima Historic Scheduled Meeting Lover Council Chambers Thur. Jan 26.a_.._a. Preservation Commission . . 6 00 p m Police Chief Candidate reception Scheduled Event Open Yakima Convention Center Tue. Jan. 31 12.00 p m Miscellaneous Issues Scheduled Meeting Cawle Adkison • TBD Wed. Feb. 1 1200 m Cit Council Retreat Scheduled Meeting Council Yakima Convention Center Mon. Feb. 6 10 00 a m City Council Media Briefing Scheduled Meeting Ensey Council Chambers • • PRELIMINARY FUTURE COUNCIL AGENDA January 31 NO SCHEDULED BUSINESS MEETING (Information packet on January 26) February 1 12:00 p.m. Council Retreat — Yakima Convention Center, Suite 200 February 7 (T) 5:00 p.m. Executive Session — Council Chambers 6:00 p.m. Business Meeting — Council Chambers • Review request for proposals document and timelines for Downtown Clean and Safe Contract solicitation • Resolution authorizing a professional services agreement with Fulcrum Environmental Consulting, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $18,170 for services required to remove two 250 -gallon underground storage tanks at Fire Station No. 94. • Resolution authorizing agreements pursuant to a loan application to the Washington Department of Ecology State Revolving Fund for a 25% forgivable principal loan of $3,751,414 • Engineering quarterly report • Resolution authorizing an agreement regarding a loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund totaling $3,514,800 for the Water Treatment Backwash Storage Project 7:00 p.m. Public Hearings 1/19/2012 10'17 AM • Public hearing to consider the recommendation of the Hearing Examiner regarding a rezone request from Richard Ehlers to change the zone from R-2 to R-3 for property in the vicinity of 724 N. 34th Avenue 1 • Public hearing to consider the recommendation of the Planning Commission regarding a 31 lot preliminary long plat of Two Bluffs in the R-1 zone for property in the vicinity of 74th Avenue and Englewood Avenue • Public hearing to hear from the public on the creation of a Transportation Benefit District, comprising the corporate limits of the City 1/19/2012 10'17 AM • Municipal Code changes necessary to implement the 2012 budget 2 • MEMORANDUM January 19, 2012 TO: The Honorable Mayor and City Council Members FROM: Michael Morales, Interim City Manager SUBJECT: Weekly Issues Report • BOARD AND COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS: The Council will be meeting on Tuesday, January 24 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss committee structure and select Board and Commission assignments. • POLICE CHIEF SELECTION PROCESS: Police Chief applicants will be in town from January 25 — 30. A meet and greet reception will be held at the Convention Center on Thursday, January 26 at 6:00 p.m., similar to the one held for the City Manager applicants. On Friday, the applicants will spend the majority of the day participating in ride -a -longs with YPD officers. The assessment process will begin on Saturday and conclude on Sunday. Council members Cawley, Ettl, and Lover will be participating on the panel on Saturday. I will be interviewing 3-4 finalists on Monday, January 30 and making a selection shortly thereafter. • 2012-2016 PARKS & RECREATION COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: The Parks & Recreation Division is nearing the final stages in completing the Comprehensive Plan update. The draft plan is scheduled to go to the Parks & Recreation Commission on February 8 for an open public hearing. The plan will also be available on the City's website. • DOWNTOWN YAKIMA BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (DYBID): Enclosed in your packet is a copy of a letter sent to downtown business and property owners about the reestablished DYBID and Advisory Committee process. • ASSOCIATION OF WASHINGTON CITIES—LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE: I will be attending the AWC Legislative Conference in Olympia January 25 and 26. I will drive over the afternoon/evening of January 24. Public Works Director Chris Waarvick will be Acting City Manager during my absence. If • youneed to contact me I will have my blackberry and I will be checking in with Cally. January 17, 2012 To: Property &Business Owners in the Downtown Yakima Business Improvement District From: Michael Morales, Interim City Manager Subject: Update on the Downtown Yakima Business Improvement District and Advisory Committee Process The Yakima City Council re-established the Downtown Yakima Business Improvement District (DYBID) on December 6, 2011 to provide special safety, maintenance and beautification services on behalf of the business owners and operators within the district. This re-formed district will operate differently than the previous DYBID. To guide the activities of the District, the Yakima City Council is currently seeking volunteers to serve on a 5 -member "DYBID Election Committee" which will establish the 7 -member Advisory Committee of business owners and operators in the District. The DYBID Advisory Committee will be responsible for communication between the members in the District and to the Yakima City Council. If you are interested in serving on the DYBID Elections Committee, please complete and return the enclosed application to the City Clerk's Office at Yakima City Hall no later than February 10, 2012. When the DYBID Advisory Board is established, they will hold monthly meetings to provide direction for the tasks described above and the other needs within the District. Maintenance and related services will be contracted for the following purposes: • Cleaning of sidewalks • Weed abatement • Trash removal • Graffiti removal • Landscaping and special projects • Safety services • Support Economic Development • Downtown Marketing To support these services, property owners within the DYBID will be billed quarterly by the City of Yakima. Additionally, business operators with a Yakima City Business License will be assessed $100 each year. Enclosed is the First Quarter bill to property owners and the Business License bill. Enclosures: Application for Boards and Commissions First Quarter 2012 Property Assessment and Business License Bill for DYBID • Memorandum January 18, 2012 To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council City Manager, Michael Morales From: Chris Waarvick, Director of Public Works Ken Wilkinson, Parks and Recreation Manager Joseph Calhoun, Assistant Planner Subject: 2012 — 2016 Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan The Parks and Recreation Division is nearing the final stages in completing the 2012 — 2016 Comprehensive Plan update. A Draft of the plan has been prepared, and will be available for public review on the City's website and can be downloaded for those who wish to have a printed copy. The Draft Plan is scheduled to go to the Parks and Recreation Commission on February 8, 2012 for an open -record public hearing. The Parks and Recreation Commission will provide a recommendation on the Draft Plan which will be brought to City Council at a later date for final review and approval. Contact Information: Ken Wilkinson - office 576-6416 cell 910-0850 kwilkins@ci.yakima.wa.us Joseph Calhoun - office 575-6162 icalhoun@ci.yakima.wa.us ci.yakima.wa.us • 2301 Fruitvale Blvd. Yakima, WA 98902 Memorandum January 17, 2012 To: Honorable Mayor Micah Cawley Interim City Manager Michael Morales From: Ken Mehin, Transit Manager Subject: Dial -A -Ride Service Complaint #12-01 City of Yakima, Transit Division Yakima Transit 575-6175 Dial -A -Ride 575-6054 Transit Administration575-6005 Yakima Transit's Dial -A -Ride program underwent a change of contractor beginning January 1, 2012. This change came about through a protracted process involving a Request for Proposals, discussions with the City Council and lengthy contract negotiations. This process was originally projected to conclude by the end of August 2011. Unfortunately due to many delays including contract negotiations, Council policy deliberations, retracted then renewed bid offers and late breaking state and federally required contract language, the changeover did not occur until New Year's Eve. The new Contractor, Medstar Cabulance, was ultimately the ,essful bidder and had less than 30 days to secure an operating facility, hire staff, and make the many other eerational arrangements necessary to begin providing service New Year's Day. Yakima Transit staff has been working closely with Medstar and the previous contractor, Tri -City Taxi, to make the changeover go as smoothly as possible for our clients. Unfortunately for Medstar, which has a sterling reputation for customer service in the Valley for 29+ years, a series of events ranging from power outages in their operating facility, telephone system glitches, computer outages, new staff, and vehicle issues compounded to create a difficult first week of operations. Unfortunately this bumpy first week seems to be a common problem with new contractors since it has happened to a certain degree each time there is a contractor change even with thorough and exhaustive preparations on the part of contractor personnel and City staff overseeing the process. Dial -A -Ride operations were markedly better the second week with client trips being provided on-time or very nearly so throughout each day. Yakima Transit staff has been maintaining close contact with Medstar and all are working diligently to smooth out problematic areas as rapidly as possible. It is obvious that our efforts are succeeding. We feel confident that with the difficult first week concluded the Dial -A -Ride service provided by Medstar will be a smoothly functioning transportation system that meets customer and contractual expectations. Chris Waarvick, Public Works Director, talked with Gary Belles on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 about the matter. Gary related the difficulties his mother encountered the first week but noted that no such incidents re- curred ant that the contractor is doing a good job at the moment. If you would like to discuss the issue her, please feel free to contact either Ken Mehin, Transit Manager at 576-6415 or Karen Allen, Contract ministrator at 576-6423. Please see the attached letter from Justin Bergener, Medstar Cabulance. Attachment: (1) Yakima Transit, the neighborhood bus! MEDSTAR CABULANCE [NC. 1101 N.16th Ave. Yakima, WA. 98902 I Ph: 509-248-2004 I Fax: 877-992-8339 January 12, 2012 Reference: Response to complaint dated 9-1-2012 by Gary Belles Providing Dia! A Ride for the City of Yakima in a safe and reliable manner is taken very seriously. Medstar has eamed a great reputation for similar service throughout Yakima over the last 29 years. We take serving each client's transportation need as a great privilege and trusted duty. Any complaint or concern is taken very seriously. We are thankful that this information has been provided and hope this information provides some resolve to your requests. We have Audrey's pickup time set at 12:00 pm not at 11:45 am as indicated in your letter. This is the time that written record shows as received from the previous provider. On Tuesday Jan. 3rd, there were 130 more rides than a typical day due to the long holiday. In addition we had a power outage at our new office location. We made every effort to get catch up but the day was running late as indicated. On Jan. 5th we have record of being 15 minutes early for the pickup. We are working to verify location and time via GPS tracking. On Jan. 7th, the call taker noted that "Christine" at Davita would call Willow Springs. We have talked about the best procedure here and we have added a note to Audrey's record that only Gary and Willow Springs can change pickup times. Regarding Rhonda's concem, no records were lost or deleted, but the call taker had selected a box thatsaid "match entire field contents" and so the records were not pulling up while Rhonda was on the phone. I personally sat down with that call taker and reviewed in more detail how that limits the search results. We have hired 93% of the previous Dial -A -Ride TCT staff including drivers and a dispatcher to help run Dial -A Ride. This provides the same experienced people to provide this service as before with a minimal amount of new individual service providers. Medstar does provide a print out for every driver that contains the days manifest and assignments. Drivers also receive an MDT that provides an electronic manifest with real time updates and gps tracking. The electronic equipment and manifest provide time stamps and gps coordinates to ensure that the City is able to monitor more accurate data. Even with all of the precautions put in place and countless hours, we have made mistakes, we sincerely apologize for these frustrations and reassure you that we are diligently working to provide•a better service everyday. We welcome any suggestion or feedback. Sincerely, Justin Bergener MEDSTAR CABULANCE CEO' Medstar Cabulance, Inc. 1 www,gomedstar.comemail: justin©gomedstar.com 1 Office 509.829.69961 Mobile 509.307.7365 , • January 9, 2012 Yakima City Manager Michael Morales 129 North 2nd Street Yakima, Washington 98901 Reference: Medstar/Dial-a-Ride Complaint and Request for Action REGE;VED CITY OF YAKIMA JAN 0 9 2012 !OFFICE OF CITY MANAGE' My mother is Audrey Belles -Bateman. I am writing this letter on her behalf. She has been having serious health problems over the past two and one-half months related to an auto -immune system disorder that has brought about kidney failure, necessitating dialysis treatments. Such treatments are conducted every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On December 22, her appointment time changed from 2:30 P.M. to 12:30 P.M. at the Davita dialysis center located at 1221 North 16th Avenue. Her scheduled pickup time was forty- five (45) minutes prior to scheduled treatments. The treatment schedules are relatively inflexible due to the number of patients, the availability of dialysis machines and staff and the time required for each patients' treatment, which can last over four hours apiece. For the past three weeks, my mother has been staying at Willow Springs Convalescent Center on the 4000 block of Tieton Drive for rehab She has been transported to dialysis via Dial -a -Ride since that time and is on their list of regularly scheduled pickups. Throughout December of 2011, Dial -a -Ride, then operated by Tri -Cities Transportation, maintained a well kept schedule, getting my mother to her appointments in a timely manner. Upon completion of those appointments, Davita staff, along with other health care providers, called for her return rides. The wait times for return transportation were reasonable, ranging from five to fifteen minutes on average. On January 1st, Medstar assumed the new Dial -a -Ride contract with the City of Yakima. Since that time, the service provided has proven almost uniformly unsatisfactory to the point creating potential health hazards to ill patrons and creating significant, avoidable liability for the City of Yakima. On Tuesday, January 3rd, the first day Medstar's transported my mother on Dial -a -Ride, they notified clients, including Willow Springs, that they would be running forty-five minutes late that day due to the changeover. In my mother's case, she was scheduled to be picked up at 11:45 A.M She was actually picked up at about 12:35 P.M., fifty minutes late and five minutes after her treatment was supposed to have begun. On Thursday, January 5th, Medstar/Dial-a-Ride picked my mother up about twenty - minutes late, however; she was able to make her scheduled treatment on time. On Saturday, January 7th, the Dial -a -Ride bus failed to arrive on time. At about 12 10P.M. (twenty-five minutes after the scheduled pickup time), I contacted Willow Springs staff regarding the delay. • • Rhonda, the Willow Springs Administrative Assistant then called Medstar to correct the situation. Medstar staff initially told her that my mother was not on their list of regularly scheduled pickups. When advised that they had already picked her up on the regularly scheduled times on January 3`d and January 5th, the Medstar story changed. The dispatcher now told Rhonda that "Christine" from Davita had called them to reschedule my mother's pickup time to 1:45 P.M., as her treatment time had been rescheduled to 2:30 P.M. Rhonda re -contacted Davita with this latest information. Davita staff advised her that my mother's treatment had not been rescheduled and that Davita never schedules transportation or changes to scheduled transportation. This is left up to the patient and the patient's care providers, a practice consistent with the experience of the Willow Springs staff and with my dealings with Davita. Further, Davita told Rhonda that nobody named Christine works for Davita either at the Yakima clinic or the Union Gap clinic. Upon hearing this, Rhonda called Medstar and requested the earliest possible pickup time. The Medstar dispatcher stated she would send the soonest available transport, but declined to estimate when it would arrive. This took place at about 12:20 P.M., ten minutes before my mother's treatment was scheduled to begin. It was another hour before the Dial -a -Ride bus actually arrived to transport my mother at 1.20 P.M. This caused her to be late to her treatment by over an hour. My mother's treatment time was subsequently reduced from two -hours to and hour -and -one-half, concluding at about 3:00 P.M. Upon completion of her treatment, Davita staff called Dial -a -Ride for my mother's return ride. Over two hours passed from 3:00 P.M. till about 5:10 P.M., while mom sat in a wheelchair in the Davita lobby waiting for the bus to return. Finally, at about 5:10 P.M. the transport did arrive, returning her to Willow Springs. My mother is currently very weak and is at Willow Springs for the purpose of rehabilitation so she can return home. It is very difficult for her to sit in a wheelchair for long periods of time and she is often too weak to continue holding her head up. The two delays in her transportation on January 5th alone resulted in her sitting up waiting in a wheelchair for roughly four hours. When coupled with dialysis, itself an exhausting process, the effect was extremely fatiguing to her. The experiences my mother has had with Dial -a -Ride since the Medstar contract began is typical of others. Willow Springs has had to deal with chronic late pickups since the conversion to Medstar. Davita had similar experiences with the new vendor. Similarly, on the evening of January 3rd, when 1 stopped by my mother's home to drop off some items for her, I encountered her neighbor "Marshal" at about 5.20 P.M. He has had serious recent health problems as well and is wheelchair bound, as is my mother. He was waiting in his driveway with his adult grandson when I arrived. When we spoke, Marshal told me he was waiting for his Dial -a -Ride transportation. He had a doctor's appointment for 5:15 P.M. and his ride had been scheduled for 4:30 P.M. He was already five minutes late for his appointment at the time. The Dial -a -Ride bus pulled up as we spoke. This morning (1-9-12), Willow Springs administrative assistant, Rhonda, told me that on January 7th, she was forced to spend considerable time rescheduling all of Willow Springs regularly scheduled riders with Dial -a -Ride, as Medstar had deleted or lost the entire list. This required considerable time and, left to Medstar, would have resulted in many patients lacking required transportation to necessary medical appointments and/or treatments. Under Tri Cities Transportation, drivers were supplied printouts containing all scheduled pickups, allowing them to plan routes effectively. Under Medstar, drivers receive only a phone call and often have no idea what pickups are pending. Rhonda went on to advise that Medstar had failed to communicate effectively with the facility, although the remedial scheduling she conducted on January 7th appeared to have been effective, as pickups had been carried out roughly on schedule the morning of January 9th. I am requesting that Medstar be closely monitored to assure that they carry out their contract properly in the future. I believe their performance to date has ranged from poor to dangerously negligent. Tha you f ; sur understanding and assistance, Ga B ; les P.O. Box 8021 Yakima, Wa. 98908 (509) 307-0051 C: Mayor Micah Cawley • REDSTONJH: EQUITY PARTNERS December 27, 2011 The Honorable Micah Cawley 129 North Second Street Yakima Washington, 98901 RECEIVED CITY OF YAKIMA JAN 1G2012 OFFICE OF CITY COUNCIL Re: Red Stone Equity Partners' Investment in LIHTC Development in Yakima, Washington Dear: Mayor Cawley Red Stone Equity Partners, LLC ("Red Stone"), a privately -owned real estate finance and investment company that provides innovative financial products and services to the multifamily housing industry, is proud to announce the closing of Beech Street in Yakima, Washington. Attached hereto, please find our press release outlining further details of said closing. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Robert U. Fein, Chief Operating Officer 200 Public Square, Suite 1550, Cleveland, OH 44114 TEL. 216-820-4750 WEB: www.redstoneco com Charlotte • Chicago • Cleveland • Los Angeles • New York REDSTON b: EQUITY PARTNERS PRESS RELEASE Contact: Robert U. Fein Red Stone Equity Partners 216.820.4750 Bob.Fein@redstoneequity.com Red Stone Equity Partners' Investment in Affordable Housing Development in Yakima, WA Creates 96 Construction/Permanent Jobs December 27, 2011- Red Stone Equity Partners provided equity to benefit the development of Beech Street Apartments, a to -be -built, 60 unit multifamily development in Yakima, WA. Beech Street Apartments will be built with tax credit equity from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. It is anticipated that that the construction of this property will create approximately 73 construction jobs and approximately 23 permanent jobs. Beech Street will include two, three and four bedroom floor plans. All of the units will be rent and income restricted under the Section 42 LIHTC program. Each home will include a full appliance package that includes a range, refrigerator, and dishwasher. In addition, the units will have central air conditioning, feature a private balcony or patio and washer/dryer hook-ups. The units will be wired for internet access and cable/satellite television services. About Red Stone Equity Partners Red Stone Equity Partners, LLC is a leading real estate investment firm specializing in the syndication of Low -Income Housing Tax Credits to facilitate affordable housing development. Red Stone builds upon long-lasting relationships with investors and developers as it acquires, structures, and provides long-term asset management services to its institutional clients. Its senior management represents more than 75 years of tax credit equity syndication experience, involving the acquisition and syndication of approximately $10 billion of tax credit equity Red Stone Equity Partners is headquartered in Cleveland, OH, with regional offices in Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. For more information, please visit www.redstoneco.com. 200 Public Square, Suite 1550, Cleveland, OH 44114 TEL: 216-820-4750 WEB: www.redstoneco.com Charlotte • Chicago • Cleveland • Los Angeles New York INSIDE: NOTED Insights on existing marijuana legislation THE QUESTION What looms largest in public safety? CALENDAR Legislative priori- ties and help for new electeds Street Talkers A Snohomish County program combats the lure of gangs. CARLOS ALANIS was alone. The Marysville teen's family had moved back to Mexico, and to fill that void he had joined a Hispanic gang, spending his days and nights on the streets of Snohomish County selling drugs and raising hell. In that sense, he wasn't alone. According to the 2008 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, from 2002 to 2008 gang membership among Sno- homish County 12th graders doubled, the number of 10th graders who reported bringing a weapon to school increased by 80 percent, and self- reported gang membership in nine of the county's 15 school districts exceeded the statewide average by 11 percent. So in January 2010, the county's Gang Community Response Team launched an 18 -month prevention and interven- tion pilot program with a $200,000 grant from the Washington State Juve- nile Rehabilitation Administration. We can't arrest our way out of this oblem," explains Kevin Fairchild, a detective from the Everett Police continued on page 10 —► JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 CITYVISION MAGAZINE rk44 2 KOEGEN EDWARDS LLP ATTORNEYS AT LAW NATIONALLY -RECOGNIZED BOND COUNSEL FIRM AND FULL-SERVICE MUNICIPAL LAW FIRM Koegen Edwards LLP is a boutique municipal law firm providing counsel in all aspects of financing for governmental entities and issues of general municipal law. We serve as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, borrower's counsel, developer's counsel and counsel to underwriters and private placement agents for municipalities and issuers throughout the state of Washington. We are also experienced in municipal issues including public contracts, land use, zoning and development law, employment and labor relations, governmental operations and tort defense litigation. BANK OF AMERICA FINANCIAL CENTER 601 W RIVERSIDE AVE., SUITE 1700 SPOKANE, WASHINGTON 99201 509-747-4040 P11 509-747-4545 FX www koegenedwards com ROY J. KOEGEN MARY J. EDWARDS MICHAEL F. CONNELLY ERIK J. LAMB Ourjob is making sure that wast 4 r QOM. S to fir' Learn more at wm com/partner Energy creation. Recycling programs. Closed-loop solutions. What are your municipality's sustainability goals and how will you reach them? When you choose Waste Management as your partner, you're one step closer to realizing those goals. Partnership begins with a discussion — may we suggest a conversation with us as a first step? Mary Evans, Director -Public Sector Solutions 425 814 7844 WASTE MANAGEMENT 02012 Waste Management, Inc. THINK GREEN° 10 kers continued from page 5 Department's Special Investigations Unit and a member of the team's steering committee. "We in law enforce- ment need to embrace prevention and intervention. It needs to be a community-based response." The social services agency chosen to lead the pilot program was Cocoon House. This Everett -based non- profit, founded in 1991, provides housing, food, clothing, and counseling to homeless teens at shelters in Everett, Arlington, and Monroe, and also fields a platoon of street outreach workers who minister to at -risk youth in parks, shopping malls, and transit stations throughout the county. In addition to those services, the $200,000 grant would fund the outreach efforts of four advocates who would work one-on-one with gang -affiliated teens, typi- cally referred by local schools. One such advocate is Julio Cortes, who met Carlos Alanis in December 2010, when Alanis was homeless and wore the colors, Nike Cortez shoes, and bandanna that identified him as a member of a local gang. Four months later, after dozens of meetings talking long-term about the future, the importance of education, and alternatives to gang life, Cortes drove Alanis to a local Fred Meyer and gave him a $200 gift card for a set of new clothes. The transformation was immediate. "When he tried on those clothes, he was smiling a lot, with confidence beaming from his eyes, and he wasn't as tough a person anymore," Cortes recalls. Alanis severed all ties with his gang and redoubled his efforts at school, where he joined the soccer team and attended his senior prom. In June, at the conclusion of the pilot program, Alanis graduated from Lakewood High. Over the 18 -month life of the grant, Cocoon House reached more than 3,000 at -risk teens and worked one- on-one with 211 gang -affiliated kids like Alanis. And the impact on public safety is just beginning to be felt. in Snohomish County, incidents of gang violence in 2011 plummeted to a five-year low. "Whether it's a direct cause of the grant or something else," Everett detective Fairchild says, "all I know is that right now our gang issues are down substantially." And Alanis finds himself working toward a future he never would have imagined just a year ago: study- ing at a Christian school with the goal of becoming an ordained minister "Sometimes us kids, in those moments when we're alone and we have nothing, we are so desperate that we make the wrong choices," he reflects. "Then somebody comes along who tells us, `I want to help you,' and they show us some love. We're willing to change because w never had that. And it's amazing." — Ted Katauskas C CITYVISION MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 For more information: www.cocoonhouse.org Star Map Redmond's new tool plots community safety. WHEN CHIEF RON GIBSON signed on as the city's top cop in June 2010, he missed a critical outreach tool from his old job in Colorado Springs. So he quickly put his department's IT staff to work. Since debuting in May 2011, Red- mond's Interactive Crime Map has become one of the most visited and linked pages on the city's website. Updated each morning, the map allows users to track 19 different types of crime by date and location simply by scrolling over a map of he city. The typical user is someone io wants to assess the safety of a articular neighborhood—inquiries that the department used to receive frequently via phone from prospec- tive homebuyers or renters or real estate agents, but that were difficult to answer due to liability concerns. It's also become a critical public education resource, cuing residents, say, of a neighborhood targeted by car prowlers to be on the lookout for criminals and to change bad hab- its (such as leaving a laptop or cell phone on the seat of a parked car). "We've been getting a lot of posi- tive feedback," says Redmond Police Department community outreach officer Jim Bove. "It allows people out there to have their eyes open as to what's going on. We can't be everywhere, so anything that helps us keep the community as educated as possible is huge for us." C 1 The Question What's your biggest public safety issue? DOUG PLINSKI Mayor, Odessa We cannot provide 24/7 police protec- tion. We have to depend on our citizens' eyes and ears when a police presence is not always available. We are fortunate to have an aware, "community watch" mentality in our neighborhoods. FRANK SWEET City Supervisor, Selah Funding for police, fire, and public works: public safety encompasses all three. We have to have safe streets, the fire depart- ment has to be able to respond, and the police need to serve and protect. We're required to do more with less money COLLARING THE BUDGET Washington citie�s ,have impleme tetl se, erafastrategiesito contain. 11aW enforceme .wti'�1 - r 'F1'°t %�2' �'1+"�'�! >f'64:'b4. . �"'si. e� �' personnelAcosts Surveyarespondenis tfool the following ops n these proportions KRISTY POWELL City Administrator, Montesano The funding constraints of the street department make any improvement a major issue. We need to provide sidewalks and ramps for pedestrians; potholes need to be fixed; and streets that have been partially repaired for the last 30 years must be rebuilt. JON NEHRING Mayor, Marysville Trying to solidify and increase the gains we have made over the past several years with proactive policing and enfdreement, which has led to a substantial reduction in criminal activity. As resources decrease, our police may be forced to return to a response mode of law enforcement. rtcreasetl employe conte uti sssfor health ca"re JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 CITYVISION MAGAZINE 7 - ! • 1: Cher rOjeCtSr- .icrnc ns Aiithhe-;Ond.'"q-flhO Sch9orieari1 „ -.. 1: 615pe6a-0-iilig',„thp'.eariles:"Police'pep'ert. ment deided'tprpie'corihm upit.jt.'6W-are=---..' s (5-i.lhe',iss6-6",:cif;t.„.6, x,„.011s, ?'-mdriving?' ,. - ---- - - -,,-- - partnershipyvit, ,-, h Aiistate,Insur-anqe,l', 11.' -' schoolterieht;r'-iit--./vjir):ligh..;,. • sftiofi.tpr,...,.. the department -1Di.',0:f.,- tbhaelnrnr)?Of;!iV.:11- PPII6ie::;646i? sheetsf":. tirii .:::, .6 and'rdrT..1i 'hi. (Ictr'-'1::"'''-'..: ' ,i-gf-Orif.,provi9e , ,,,,_, i:29',;?6" additional-' fiiiiighitthat, a'i_C:1.; tex furici;s:fqr17./-ini-,7- ' ' " ''''•- l,.,ditrir-;iufeci..• iiiig--ki4,"' Whi0;^/0r9,..,, '' •!-•'-'?.....!'",''''',:- -,,,'";-: ';'• ''''''''! ',:'1',,_-.',., ':,-;,-,:,,- '' ,', ''''''',.,;-_ ! 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Late last summer, in a CBS and New York Times survey, only 19 percent of Americans felt that they could "trust government in Washington to do what is right most or all of the time." TAKEAWAYS > Do not internalize or personalize attacks. They are attacks on the position and the govern- mental institutions and are borne out of broad frustration. > As tempting as it may be to "fight fire with fire" when verbal attacks occur, it will likely only sharpen future attacks, damage your professional reputa- tion for being calm and sensible, and make you feel even worse about the situation. Take the high road, engage these citizens, and try to team their core issues and concerns. > Discuss how to best sup- port one another when these attacks occur. From the top elected officials down to the lowest paid employee, how people behave, react, and support one another can either worsen or improve the conflict. Specific strategies should be discussed and adhered to with consis- tency throughout your organization. icma.org/pm Thanks to the around-the-clock news cycle and numerous social media tools, people are ever more exposed to government wrongdoing and are more capable of teaming up with one another in order to attack and protest govern- ment officials. The Tea Party movement and the tax watchdog groups at the local level are indicative of the frustration and anger toward all levels of government. Stalling or even shut- ting down government is becoming a viable strategy for the disenfranchised, be they Tea Party activists or Occupy Wall Street protesters in Manhattan. This article examines how elected and appointed officials will need to adapt to frustration and mistrust as well as personal attacks and the use of freedom -of -information legislation as weapons against government. Mistrust Grows and Consumes One local resident decided that her local public officials were hiding something, including stealing and lying about it. She chose to bombard staff with e-mails demand- ing documents while also including pointed attacks on staff's integrity in those e-mails. At one point it was estimated that her freedom - of -information requests would cost $15,000 to a local Maine town over the course of a year. Her methods discouraged and upset staff and crippled their productivity. People who mistrust government and its employees will likely never be convinced to change their views. They see corruption and incompetence at all levels of government. They see it where it exists (via television reporting, 24 hours per day), where it doesn't exist, and even where they believe it exists but just can't prove it yet. Managers canbe as- sumed guilty by simply being associated with government, and some people have already carried out imaginary trials and convictions. The vast majority of public servants continue to be honest, conscientious, and hardworking people, yet uncivil discourse and mistrust are sharply on the rise. It is with this contentious environment in mind that I present strategies for coping with this type of resident. Government employees need to recognize the thinking and belief systems of the true government haters It hurts us, of course. We are only human, and it is in our nature as public servants to do our jobs to help society—not harm it, lie about it, steal from it, or get rich from it. Other than espousing and living our code of ethics daily, and engaging citizens as much aspossible, public servants can do precious little to reverse the growing mistrust of government. We are in unusual times given high property taxes, the rising number of foreclosures, and joblessness. Strategies Matter Elected and appointed public officials need to learn strategies for compartmentalizing, minimizing, eliminating, deflecting, or oth- erwise ignoring the negative attacks on their integrity, motives, and competence. There is no single strategy that will work in every case. Options are needed, depending on the nature, tone, and method of attack. Here are 10 options to consider. 1. You must depersonalize the attack. You are not the position. You are a human being, and you do a job the best you can. When you think of yourself as "the city" or "the county manager," as if an equal sign exists between your name and that office, you truly risk being affected personally by the attacks. If it were not you, it would be some other person holding the office who would be under attack. It's your ego that makes it personal, and it can tie you far too closely to the position. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 1 PUBLIC MANAGEMENT 1 3 WE MUST UNDERSTAND THESE ATTACKS AND MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE. WE MUST DEPERSONALIZE THE ATTACKS, AND, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE, WE MUST LEAVE THE NEGATIVITY BEHIND US. STICK BY YOUR ETHICS, SMILE, AND DO A GOOD JOB. 2. Put critics in perspective in two ways: First, always start by having your perspective in order. What are the big chunks of beautiful blue sky that make your life grand? The spouse, kids, grand- children, time at camp, or playing sports with buddies? Also consider all the other great relationships, hobbies, and time spent smiling. And then there are the'majority of residents -80 percent? 90 percent?—who seem pleased or content with what you do. Taken together, that's your big blue sky. Unfortunately, there are those few, tiny red holes of anger in that otherwise big beautiful sky. Does it make sense— does it work to your advantage—to focus on the tiny red holes? Second, walk a mile in their shoes. Many of these people may have not had the upbringing, education, opportunities, and good fortune that you may have had. As noted earlier, the abused woman and the distressed widow had beliefs that, while hurtful and inappropriate, are nonetheless understandable. Isolate that thought and say to yourself, "I'm grateful that I am not them. They are very unhappy inside." 3. Never feed the beast. Don't focus on the person. Don't allow the negative words and energy to poison the office. Don't talk about him or her. Don't even discuss the latest, nuttiest attack. Anger feeds anger, and negativity feeds negativity. 4. Don't carry around a grudge at them. It's not worth it. A friend told me that a grudge was "like you drink- ing poison and expecting them to die." Let it go. They can carry the poison in their bellies. 5. Indifference is a nice strategy. "It takes 43 muscles to smile, 17 muscles to frown, and zero muscles to sit there with a dumb look on your face." Some of my colleagues use this strategy extremely well. They have developed a strategy to view mistrust and attacks as a minor, natural occurrence, which will not be allowed to create nega- tive feelings for them. 6. Wait it out. Don't respond. Take time to cool down. What's the worst that happens if you choose to simply snot engage the attacker? Attackers want an immediate reaction. They want to get under your skin. Deny them that joy. 7. Learn lessons from their behavior. Act as though you are an outside observer of what they are trying to express or achieve. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned in their criticism, such as "I demand earlier posting of public meetings and agendas on the website!" It may be wise, transparent, and accountable to do that—so do it. You will not appease them in any meaningful way, but the other 80 percent—the silent majority—may appreciate it. For the mistrustful, it would just be one item ori a list of 100 top things they do not like about your office. They'll be in the town office tomorrow or at the next council meeting with a new gripe. 8. Build a support network. Your colleagues are going through this as well. Find time to have lunch and share stories with them. Support each other. Reach out to a colleague getting attacked and offer an uplifting word. 9. Ask elected officials to issue policy or guidelines allowing staff to "shut down" these folks when they are getting aggressive, time-consuming, or too personal. Make sure that elected officials "have your back" if you need to take adult control over an increasingly intoler- able situation. Determine your "rights" with your supervisors about how you may choose to speak and act when an angry citizen comes through the door to chide you. In any event, never get loud or aggressive. Remain calm, but firm. 10. Finally, be aware of a rational versus an instinctive reaction. In other words, will you offer a thoughtful response or jump to a fight -or -flight reaction? You must choose to stay at a rational level and stay above the fray. A friend once told me "to never get into a mudslinging contest unless you are ready to get covered in mud." If they yell, you stay calm. They want to push your buttons; deny them that joy. As a local government manager, you may not even be the staff member taking the most frequent and greatest abuse. Frontline staff will also need your sup- port, your wisdom, and your strategies to mitigate the negative feelings that mistrustful people can cause. A Few Black Eyes These are difficult times to be a govern- ment employee, and it is important that an individual learns to cope with attacks on character and integrity. A person must remember that the attackers are relatively few in number and that, in general, residents of a community serve a reasonably content public. Remember too that, given the number of good, conscientious government employees, only a tiny fraction commit wrongdoing and cause a black eye for the rest. It's best to understand these attacks and maintain perspective. Also, it is best to depersonalize the attacks, and, to the maximum extent possible, leave the negativity behind. Stick by your ethics, smile, and do a good job. Pdl DANA K. LEE is principal, Lee Facilitation Service, Mechanic Falls, Maine (danalee@leefacilitation.com). This article was prepared from an August 2011 presentation to the Maine City and County Management Association at Sebasco Resort, Phippsburg, Maine. 'Local`goernments can: :ermine if engagement: e successful==: uilding, corrlmu'nity;: By'Laura AIIenICMA-cM, amid Amanda`Thom'pson TAKEAWAYS > It is important to evaluate the impact of resident engagement programs so the community can appreciate them. > Using city staff and resident volunteers to collect data is a cost- effective way to evaluate programs and build relationships. an you really quantify the :soft side of resident engagement? Can you measure the effects of those activities on-trustin government? Does this engagement really -make a difference? These were all questions our Leadership ICMA team tackled as we worked with the city - of Montgomery, :Ohio, to develop performance measures for its,resident engagementprograms.. Our research showed one of the key prac- " tices'in implementing effective engagemeritis to measure the result"s ='--'" and treat the feedback as a valuable strategic asset. But really, how do you do that? From our work with Montgomery, we developed a- three- - step process'that's"transferable to other local governments interested in c. measuring their engagement activities: 1. Define what success looks like. 2 Choose performance measures,and, coilect,dat. 3., Share the story. - Define Success Montgomery -uses the Knight -Foundations definition --of resident - ,. engagement, which is: community resident engagement '= attitudi- nal loyalty + passion. Using that as the basis, we developed specific performance measures for the five engagement -programs that p-ekemplified"the'two=way communication desired by the'city. The measures were based on national research and local deli- nitions provided through staff and resident focus groups. These , performance measures are designed to provide -ongoing information about the efficiency and effectiveness of the ,engagementprograms. When defining success; the key is to,be clear and specific about the purposes and goals of the program. The Knight Foundation defines :passion°'_ as the pride,anda enthusiasm residents have toward their,„ community, what their outlook for the future is, -and how- they feel about their place' iri the community. One of Montgomery's engagement goals was to increase a•sense - of pride in-the•,community.-City-staff tried -to increase a sense -of pride by engaging more than 30 residents and business owners to produce a , video in which they expressed why they loved living in Montgomery. The -video was -viewed by approximately -700 people on the Internet. It would be expetisive`fo "measure; °postproduction; the pact of Montgomery's YouTube video on community. pride. The number of views was collected, but it would require- focus groups - or surveys of: those viewers to determine whether their pride in Montgomery increased. If -the :goal of.that program; however, was to involve residents -in creating a product that showcased their pride in Montgomery, then the_tity"has effectively, captured qualitative -,(stones foinparticipants) and.quarititative--(the number-of•residents-involved)--data that show the goal has been met. Broad outcome measures, like a sense of.prid are best captured through annual community wide surveys and tend —Idchange-slowly overtime: -It -is -important to identify goals -that can be met and Measured' in a shorter period of time. 1 6 PUBLIC MANAGEMEMENT 1 JANUARY/FEB UARY ' - icma.org/pm Choose Performance Measures Once you have defined success, you will need to select performance measures and collect data to determine whether you have met your goals. It is helpful to remember that thereis not -one perfect measure that can determine whether a community has reached its goal. The true impact of the city's - prograrii i§ a`suinmatiori-offnultiple measures and perspectiyes. Usingseveral types of- performancemeasures is the best way to get a clear picture of a program's impact. Another conunonengagement activity governments provide to influence how residents' feel about_their community, __ is volunteer programs Montgomery advertises its volunteer program by setting up a city information booth at special events. The example below walks through - how performance measures were used to evaluate the impact of this information booth on• resident engagement. .r Outcome (Effectiveness) Measures. These measures, which were adapted from a publication -produced by ICMA s Center for Performance Management, tell how well a program or service is accomplishing its mission and goals, including effectiveness; quality, cycle time, and resident satisfaction measures. Outcome measures are: •• ••Tied•to•mission-and-program targets. • Short-term, intermediate; long-term, or end outcomes Sultirnate program impact or effect). • 'Resident perceptionoften captured • by surveys—that often are the ultimate set of outcorne measures. - EXAMPLE: -85 percent of residents reported that Montgomery does an excellent job at welcoming resident -involvement. Outcome measures are influenced:„, by and determined in -part by: Output Measures."These measures reflect the amount of a service or --•-program provided which -represents completed work activity.or=effort expressed in units of service delivered. EXAMPLE: The city hosted three informa- "tionbobtlis at special'eve its`adverti'sing ` volunteer opportunities in 2010. Efficiency Measures. These measures indicate how well the organization is us- icma.org/pm ing or leveraging its resources, expressed as a ratio between the,amount ofMon and the amount of output -or outcome: EXAMPLE: The cost of one information booth at a special, event is $50,. This is •determined•bythe cost of•staff-and-vol- unteer labor multiplied by the.niunber of hours the information booth was open and the cost of printed materials; 'i tit and Efficiency "measiiies`; "'"' are influenced by and determined in part by'; Input Measures:These measures include the number; resources ;used to produce a program or provide a service, generally expressed -in expenditure or EXAMPLE: Inputs -for- the information - booth at special events include staff time ($15 per hour), volunteer time_,($10,.per hour; in-kind service); printedMhandouts- with volunteer activities (25 cents per copy), and giveaway items with the __ Montgomery logo, ($1- per -item)., All of the input measures need to be analyzed in the overall context of: Descriptors. These provide informa- tion about the jurisdiction (population, medianhousehold income; square miles• of service `area)' or die Ways -services ate providedlysilunteecorprofessional fire department, -curbside recycling).=• EXAMPLE: The city provides an informa- tion booth that is staffed by one vol- unteer and one city staff personthree - times a`year at the largest special events (the Bastille Day, the Arts Festival, and the Winter Solstice celebration): At the booth; visitors can learn about'volun- teer opportunities in the community, sign up for an e-mail list, and pick up a key chain with a Montgomery logo. Choose Data -Collection Method and Collect At all tunes, the policy, goal.should., ,_ drive the data collection. Once you - havedefiried success, the next step is to determine the best data -collection method and start collecting data. A variety of data collection tools can JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 I PUBLIC MANAGEMENT 17 be used to generate performance measures, including surveys, focus groups, interviews, observations, and case studies. These tools can be used to collect qualitative (descrip- tions) or quantitative (numbers) data. Tools include customer feedback cards, resident surveys, eGov statistics, and records reviews. Resultsof the data collection are shared through articles for the city newslet- ter, web pages, and annual reports. For each resident -engagement program; the city must consider the appropriate data -collection tool to evaluate the program goal. Each tool varies in cost, collection time needed, and ability to generate performance measures. A records review can show you how many volunteer booths you hosted hi a year, (output), but does not tell you if pride in the,community. increased .(outcome). Surveys' can show change in community pride over time, but they cannot tell you ..why that belief-has.changed..Focus groups can explain why a resident feels pride in the comniunity, but it is difficult to generalize those findings to the larger community. Engagement efforts are commonly evalu ated using a combination of surveys and focus groups because they are the best tools for capturing outcomes. Montgomery can- not physically inventory community pride. However they can ask residents, "How do you feel about living'in. Montgomery?" and see howthat response changes overtime. Data collection does not have to. be time- consuming. or expensive. Frontline employ- ees are ideally suited to administer short surveys or record observations. -Volunteers can also be trained to collect data. Most residents will not come, to city hall, but city hall can come to them. EXamples'of"city staff who can -Collect data include: • Permitting, inspections, and buildings staff. ' • Police officers: • Recreation staff. Examples of volunteers who can collect data include: • Neighborhood associatiOns. • Members of nonprofit organizations. • Resident boards and commissions.. • Religious institutions. Share the Story After the data have been collected, it is important m share* „results or the story, of the work that is happening in the com- munity The National Performance ManageL ment Advisory Commission framework, the National Center for Civic Innovation, and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board' have published guideline S on the elements that make a performancereport useful. - They suggest that perfdrmatice repoits'-- be targeted to a specific audience, produced regularly, and accessible through multiple - methods and'channels as well as provide clear, Unbiased information. Sharing the story of the information is essential. As Seth Godin, author' of Tribes, exnlains• "People don't believe what you, _tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their- - friends tell them. They always believe what - they tell themselves. What leaders do. they_.. give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future and about Change." We would add this to Seth Godin's_list: Stories about their commttnity.-Each city has an opportunity to share its story about resident engagement. There are a variety of Media for reporting information, including Video, annual reports and;other written mate- rials, presentations, and even signage (think of the United Way's thermometer signs). Reportingisan excel* topic in which, to engage staff and residents through focus groups to determine what type of reporting' they would be most interested -in viewing and creating. Many communities -are 'leading - important engagement efforts: By defin- ing success, collecting data, and sharing the story they can show elected officials,. governmentstaff; and reSidenteliow-they are - making a difference. To find out more about other resident engagement performanceimeasures and how ' to report them effectively see the authors' recent InFecus Report noted in the resource box on page 17: PJI ,LAURA ALLEN, ICMA-CM, 9itylfnanager, pokna,, ca,gm6 and AMANDA THOMPSON is planning 'direPtbi,'DebaTtif;-66-61:0ia-(aniah&it,idfriff-On6— decaturga.Pam)'. 18 PUBLIC MANAGEMENT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 +- • ^e, + , , i • Surveys phone random sampie. EXAMPLES: Resident cards,and , „,..•,,program , .000 F99 random sample. together a group of past leadership to learned abotitthe program and whythey decided to ,participate.., Observations Ati6rida pubiic meeting and q• 74J' t6Cordk:th4r,ripijibbtp.ublic comments. 'l, Records EXAMPLE: Budget record,„ Icma:org/Pm council relations 1 preparation BY MIKE CONDUFF, ICMA-CM Set the stage for success ICMA's 2011 Annual Conference in Milwaukee was another great conference! It's at the annual confer- ence that the association's new board members take office. As the ICMA senior adviser for governance, it is my honor to conduct the incoming board orientation as the conference begins on Saturday. I was reminded again this year of how important it is to start governing officials (think of your council) off on an equal footing each time there are new additions to the group Since a full one-third of the ICMA board turns over each year, it is critical to provide an opportunity for introductions and to set the stage for a successful year, just as it is with your newly elected officials. Remember, these are hugely talented professionals representing ICMA members (as are the people who represent a com- munity's residents), and it is always easy to assume that personal and professional talent leads to governing excellence. But without agreement on purpose and behavioral ground rules, even singularly effective individuals do not a cohesive governing board make. Throw in a few variables like personality, demographics, diversity, and geography, and, without some cogent process, it is hard to antici- pate just what the year will bring. Governance Principles Fortunately, several years ago ICMA leadership acknowledged this truism, and the board adopted a series of governance principles, which it has annually continued to review and either modify or approve. These principles address three key areas: the board's responsibility to govern, the staff's responsibility to support, and the board and staff relationship Sound familiar? (To check out the principles, visit icma.org/boardgovernance.com.) ASKING THE MEMBERS OF YOUR GOVERNING BODY TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN LIST OF BEHAVIORS COULD BE EXTREMELY HELPFUL TO THEM AS THEY DEAL WITH THE THORNY ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH GOVERNING LOCALLY. This process is nicely transferrable to local governing bodies, and if yours doesn't have governing principles I would most certainly suggest a conversa- tion about how having a similar set of principles would help it, too. Developing principles is not particularly onerous, and the value of the process of develop- ing them for your elected officials cannot be overstated. The ICMA board also annually adopts its own code of conduct (refer to icma. org/boardgovemance.com). These are 10 straightforward behaviors that the board commits to observe. Asking the members of your governing body to develop their own list of behaviors could be extremely helpful to them as they deal with the thorny issues associated with govern- ing locally. Managers know from their management experience that agreeing in advance on acceptable and desired behav- iors is a powerful way to keep everyone on the same page. Once the principles and code of conduct are in place, I also recommend developing and practicing an intervention technique. This can range from simply asking for a point of order, all the way to literally throwing a yellow flag. Whatever the mechanism, the purpose is simply to say, "We all agreed to these behaviors, and it appears to me we are not abiding by them. Would someone be so kind as to help me understand what is happening?" In other words, with a previously approved standard, we can now all judge current behavior by that standard. Where there is a deviation, we can ask for clarification. This conversation will also help clarify the role of the chair (mayor) in dealing with board behav- ioral issues. Being Successful Finally, the board defines its governing success in advance by the ground rules (again, refer to icma.org/board governance.com) These are obviously somewhat subjective, but the value for each individual board member is in the conversation, the adoption, and the monitoring of the behaviors. Ask the governing officials, as a group, these questions- What does suc- cess look like for us? How will you feel if you achieve these milestones? How often and in what manner should we check in with each other to see if we are being successful in our governing roles? If you would rather see a sermon than hear one, you need look no further than ICMA s board to observe a board that governs with excellence. Their dance in our fishbowl is certainly worthy of emulation. And, because governing is often lonely work, be sure to thank them for their service. It really matters! P11 MIKE CONDUFF, ICMA-CM Former City Manager Now President and CEO The Elim Group Denton, Texas mike.conduff@theelimgroup.com 26 PUBLIC MANAGEMENT 1 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 icma.org/pm