I’ve been meaning to link to these articles for a while. The International City/County Management Association (of which I am a member) has received some recent press on the Huffington Post. While the Huffington Post admittedly leans to one side of the political spectrum, it is exciting to see a wider viewership (and online, to boot) for the ideals of the city management profession.
The articles are written by Ron Carlee, the former county manager for Arlington County, Virginia, and the Executive in Residence and Director for Domestic Strategic Initiatives for ICMA. Ron’s first post on the Huffington Post explains what a city manager or county administrator is, why the council-manager form of local government came about, and about the profession in general. Overall, it is an excellent introduction to the profession for anyone to read (especially family members who might not be able to explain what we do).
In the most recent post, Ron responds to questions about the ethics of writing on a liberal leaning website. Ethics, and following the ICMA Code of Ethics, is the strongest tenet of ICMA membership, and I can see from the post that Ron and the ICMA are not taking this question lightly:
The Tenet and the Guidelines do not prohibit expression of opinions on issues, political ideas, or the association with people with political ideas. This I confirmed with the ICMA director of ethics. Publishing a non-partisan blog on this site it not a violation of Code of Ethics; however, not being a violation of the Code doesn’t make something a good idea.
I’m proud to see that ICMA has started a blog in a widely read website.
Third, “expanding information to include this bulk download or easy, machine-readable, querying of data.” (He also notes, “in this wave of innovation, government diverges significantly from the private sector. Few private businesses will want to place large amounts of data collected at their own expense in the public domain for anyone to see and use.”
Fourth, sites where “constituents can not only report issues online (using a map-based interface in the case of see-click-fix) but also see what others have reported and even rank the importance of the issues which have been reported.”
Fifth, allow citizens to track issues (and resolution of the issues) online.
Sixth (and this is done by citizens and not government), citizens use government data sources to make applications (‘apps’) to inform policy-making.
Overall, this is a very good read from “the Chief Seattle Geek.”
Funnyordie.com did a great “reunion” of all the Presidents from Saturday Night Live (and added Jim Carrey as Ronald Reagan). I think it’s pretty hilarious, but then again, Dana Carvey’s impersonation of George H. W. Bush has always been a favorite of mine.
The Harvard Gazette is now on WordPress, with a beautiful magazine-style design. There’s a whole meme/argument going around a few blogs and Twitter saying WordPress isn’t a CMS. Who cares what you call it, look at the amazing sites you can create. (And manage content on.) Who woulda thunk it. I thought WordPress was only good for “just a blog” — what are these Harvard gonzos doing? Fie! I say.
I have to agree. I use WordPress to most everything!