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LG 2030 at ICMA Reimagining Local Government Conference - Burlington, VT


Delegates Megan Caron, MPA, the Strategic Initiatives Analyst at City of Nashua, New Hampshire and Michael Zeller, Assistant Library Director at Town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts presented at the ICMA - International City/County Management Association Reimagined Conference April 14 in Burlington, VT. They discussed the Local Government 2030 initiative and received feedback on the three projects for change being worked on by Delegates.


Feedback:


GROW:

Observations:

  • Goes beyond money – time and flexibility

  • Need to define how the newer generations define “purpose”

  • Generations communicate differently when it comes to their sense of purpose and pride; we need to tell stories using shared language

    • This difference can be seen amongst different departments (DPW vs. Planning, for example)

  • We need to rethink pensions

  • We need to build for the future: give our kids a chance at the good ol’ days

Challenges:

  • Equity issues in working from home/in-office

    • Internal equity perceptions may further the silos/disconnect between departments

  • The perception of the public when it comes to schedule/hour changes and flexibility

    • Municipalities need to take the time to explain these changes and defend them

  • Where are the employees who are leaving actually going?

    • Can we evaluate exit interviews to get this data?

  • Finding courageous people for vacant positions

  • Respect for public work is low

  • Increasing wages may cause friction with longtime employees

  • Overwhelming amount of data pointing to various places/solutions

  • Union obligations

Opportunities:

  • A good opportunity to collect wage data

  • Create organizational capacities by leaving positions

  • Diversifying public officials

  • Rethink benefits – “it’s not just the money”

  • Rethinking tech. centers

Communications Continuum:

Challenges:

  • Residents who are happy are often quiet; loudest group are the naysayers

  • Unsatisfied residents sometimes get elected

  • “Issue of the Day” vs. fundamental structure of communications for the municipality

Opportunities:

  • Good elected officials are courageous enough to move forward

  • Relationship building with elected officials

  • Improved participation/communication around systems and processes with the public

Promised Pathways:

Challenges:

  • Eliminating background checks is a no-go; needed for health, safety of employees/volunteers, but it depends of the offense

    • Quality and differentiation of background checks is a challenge

Opportunities:

  • Referral pathways re: ban the box

Other Comments

  • We budget to try and fix our current problems, but we need to invest money in the future

  • In order to be effective, organizations need a framework that is on the same page and ready to make changes

  • Recommendations for elected officials: Winooski, VT Councilors and Mayor of Winooski Kristine Lott

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