The power of people to improve the way government works was the recurring theme of Governing's annual management conference, held September 17-19, 2002, in Austin, Texas. The program dialogue moved beyond the nuts and bolts of measuring performance to the finer points of using measures to motivate and improve performance.
Last December, Michael Spence, Montana's chief medical officer, got an unexpected piece of mail. It was a Christmas card from the management of the Super 8 motel in Libby, Montana--a reminder of just how much time he had spent in the small town more than 300 miles away from his office in the state capitol of Helena.
If Chicago residents are not familiar with the city's new bike lanes, they'll soon get a friendly reminder. The city plans to crack down on those who park in bike lanes, issuing warnings and $100 tickets for violators.
Electricity deregulation is one of the most complicated issues directly affecting the public. To help consumers make sense of all the changes, many states experiencing deregulation have launched consumer- education campaigns.
Many state health agencies would be thrilled to receive 85 percent of their Medicaid claim forms electronically, as the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services does. For DSHS officials in this tech-accomplished state, however, anything less than 100 percent is unacceptable.
For small businesses in Michigan, there is now such a thing as a free lunch. A new program from the Michigan Department of Career Development offers training courses to small-business employees at no charge.