TABLE of CONTENTS March 2007

Cover Story

Hydro Defense

BY Tom Arrandale

Despite spending millions on security upgrades, drinking-water systems are still vulnerable to sabotage.

Features

The Tax Grab Game

Cities are finding ways to raise revenue from suburbanites, without actually calling the levy a commuter tax. BY Josh Goodman

The Real Estate Rub

A downturn in the housing market is beginning to spell a slowdown in local revenue. BY Josh Goodman

The Muni Market's New Look

Changes are afoot--some welcome, others less so. BY Penelope Lemov

Topside Turnover

When Otto Doll shows up at NASCIO meetings, the South Dakota CIO is often treated with a subtle degree of deference -- the kind you... BY Ellen Perlman

Citizen Surveys

With the city of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, facing a quarter of a million dollar revenue shortfall, as well as a continuing and contentious political dispute... BY Jonathan Walters

Cookie-Jar Clampdown

Tougher lobby laws are being discussed all over the country. A few states have enacted them. Whether they will work remains to be seen. BY Rob Gurwitt

Up Front

BY Rob Gurwitt
State News

Drug Doubter

Vermont prosecutor Robert Sand says what he thinks about marijuana. He's making people uncomfortable. BY Rob Gurwitt
Energy & Environment

Saving Smart Growth

EPA has a program locals like. But maybe not for long. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Labor's List

Unions are playing offense for the first time in quite a while. BY Alan Greenblatt
Infrastructure & Environment

Floating Absurdity

During the 1980s, Iowa was one of the earliest states to approve of casino gambling. And it pioneered a new idea for how to control the games: It required that its casinos be water-borne. In Iowa's case, they had to be actual riverboats offering no fewer than 100 excursion tours per year. BY Alan Greenblatt
Education

Data? What Data?

The school reform movement learns to ignore bad results. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics News

Albany Ambitions

Andrew Cuomo still wants to be governor. But there's work to do first. BY Alan Greenblatt
Hidden Section

The Power Broker Reconsidered

A recent exhibit on New York's master builder, Robert Moses, underscores the city's current inability to execute big projects. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Tech Talk

Keeping Personal Data Safe

Not many know how many cybersecurity breaches occur in state and local governments. BY Ellen Perlman
Potomac Chronicle

Do They Know Darfur?

Governors running for president will have some uncomfortable moments in the year ahead. BY Donald F. Kettl

The Business of Government

BY Donald F. Kettl
Health & Human Services

Hospitals Get a Dose of Help

Hospital emergency departments are finding a good reason to charge ahead with electronic medical systems: They save money. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Health & Human Services

Hospitals Get a Dose of Help

Hospital emergency departments are finding a good reason to charge ahead with electronic medical systems: They save money. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Management & Labor

Spitzer's Web: You Could Be on Youtube

Starting this summer, New York State meetings must be webcast for the public if they fall under the state's open meetings law. As one of his first official actions as governor, Eliot Spitzer signed an executive order requiring state agencies and public authorities to come up with plans to broadcast all such meetings on the Internet. BY Ellen Perlman
Politics

Girard Miller's Benefit Beat: Bonding with OPEB

Some municipal bond underwriters are peddling the idea that public agencies should sell bonds now to "pre-fund" their promised retiree medical-benefit-plan liabilities. BY Girard Miller
Politics

Girard Miller's Benefit Beat: Bonding with OPEB

Some municipal bond underwriters are peddling the idea that public agencies should sell bonds now to "pre-fund" their promised retiree medical-benefit-plan liabilities. BY Girard Miller
Politics News

Reluctant to Renovate

Policy makers are wary of how citizens will react to capitol improvements. BY Alan Greenblatt
Finance

The Muni Market's New Look

Changes are afoot--some welcome, others less so. BY Penelope Lemov
Energy & Environment

Oceans Ominous

Most days after work, I walk my old dog on the banks of the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone's still running cold and swift, maybe 40 yards... BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

A Business Decision

When it comes to making loans to local companies, should a city act like a banker or a venture capitalist? BY William Fulton
Economic Engines

Changing Places

Autos and airplanes have a lot in common with the Web and cell phones. Moving people and information around are both transformative. BY Alex Marshall