TABLE of CONTENTS April 2009

Cover Story

Obama and the Cities

BY Alan Greenblatt

For the past 40 years, through the Great Society initiatives of Lyndon Johnson, the Enterprise Zone programs of HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, and the Hope VI...


Digging for Dollars

It's boom time for grant writers. Cities across the country are lining up to collect their share of the $787 billion federal stimulus package, and they're... BY Alan Greenblatt

Road to Katrinaville

The idea of the Katrina cottage was always bigger than the house itself. It started with New Urbanist architects, who began drawing pictures of colorful... BY Christopher Swope

The Second Best Job in the State

Eliot Spitzer of New York styled himself a steamroller, an uncompromising politician who preferred intimidation over negotiation. Mike Beebe of Arkansas is a behind-the-scenes dealmaker... BY Josh Goodman

A Matter of Record(s)

Ron Stollings believes in electronic health records, as both a family physician and a state legislator. Two years ago, he and the three doctors he... BY John Buntin


If you want to fly into Rialto, California, you'd better do it soon. The airport in this city of 100,000 people, located 55 miles east of Los... BY John Buntin


Hidden Section

Guns and Caramel Sauce

In Philadelphia, who will prevail: gangsters or gourmets? BY Alan Ehrenhalt

Politics + Policy

Infrastructure & Environment

Tanks for the Memories

The gas tax is, as you may have heard, about to run out of gas. It's not hard to see why this is happening. Motorists... BY Alan Greenblatt

Wild West Budgeting

It's like one of those thrillers where one thing blows up after another. Trying to patch big holes in the state budget earlier this year,... BY Alan Greenblatt

Just Say No. Then Shut Up.

A three-quarters majority is required to raise taxes in Arkansas, but the legislature has done it twice in the past year. How did that happen?... BY Alan Greenblatt
Potomac Chronicle

After the Stimulus Ends

States and localities face problems a rising economy won't solve. BY Donald F. Kettl

Uneven Stimulus

The feds are dumping piles of stimulus dollars on all 50 states, but when you look behind the 11-digit numbers, some interesting disparities emerge. Through subtle... BY Josh Goodman
Energy & Environment

Electric Aloha

Hawaii's island geography makes it almost impossible to go for a long drive. If a road doesn't dead-end at a beach, then it keeps bending... BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

The Semi-Fast Track

The stimulus will help roads and transit. It's no panacea. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

A Gentler Jackhammer

No one would confuse Manhattan with a library reading room. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg's thinking did produce a noise code that is now a national model. BY Christopher Swope

Problem Solver

Management & Labor

The Pain of Cutting Payroll

Whacked by budget deficits and with no end to sluggish economies in sight, states, cities and counties have been forced to make the hardest cuts... BY Will Wilson
Smart Management

The Vacancy Game

An odd route to budgeting flexibility comes from banking unfilled job slots. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Management & Labor

O Citizen, Where Art Thou?

Bev Stein remembers with dismay the public budget hearing that marked her debut as the chief elected executive in Multnomah County, Oregon. Although it happened... BY Jonathan Walters
Tech Talk

Powering Their Way Up

CIOs pushed to become cabinet-level appointees -- but it doesn't always work out. BY Ellen Perlman
Public Money

To Build a Solid Benefit

How to ensure that retiree health coverage is ample, available and affordable. BY Girard Miller