TABLE of CONTENTS August 2011

Cover Story

North Dakota's Oil Boom is a Blessing and a Curse

BY Ryan Holeywell

The state's oil boom is bringing unmatched growth and unanticipated problems.


State Parks Seek Corporate Donors to Stay Open

One of the few remaining commercial-free zones in the country may need corporations to close budget gaps. BY Linda Baker

Fighting to Save the MPA

Some publicly funded universities may eliminate their Master of Public Administration programs, but schools are getting creative to avoid that. BY Heather Kerrigan

A Small Town Hosts the Nation's Largest Concert

Handling the onslaught of traffic, crime and health needs of the 80,000 people who attend Bonnaroo every year is an art form for local officials. BY Zach Patton



Even the Sun Needs an Advocate

The success of New York City’s solar efforts wouldn’t have been possible without its on-the-ground ombudsmen. BY Paul W. Taylor


Public Workforce

Light at the End of a Scandal

After six were indicted for underfunding San Diego’s pension system, the city made some changes to close deficits with the unions on their side. BY Alan Greenblatt
Economic Development

Kansas City Businesses Want to End the ‘Economic Border War’

Businesses are tired of jumping across state lines for wasted tax incentives. BY Alan Greenblatt

Will Education Cuts Lead to More Lawsuits?

States that are cutting their K-12 budgets by billions of dollars can expect more lawsuits, but they may not have an immediate impact. BY Alan Greenblatt
Public Workforce

Is a Four-Day Workweek Desirable?

Utah’s 2008 decision to shorten its workweek inspired many cities and states to consider the same, but few actually did. BY Jessica Mulholland
Potomac Chronicle

China Looks West for Performance Management

China embraces performance management in an effort to wring out greater productivity and transparency. BY Donald F. Kettl

Federal Spending May Become More Transparent

Congress is calling for to be replaced with a site that allows states and localities to report their earnings themselves. BY Ryan Holeywell
Health & Human Services

Will Community Health Centers Survive Budget Cuts?

This year, more than half of the states decreased or eliminated funding for health centers, which provide an alternative to costly emergency rooms. BY David Levine
Energy & Environment

Cities Encourage Green Building through Disclosure

Hoping to inspire energy-efficient upgrades, more cities are requiring large buildings to publicly disclose their energy ratings online. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Economic Engines

Intercity Bus Travel Roars Back

Bus travel between major cities is popular, but operators need strict regulation to avoid a race to the bottom. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

Urban Areas Defy Crime Trends

Despite the recession, which usually spurs a rise in law-breaking, violent and property crimes have dropped for the fourth year in a row. How can this be? BY Tod Newcombe


Health & Human Services

Providing Work Opportunities and Food to the Hungry

A county in North Carolina created a community garden so the unemployed can work for benefits, training and food. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Smart Management

Measuring the Efficiency of Courts

Municipalities in more than a dozen states are using tools to gauge their courts’ speed, accessibility and reliability in administering justice. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

State CIOs Fear the Future as Their Federal Counterpart Resigns

Vivek Kundra brought state IT leaders into policy discussions at an unprecedented level. They’re nervous about who might take his place. BY Steve Towns
Public Money

Sharing More Pension Data with Investors

Public employers will think twice about future benefit increases if laws require more disclosure. BY Girard Miller
Management & Labor

Director of D.C. Lottery Attempts to Go Online

Washington, D.C., hopes to roll out the nation’s first online intrastate casino. Buddy Roogow is leading the way. BY Tina Trenkner