TABLE of CONTENTS February 2007

Cover Story

Mayor in the Middle

BY Rob Gurwitt

During the first week of December 2006, about a dozen Los Angeles hotel workers set up a week-long fast outside the Westin LAX hotel, not far...

Features

Paying for Promises

Call it the six stages of GASB 45: anger, denial, sorrow, acceptance, study and action. That's been the general response to a new set of governmental... BY Jonathan Walters

An Indelicate Balance

This is not your father's procurement process. When Virginia wants to overhaul its aging IT infrastructure, its information technology officials don't gather together to make... BY Ellen Perlman

HIV Apathy

On a rainy day last June, local officials in Washington, D.C., gathered under tents erected on a public plaza to be tested for HIV.... BY Ellen Perlman

Rough Sea's

There's a new and higher level of strain in the already-tense relationship between GASB and state and local officials. BY Penelope Lemov

Disasters Unlimited

Insurance companies see a potential Katrina almost everywhere they look. And they want homeowners to pay in advance. BY Christopher Swope

Guest Quarter: Retirees and Realities

New Jersey's ill-fated pension reform plan is history. As 2006 drew to a close, the governor and legislature, hoping to pay for property-tax reduction through pension plan reforms, failed to come to an agreement--much to the relief of thousands of state workers, unionized and otherwise, who marched on Trenton to make known their concerns about benefit adjustments. BY Girard Miller

Up Front

BY
Politics News

Rescue Mission

Florida's chaotic social service agency may be ungovernable. But Bob Butterworth is giving it a shot. BY Sarah Harney
Local News

Middle-Class Squeeze

It isn't just the poorest urban neighborhoods that need help. BY Sarah Harney
Politics News

The Sale Goes On

Indiana's governor still likes privatization--even if the voters don't. BY Sarah Harney
Politics News

Granholm's Dilemma

When it comes to fiscal problems, Michigan is in a league of its own. BY Sarah Harney
Politics

The Post-Earmark Era

Lots of juicy local plums won't be ripening this year. BY Sarah Harney
Hidden Section

The Diffident Leader

Over a long career, George Washington seemed genuinely scornful of personal ambition. In the 21st century, a political leader displaying his humility and reticence is inconceivable. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Tech Talk

Smash Hit

It's not just for the young and hip. State and local IT officials are tapping into a cool Google tool to create maps with new, improved uses. BY Ellen Perlman
Potomac Chronicle

Senator Warner's Posse

A new federal law gives the military a domestic function it hasn't had before. BY Donald F. Kettl
Economic Engines

Running a Railroad

Its schedules are undependable, prices high and on-board service of middling quality. Yet demand for Amtrak's inter-city service grows. BY Alex Marshall
Politics News

Newsom Wins Some, Loses Some

San Francisco's mayor is popular, but his enemies are persistent. BY Sarah Harney

The Business of Government

Energy & Environment

A Bolder Boulder

The Colorado city's citizens are going along with a "carbon tax" to control greenhouse gases that affect the climate. No doubt the new U.S.... BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

Stuck at Home

A vibrant local economy needs a good supply of housing for sale at lots of price points. But that's not what's happening right now. BY William Fulton
Economic Engines

Stuck at Home

A vibrant local economy needs a good supply of housing for sale at lots of price points. But that's not what's happening right now. BY William Fulton
Technology

The Winningest Website

Michigan breaks out of the pack with a world-class online presence. BY Sarah Harney
Technology

Car Spotting: Tapping Tech for Parking Problems

A new generation of technology is driving crackdowns on ticket scofflaws and making it easier to find a parking space. BY Sarah Harney
Technology

Car Spotting: Tapping Tech for Parking Problems

A new generation of technology is driving crackdowns on ticket scofflaws and making it easier to find a parking space. BY Sarah Harney
Health & Human Services

Risk Relief: Indiana Aims to Insure Good Health

A growing number of states and localities are turning to incentives to move the employees they insure into healthier lifestyles. Indiana is going one step further. It is trying to target employees who are at risk for illnesses and offering them special services to improve their odds of staying healthy. BY Sarah Harney
Technology

The New Digital Divide

Electronic billboards are attention-grabbers. Some people argue they distract drivers. BY Sarah Harney
Finance

The Muni Market's Bumpy Year

2006 had its ups and downs--although it was mostly positive for issuers and negative for some underwriters. BY Sarah Harney