TABLE of CONTENTS July 2011

Cover Story

Are the Unions Winning the Fight?

BY Alan Greenblatt

Governors and mayors say their workers are demanding unsustainable benefits. Union rebuttals are not turning the tide.

FEATURES

Rewriting State Retirement Plans

States are putting limits on their pension plans and retiree benefits, usually calling for employees to pay more toward their future. BY Jonathan Walters

Medical Residencies Serve as a New Model for Police Training

One officer’s battle with cancer inspired him to take a new approach to policing. BY John Buntin

Cloud Computing Is No Easy Fix

Companies have been pitching the cloud as a virtual field of dreams that can help make storage issues and server problems disappear. But is that true? BY Russell Nichols

America’s One and Only Personal Rapid Transit System

Morgantown, W.Va., is the only place in the world where riders can hop into cars and travel from point to point without stopping at other stations along the way. BY Tod Newcombe

Is It Time to Retire Jane Jacobs' Vision of the City?

Triumph of the City author Edward Glaeser challenges long-accepted views on urban planning, promoting a more market-friendly set of policies. BY John Buntin

DEPARTMENTS

Dispatch

A Fundamentally Different-Looking Government

In Oregon, hard legislative choices reflect national structural changes under way. BY Caroline Cournoyer

POLITICS + POLICY

Infrastructure & Environment

The Many Benefits of Roundabouts

Due to the lower construction costs and higher safety rates of roundabouts compared to traffic lights, they're more popular than ever. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Finance

States Crack Down on Cigarette Tax Evaders

More than half the price of a pack of cigarettes is taxes and other fees, which states don't get when smugglers and bootleggers find a way around them. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Infrastructure & Environment

Profiting from Radioactive Waste

One Texas county saw a chance to cash in on radioactive waste by hosting a national dump site for it and collecting money from each state that participates. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Education

Do Superintendents Need Classroom Experience?

In recent years, state legislators and school boards nationwide have been paving the way for people with little or no education experience to lead districts. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Potomac Chronicle

Cities Must Find the Economy's Fix

With Washington paralyzed by its debt and states facing deficits, the pressure is on local governments to raise more revenue or make significant structural changes to reduce costs. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Finance

Cutting Washington's Red Tape

A new initiative in Washington aims to cut red tape and offer greater flexibility to state and local governments administering federal programs. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Health & Human Services

A National Model for Curbing Childhood Obesity

A Massachusetts town's award-winning program that puts healthy choices at the heart of its planning efforts has been mirrored by others around the country. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Energy & Environment

Saying Goodbye to the Yellow Pages

San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban phone books that many say are wasteful and outdated. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Engines

Tax Credit or Tax Cut?

Political rhetoric comes down to being for or against taxes with little discussion about their effect on economic development. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Urban Notebook

Manufacturing Returns to Cities

Small urban manufacturers offer economic benefits to cities and could flourish with federal policy support. BY Caroline Cournoyer

PROBLEM SOLVER

Education

Changing the Way Citizens View Their City

Before Baltimore could help its most at-risk populations, it first had to make them see public services in a positive light. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Smart Management

Across-The-Board Budget Cuts May Not Bring Real Savings

When states determine to make some kind of cut with regard to agencies, it's important to differentiate between them. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Tech Talk

Why Does Open Government Matter?

A new tool helps agencies measure the value of transparency, trust and accountability. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Public Money

Who's the First to Go?

Public employees are at the front of the firing line, paying the price for widespread voter angst. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Development

Ohio Lt. Governor's Job Is a Balancing Act

Mary Taylor is the only deputy to also serve as the state insurance commissioner, a position she balances along with heading up a regulatory reform commission. BY Caroline Cournoyer