TABLE of CONTENTS May 2012Cover Story
BY John Buntin
John Kitzhaber once called Oregon “ungovernable.” Now, he’s forging bipartisan alliances that are making it one of the best-governed states in the nation.
In Michigan, financial advisers take control of cities on the brink of bankruptcy.
Now that private-sector groups are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money in state elections, who’s really running for office?
A growing number of cities and counties dedicated to energy efficiency are deciding that local sustainability initiatives can’t coexist with for-profit utilities.
Hope VI developments, which replaced huge projects with smaller units that matched the scale of the neighborhood, were supposed to represent a new way of thinking about low-income housing. They didn’t always get it right.
POLITICS + POLICY
Several states were embarrassed by faulty counts in their caucuses, which are run by political parties rather than by public officials.
Unlike many high-profile bankruptcies, Stockton’s financial woes are the result of many different factors that are not unusual for many localities.
San Francisco hopes that by raising some prices based on supply and demand, it can ensure there’s always at least one open spot on every block. According to a New York Times analysis, it may be working.
If the health reform law is upheld, the flexibility it will give states on health insurance exchanges could be a model for healthy federal-state relations.
One idea floating around on how to help cities pay for water infrastructure has already helped finance big transportation projects with large, low-interest loans directly from the feds.
For now, Utah is one of only a handful of states that still allow nearly unrestricted access to psychotropic drugs. Does limiting access to their meds put the mentally ill at risk?
Cities and counties can now earn eco-certification for everything from the roads they build to the vehicles that ride on them.
Can an innovative transit idea keep Silicon Valley -- home to tech giants like Google and Microsoft -- from choking on congestion? Or is the answer to their problems much simpler?
Consumption of leafy green vegetables is growing, as is the risk of E. coli contamination. California and Arizona are taking the lead in keeping them clean.
Many governments have shifted into reverse, cutting and even eliminating auditing offices.
An informal group of seven city CIOs is launching its first project: a website that will house standardized data from each city.
How Stockton's story unfolds could have major consequences for public employee pensions and bondholders nationwide.
Alex Morse, a recent college graduate, is in charge of a town with one of the nation’s worst unemployment rates. But he has plans to change that.