TABLE of CONTENTS October 2007

Cover Story

Terrified to Testify

BY Anya Sostek

Increasingly, criminal cases are being stalled because intimidated witnesses don't show up or because they recant their statements.

Features

Fresh Perspectives

Much of the time in government, change is brought about by those on the inside. Over the years, we have often told the story of career public servants who knew precisely how to transform troubled institutions once they got the chance. BY Ellen Perlman

Fresh Perspectives

Much of the time in government, change is brought about by those on the inside. Over the years, we have often told the story of career public servants who knew precisely how to transform troubled institutions once they got the chance. BY Ellen Perlman

The Unwelcome Mat

States are at their peril when they try to ease rules to make life in the U.S. less difficult for illegal immigrants. BY Josh Goodman

Deals and Ideals

Forest City Enterprises makes communities pay big money for many projects it builds. But it builds some good ones. BY Rob Gurwitt

Unreconstructed

Before dawn on April 29, the driver of a gasoline truck in Oakland, California, lost control of his rig and flipped it on an Interstate connector... BY Rob Gurwitt

Going after GASB

When public finance officers met this summer in Anaheim, their association's outgoing president kicked off the convention with an all-out assault on an accounting board.... BY Penelope Lemov

Up Front

BY Penelope Lemov
Politics

Moving Outside

John Kitzhaber has been to the top in politics. He thinks he may be able to achieve more working from the bottom up. BY Rob Gurwitt
Politics

Scheming Magnolias

Republicans have most of the power in Mississippi. They'd like more. BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

Putnam's Paradox

Diversity accomplishes many things--but it may not make us better citizens. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Bridgeport's Burdens

Is the city's problem bad election choices--or something deeper? BY Alan Greenblatt

Alec Smarting

A powerful legislative lobby copes with internal conflict. BY Alan Greenblatt
Hidden Section

Rent-Control Revival?

Now that the days of easy credit are over, people who would have been buyers are willing to be renters. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Technology

A Vote for Better Design

A year of electronic forensics has failed to resolve what went wrong at the polls in Florida's Sarasota County last November, when 18,000 voters mysteriously appeared... BY Mark Stencel
Potomac Chronicle

Delayed Conversation

The feds don't spend much time hashing out mutual problems with states and localities. It's time they started. BY Jonathan Walters

The Business of Government

Infrastructure & Environment

Candid Camera: Traffic Lights in the Red

After Sioux Falls, South Dakota, installed red-light cameras at a key intersection, it saw its revenue from tickets for red-light infractions plummet. BY Josh Goodman
Public Safety & Justice

Solid Brass

Just how natural became apparent one day in 1975 when Bratton, a rookie sergeant with the Boston Police Department, got a call that would have made a veteran blanch: bank holdup; shot fired; possible hostage situation. BY John Buntin
Politics

Policy Fulcrum

Fabian Nunez doesn't think compromise is a dirty word. California's Assembly speaker has played a classic legislative leadership role as the bridge between a Republican governor and a strongly liberal majority Democratic caucus, helping to forge and shepherd through a long list of impressive legislation over the past couple of years. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Negotiator-In-Chief

To say that Christine Gregoire's start as governor of Washington was inauspicious would be an understatement. After an apparent 130-vote win in November 2004, the election was marred by multiple recounts and a lawsuit. When the Democratic majority in the legislature moved to certify her election, Republicans mustered on the front lawn of the statehouse chanting, "Revote! Revote!" BY Jonathan Walters
Housing

Guiding Growth

When Debra Campbell talks about urban planning, she sounds a little like Mr. Rogers. "Neighborhoods are the most important part of a city," she says. "They're where it all happens. They're the building blocks of a community." BY Zach Patton
Politics

Fiscal Guardian

Natwar Gandhi knows how to make red ink turn to black. This spring, he was approached by Amtrak, which hoped to lure him to erase an enormous deficit as he had already done as chief financial officer for Washington, D.C. City officials did everything they could think of to keep Gandhi in his current position, including boosting his salary by nearly $100,000. And this money maestro, who arrived in America from India 40 years ago with $7 in his pocket, chose to stay put. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Encyclopedia Virginia

Almost as soon as the election returns are in, every new governor must decide on a chief of staff. Most of them pick their campaign managers, party operatives and longtime confidantes. In this context, the choice of Bill Leighty by Virginia Governor Mark Warner was an aberration. BY Josh Goodman
Politics

Cool Pragmatist

In his first inaugural speech, Bill White urged Houston to "embrace strangers." At the time, the new mayor didn't know just how much his call for inclusiveness, a big theme in his 2003 campaign, would be put to the test. Less than two years later, Hurricane Katrina would ravage Louisiana and Mississippi, and more than 100,000 strangers--neighbors, White likes to say--showed up on Houston's doorstep. Mayor White, and his city, gave them a bear hug. BY Christopher Swope
Politics

Common-Sense Compliance

Having worked on both sides, Coughlin is passionate in his belief in the assisted-living philosophy, and that belief drives the way he approaches regulation. A key part of assisted living, he points out, is a resident's right to autonomy, but autonomy poses safety risks. BY Penelope Lemov
Politics

Change Agent

Two years ago, Missouri's new governor, Matt Blunt, and the state's new chief information officer, Dan Ross, had a vision: an efficient, centralized, streamlined IT operation that delivered each cabinet agency the services it needed while relieving the agencies of the considerable burden of managing an IT shop. Accomplishing this goal meant consolidating the technology operations of 14 agencies, with thousands of employees and more than $250 million in funding among them. BY Ellen Perlman
Smart Management

The Future Is Now

It's one thing to attract young people to government jobs. It's another to keep them there. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Health & Human Services

The Coverage Conundrum

They're on the rise - again. Health insurance premiums are up 6.1 percent on average this year - a relatively modest increase - but overall they're 78... BY Penelope Lemov
Public Money

Diving into the Hedges

Public pension funds are being drawn like bears after honey to these risky, unregulated but high-reward investments. BY John E. Petersen
Energy & Environment

Going for Green Grades

Schools are finding that green classrooms do more than save energy. BY Ellen Perlman
Energy & Environment

I'll Fly Away: Florida Stomps on Styrofoam

Florida is enlisting the aid of machines to "densify," "palletize" and "smush" polystyrene, the familiar coffee cup and packaging material known by its trade name Styrofoam BY Ellen Perlman
Economic Development

Tax Sale: Arizona Cashiers an Incentive

Local governments in Arizona have been in a bidding war for retail development for years. Now the legislature has ordered a ceasefire. BY Josh Goodman
Economic Development

Rolling the Dice in Kansas

A state is taking a chance on casino operations. BY Alan Greenblatt