Tina Trenkner  |  Deputy Editor,  |  @tinatrenkner

Tina Trenkner (@TinaTrenkner) is deputy web editor. She started at GOVERNING in 2009 and has covered stories such as the rise of the coder in local government and the risks of using social media. Previously, she worked for Education Week and Pre-K Now, a completed project from the Pew Center on the States. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and thinks of Evanston often.


Tina Trenkner
September 4, 2013

Putting Psychology to Work in the Public Sector

Three new books offer public officials insights into how people make judgments — and how institutions can make better decisions.
May 4, 2012

Baltimore Police Chief Bealefeld to Retire in August

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld announced Thursday night that he will retire after 31 years with the police force, reports the Baltimore Sun.
April 26, 2012

Report: Favorability Ratings for State, Local Gov't Remain Positive

A new report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that Americans continue have more favorable views of their state and local government, contrasting greatly with their views on the federal government.
April 12, 2012

Tax Incentives Report: Half of States Not Evaluating Their Efficacy

Half of the states and Washington, D.C. do not have effective methods for evaluating tax incentives for economic development, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States.
March 8, 2012

Chicago Suburb Considers 'Redbox for Readers'

Libraries in areas like LaGrange, Ill., are considering implementing self-service kiosks, potentially making media available to patrons, even after hours.
January 31, 2012

Connecticut Gov. Malloy on His Fixes for Budgets, Benefits, Jobs

Budget holes, public sector benefits and job creation: these are issues everyone governor is grappling with. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has made considerable progress on each of them, explaining his approach during a lunchtime keynote speech Tuesday.
January 26, 2012

No Second Term for N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue's campaign committee released a statement Thursday afternoon that she will not seek a second term.
January 25, 2012

Report: American Press Freedom Declines Due to Occupy Arrests

The United States has dropped 27 spots in Reporters Without Borders 10th annual World Press Freedom Index, now ranking at 47th in the world for press freedom.
November 30, 2011

Gabe Klein Pursues a Pedestrian-Friendly Message in Chicago

After instituting new bike lanes and one of the nation’s largest bikeshare programs in D.C., Klein hopes to have similar success as Chicago’s new transit chief.
September 30, 2011

Fighting for Union Equality in Wisconsin

Even though Gov. Scott Walker left public safety employees out of his attack on unions, the president of the Madison fire fighters union protested as if it were his own.
August 31, 2011

Florida’s Unlikely Emergency Management Director

Many are watching to see how former Wal-Mart executive Bryan Koon will adapt his private-sector knowledge to aiding the Sunshine State.
July 29, 2011

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.
July 15, 2011

Dealing with Disruptive Change in the Public Workforce

How can employees and managers address and benefit from changes in government? Patrick Ibarra, a former city manager and now workforce consultant, provides insight on how to keep employees focused and engaged.
July 11, 2011

Employing the Unemployed After A Disaster

U.S. Department of Labor grants help fund efforts like the Missouri Disaster Recovery Jobs Program, which provides temp jobs to those unemployed due to tornadoes and floods.
June 30, 2011

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.
May 31, 2011

Orange Beach, Ala., Mayor Works to Bring Tourists Back

Mayor Tony Kennon has pushed for bigger beach cleanup efforts, faster settlement of claims and larger marketing budgets to bring visitors back to Alabama's Gulf Coast.
May 10, 2011

Talking to Local Gov About Transparency

A recent transparency conference provided one Virginia local official the opportunity to explain the challenge governments like his face in embracing transparency initiatives.
April 19, 2011

What State is Next for Prize-Linked Savings Programs?

Credit union officials in Rhode Island are having discussions on a potential PLS pilot, while a few states are considering legislation allowing for such programs.
March 31, 2011

States Considering Prize-Linked Savings Programs

Credit unions want permission to award cash and prizes to customers who save.
March 31, 2011

New York State's Medicaid Director Suggests Cuts

Jason Helgerson, formerly Wisconsin's Medicaid director, came to New York to help control costs.
March 7, 2011

NYC Building Permits To Feature Quick Response Codes

Square codes on building permits allows passersby to learn more about construction via their smartphones.
February 28, 2011

Oakland, Calif. Elects First Female, Asian-American Mayor

Former City Councilmember Jean Quan hopes to make her office more accessible and transparent.
February 17, 2011

City of Maricopa Profiles Local Businesses for TV and YouTube

Featuring Maricopa business owners through city channels provides credibility and publicity, and encourages citizens to buy local.
February 16, 2011

Video: O'Malley, Sebelius and Zandi at Outlook 2011

Maryland Gov. O'Malley, Sec. Sebelius, and economist Mark Zandi shared their fiscal and political forecasts at the 2011 Outlook on the States and Localities conference. Their remarks are now available online.
February 14, 2011

AZ Permits for Overweight Trucks Expedite Crossings at Border

An Arizona Department of Transportation pilot allows produce trucks from Mexico to enter the state with more cargo, helping expedite crossings.
February 7, 2011

Utah Bill Proposes Community Service for Medicaid Pilot

The Utah Legislature is considering a bill that would set up a pilot program requiring unemployed Medicaid recipients to provide community service in order to receive benefits.
February 1, 2011

Big Things Ahead for Nebraska's Speaker

Mike Flood, a lawyer and broadcaster, leads the nation's only unicameral Legislature.
January 31, 2011

Can Dimmer Highway Lights Save Energy and Still Save Lives?

This is the question the Maryland State Highway Administration hopes to answer with a one-year pilot program.
January 24, 2011

Offering Valet in Downtown Carolina Cities

To entice more people to enjoy downtown restaurants and attractions, Charleston, S.C. is pursuing a year-long valet pilot program. Chapel Hill, N.C., currently operates a similar valet parking program.
January 1, 2011

Local Coders Help Improve Government Functions

There’s a new breed of software developer helping local government.
November 2, 2010

Foursquare and 2010 Political Data

Could Foursquare predict voter sentiment and election results? A few online projects are testing how the location-based social platform can be utilized for election and political coverage.
November 1, 2010

States' Regulation on the Gadsden Flag

Is flying the "Don't Tread on Me" flag a protected nod to America’s past? Some states’ laws are unclear.
October 28, 2010

Scottsdale Librarians Call Ghost Hunters, Attracting Visitors

As part of their adult programming, the Scottsdale Public Library invited local investigators to search for paranormal activity. What librarians found was an increase in interest and visits.
October 28, 2010

Foursquare and 2010 Election Data

A couple of online projects are trying Foursquare to test how the location-based social platform can be utilized for election coverage.
October 21, 2010

A Less Traditional Format for Boulder's Meetings

Would constituents be more likely to attend meetings on upcoming city projects if they knew that pumpkin painting, concerts or pancake breakfasts would be offered? Boulder, Colo., city officials think so.
October 1, 2010

States Take a Closer Look at Interstate Tolling

States stuck with maintaining federal highways are paying more attention to the potential of interstate tolls.
September 30, 2010

Los Angeles and Beijing Partner to Battle Congestion

Two cities, notorious for their traffic congestion problems, propose a partnership to share resources and research on how to combat these issues.
September 22, 2010

A Simple Way to Explain Health Care Reform

Does thinking about health care reform make your head hurt? A video by the Kaiser Family Foundation makes things easy.
September 1, 2010

New York Illegal Sublet Law Affects Vacation Rentals

A clarification in New York's housing laws targets illegal hotel operators -- and apartment owners.
August 12, 2010

Enrolling Childless Adults in Medicaid

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation can help states prepare to enroll and care for childless adults that will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014.
August 4, 2010

Finding Public Officials' Salary Info

If citizens wanted to find out how much money their public officials make, just how easy is it for them to find this information?
July 30, 2010

Seattle Tackles Broadband

Seattle is considering building its own fiber-to-the-home network. Should the city get involved when its residents are already connected?
July 30, 2010

Taking a Swipe at Card-Swiping Fees

A growing source of profit for card companies took a hit in Vermont.
July 28, 2010

Wireless Takes San Francisco to Court

A new city ordinance requiring retailers to display how much radiation cell phones give off is causing quite a stir with the wireless industry.
June 30, 2010

Protecting Student Test Scores From Recruiters

A new Maryland law prohibits schools from sending test scores to military recruiters. It might protect student privacy, but prevent career discovery.
June 1, 2010

Paying for Lost Time

What is the responsibility of states to innocent people wrongly convicted of a crime?
June 1, 2010

'Race' Deja Vu

If the education news you read over the last 24 hours sounds familiar, it's because of a January and June deadline for Race to the Top.
May 27, 2010

Growing Green Jobs for Vets

Training veterans in urban forestry provides them with job skills and a potential career. It also helps Denver get a little closer to its goal of planting 1 million trees.
May 20, 2010

Nashville's ReBuild Clinics

Nashville residents affected by flash floods have a day dedicated for meeting with a team of volunteer advisers on how to create a rebuilding and recovery plan.
May 19, 2010

Ethics Codes: Too Long? Too Short?

Does the length of an ethics code affect how much it can help public employees? An assistant city manager in California responds.
May 10, 2010

Scanning Drivers Licenses at the Polls

Scanning driver's license bar codes to check-in voters could minimize the amount of time waiting at the polls.
May 6, 2010

Solving Two Problems with One Program

A partnership in Maine could help repair homes and provide disadvantaged workers with career training.
April 29, 2010

Groceries at the Library

Libraries are evolving to offer a wider variety of services, including grocery ordering and pick up.
April 22, 2010

Safeguarding Delivery Workers

Restaurant delivery workers have a potentially dangerous job, often traveling by themselves, sometimes late at night. In New York City, there have been reports of...
April 15, 2010

Searching for Cybersecurity Talent

The Obama Administration says that an unsecure digital infrastructure vulnerable to cyberattacks could pose big problems for the country's national security. To recruit individuals with...
April 8, 2010

Blowing Up Bridges?

If your county needs to demolish a major structure but doesn't have the funds to do so, where can commissioners turn? One Pinellas County, Florida...
April 6, 2010

Millennials, Internships and Government

Last week, Governing's Public Workforce newsletter writer, Heather Kerrigan, and I were throwing around some potential story ideas to cover this summer. One topic ...
April 1, 2010

Judges and Truancy Teams

Truancy, or unexcused absences from school, can be an early indicator of potential troubling behaviors. In Maryland, truants at select schools may be able to...
March 31, 2010

Guns on Campus

After the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy and in the wake of the recent University of Alabama in Huntsville shooting, people who study or work on a...
March 30, 2010

Race to the Top's First Round Winners

The U.S. Department of Education announced the first winners of Race to the Top, the $4.35 billion grant program encouraging states to make big reforms ...
March 7, 2010

Ohio A.G. Protects Small Biz

In Ohio, if a small business had a problem with dishonest vendors or unfair practices, they had few options to make things right. The state's...
March 1, 2010

Stopping Overdoses with a Spray

Saving someone from a drug overdose could be as easy as administering a nose spray. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced last week that...
February 23, 2010

Online Metrics for Government Sites

Governments have performance data to judge the efficiency of the programs they put in place. Naturally, online sites have metrics too. How soon will that ...
February 22, 2010

Two Years of High School, then College?

Traditionally, U.S. high school students complete four years of coursework before they receive their degree and enroll in college courses. But according to the...
February 16, 2010

A British Take on 'The Next Age of Government'

Last month, when I spoke to e-communications firm Delib founder Chris Quigley (who filmed a short documentary about President Obama's Open Government memo one ...
February 8, 2010

Rules for Engagement

As more and more state and local agencies use social media as a tool to share news and updates, many Web managers suggest having a...
February 1, 2010

Cross-Checking for Sales Tax

County leaders in Georgia are concerned that not all businesses are submitting sales taxes. In these tough economic times, counties need all the revenues they...
February 1, 2010

Rushing to Pay for Education Reform

The week before Jan. 19, 2010, was a busy one for Tim Webb, Tennessee's commissioner of education. Webb and his aides were in meetings and briefings in...
February 1, 2010

Cancer-Causing Phones?

Andrea Boland is worried about cell phone safety, but unlike a lot of state legislators, her focus is not talking or texting while driving. Instead,...
January 25, 2010

Faith in Disaster Prep

If a disaster strikes your community, who or what would you consult in order to save your family? If you live in San Mateo County,...
January 21, 2010

Open Government: One Year Later

One year ago, President Obama released his Open Goverment memo, encouraging more transparency. How much progress has been made one year later? Chris Quigley, founder ...
January 11, 2010

Trial by YouTube?

The federal trial in which California's Proposition 8 will be challenged is controversial for two reasons: the legal issue and the broadcasting issue at stake. A...
January 5, 2010

Public Records in a Box

On Facebook, both seasoned users and newbies may struggle with what to put in the little box below the profile picture that says "Write ...
January 4, 2010

Going for the Green

Sometimes the best way to get individuals or agencies to change for good is to create a little healthy competition. In Virginia, competitions help state...
December 31, 2009

Is Social Media a Friend or Foe of Government?

Jeffrey Horne wasn't new to social media. He liked using Facebook and Twitter to keep up with friends and had dabbled some in blogging. Early...
December 31, 2009

Move over Highway Gothic, Make Way for Clearview

You may not really notice it, but the fonts used on the signs you read have a huge role in how you receive information. If ...
December 18, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Finalist #3

For our final entry in the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas government-poem contest, an entry from Colorado: 'Twas the ...
December 17, 2009

The Winner of the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, B&G Edition

Photo courtesy of pugetsoundphotowalks, Creative Commons. Here at Governing, we wanted to have a little fun for the holidays. So we posted a government-themed holiday ...
December 10, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas -- B&G Edition

Photo courtesy of alsandro, Wikimedia Commons. In lieu of a Question of the Week that we usually post on Facebook and LinkedIn (requires sign-in and ...
December 7, 2009

Phoenix Helps Seniors Catch a Cab

The Phoenix Dial-A-Ride program is a city-run program that helps transport senior citizens and people with disabilities. But demand from first-priority ADA-eligible passengers has increased,...
December 1, 2009

High on Government

I've been traveling around the country, photographing people and places for GOVERNING, for almost a year now. The obvious location to make pictures of dedicated ...
November 23, 2009

Mix Sugar Beet Molasses and Salt Brine, Sprinkle Over Roads.

Many roadway authorities are looking for ways to cut down on the costs to prepare and clear lanes during winter storms. Last week's Idea Center...
November 16, 2009

Gifts that Give Back to the State

Washington State is looking to narrow its budget gap and one way the state is trying to do so can be seen at malls this...
November 9, 2009

Checking Newborns for Health Care

A recent New Jersey mandate requires all children to have health insurance. Hospitals statewide are encouraged to enroll uninsured newborns in the state's free or...
November 2, 2009

Tracking Ballots via E-mails and Texts

This year, the city and county of Denver sent out 344,000 ballots for a mail-only election on school board representatives and an auto impound ordinance. To...
October 31, 2009

Georgia Clears a Path for Legal Adoption of Embryos

A new law in Georgia makes it the first state to clear a legal path for adopting human embryos in much the same way as...
October 26, 2009

Cutting Consumption at the Citywide Yard Sale

Photo courtesy of C-Ali, under a Creative Commons license. This past June, Palo Alto, California, hosted its first citywide yard sale, designating a day when...
October 22, 2009

Mayors on Playgrounds

St. Petersburg, Florida Mayor Rick Baker was one of the mayors that nonprofit KaBOOM! recognized for creating and updating city playgrounds. Photo courtesy of KaBOOM!...
October 18, 2009

One Town's Goal: Add More Years to Lives

There are a few places that are recognized as "blue zones" for having a large number of centenarians -- among them Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma...
October 15, 2009

Tweet Advisory

Need real-time road updates? Unsure if you should boil water -- just to be safe? Check the news, but you may want to check Twitter...
October 7, 2009

Green Certification for Tourism

The next time you visit Montauk, New York City or the Finger Lakes, it may be easier to dine or sleep greener. Within the last...
October 5, 2009

Economic Competitiveness Teams in Louisiana

In 2008, Louisiana was ranked #22 in Site Selection magazine's Top State Business Climate Rankings, a huge jump from being unranked in 2007. To help strengthen municipalities' ability...
October 1, 2009

Green Economies State-by-State

Many economists say that there could be a jobless recovery in the next few years, but development of green economies in the states could create...
September 29, 2009

Story Behind the Story On Hiatus This Week

Over the last few days, Governing's office has been buzzing over our Managing Performance conference in Atlanta this week. In lieu of another installment ...
September 27, 2009

Free Phones for Paratransit Passengers

Paratransit passengers in Delaware took over 850,000 rides on DART (the state's transit system) in FY 2008. Many of these riders cannot afford the costs of a...
September 21, 2009

Trading Tourism Tips and Ad Space

New York City and London receive a glut of visitors from the other's country. Last year, over 1.3 million U.K. travelers visited New York City....
September 14, 2009

Mediating Ike

One year ago, Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, damaging homes and pushing homeowners to file claims with insurance companies. But filing claims also comes...
August 31, 2009

Tweaking Tabs on License Plates

In St. Louis, a common problem for motorists and law enforcement is the theft of license plate tabs. In the past, the state of Missouri...
August 26, 2009

Niagara Falls, By Way of Boston

In this installment of Story Behind the Story, correspondent Rob Gurwitt learned just how much someone would travel to see both sides of Niagara Falls. ...
August 25, 2009

Trekking through Niagara Falls

GOVERNING's design director David Kidd and c orrespondent Rob Gurwitt traveled to the Niagara Falls region for a September story comparing the economic conditions ...
August 23, 2009

A Teacher's Idea Puts Administrators in the Classroom

Broward County Public Schools started school this week, and some surprising figures are expected to take their turn at the chalkboard. This year, administrators that...
August 17, 2009

More Envelopes for Unused Meds

GOVERNING recognized Maine's Safe Medicine Disposal for ME Program as a way for the state to prevent unused medications from entering the water supply or...
August 13, 2009

Brad Pitt: Most Eligible ... Mayor?

This morning on the TODAY show, Ann Curry interviewed Brad Pitt, and she asked if he would consider running for mayor of New Orleans. Most ...
August 10, 2009

Pinpointing Billboards

Thousands of billboards stand amidst Colorado's landscapes. Ensuring that these billboards comply with...
August 3, 2009

Hide that GPS, Please

The next time you see a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, walking through a parking lot, don't automatically assume he or she is ready...
July 27, 2009

Quieter, Safer Ambulances

Ambulances often travel to the location of an accident with sirens blaring and lights flashing, even if the EMTs are responding to a serious but...
July 20, 2009

Tracking Drug Trends at the Water Treatment Plant

If public health and law officials want to learn about how prevalent drug use is in their community, they may want to start their investigation...
July 16, 2009

Former Officials: Beware of Comments Amplified via Facebook

Lots of Facebook users share things on their own and on others' profiles, like how much they can't wait for the new Harry Potter ...
July 13, 2009

Checks for Crab Licenses

Photo illustration by fishfoot, available under a Creative Commons license. This year has been the first year since 1994 that Maryland's blue crab population has been...
July 6, 2009

A Winning Idea at the Airport?

Las Vegas' McCarran International and Reno-Tahoe International airports have had slot machines for years. In the past year, public officials in jurisdictions outside of Nevada...
June 29, 2009

Designing Healthier Neighborhoods for Kids

Photo by richardmasoner, available under a Creative Commons license. Nearly a third of all children are overweight, often caused by factors such as poor nutrition...
June 22, 2009

Ballot Measures in Citizen-Speak

This video from the 2008 press conference after Oregon's first Citizens' Initiative Review highlights representatives from the panel explaining why they support or oppose Ballot Measure 58....
June 15, 2009

An Oasis in the Food Desert

Food deserts, areas with many fast-food outlets and few shops to buy healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, often contribute to higher obesity and diabetes...
June 11, 2009

2009 Webby for Best Government Site: "Making Infrastructure Sexy"

This week, the 13th annual Webbys were awarded to Web sites that exemplify the best on the Internet each year. The distinctive aspect of the ...
June 8, 2009

Click for Property Tax Info

Up until 1996, the federal government provided local property tax information from across the country, but publishing that information stopped due to budget cuts. Today, the...
June 1, 2009

Talk Show Helps Deadbeat Dads

This interview from FOX 2 News in Detroit features Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree explaining how he decided to impose a new punishment for delinquent...
May 22, 2009

California's Budget Isn't a Game. Oh Wait. Yeah, It Is.

Nobody envies the position California's lawmakers are in. They have a $21.3 billion hole to fill. But do those of us who aren't state ...
May 18, 2009

Parks and Rec Online

Nothing can ruin a trip to the local park like broken equipment, graffiti or loose dogs. An online program in use in San Francisco and...
May 11, 2009

Phoning Fares In

Fifty-one percent of Americans have said that they could not give up their cell phones -- and why would they? Mobile phones have gone beyond...
May 7, 2009

Zigzag for Pedestrians

Courtesy of Virginia Department of Transportation In the U.S., motorists are used to obeying straight painted lines along roads to guide them in driving...
May 4, 2009

Bringing Down the Noise

Photo by Solo, with others, available under a Creative Commons By Attribution license. There are many benefits to living in a college town: employment opportunities,...
April 30, 2009

Plug In and Drive

Many automakers are in the process of creating their own versions of the 21st century electric car, and cities and states are looking to the...
April 27, 2009

A Home in the Twin Cities

To reduce vacancy rates and promote city living, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, partnering with home-ownership and community advocates, created an online home...
April 22, 2009

Revitalizing Neighborhoods by the 'Book'

Neighborhood revitalization and preservation is one of Virginia Beach's priorities. Through its PREmier Homes and Neighborhoods program, the city hopes to cultivate community ownership of...
April 22, 2009

A Tree (and Fruits and Veggies) Grow in Detroit

What exactly is growing in Detroit right now? A little digging finds that urban gardens have and are taking root in the Motor City. The ...
April 19, 2009

Chicago at Your Fingertips

O'Hare's Terminal 2 is now home to two technology lounges where visitors can explore the city's skyline, Millennium Park and other popular views with the touch...
April 15, 2009

Home Sweet Job

Southwest Virginia wants its natives to consider staying home--and coming home--for job opportunities. Return to Roots, a three-year-old Web site funded by a grant from...
April 12, 2009

Blight Riders

Across the country, counties and towns are receiving funds from the Neighborhood Stablization Program that is part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act Congress...
April 9, 2009

Municipal Government as Must See TV

A few people at Governing are anticipating tonight's premiere of NBC's "Parks and Recreation," a mockumentary about a deputy director of ... ...
April 8, 2009

Government on Two Wheels

Paris and Washington, D.C. are two cities, among others, known for their bike-sharing programs. Austin, Texas, has implemented a similar program--but this one is...
April 1, 2009

Sharing States

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin (left) and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota (right) think their neighboring states can work together to improve efficiency...
March 29, 2009

Windows on Transparency

In addition to complying with President Obama's mandate that governments receiving economic stimulus funds must document how the money is spent, some states are creating...
March 27, 2009

Asphalt with a Side of Chicken

Fast-food chain KFC is offering to fix four cities' pothole problems in a public-private partnership designed to help advertise the freshness of the restaurant's ...
March 25, 2009

Bucks in the Backyard

With Florida losing jobs and tax revenue, an alliance including the Florida League of Mayors, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and...
March 23, 2009

Lose the Local Newspaper, Get Re-elected?

Over the weekend, Time magazine highlighted a new study from Princeton that may predict what could happen to a city if one of its daily ...