Cover Story

10 People Who Could Help Save Detroit

Meet ten people who will play a critical role in rebuilding the Motor City, a place abandoned by its residents, plagued with high crime, stuck with the nation’s highest unemployment rate, and under the state’s control.



Could Gay Marriage, Guns and Marijuana Lead to a Fragmented United States of America?

Without strong federal policies, states have become more active and divergent. BY

What Will New Bosses Mean for Muni Bonds?

New leaders at both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board may have big changes in store for the municipal bond market and its issuers. BY

Ed FitzGerald: Agent of Change

The county executive has been key to helping Cuyahoga County, Ohio bounce back after a massive corruption scandal. Now he’d like to lead the whole state. BY

Christie's Bet on Tax Incentives Failed Expectations

Despite awarding nearly $2 billion in tax incentives, New Jersey's job growth trails other states. BY

Fusion Centers Struggle with Surveillance Post-9/11

Fusion centers were created in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks to improve information gathering and intelligence surveillance among law enforcement agencies. But their effectiveness and legality has been questioned ever since. BY



Technology Threatens Public Officials’ Safety

Several high-profile government officials were killed this year. Standing in the public light has always had its risks, but they’re higher than ever as tracking an official’s whereabouts can be as simple as following their Twitter feed. BY

Indianapolis Building First Empty-Ballpark Apartments

Communities struggle with what to do with stadiums once sports teams leave. Indianapolis is converting its historic minor league ballpark into apartments. BY

Biggest Critic of Gov. Cuomo’s Pension Plan is His Former Ally

Stephanie Miner, the mayor of Syracuse and co-chair of the state’s Democratic Party thanks to Andrew Cuomo himself, refuses to abide by the governor’s newly enacted law affecting local pension plans. BY

Philly Feuds with Feds over Calorie Counts on Menus

Philadelphia city officials want an exemption for a 2008 local ordinance that goes further than Obamacare on nutrition labeling. BY

The Chicago Paradox

Despite its high murder rate, dysfunctional schools and aging transit, the central area of Chicago is growing faster than any other big city. BY

Changing Demographics Spelling End of Culture Wars

From same-sex marriage to marijuana, millennials are changing our culture as their proportion of the population increases. BY

Boston Marathon Bombing Highlights Homeland Security Done Right

In the immediate aftermath of the blasts, several fundamental lessons were relearned. BY

Is Raising the Gas Tax Truly Politically Unpalatable?

It's conventional wisdom in Washington that voters won't support a gas tax hike or a vehicle miles traveled fee. A new study suggests that long-held belief is wrong. BY

Impending Nurse Shortage Imperils Primary Care

The nation may be 260,000 nurses short by 2025, and the proposed solutions to address the future drought don’t look promising. BY

Does Energy Benchmarking Actually Work?

Cities across the country require commercial buildings to track and publicize their energy and water use in an effort to reduce it. A recent report, however, suggests it may not be working. BY

States, Localities Are Failing to Seize Their Infrastructure Moment

It’s the best time in probably the last 75 years to overhaul and upgrade our infrastructure, but city halls and statehouses are letting the moment slip away. BY

Commuter Rail Ridership Declining Despite Increase in Lines

Though the number of rail lines has jumped, the number of people riding them has fallen. The solution, as New York City found, is bumping up service. BY



Youth Unemployment Reached Record Highs: What Can Officials Do About It?

The number of out-of-work teens and twenty-somethings climbed to record levels during the recession. View data for each state. BY

When to Use Performance Measurement

Performance measures are a key management tool -- but not for everything. BY
On Leadership

L.A. Leads the Way in Police Auditing

After a police scandal involving illegal and unethical behavior, Los Angeles started the nation’s first school designed to train people to audit cops. BY

‘Textgate’ Scandal Shows Need for Texting Policies

Mobile technology is creating new ways for officials to violate public records laws. Orange County, Fla., learned that the hard way. BY

What’s the Point of Rainy Day Funds?

States and localities both save for unseen emergencies and hard times. But when it comes to using the funds, their approach couldn't be more different. BY

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