The federal shutdown has been over for a couple of months, but we only have one more month before that particular tractor-trailer barrels down on us again. The October showdown yielded no clear winner, and yet we’re posed to do it again.
How does that bode for Americans and their local governments in 2014? Probably not well. Many small businesses lost a significant segment of their yearly profits during October and Americans reportedly resumed more cautious spending habits. Federal workers and veterans who live in our communities felt the pain, as did employees of the closed national parks and residents who had applied for federal loans — all of which lowered the just-beginning-to-recover tax receipts.
Fortunately, we have some good news and innovative products and practices to share in this month’s edition of The Municipal. For instance, take a look at some of the applications of concrete fabric, a recently developed product that looks to be a time- and labor-saving way of providing erosion control, lining ditches and more.
On another positive note, feature writer Barb Sieminski spoke this month with several municipalities that have widely implemented a national community clean-up movement. Meanwhile, in communities like Mason, Ohio, and Baraboo, Wis., economic development continues to be the high priority for the coming year.
One concern of many cities as the new year opens is how to attract quality employees. The Municipal will take a look at that challenge in an upcoming edition. Unfortunately, the flip side of recovering and diversifying economies is that well-qualified technicians, engineers, managers and other employees are needed more than ever before; and what we’re hearing is that many are looking for mechanisms to keep the quality people they do find.
Here at The Municipal we’re looking forward to meeting the new year head-on. We know you’re ready for it, too. Happy holidays.