This issue of The Municipal magazine broaches some of the issues that occupy the waking hours of municipal administrators, both elected and appointed. Those include general management, the purchase of a major piece of maintenance equipment and, perhaps most interestingly, how to keep your jurisdiction running smoothly from half a world away.
While we’re on the subject of municipal management, I’d like to call your attention to two outstanding mayors we talked to (or about) recently: Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Don Farmer of Van Wert, Ohio.
Buttigieg, the youngest mayor ever to be elected to a city of South Bend’s size, is now pushing another boundary: leading from afar. Just into his third year in office he received word that he would be called from reserve to active duty with the U.S. Navy and sent overseas. In the interest of keeping things running — but not running over budget — the position of deputy mayor was created and filled, and Buttigieg opted not to receive his municipal salary during the deployment.
In the much smaller community of Van Wert, Farmer is doing big things that are setting a course for the future. The forward-thinking leader not only led an expansion of the city reservoir during his first term, but he is hands-on with a 1,500-acre industrial park development that’s expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the region. The city will retain an eight-year option on half of the site.
I’m also honored to note that National EMS Week is May 18–24. And while it’s a rare resident who would deny the lifesaving role that emergency medical technicians play in a community, it’s too easy for EMS to be taken for granted until that unfortunate moment when it’s most needed. So I encourage you to communicate your value to your residents through community events, constructive social media campaigns and by calling your local print or online newspaper with good news stories.
The Municipal would love to hear from you, too: Let us share your experience, give a wider audience to your campaign, start a discussion about an issue or just recognize an EMT or department that deserves five minutes in the spotlight. Just use the email address or give me a call at (800) 733-4111, ext. 2392.
I hope you’re having a safe spring.