Starting with this issue, The Municipal is reaching a bit farther, expanding from 18 states to the entire contiguous United States. In the past, we’ve always been willing to step outside our borders to bring our readers new, innovative ideas, products designed to make their lives easier and practical solutions. The only difference now is our friends out West and in New England will also be directly receiving these articles, featuring them and their neighboring communities.
While geographically municipalities might face different sets of challenges — after all, Montana doesn’t have to worry about hurricanes like Florida does — they do face many of the same obstacles. From being fiscally responsible while addressing aging infrastructure to ensuring safety for both the public and first responders, there are plenty of unifying concerns faced by municipalities of all sizes and in all locations.
Through this expansion, The Municipal will facilitate the spread of practical information and share the latest in products, services and equipment — serving as a connection, if you would, between cities and towns across the U.S. There is a lot we can learn from each other.
For instance, in this issue, we are talking about storm management. And while, as noted above, cities face different varieties of weather challenges, no city is exactly safe from a severe or damaging weather event. Thinking otherwise can be disastrous as noted by Tom Ed McHugh, former mayor of Baton Rouge, La., and former executive director of the Louisiana Municipal Association, in this month’s article on surviving a post-disaster federal audit.
“Natural emergencies occur no matter where in the country you live,” he commented. “It’s so easy to think, ‘not gonna happen here,’ but it’s crucial to realize it does, and in this day and age with the threat of terrorism on top of natural disasters, one has to be prepared.”
Some disasters are expected like clockwork — with terms like hurricane season or tornado season existing for a reason — while others can take us by surprise. Preparation and diligence are tools every municipality needs in its kit.
We are highlighting a variety of cities that have done just that, including Warsaw, Ind., which addressed flaws in its communications before any disaster could occur; Myrtle Beach, S.C., which saw an increased amount of flooding and took an innovative approach to stop it; and Walla Walla, Wash., located in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which is getting ready for the “big one” by building resilient citizens.
So, for new readers and old, don’t be a stranger. If you have a topic you want us to address or if you want to share your own municipality’s achievements to the benefit of your peers, shoot me an email or give me a call. My door is always open.