Michael Grass

Executive Editor Michael Grass, who joined the Government Executive Media Group in June 2014, is the founding co-editor of and worked as a copy editor at Roll Call, local and online editor at The Washington Post's Express newspaper, deputy managing editor at The New York Observer's, deputy managing editor at Washington City Paper and the D.C., Maryland and Virginia local editor for The Huffington Post. He also managed a non-profit network of state-based policy news sites in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico.
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An Important Emergency Response Scenario for Every State and Local Government

August 22, 2016 Each real-life disaster situation offers opportunities for various levels of government and other stakeholders to test their level of preparedness and response. This month’s unprecedented flooding in Louisiana, which inundated parts of 20 parishes, damaged at least 60,000 homes, killed 13 people and required the rescuing of more than 20,000...

What to Expect Next From Route Fifty’s Navigator Awards

August 18, 2016 Thanks to all those who submitted nominations for the Route Fifty Navigator Awards. Now that the window for nominations has closed, we’re in the process of reviewing the submissions, but in the meantime, we wanted to give you an idea of what’s coming next. First off, we received an overwhelming...

The Simple Reason Why Two New Transit Projects Have Already Succeeded

August 9, 2016 SANTA MONICA, Calif. — It seems like a fairly simple concept when it comes to new public transportation investments: If you build high-quality and reliable transit that brings people where they want to go and can take them there relatively quickly, they will ride it. I found that to be...

German Official Feels Slighted and Neglected by U.S. Sister City in Michigan

August 5, 2016 Attention local officials whose municipalities have international sister-city relationships: Are you doing enough to maintain good relations? Take a lesson from Bay City, Michigan, which has found itself in a position of trying to smooth over some rocky sister-city relations with Ansbach, Germany, after a culture and tourism secretary there...

Route Fifty Roadmap: A Municipal Parks and Rec Facility With Olympic Stature

August 4, 2016 Route Fifty Roadmap is an ongoing series of dispatches from the semi-regular travels of the Route Fifty staff around the United States. | PREVIOUSLY: Duluth, Minnesota LOS ANGELES — This year’s Summer Olympics, getting underway in Rio de Janeiro this week, have been greeted with a shrug by some around...

Flash Floods Turn Maryland Town’s Main Street Into River

July 31, 2016 Historic Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland, turned into a raging torrent on Saturday night when creeks that converge on downtown jumped their banks in flash flooding, destroying homes and small businesses. Two people, a pedestrian and a motorist, were confirmed dead in the flooding, the result of six and...

New Earthquake-Resilient Water Pipes ‘Surpassed Expectations’ in Recent Tests

July 29, 2016 LOS ANGELES — When the next large earthquake hits Southern California, or any other major U.S. city, among the biggest worries for emergency managers and intergovernmental leaders is whether infrastructure for water and sewage will be able to ride out intense levels of shaking and ground deformation. In the greater...

County Executives Foil Vote for Detroit Regional Transit Network

July 28, 2016 In metro Detroit, the more things change, the more things stay the same. That was made evident on Thursday, as opposition from Detroit’s suburban neighbors to the north in Oakland and Macomb counties undermined yet another plan to build out a regional transit network for Michigan’s most populous metropolitan area....

Why Elected Officials Sometimes Need to Rein In Their Influence During Emergencies

July 26, 2016 LONG BEACH, Calif. — When disaster strikes or there’s an unfolding emergency situation, it’s not uncommon for elected officials in state, county and municipal governments to rush to the scene or to the nearest assemblage of television cameras. For the general public, their elected officials are recognizable figures and offer...

Check Out This Great Resource for County-Level Health Data

July 25, 2016 LONG BEACH, Calif. — When trying to understand the scope of health and wellness in communities in the United States, state-level rankings often give a limited picture of reality. Colorado, for instance, is generally regarded as one of the nation’s healthiest states, where residents have access to ample recreational activities,...

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