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Michael Grass

Senior Editor Michael Grass, who joined GovExec in June 2014, is the founding co-editor of DCist.com 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 Politicker.com, 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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Local Government’s Big Text-Message Quandary

5:16 PM ET If a state or local government official discusses public business via text messages sent from or received on their personal cellphone, that electronic message is often subject to freedom of information statutes in various parts of the nation. But state and local governments have found that preserving and archiving text ...

Should New York City Press for a 'Global Wealth' Tax?

3:18 PM ET Here is our State & Local news roundup for Monday, September 22, 2014 ... NEW YORK CITY, New York: With more and more apartments and condos sitting mostly empty in the nation’s largest city because of foreign owners who are not full-time New York City residents, Mayor Bill de Blasio ...

Des Moines City Government Is Losing 113 Years of Institutional Knowledge

1:41 PM ET Facing the departures of a city manager, police chief and public works director with 113 years of combined institutional knowledge, local officials in Iowa’s capital city filled one major vacancy last week. Des Moines City Council members on Thursday named Assistant City Manager Scott Sanders as city manager, picking an ...

New Jersey Mayor: ‘I Don’t Have a Butt Patrol’

September 21, 2014 Here are some stories you may have missed from around the country this weekend … WILDWOOD, New Jersey: Here’s something you don’t hear a mayor say everyday: “We don’t go out hunting it down. I don’t have a butt patrol,” Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. told Michael Miller of The Press ...

More Videos and Photos From Minnesota’s Big State Capitol Renovations

September 19, 2014 We recently took at look at some of the major renovation work being done at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, particularly the legislative hearing rooms, which are seeing some major upgrades. But there’s a whole lot more going on, including repair work on the Rotunda, which is featured ...

DC Seeks First 'Civic Hacker in Residence'

September 18, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The District of Columbia Council General Counsel’s office is looking for its first ever “Civic Hacker in Residence,” a full-time developer who will help the local government in the nation’s capital improve access to public data by using open-source tools and platforms. According to the “Innovation Fellow” position description: The ...

D.C. Looking for 1st ‘Civic Hacker in Residence’ for Innovation Fellowship

September 18, 2014 The District of Columbia Council General Counsel’s office is looking for its first ever “Civic Hacker in Residence,” a full-time developer who will help the local government in the nation’s capital improve access to public data by using open-source tools and platforms. According to the “Innovation Fellow” position description: The ...

Miami Beach’s New Flood Defenses; Flint’s ‘Massive’ Water Thefts

September 18, 2014 Our daily State & Local roundup of state and local government news from around the nation … MIAMI BEACH, Florida: Higher-than-normal tides that can swamp parts of low-lying Miami Beach typically arrive around Oct. 9. But the city, according to The Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas, is working to get five ...

Grand Rapids Mayor Touts ‘Blue Economy’ and Effort to Let City’s River Run Wild

September 18, 2014 Michigan’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids, was built, as you can probably guess, along the rapids of a river. In this case, it’s the Grand River. But Grand Rapids’ grand rapids largely disappeared because of a series of small dams constructed after the city industrialized in the 19th century and became ...

Oregon County Voters Say ‘No,’ Again; West Virginia’s Data Lawsuit

September 17, 2014 CURRY COUNTY, Oregon: On Tuesday night, voters in a cash-strapped county in the southwest corner of the state rejected another proposed tax increase that officials said was necessary to keep the local jail open. As The Associated Press reports that “Curry is among several timber counties in southwestern Oregon struggling ...