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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.
Results 1-10 of 298

Arizona ‘City’ With Escaped Llamas Isn’t Actually a Municipality

February 26, 2015 It was hard not to be transfixed on live television or Internet livestream news coverage of Thursday’s escaped llama drama in suburban Phoenix. The locality where the captivating animal pursuit played out was Sun City, a master-planned retirement community of more than 35,000 people. With a population of that size, ...

Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilson, N.C., Celebrate FCC’s Municipal Broadband Ruling

February 26, 2015 While most of the attention on Thursday’s Federal Communications Commission meeting was focused on the commissioners’ decision on net neutrality, a separate ruling to block state laws or regulations that limit the expansion of municipal broadband projects was a moment for celebration in two cities that petitioned the FCC to ...

Local Fire Departments Prepare for Possible Impacts From DHS Showdown in Congress

February 26, 2015 As the congressional showdown over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security continues plays out on Capitol Hill, some municipal governments around the country are watching for how any potential shutdown of the department impacts local fire protection. In Michigan, for instance, 84 communities receive funding grants from the ...

How One County Government Diverts Food Waste to Generate Revenue

February 26, 2015 Food scrap waste diversion has been gaining momentum around the nation. From Seattle, where composting is mandatory for city residents, to Minneapolis, where curbside organics pickup is being introduced, to New York City, which is turning food waste into energy, waste-diversion programs have been popping up. A pilot project in ...

How San Diego Plans to Assess the Condition of Nearly 2,800 Miles of City Streets

February 25, 2015 If you ask San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer what roadways in his city are in the worst shape, there “are a lot of worst of the worst.” That’s what the mayor said last week at a press conference announcing a new effort to do a full condition assessment of the ...

Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation and Performance Celebrates Its Transformation

February 24, 2015 The city of Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation and Performance celebrated its first birthday on Friday with Debra Lam, the city’s chief innovation and performance officer delivering a State of the Department address to her team. Mayor Bill Peduto, whose municipal transformation vision for Pennsylvania’s second-largest city helped lead to the ...

Inventive Ways Local Governments Are Increasingly Using Aerial Drones

February 24, 2015 It’s certainly not uncommon for local governments to post promotional videos to YouTube to tout new programs, highlight events or feature interviews with public officials or department employees (in one community, they even use puppets as interviewers). In Johnston County, North Carolina, near Raleigh, drones have been added to the ...

Smart Telecommunicators Awards Nominations Deadline Is March 17

February 23, 2015 Attention local governments: Do you know of a 9-1-1 call-taker or dispatcher who deserves recognition? In advance of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in April, Rave Mobile Safety is accepting nominations for its Smart Telecommunicators Awards, which aims to recognize “who have demonstrated superb leadership, performance, compassion for callers, ability ...

To Improve Gender Equity, Local Governments May Want to Look at Non-Profits

February 23, 2015 A study published in the International City/County Management Association’s PM Magazine January-February issue found that only 13 percent of chief administrative officers in local government are women. That figure, 13 percent, has been a rallying call for the Emerging Local Government Leaders professional group, which has aimed to raise greater ...

For Public Employees, Your First Amendment Rights as an American Are 'Curtailed’

February 22, 2015 SEATTLE — Police officers in the Emerald City, who have been subject to a host of negative headlines about their social media postings, were put on notice earlier this month: Be mindful of your write that could reflect badly on the department because the line between the First Amendment’s protection ...