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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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A Municipal Innovation Priority: People Want Information And ‘They Want It Now’

May 21, 2015 Among municipal Twitter feeds, the city of Philadelphia’s @Philly311 is among the most active across the local government digital landscape. Within the span of a few hours on Thursday, it relayed information about the Parks and Recreation Department’s Summer Meals program, how to report graffiti, where to find food trucks, ...

Watch How Local Governments Are Celebrating National Public Works Week

May 19, 2015 It’s National Public Works Week and local governments have been using the occasion as an opportunity to educate their local constituents about all the various services a municipal public works department delivers. “Public works is all about the infrastructure of the city—whether you’re talking about streets, sidewalks, curbs, trees, water ...

Local Governments Face Talent Management, Retirement Challenges

May 19, 2015 The silver tsunami—it’s a term that is a looming cause for concern within local governments. Retirements are an inevitability in any organization, including those in the local public sector. And recruitment and retention can be a challenge, too, especially since opportunities in the private sector often come with higher salaries. ...

What Will Happen to Truck Stop Towns When Driverless Truck Technology Expands?

May 18, 2015 Roscoe, Nebraska, is a good place to contemplate how the evolution of long-haul travel can change a community. This unincorporated settlement—some classify Roscoe as a “semi-ghost town”—sits about seven miles east of the city of Ogallala along U.S. 30, which follows the old Lincoln Highway route and before that, various ...

Texas Governor Signals Intent to Block Municipal Rules on Fracking

May 18, 2015 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that he plans to sign H.B. 40, legislation that would block municipal governments from passing local bans on the controversial energy-extraction technique known as fracking. Residents in one North Texas city, Denton, had passed a local ballot initiative last November banning hydraulic fracturing, the ...

How Digital Equity Is a Driving Force for Some Gigabit Cities

May 14, 2015 ATLANTA — When Michael Mattmiller, the city of Seattle’s chief technology officer, walks by his city’s fire department headquarters on the way to his office, he often sees a large group of local residents clustering outside. At one point, Mattmiller wondered whether the department was offering some sort of community ...

Following 2016 Vote, Will Nevada Steal Colorado’s Marijuana Tourism?

May 11, 2015 BOULDER, Colo. — Recreational marijuana is not yet legal in the state of Nevada. But a 2016 ballot proposal in the Silver State has been steadily gaining steam and is expected to have a strong shot at winning passage next year at the polls. And that has many people already ...

Around Government

May 6, 2015 The New Rat Pack HeroRATs are on a global mission to sniff out danger and save lives. By Susan Fourney Hallmark could have a field day with this one: April 4 was World Rat Day (also U.N. Mine Awareness Day). OK, maybe a greeting card would be over the top. ...

Cleveland’s ‘Jock Tax’ Faces Big Setback in Court

April 30, 2015 In a ruling handed down Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court declared that the way the city of Cleveland’s collects its “jock” tax on out-of-town professional athletes is unconstitutional but rejected arguments that the controversial tax should be scrapped in its entirety. As the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports, the ruling ...

After Riot Cleanup, Baltimore May Face Big Long-Term Economic Repercussions

April 28, 2015 As parts of her city were descending into violence, looting and arson on Monday evening, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said: “Too many people have invested in building up this city to allow thugs to tear it down.” But long after the broken glass is swept up and burned-out businesses are ...