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 League Letter, January 31, 2017 

League Letter | Volume 38 | Issue 5

EP 17 of Municipal Equation: 'That High Lonesome Data'

Town Hall Day 2017 Registration Now Open

Water Collaborative Survey

ncIMPACT: A new initiative from the UNC School of Government

New Report on Smart Cities Released by National League of Cities

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hurricane Matthew Flood Report Available Online

Symposium: The Future of Banking in Rural North Carolina

2018 Recreational Trails Program Grant Cycle

Industrial Control Systems Cyber Training

Essentials of County Government and a Workshop for Veteran Elected Officials

Eastern Disaster Relief Funding Updates

Meeting Procedures for Local Governments

Strategic Planning for Elected Officials

Media Relations for Elected Officials

Save the Date: Alumni Association of Municipal and County Administration (AAMCA) Annual Update Seminar

Application Period for Hazard Mitigation Program Open

In the News: Coastal towns offer free wedding venue with a view

Job opportunities

Calendar

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EP 17 of Municipal Equation: 'That High Lonesome Data'

What do Dobros and datasets have in common? In this episode of Municipal Equation, host Ben Brown talks with A'yen Tran and Jer Thorp of the New York-based Office for Creative Research to hear about their folksy initiative -- a finalist in the 2017 Knight Cities Challenge, no less -- to strengthen civic engagement via bluegrass music. Mystified? Click here to give this podcast a listen. 

Town Hall Day 2017 Registration Now Open

Town Hall Day is the League's premier opportunity for members to visit legislators and make their views known. Each legislative session, hundreds of elected and appointed city officials gather in Raleigh for an entire day of grassroots lobbying. Town Hall Day is a prime opportunity to show strength in numbers and draw attention to the many serious legislative issues facing your cities and towns. This year, Town Hall Day will be Wednesday, March 29. Find details and register here.

Water Collaborative Survey

The North Carolina Source Water Collaborative (NCSWC) is a statewide partnership of non-profit organizations, university programs, state, local and federal agencies, professional associations, and regional councils of government that works to protect drinking water through non-regulatory approaches. The NCSWC is developing resources to assist public and elected officials in protecting and preserving their drinking water sources and would like your guidance. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey to ensure these resources are helpful and relevant to your work.  

ncIMPACT: A new initiative from the UNC School of Government

This year the UNC School of Government is launching an exciting new initiative – ncIMPACT. This comes in response to calls for the School to find more ways to help managers and other public leaders navigate policy challenges. ncIMPACT has deployed a brief survey to identify and underscore the critical obstacles local officials face in North Carolina. Responses will direct how this new initiative builds on the School’s 80-plus years of work across the state. Click here to take the survey and feel free to circulate it to other thoughtful managers and staff who you think will offer helpful insights.

New Report on Smart Cities Released by National League of Cities

The National League of Cities (NLC) today released "Trends in Smart City Development," a new report featuring case studies about how five cities – Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Charlotte, N.C., and New Delhi, India – are implementing smart city projects from different approaches. The report also provides recommendations to help local governments consider and plan smart city projects. To learn how more about smart city trends and how different cities are implementing projects, access "Trends in Smart City Development" here.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hurricane Matthew Flood Report Available Online

The USGS has announced the publication of an online report by the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center documenting the peak stages and streamflow related to inland flooding in North and South Carolina from Hurricane Matthew. The USGS has an additional report in the works that focuses on summarizing the continuous storm-tide data collected along the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida before, during and after the passage of Matthew that will be published soon as well. All high-water mark and continuous storm-tide data associated with Hurricane Matthew that were collected by USGS are available here. Click here to learn more about the report.

Symposium: The Future of Banking in Rural North Carolina

“What happens when the last bank leaves town? Faced with changing economies, demographics and banking technology how do rural communities face the challenge of having financial services for their residents and businesses? The Future of Banking in Rural North Carolina symposium will be held on February 16 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at The Rural Center in Raleigh. Speakers include the Federal Reserve Bank, the FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Bankers Association. The cost is $100.00 and scholarships are available. Click here to learn more and register.

2018 Recreational Trails Program Grant Cycle

The 2018 grant cycle for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is now open. The RTP is a federal grant program authorized by Congress with the intent of helping fund trails and trail-related recreational needs at the State level. At the State level, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DNCR) has assigned that responsibility to the Division of Parks and Recreation and its NC Trails Program. The North Carolina Trails Committee is a seven-member advisory committee who will review all applications and make recommendations for funding with the Secretary of DNCR having final approval authority for North Carolina. The Grant Application – Form A will be available from Tuesday, January 17, 2017 until Friday, February 24, 2017. Click here to access the application.

Industrial Control Systems Cyber Training

Cyber-security issues (cybercrime, cyber vandalism and cyberwarfare) and their impact on water and wastewater systems is an ever growing and evolving threat that requires constant vigilance. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of infrastructure Protection (DHS-OIP) have arranged for cyber-security training for Industrial Control Systems (ICS, not to be confused with NIMS Incident Command System). This training is scheduled for February 27- March 2, 2017 and will take place at Wake Technical Community College, 9101 Fayetteville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603 in the Student Services Conference Center. Training will be delivered by the Idaho National Laboratory- Industrial Control System-Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) and is specifically designed for personnel who are responsible for the oversight, design and operation of control systems to include but not limited to; operators, engineers, IT personnel, supervisors and managers. Registration is required and more information can be found here. If you have questions or concerns, please call (919) 996-3489 or contact Robert.mielish@hq.dhs.gov or Darryl.aspey@hq.dhs.gov, the North Carolina based DHS staff who arranged this opportunity.

Essentials of County Government and a Workshop for Veteran Elected Officials

Please join the UNC School of Government and Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA) for The Essentials of County Government, a dynamic two-day orientation program for newly elected county commissioners. Paired with this program is an additional workshop for veteran elected officials called, “People and Jobs on the Move: Implications for North Carolina’s Competitiveness,” which is available to municipal officials. Both programs run concurrently in four cities across NC in January and February and registration information is available online. Contact Carolyn Boggs with any questions at boggs@sog.unc.edu or 919-962-4157.

Eastern Disaster Relief Funding Updates

The NC Association of County Commissioners and NC League of Municipalities are again partnering to hold free information sessions across the state where local government leaders will get an update from Dan Gerlach, President of the Golden LEAF Foundation, on the status of the grant application process for Eastern Disaster Relief Funding and what to expect in the coming months. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the process and get prepared for next steps. There will be six sessions in all staring February 9. Click here to see dates and to register.

Meeting Procedures for Local Governments

Join UNC School of Government faculty member Trey Allen as discusses rules of procedure for local government boards, paying special attention to common procedural problems. This event will be held Friday, February 24, 2017 at the WCU at Biltmore Park, Asheville, NC. For information, contact LGTP director Rebecca Scott at (828) 227-3442 or rdscott@wcu.edu or click here to register.

Strategic Planning for Elected Officials

This one-day interactive workshop offered by the UNC School of Government provides local elected officials an opportunity to walk through a strategic cycle of planning, implementation, and evaluation. Participants will identify how components of planning and evaluation link together, clarify roles and responsibilities for each step in the process, and begin outlining what they would like to accomplish in their own planning, performance measurement, budgeting, and evaluation processes. There are two location and dates for this workshop: Greenville, NC – March 10, 2017 and Asheville, NC – March 24, 2017. Click here to learn more.

Media Relations for Elected Officials

Understanding the basics of media relations is essential before even the most simple press interaction, especially when it comes to making sure you get your message across. Master the skills to compose an effective message and compile a plan to advance that message using earned media tactics such as print, radio, TV and social media. This course offered by the UNC School of Government on March 15, will give you a much better idea of what it feels like to interact with the media, you’ll have take-away points to help you use the media to get your message out. Click here to learn more.

Save the Date: Alumni Association of Municipal and County Administration (AAMCA) Annual Update Seminar

Save the date now for the Annual Update Seminar for graduates of the Municipal and County Administration Course at the UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill on Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28, 2017. The seminar topic will be “To Open or Not to Open….That’s the Question: A Key to Better Transparency.” Seminar agenda and registration information coming soon. Click here for more information.

Application Period for Hazard Mitigation Program Open

The N.C. Emergency Management application period for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is now open. With the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Matthew on North Carolina, the state expects to see the largest HMGP offered since Hurricane Floyd. N.C. Emergency Management is accepting Letters of Interest for possible inclusion in the state’s HMGP submission to FEMA. Eligible applicants are local governments with a FEMA and NCEM approved and adopted Hazard Mitigation Plan. The deadline for receiving the letters is May 1, 2017. A separate goal of March 31, 2017, has been set for receiving letters for an expedited grant process for communities facing a more pressing resilient housing need. Communities will have to develop a process for gathering documentation and application for community residents, but technical assistance and additional help can be provided. Questions regarding the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, technical assistance with applicant intake or eligibility can be directed to Nick Burk, Hazard Mitigation Grants Section Manager, at 919-825-2301, or Sharon Winstead, Hazard Mitigation Supervisor, at 919-825-2356.

In the News: Coastal towns offer free wedding venue with a view

Looking for a free wedding venue? Try the beach. Couples can get married free of charge on almost all beaches in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. Wrightsville Beach is the odd one out, charging couples a special event permit application fee based on the number of participants in the event. Click here to read this and other news.