2014 ICMA Annual Conference

The 100th ICMA Annual Conference opened with President Simon Farbrother, the Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, welcoming several thousand people who had traveled to Charlotte, NC for this significant event.   ICMA was created by eight people a century ago to promote professional city management, and in 2014, we are celebrating that achievement.   The keynote speaker was the inspiring storyteller and Pulitzer Prize winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin who talked about leadership skills of Theodore Roosevelt and the lessons learned from both his and William Howard Taft’s presidencies, chronicled in her new book, The Bully Pulpit.   She skillfully wove city management into the stories of these leaders.  She authored The Team of Rivals, on which the movie Lincoln was based.   

 Among the leadership lessons she learned from Teddy Roosevelt were the ability to:  

  • Withstand adversity and motivate oneself to keep going after hardships
  • Inspire and motivate others
  • Surround yourself with capable people
  • Take criticism with grace and laugh at yourself
  • Inspire excellence and camaraderie by always doing your best; Roosevelt said, “Example is the most potent of all things.”
  • Set aside time daily for reading
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Negotiate but be willing to walk away or use authority to win when necessary to protect the public - “Speak softly and carry a big stick” and “don’t hit until you have to and then when you do, hit hard”
  • The higher you are in office, the more it’s important to get out into the field and see for yourself what is going on
  • Speak plainly to relate to people
  • Relax and replenish your energies and renew your spirit

Jerry Newfarmer, Amy Paul, Jan Perkins and Karen Davis  attended the dinner co-hosted by the International Hispanic Network and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators dinner held at the Levine Museum of the New South and heard an interesting presentation by the President of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Illinois.

IHN 2014 California Regional Summit

On Friday, August 23, Management Partners participated with approximately 80 others in the International Hispanic Network’s Regional Summit held in San Jose.  Jan Perkins, Senior Partner and ICMA Senior Advisor, was one of the coaches participating in the newly launched Madrinas/Padrinos program.   Karen Davis, Executive Director of IHN and an associate within Management Partners, worked closely with President Magda Gonzalez, City Manager of Half Moon Bay, and the rest of the board to organize the event.  San Jose City Manager Ed Shikada gave a welcome to the group.  The opening keynote speaker was Dr. Aida Hurtado, who spoke on understanding diversity.  ICMA President Jim Bennett spoke at lunch and explained why he has appointed the Task Force on Strengthening Inclusiveness Within the Profession.   Other speakers included Pat Martel, City Manager of Daly City and President-Elect of ICMA; Deanna Santana, Sunnyvale City Manager; Chris Zapata, San Leandro City Manager; Maria Hurtado, Acting City Manager of Tracy; Hazel Wetherford, President of the Municipal Management Association of Northern California; Reyna Ferrales, Deputy County Manager for San Mateo County and representative of Cal-NAPA; Manuel Esquivel, City Manager of Brighton; and Troy Brown, currently Assistant City Manager of Livermore and soon-to-be City Manager of Tracy, representing the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA).

Sacramento CompStat Meeting

spd_logoThis week I was invited to witness how the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) has institutionalized data-driven, performance-based policing strategies by attending one of the SPD’s regular CompStat meetings on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.


With many local governments around California having to limit their budgets and cut costs, the SPD has demonstrated that synthesizing data and encouraging law enforcement managers to deliberate results can help a department lower crime rates, and also respond to crime more efficiently and effectively.


During Sacramento’s CompStat meetings, command staff review a number of data sets that inform their future policing strategies, including:


  • The number of crimes reported in each district (by type)
  • GIS mapping that identifies crime hot spots within each district (by time of day and by day of week)
  • The percent change in the number of crimes reported in each district (by type)
  • What crimes are statistically likely to occur in certain areas
  • The number of crimes reported per capita (by type) as compared to other big cities in California
  • And much more!


The SPD crime analysis team follows up these CompStat meetings with more fully developed District reports tailored to each geographic area of the City and directly inform how law enforcement is deployed throughout the City.


In short, at the Sacramento Police Department, CompStat has become more than a statistical tool that enables data collection and analysis, it has become a management philosophy that builds from the notion that government can improve its performance by evaluating its results. 

2014 Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference

20140626_ku_iwpa_0001Over 200 women gathered for the annual
Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference, held at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus in Overland Park, Kansas.   The theme was “Daring Greatly.”   Speakers included San Bruno, CA city manager Connie Jackson; Tualatin, OR city manager Sherilyn Lombos; Parkville, MO city administrator Lauren Palmer; recently retired city manager Joyce Wilson of El Paso, TX; University of Missouri-Kansas City Athletics Director Carla Wilson; Deputy Regional Administrator of HUD Region VII Theresa Porter; Dr. Barbara Kerr of the University of Kansas, and several other inspiring women.   They shared insights about triumphing after failure – declaring your win. We heard stories of powerful women who have made amazing contributions to their fields.   We saw a TED Talk about leveraging the feelings of vulnerability to propel us toward innovation, creativity and change.   

Management Partners was a sponsor of this event, along with ICMA, ICMA-RC, Women Leading Government and numerous other organizations.

2014 FCCMA Conference

The Florida City and County Management Association is a professional organization of practicing Florida local governments administrators. It is one of the largest International City/County Management Association state affiliates with over 500 members. Almost half of the members attended the annual conference last month in Orlando. Like other similar conferences, it is a chance for local government professionals from across the state to share stories of success and good governance.

Management Partners was well represented by Jerry Newfarmer (President and CEO), Kevin Knutson (Regional Vice President) and me. For Kevin and me it was a homecoming of sorts since we both previously worked in Florida – Kevin for the City of Coral Springs and I for Broward County. It was exciting to see many of our former colleagues and share our current efforts to help improve local government in Florida and beyond.

Being a process improvement junkie myself, I very much enjoyed the session titled “There’s Always Room for Improvement: Lean Six Sigma.” Speakers in this session detailed how the City of Ormond Beach, Florida used lean six sigma techniques to improve the contract change order review process. Lean and lean six sigma are tools used to both reduce the non-value added steps in processes and reduce errors and anomalies. Applying these principals usually streamlines a process and saves money. What better way to serve our residents than making their government more efficient and effective?

As a company, Management Partners has conducted countless process improvements over the last 20 years. I have helped on a few myself and it’s always gratifying when participants gain a true understanding of how much work they put into a process and how much time and money can be saved by doing something more efficiently.

I look forward to assisting our clients throughout Florida and working with former colleagues again in my capacity with Management Partners.


© Management Partners, Inc. 2011