Spring 2011 — Volume 40, Number 1
After 11 years before the mast as head of The Public Manager, I’ve decided
to let someone else take the helm. I know most readers (and Board
members) are like…hmm… “It’s about time, don’t you think?” So, I
would just like to remind everyone that when former editor-in-chief Paul
Weiss and publisher Tom Novotny approached me about steering this
enterprise, I agreed to commit to a term of TWO YEARS! That was more
than a decade ago, when this quarterly journal had a subscriber base of
1,500, no website, a nonprofit board of directors, a phantom board of
editors, and an editorial focus and contributing author circle that rarely
extended beyond the Beltway.
We’ve seen lots of changes since 2000, and there are many more to
come. It’s a particularly turbulent time in the publishing world. Fortunately,
my successor, Ilyse Veron—who will assume the role of editor
with the summer 2011 issue—has the energy, experience, and proper
generational grounding to take the wheel. Moreover, she’s backed by
our road-runner publisher, Carrie Blustin. And both are supported by an
equally determined board chair, Alan Balutis, who will stop at nothing to
persuade our highly capable board members to share their capabilities.
As for moi, I plan to continue my public management kibitzing on the
sidelines, through blogging, podcasting, public speaking, and so forth. I
also will begin devoting more time to greener pastures. Certainly, with five
grandchildren and another expected, I expect to be on the move regularly
and Skyping heavily. Beyond this, there are writing projects that have
languished as casualties of journal deadlines. And many of the projects
require travel to faraway places, so why not me and wife Karen—who
has foregone my ebullient company whilst I was tethered to my laptop?
Government Going Green
This issue’s seven-article symposium on climate change represents a
collaborative effort to help frame the related challenges of global warming,
environmental degradation, energy dependency, and sustainability,
as well as offer a glimpse of what governments at different levels are
doing to respond to these challenges both at home and abroad. Frances
Edwards kicks things off with her piece on what state and local
governments are doing to prepare for climate change in the United
States. Next, Stephen Bender offers an international perspective on
development planning and climate hazards, and Bruce Binder explores
the impact of climate change on public health. Edwards and co-author
Frances McCormack discuss mitigating climate change through
greener transportation. Rounding out the symposium, Adrienne Spahr
shares her recent experience on what actions the Smithsonian National
Zoo is taking to balance climate change and cultural preservation.
Michael Mudd takes on the daunting task of explaining how carbon
capture and sequestration is a necessary element in future energy production,
and what some communities have already done to move forward.
Finally, John Selman and Matt Daigle confront the challenge
of reshaping the conversation on climate change issues by attracting
strange bedfellows—climate users.
The Changing Workplace
Turning to the changing public sector workplace—people, budgets,
technology, and learning—Anne Kelly asks: “Who cares if your agency
is a 2010 Best Place to Work?” David Baker looks into local government
cutback budgeting. Anne Weisberg and Mark Porell report on
moving telework from compliance to competitiveness. And Patricia
Armstrong and companions at 13L, a group of mid-career federal employees
who are passionate about the practice of leadership, revisit the
work-life balancing act.
Other features include Jeff Steinhoff and Laura Price, whose government
accountability article examines the federal CFO role in managing
the cost of government. Kaye Kendrick outlines the keys to successful
performance measurement. And Janice Lynn Bowers explains how
engaging citizens through municipal-level surveys has improved recycling
efforts in Kentucky.
We close this issue with Thomas Gessel’s commentary on an insider’s
frustration with informal rulemaking in the federal government; Christopher
Mihm’s review of Strategic Public Management: Best Practices
from Government and Nonprofit Organizations; and Grimaldi’s final
thoughts on the ambiguous nature of cutting the cost of government.