Posts By Jerry Newfarmer

Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Local Government

There’s been a lot of attention paid lately to the 13 percent statistic: the portion of chief administrative officers in local governments that are women stands at 13 percent, roughly the same figure it was in the 1980s. It’s an important issue, and a complicated one, and I asked my colleague Jan Perkins for someRead… Read more »

What to Do When a Local Government Leader Leaves

People move around a lot in the field of city and county management; I have an Outlook database that can prove it. And when the city manager or another leader leaves, it’s tempting for a government to try to have other staffers cover that work until someone new is hired. I think it’s almost alwaysRead… Read more »

5 Things I’ve Learned as a Consultant

I’m a city manager. I’ll always consider myself a city manager. I work with other city managers and local-government professionals. But instead of working full-time for one municipality, we now help government leaders create the change their organizations need. Sometimes they need financial analysis or a strategic plan. Sometimes they want to improve their businessRead… Read more »

Improving Police-Community Relations Before It’s Too Late

Civil unrest in places like Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore has local government leaders across the country concerned about police-community relations in their own cities and towns. While it’s true that larger cities with greater diversity – whether economic, ethnic, racial or religious – are more at risk, government leaders in cities of all sizes canRead… Read more »

Overcoming Challenges to Shared-Services Success

At the Alliance for Innovation’s recent Transforming Local Government conference, Virginia Beach was awarded a 2015 Innovation Award for its shared-service plan with Norfolk and Chesapeake. Too often, people weigh the cost savings and efficiency of shared services against the risk of job loss and political difficulties and conclude it’s just not worth it. In workingRead… Read more »

The Customer Feedback You’re Probably Missing

Internal customer surveys are a good way to find out how support services are functioning, and they can yield valuable insights that promote innovation, help retain talent, increase job satisfaction and encourage continuous improvement. They can also increase the overall performance of the government, because an organization that cares about its employees’ opinions and acts… Read more »