The ‘Narrative of Improvement’ vs. the Reality of San Francisco Homelessness

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Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | State employment in Rhode Island surges … first-of-its-kind ban on tiny toiletries … and a mayor fails to announce he put his police chief on unpaid leave.

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Leading Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup is city hall news  but scroll down for more from places like Atlantic City, New Jersey; Elkhart, Indiana; and Honolulu, Hawaii. ALSO IN ROUTE FIFTY … Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper discusses striking the right balance with state and local business regulationsthe fiscal need to find a “second life” for parking facilitieshow North Dakota plans to reinvent business services … and this Virginia county is tracking missing persons with drones.

Let’s get to it …

CITY HALLS | During her monthly appearance before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Mayor London Breed faced questions from District Eight Supervisor Rafael Mandelman about the “narrative of improvement” when it comes to homelessness and “the reality of tents, needles and mentally ill people in places like Castro Street and Dolores Park.” [San Francisco Chronicle] … Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has given the city’s Housing Authority a $556,000 grant to help children in foster care reunite with their families and caregivers. The funding will provide 77 vouchers to families “whose inadequate housing situations cause their separation from children, or made such separation imminent.” [via Route Fifty Inbox] … Local Democratic Party leaders in Atlantic City, New Jersey passed a resolution on a 27-3 vote that asks Mayor Frank Gilliam and At-Large Councilmember Jeffrey Fauntleroy II to step down from their posts without pay as “an alleged assault at the Haven Night Club at the Golden Nugget Hotel” is being investigated [NJ.com]

WORKFORCE | The Rhode Island state government workforce now stands at 14,058 employees, the highest number since 2009. [The Providence Journal] … The Vermont Department of Economic Development “ has a little over a month to work out some details before it launches its remote worker program on Jan. 1,” when people can start pursuing $10,000 in state incentives to relocate to to the Green Mountain State to work remotely. [VTDigger]  

PUBLIC SAFETY | On Nov. 8, Elkhart, Indiana Mayor Ed Neese put Police Chief Ed Windbigler on 30-day unpaid leave but never officially announced it. [ProPublica / South Bend Tribune] … The Honolulu Police Department is planning to install 50 security cameras in the Waikiki area is “drawing praise from the tourism industry and skepticism from civil liberties advocates.” [Civil Beat] …

CREDIT RATINGS | Fitch Ratings has put the “A+” long-term rating for the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative and the Connecticut Transmission Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative on a “rating watch negative,” due to “credit concerns and uncertainty regarding excessive utility spending and potential outcomes as highlight and related to federal indictments of five individuals affiliated with the utility on Nov. 8,” including the current chief executive officer and chief financial officer, the former chairman of the board of directors and two other board members. [via Route Fifty Inbox]

WILDFIRES | As the search continues to recover human remains from the ashes of Paradise, California and neighboring communities in Butte County devastated by the Camp Fire, online conspiracy theories about how the state’s deadliest blaze started are running rampant on YouTube and elsewhere, including lasers fired from the sky and a plot involving a one-world government. [Motherboard / Vice] … According to the Butte County Sheriff’s Department, the confirmed death toll from the Camp Fire stands at 88 with 158 missing as of Tuesday night. Of the fatalities, 54 have been tentatively identified and 28 have been positively identified. [@ButteSheriff]

ENVIRONMENT | After being unanimously approved in a first vote on Nov. 20, the Santa Cruz County, California Board of Supervisors is expected to give the final OK on Dec. 4 to proposal that would ban hotels from offering single-used plastic bottles of personal care products like soap and shampoo to guests, which is believed to be the first of its kind ordinance in the nation. [Santa Cruz Sentinel] … The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is part of a team of conservation agencies recently awarded a federal competitive State Wildlife Grant over the next two years that will aid in the recovery of the Chesapeake logperch in the Susquehanna River basin. [Maryland DNR]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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