Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | County dissolves flood-prone village near Mississippi River; Fla. proposal would pressure Miami-Dade County; 100-gigabit network in N.D.; Boise is booming; and dismal news for Pa. dairy farmers.
Here are state and local government stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention this weekend ...
INFRASTRUCTURE | With officials in New York facing a April 1 state budget deadline, transportation-related finance issues are the source of continued intergovernmental grumbling. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is slamming Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his proposal to use city property tax revenue, through value capture, to fund transit improvements for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state agency that operates the city’s subways and regional commuter rail. City Hall says the governor’s plan would cost the city $290 billion over 35 years. A mayoral spokeswoman said of the governor’s plan, according to the Daily News: “He continues to usurp his power and find ways to beg, borrow and steal from New York City residents and subway riders.”
As Daily News transit reporter Dan Rivoli noted Sunday night, MTA President Pat Foye said that City Hall’s math is wrong and suggested that the state would need to cancel the Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway—which would extend the new East Side line from 86th Street to 125th Street in Harlem—if the state’s value capture plan doesn’t come through. [Gotham Gazette; New York Daily News; @danrivoli]
WORKPLACE | Less than 24 hours after allegations of sexual harassment involving a state agency director were brought to her office’s attention, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds this weekend fired Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison, who was appointed to his position in 2011 by then-Gov. Terry Branstad. [Radio Iowa]
DISINCORPORATIONS | The village of Dutchtown, Missouri, a small community near the Mississippi River, “passed away peacefully Thursday as Cape Girardeau County Commissioners adopted an ordinance dissolving the village, effective immediately.” The cause of death: Falling population after a long battle with flooding, which happened in 2002, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017. [Southeast Missourian]
- Tallahassee, Florida: If Proposal 13 ends up before statewide voters—it moved forward during a state constitutional commission this past week—that could force Miami-Dade County to have its sheriff elected instead of appointed by the mayor. All other Florida counties have elected mayors. [Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau]
- Detroit, Michigan: While unemployment has fallen in Michigan and the state has seen an “economic renaissance” since the Great Recession, the next market downturn could really hurt state residents, according to a recent panel discussion featuring philanthropic, business and education leaders. The Center for Michigan and Bridge magazine, which hosted the Solutions Summit on Personal Property in Detroit on Thursday, wrote: “The state’s safety net remains frayed, and too many residents aren’t participating in the recovery because of unsolved problems in education, workforce development and transit, officials said.” [Bridge / Center for Michigan]
- Bismarck, North Dakota: The Dakota Carrier Network, which provides internet connectivity to North Dakota’s state government and schools, is upgrading to a 100-gigabit network, that will allow for improved internet speeds for distance education. [Prairie Public Radio]
- Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: Dozens of dairy farmers in the Keystone State are making very difficult decisions after getting a notice from one of the nation’s largest dairy distributors of its intention to end their contracts at the end of May. At least 26 dairy farmers in Lancaster County and Lebanon County have received the notices from Dean Foods and around 16 in Mercer County. But other distributors currently aren’t looking for new producers “My husband and I would be getting a job somewhere in some other field, or maybe even in the field, but no longer farming,” dairy farmer Alisha Risser, who lives in Lebanon County, said. “And we’ll also be looking at moving.” [WHYY / Keystone Crossroads]
- Los Angeles, California: An outreach program aimed at assisting homeless individuals in the L.A. Metro rail system has only been able to focus on the Red Line because “the need for services is ‘saturated’” there, which means there aren’t enough resources for the Gold and Green lines, according to a report presented to the L.A. Metro Board of Directors on Thursday. [Curbed L.A.]
- Boise, Idaho: The Gem State continues to grow. According to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, the metro area that includes Boise is the seventh fastest-growing in the nation. The bureau reported late last year that Idaho was the nation’s fastest-growing state. But most of that growth has been the state’s urban counties. “A good percentage of our towns are not seeing the growth,” according to Scot Oliver, executive director of Idaho Smart Growth. [Idaho Statesman]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.