Connecting state and local government leaders
Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: NYC subway delays; Wyoming can't take on federal land; snowstorm delays Maine government offices opening.
RESILIENCY | Miami Beach is no stranger to high tides that are creeping higher and swamping areas of the famous city that sits on a low-lying barrier island. While the city has invested a lot of resources in pumps, Mayor Philip Levine is hoping that President-elect Trump pays attention to to the risks from climate change and is calling for more federal investment to protect vulnerable coastal communities like Miami Beach, including a wall to help keep the city dry. The mayor writes in Time magazine:
As an owner of his own slice of South Florida real estate, Trump might be able to appreciate the effect this will have on his own investments. Imagine if his favorite Palm Beach residence, Mar-a-Lago, is catastrophically ruined by a disaster that could have easily been mitigated with a bit of foresight.
ETHICS | A member of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission has resigned, saying that the new state watchdog agency, created by Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers to replace the Government Accountability Board, is dysfunctional and operates in a cloud of secrecy. "There exists among several of the commissioners an observable lack of commitment to the underlying purposes of the agency," the commissioner, Robert Kinney, said in a statement announcing his resignation. [Wisconsin State Journal]
INFRASTRUCTURE | In New York City, weekend subway service can often be difficult to navigate because of track rehabilitation and other maintenance across the system. Starting in the spring, traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan will become more difficult when the Clark Street tube, which carries the Nos. 2 and 3 subway lines under the East River, will close for 56 weekends as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority makes long-term repairs that are needed after Hurricane Sandy flooded the tunnel in 2012. [DNAInfo New York]
PUBLIC LAND | “We spent as a state $45 million fighting fires … If the federal lands that had fires on them would have been state lands, we would have spent another $45 million — in one summer,” said Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead of the possibility of federal public land being transferred to the state. The governor also said receiving more terrain is legally impractical given the structure of Wyoming’s constitution, which is different from those of states like Idaho pushing to obtain more land. [Casper Star-Tribune]
SNOWSTORM | “Please remember to keep a safe distance behind other vehicles and give plow trucks plenty of room to operate,” said Maine Gov. Paul LePage, regarding the after effects of Sunday night’s snowstorm. State offices delayed opening until 10 a.m., and 10 school districts canceled classes for the day due to slippery roads. [CentralMaine.com]