Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Special emergency room designed for opioid overdoses; Mass.’s one-time federal tax reform windfall; hepatitis A scare in Buffalo area; and mayor of Portland, Maine plans to make good on Super Bowl bet.
CITY HALLS | When it comes to increasing the number of women in city hall management positions, there’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to do. But to fill out his administration, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz of Toledo, Ohio has hired more women into leadership roles than any of his predecessors. The mayor’s chief of staff (Katy Crosby), two deputy chiefs of staff (Abby Arnold and Karen Poore) and legislative director (Gretchen DeBacker) are all women. “I know they can do it, and I’m excited to see them prove to the community and to an overwhelmingly male power structure that they can do it,” Kapszukiewicz said. [Toledo Blade]
During Monday’s State of the City address in Providence, Rhode Island, protesters interrupted Mayor Jorge Elorza several times to voice their displeasure that local teachers have been working without a contract since Aug. 31. Despite the noise, Elorza didn’t acknowledge the protesters. “Instead, he spoke louder, shouting at points, and eventually straining his voice.” [Providence Journal]
Ethan Strimling, the mayor of Portland, Maine, plans to make good on a Super Bowl bet he made with Lance Prator, the mayor of Portland, Pennsylvania. “I’ve never shaved my head, so it will be interesting to see what’s there,” Strimling, who wrongly thought the Patriots couldn’t lose to the Eagles, said. [Portland Press-Herald]
PUBLIC HEALTH | Officials in Palm Beach County, Florida are planning to open a special emergency room designed for people who overdose on opioid medications. “This is a top priority,” County Mayor Melissa McKinlay said during a meeting of county commissioners on Tuesday. “You’ve got 600 people dying a year with no place to go. This would go a long way toward giving them a place to go.” [Sun-Sentinel]
The number of emergency medical service calls in Roanoke, Virginia has risen 15 percent over the past five years, something local officials attribute to an aging population, the surge of opioid-related overdoses and unnecessary ambulance trips. “We still have a lot of people using us as a gateway to health care,” the city’s fire chief told members of the city council on Monday. [The Roanoke Times]
Public health officials in Erie County, New York, which includes Buffalo, are warning that an employee working at a local restaurant and senior living facility “may have exposed 346 patrons and nursing home residents to hepatitis A.” [The Buffalo News]
STATE BUDGETS | Some Missouri state lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, are souring on Gov. Eric Greitens’ plan to create a state infrastructure fund while he’s also proposing to slash higher education funding. “If we do all these new projects I think that’s really great. But then on the other hand, he took all the money out of higher education,” Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, a Republican from Jackson said. “If we don’t have the people trained to do these jobs, there’s a disconnect there.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Massachusetts is forecasted to see a one-time $65 million windfall thanks to federal tax reform efforts, according to Mike Heffernan, the commonwealth’s secretary of administration and finance. [MassLive]
GERRYMANDERING | In Pennsylvania, Republican state Rep. Cris Dush wants five state Supreme Court justices to be impeached after they ruled that Keystone State lawmakers must redraw gerrymandered congressional districts to make them more fair. The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to take up a challenge of the the state Supreme Court’s ruling from the Pennsylvania Republican Party. Now the time is ticking in Harrisburg for state lawmakers to draw a new map by a court-ordered Friday deadline. [CNN; PennLive]
LAW ENFORCEMENT | Another law enforcement officer has been shot and killed in the line of duty in Colorado. El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick, 34, died after he and three other law enforcement officers and a bystander were shot on Monday by a car-theft suspect. Sheriff Bill Elder said: “This is a tough business. I’ve been in this business my entire life. It’s a dangerous position to be in. But unfortunately the last few years there has been a lack of respect for the men and women that are there to protect our communities and frankly it just shocks me, it shocks my staff, it shocks the leadership of law enforcement across the country.” [The Denver Post]
TRANSPORTATION SAFETY | More Californians are putting down their mobile phones when they’re driving, according to a new study from the state’s Office of Traffic Safety that found that “fewer than 4 percent of drivers appear to be picking up and using their cellphones.” [The Sacramento Bee]
The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a report indicating that the cause of two separate train crashes in Hoboken, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York was “chronic fatigue from undiagnosed severe sleep apnea.” [New York Daily News]
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Dane County, Wisconsin, which includes the city of Madison, is booming and in 2016, accounted for 80 percent of the Dairy State’s net population. The growth in Dane County is also “gradually altering the electoral math in Wisconsin,” with the jurisdiction becoming more and more Democratic with each election cycle in a state where Republicans have made significant inroads in recent years. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.
NEXT STORY: An End to Gerrymandering in Ohio?