Author Archive

Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene

Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Over the course of nearly 30 years, Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, principals of Barrett and Greene, Inc. have done much-praised analysis, research and writing about state and local governments. Described by Peter Harkness, founder of Governing Magazine as "by far the most experienced journalists in the country covering public performance," they pioneered "grading the cities, counties and states" in management. Related to that work, they founded the Government Performance Project. They are columnists and senior advisors at Route Fifty, special project consultants to the Volcker Alliance, senior advisors at the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago and fellows in the National Academy of Public Administration. Greene has been named chair of The Center for Accountability and Performance at the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). In addition, they are columnists for IPMA-HR and consultants to the National Association of State Personnel Executives.
Health & Human Services

More Crucial Than Ever, EMS Agencies Are Short Staffed and Overworked

COMMENTARY | Adequately staffing emergency medical services has been a problem for some time, potentially putting lives at stake. The pandemic threatens to make shortages worse.

Tech & Data

Can Better Data Fix America’s Policing Crisis?

COMMENTARY | As society debates law enforcement reform, far better data is necessary to provide a road map for needed changes.

Finance

The Draining of State Rainy Day Funds

COMMENTARY | At least 10 states have already tapped their emergency reserves, even as budget experts expect the worst revenue declines caused by the coronavirus pandemic to come in the months and years ahead.

Public Safety

Why We Need to Pay Attention to Police Officers’ Mental Health

COMMENTARY | A new study found that as police are under more scrutiny than ever, their mental health struggles remain profound.

Tech & Data

Shrinking State and Local Government Office Space

COMMENTARY | With states and local officials searching for ways to cut budgets, many are looking to reduce how much real estate they occupy.

Infrastructure

What Happens Next With Affordable Housing?

COMMENTARY | States and local governments already haven’t been investing enough to help build housing that poor families, and sometimes even middle-class people, can afford. And now funding could be yet another victim of the coronavirus.

Management

The Escalating Crisis in Police Hiring

COMMENTARY | As revenues drop and passionate debates over police mission, budget and purpose continue, cities still face the arduous task of recruiting top-notch candidates.

Management

The Poor Performance of Performance Contracts

States and local governments have embraced “performance contracts,” requiring contractors to meet certain objectives. Too often, however, they don’t actually check on the success in meeting these goals.

Public Safety

Can Civilian Oversight Change Police Behavior?

COMMENTARY | Cities across the country are looking at creating police oversight bodies. That makes questions about their efficacy and value more important than ever.

Management

Kansas City Government Employees: 'Please Don’t Rush to Reopen'

COMMENTARY | What are public sector employee concerns about the return to work? Kansas City has a better idea than many other local governments based on multiple employee surveys.

Finance

Pandemic Aid: What Can We Learn From the 2009 Stimulus?

COMMENTARY | As state and local leaders wait to see if they will get more federal aid to deal with their growing revenue shortfalls, fiscal stability will be more attainable by paying heed to experts who helped the country out of the Great Recession.

Health & Human Services

The Hidden Crisis: Caring for Vulnerable Adults at Home During the Coronavirus

COMMENTARY | Faced with fears of contagion and shortages of personal protective equipment, home and community care workers and providers struggle to serve a vulnerable population.

Management

‘There’s Never Been Anything Like This:’ Managing the State Employee Workforce

An interview about the challenges faced by human resource directors as they figure out leave policies, hazardous duty pay and countless other workforce issues during the coronavirus crisis.

Tech & Data

The Coronavirus Cyber Safety Challenge: 'New Opportunities for the Bad Guys'

COMMENTARY | State and local governments confront multiple technology security issues as they deal with proliferating attacks and a disease-transformed work environment.

Management

Lessons from States that Embraced Telework Before the Coronavirus

COMMENTARY | How to avoid certain pitfalls now that many—or most—employees must now work from home.

Management

How ‘Ghosting’ Afflicts Public Sector Recruitment

COMMENTARY | Too often, that perfect candidate just disappears.

Tech & Data

The Human Cost of Missing Data in Prisons

COMMENTARY | Nowhere is good information about operations more critical than in prisons and jails. But too often states simply lack the kind of data that holds officials accountable.

Finance

Do Older Taxpayers Balk at Supporting Schools?

COMMENTARY | In certain places, opponents to new school taxes are finding success by courting older voters.

Management

Whistleblowing Isn't Just a Federal Issue

COMMENTARY | An interview about the first comprehensive study of state whistleblower laws and how states protect—or don’t protect—people who report wrongdoing.

Management

How Governments Are Recruiting Young Workers

COMMENTARY | From initiatives that allow new parents to bring their babies to work to upgraded facilities, state and local government leaders are aiming to compete with the private sector.