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 visiting fellows at the IBM Center for the Business of Government and consultants to the National Association of State Personnel Executives.
Finance

The great Salt Lake City tax tradeoff

In a few weeks, the city council will be voting on a 0.5% sales tax to support economic development downtown. But it’s not the money that is drawing all the attention, it’s what the city is giving up.

Finance

More cities are seeing budget gaps: Here’s what not to do

A growing number of cities are having to make tough decisions this spring in order to balance next year’s budgets.

Workforce

With the rise of AI, workforce planning is critical. But many governments don’t do it.

That’s a problem when state and local government officials are seeing daily evidence that the nature of their workforce is quickly changing.

Workforce

‘Invisible’ no more: States move to hire people with disabilities

Tapping potential employees with “non-apparent” conditions like autism, attention deficit disorder and chronic depression can bring qualified candidates to a public sector workforce in desperate need of talent.

Management

How collaboration is changing North Carolina, one project at a time

States that want to tap universities and philanthropies to find solutions to policy challenges using the best research, evidence and data should look at how one state mastered the communications and logistics essential for effective partnerships.

Management

Emergency alert: States confront EMS shortages

Minnesota declared an “EMS emergency” last month, but it’s far from alone. An outdated approach to funding the service is largely to blame, says experts.

Management

Trust in government, and opportunities to rebuild it

Confidence in state and local government may have been waning in recent years, but there are ways communities can help to bolster their resident’s faith in them.

Management

How trusted are state and local governments?

Confidence in lower levels of government may be better than in the federal government, but it’s still not nearly good enough. And that stands in the way of state and local leaders’ ability to get things done.

Workforce

The future of government jobs: Post generative AI

In the wake of dramatic technological advances, the workplace of the future will be far different than was envisioned a year ago.

Management

Mental health funding is fast becoming “the bipartisan issue of our time”

States from California to Texas are increasingly investing in mental health as a recognition takes hold that the status quo isn’t working.

Workforce

Data literacy: the drive to educate the public sector workforce

As data-based decision-making becomes ever more important, data academies begin to blossom in local government.

Workforce

Apprenticeship programs are growing as the public sector faces workforce shortages

Registered apprenticeships, infrequently used by state and local governments in the past, are gaining the attention of staff-starved agencies.

Management

Access to public records is 'deteriorating terribly'

In a time when trust in state and local government is under siege, public access to information is particularly vital.

Workforce

Understanding Gen Z in the public sector

Managers can benefit by better engaging and communicating with the newest generation of workers in cities, counties and states.

Finance

Are tax incentives boons or boondoggles?

Though there’s lots of evidence that the economic development tool may not be effective, it is still in wide use. Fortunately, there are ways to control the potential waste of taxpayer dollars.

Workforce

How improvements in onboarding can lower employee turnover

One of the greatest challenges confronting state and local governments is a badly understaffed workforce. Here’s one technological and personal way to confront that problem.

Finance

How one city is looking to future-proof its budgeting process

Nationwide, cities are attempting to improve their budgeting. But none appear to be taking more dramatic steps than fast-growing Fort Worth, Texas.

Management

‘IGNITE’ing an educational fire in U.S. jails

An initiative launched in a Michigan county jail has been embraced as a national model for reducing jail violence and inmate recidivism.

Cybersecurity

An underused approach to fighting cyberattacks

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center offers free services to help localities with cybersecurity. Why aren’t more governments using them?

Workforce

Solving the problem of understaffed jails and prisons

State and local governments are working to attract and retain corrections workers. But it’s not easy, and the task is complicated by high burnout rates due to understaffing.