Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cubs Scouts Scared Straight!

A few weeks ago I took the Cub Scouts on a tour of the headquarters for the Department of Public Safety. Sikeston has a joint police/fire department that also operates the 911 service. The scouts saw everything from the bomb squad and mobile command units, to the dispatch center, to the prisoner holding cells. 

Jaycee Crawfish Boil

We attended our first Sikeston Jaycee Crawfish Boil over the weekend. They had a free petting zoo, inflatables, and train rides for the kids, and of course live music and crawfish for everyone! This is one of the Jaycees' big community fundraising events every year, the other being the nationally famous Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo in August. http://www.sikestonrodeo.com/  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April showers bring... April flowers!

Driving home from church today we saw these flowering trees and had to come back for some pictures. This is on Allen Blvd just south of Salcedo Rd. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Your Vote Counts!

Let me start by saying that I am biased toward local government (as opposed to state or federal government). I think as much government should be pushed down to the local level as possible. Why? Because local government services have the biggest day to day impact on constituents. Because you can get involved and make a difference at the local level. And because it is the most transparent and accountable level of government. For example, if you don't like how the city government awards a bid, you can actually talk to the decision makers. You can come to city hall and talk to me. You can call the Mayor or a Councilman. You can come to a Council meeting and make your voice heard. Compare that to the federal government. If you don't like how a contract was awarded by a federal government agency, how hard do you think it will be to talk to anyone who actually has any sway over the decision?  

Tonight was the City Council reorganization meeting, where the newly elected City Councilmen were sworn in and seated on the Council, and the Council nominated members to serve as liaisons to various city advisory boards and committees. Congratulations to Bob Depro who was re-elected to an at-large Council seat, and to John Graham who was elected as Ward 2 Representative. Did you know that one of those elections was decided by just ten votes? At the local government level, your vote really does count, and can really make an impact on the direction of your city. That's one of the things I love about local government. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Cleaning

It's spring in southeast Missouri, which means flower are growing, the grass is starting to green up, and it is time for some spring cleaning! The City of Sikeston and Sonny's Solid Waste sponsor a couple of events in April and May to help residents clean up their properties and get rid of unwanted items that may have accumulated over the winter. Check out our webpage for the Spring Curbside Clean-Up, when residents can put out bulky items on their trash day and have them picked up. Also check out our Community Clean-Up webpage for information on dropping off bulky items and yard waste at the City's compost site. Those two websites list the dates of the events as well as some restrictions on certain items. 

The flower below, by the way, is part of a garden next to City Hall that is lovingly maintained by one of our employees and his wife. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Making the Most of Interruptions

As city manager, there are some days when I feel like I can't get any “real work” done because of all the other issues that come up unexpectedly and take me away from my planned tasks. I read an article this morning that helped me think differently about those interruptions. The author of the article argues that leaders should take advantage of interruptions “to lead impactfully, to set expectations, bring clarity to an issue, or infuse a problem with energy and insight.” I think that's great advice for a leader in any organization. I think it's even applicable in family life.  http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/03/turn-your-next-interruption-into-an-opportunity/