One moment...

Blogs / ICMA Annual Conference Blog / Tuesday in the Learning Lounge

Tuesday in the Learning Lounge

The people in the know can be found at the Learning Lounge (Ballroom B, Level 3). This year, ICMA is rolling out an innovative concept—an intimate lounge setting where experts will be delivering short talks on big issues. Inside the lounge, you can sample multiple presentations conducted simultaneously or you can hang out at the Experts Bar for a shot of good, strong advice from leaders in the field.

Here is what’s on tap for Tuesday:


Lounge 1, “Big Ideas, Bold Execution”

Brownfields. What can you do about old industrial sites that are now littered with salvage parts, populated by strip joints, and plagued by all sorts of blight? Coralville, Iowa, a small community of just 20,000, used public-private investment totaling over $300 million to transform a highly visible brownfields site between I-80 and the Ohio River into a mixed-use development featuring a Marriott Hotel, a department store, and the University of Iowa health clinic. Come hear City Administrator Kelly Hayworth describe how they did it and what lessons they learned from it.

Lounge 2, “Emerging Models of Community Collaboration”

Do you rely on public transportation apps for up-to-date, real-time information to ensure that you get to your meetings on time? Did you know that by sharing a data center with the county, Ann Arbor, Michigan, has saved $2 million annually? Tom Spengler, CEO and founder of Granicus, will describe all sorts of real-world examples of new technology to improve community building, encourage citizen engagement and collaboration, and reduce costs.

Lounge 3,Great by Choice and the City of Las Vegas”

Consider Las Vegas, Nevada: for two decades it led the nation in population growth . . . and then came the Great Recession, and within two years the city was faced with a precipitous 20% drop in revenues? How does its manager “lead above the death line”? Come hear Las Vegas city manager Elizabeth Fretwell talk about recognizing the downward trend before it sweeps you under, about the search for the right solutions when you’ve reach the point of no return, and about conserving your limited resources until you’re sure you can use them to their utmost advantage.


Expert’s Bar, “Tablet Tips for Local Government Managers”

Wally Bobkiewicz, city manager of Evanston, Illinois, will be on hand to show you how you can get the most out of your tablet.


Lounge 1, “GIS: The Link between Services and the Community”

GIS: It’s not just for the big guys! Fairbury, Illinois, is a small community—just 3,700 residents—yet its leaders have discovered how to use GIS to manage its underground infrastructure using paperless work orders and inventories. In this highly enlightening session, Matt Dondanville will show how GIS can be affordably implemented by communities of any size to streamline departmental processes, boost efficiency, and save money.

Lounge 2, “Marijuana Law Evolution in Colorado”

“Rocky Mountain High,” one of Colorado’s two official state songs, was once banned by radio stations because it seemed to be promoting drug abuse. Fast-forward 30 years. In the last election, pro-marijuana initiatives won across Colorado and elsewhere! Drop by the lounge as Joshua Kappel, Esq., deputy director of Sensible Colorado in Denver, discusses the challenges that lie ahead for state and local governments as they work to incorporate this new cultural reality into the fabric of government regulation.

Lounge 3, “Moving Away from Paper: Digital Council Packets”

It’s not easy being green. In 2010, Williamsburg, Virginia, found that it was spending about $2,000 per year in direct printing costs for agenda packages for council meetings and work sessions and going through roughly 69 reams of paper in the process. Yikes! That’s a lot of money and a lot of trees. The solution? iPads!!! Come hear City Manager Jackson C. Tuttle explain how they did it—the policies, the technology, the advantages—and how other cities can benefit from this same approach that lets you go green—and just about any other color you can find the digital universe.


Lounge 1, “Applied Lessons from Great by Choice: The Cincinnati Story”

10X Leadership. SMaC (Specific, Methodical and Consistent). Leading above the Death Line. These major principles from Jim Collins’s latest work are the inspiration behind City Manager Milton Dohoney’s amazing efforts to transform Cincinnati, including The Banks, the Great American Tower at Queen City Square, CitiRama 2012, and the Cincinnati Streetcar. Listen to his story and see if you aren’t similarly inspired to promote sustainable economic development in your own community!

Lounge 2, “Productive Paranoia and Luck: What’s Your Game Changer?”

People talk of paranoia as if it’s a bad thing! But it isn’t necessarily. Sometimes it’s productive—such as when it puts us sufficiently on our guard to prepare for the unexpected or to remain hypervigilant to changing conditions. In this session, Mario Canizares and Clay Phillips use examples from Jim Collins’s Great by Choice to describe how Coppell, Texas, confronted a major setback, practiced productive paranoia, took calculated risks, viewed its situation as a game changer, and chose not to squander the opportunity to emerge stronger than ever.

Lounge 3, “When SMaC Meets Luck in Decatur, Georgia”

Talk about luck! Imagine what a city can do when a showcase event such as the Olympics comes to town. Come hear City Manager Peggy Merriss describe how the 1996 Olympics became the catalyst that put Decatur on the map, drawing economic developers and businessmen to turn the city into an established destination for food, festivals, and fun in Metro Atlanta!


Expert’s Bar, “Negotiating Employment Contracts”

Here’s your chance to get one-on-one advice from various experts on how to negotiate your own employment contract.



Lounge 1, “Cyber Security”

You may not realize it, but hacking is just not that hard!! More than 90% of successful breaches required only the most basic techniques, and 96% of them could have been avoided had the victim put in place simple or intermediate controls. It’s unsettling, to say the least, to realize just how vulnerable we are, but Mark Danaj, assistant city manager and chief operating officer of Fremont, California, will explain what one government agency is doing to ensure that the best security practices are in place to ensure that critical government data are protected.

Lounge 2, “Preserving and Securing Electronically Stored Information”

Long ago and in a land far, far away, there was no Internet. People wrote things out, documented transactions, and saved everything in files and archives. After the Internet was invented, however, we got careless about printing out documents and saving them; sometimes we’d even delete them! But in today’s increasingly litigious society, municipalities have been learning the importance of preserving e-mails and other forms of communication, and many states even require local governments to retain complete records. Come hear lawyers Peter Meisels and Robert Spolzino discuss how to properly preserve electronically stored information and what to do in the aftermath of a cyberattack.

Lounge 3, “Virtual Meetings: Using Technology Wisely”

Because of the flooding in Colorado, our presenter is unable to attend the annual conference and so this session has been cancelled.