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Stop Living Your Life 30 Minutes Ahead


As I’m prone to do with each new issue of PM, I have high marks for every article in the July issue. With this issue, though, seven simple words have stuck with me: “Stop living your life 30 minutes ahead.”

Perhaps it’s the timing of the issue that makes me dwell on these words. During summer months, people can tend to slow down their work pace, which is a good idea. That’s where the seven words of the “Make Life More Enjoyable” article, in the Top 10 or More department, fit in. To live in the moment, author Steve Gilliland asks us: “How many times—when you are eating lunch, taking a break, or having dinner with your family—are you thinking about what you have to do after the meal?” Are you living your life ahead of where you are at a given time? The question certainly gave me food for thought about appreciating the bounty of the moment, and I suspect it will for you too.

Another side of this living-in-the-moment coin might seem to be in the question author Patrick Malone asks readers in the July cover story, “Improve Your Leadership Skills by Thinking Up.” His questions related to innovation ask: “Are people being allowed to see beyond the immediate spreadsheet or the way it’s always been done to reveal new patterns of thought and practice? Is room being given in the workplace for visioning that includes thought and reflection and may open new doors to innovative programs for residents?” Both authors press us to be deliberate in our thinking and being. See if you agree with them.

The Walt Disney customer service model became Ottawa County, Michigan’s creed. County Administrator Al Vanderberg and municipal adviser Bill Capodagli describe the good news of how 33 different areas of the county are now singing the same customer service tune. It all began after Ottawa County officials read the book The Disney Way. Perhaps it is a model that your organization can use.

PM’s third article in a trilogy of articles on medical marijuana focuses on tax revenues for local and state governments. CPA Kevin Harper describes how local governments are adopting ordinances that allow dispensaries to operate and business taxes to be generated. Dispensaries need to have procedures in place to ensure they comply with local laws and remit taxes owed.

ICMA members Diane Foster, Jonathan Greever, Angela Christian, and Charles Gable found time in their busy schedules to answer the On Point question: How do you make infrastructure decisions for your community? Their strategies include a type of plan—strategic, capital improvement, street, or one by another title—that prioritizes community needs and preferences.

Other PM print and online-only articles in this issue include observations and information on community policing (a thoughtful commentary here by ICMA member Jesus Nava), reputations, resilience and survival, and playful parks—all written by managers, relevant, and laid out in helpful-to-the-reader ways.

Coming back around to the article “Make Life More Enjoyable,” I urge you to consider another Gilliland tip: “Don’t drive straight through without stopping.” He notes that the true joy of life is in the trip, so we should enjoy the ride! I hope you also apply this philosophy when reading the July issue of PM.

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