State and Local Daily Digest: Boston Mayor’s Adele Parody Video; W.Va. Mayor Is a Texas Fugitive

Mayor Marty Walsh and Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker on Sunday at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston.

Mayor Marty Walsh and Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker on Sunday at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston. Steven Senne / AP Photo


Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our news roundup: S.C. public shooting club; California beer import tax; and Hawaii’s failed Uber, Lyft measure

LABOR RELATIONS | An International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union vice president is none too pleased with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who appeared in an Adele music video parody that was designed to point out that the mayor’s once collaborative working relationship with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has soured. The IEBW’s Michael Monahan said in an email to union members that even though the video was a parody, it “put himself at the feet of a governor with such antiunion positions.” Monahan asked:  “What man could ever lower himself to this level if he had an ounce of conviction in his body for our issues?” [Boston Globe; Vimeo]

MAYORAL FUGITIVES | A man charged with felonies related to the possession of marijuana in Bexar County, Texas, 14 years ago left the San Antonio area, settled in West Virginia and is now the mayor of Buckhannon, who is running for re-election in May. The Bexar County district attorney says that the extradition of Mayor Richard Edwards back to Texas is not a high priority. “Bexar County has never contacted me to this day about this incident,” the mayor said. [San Antonio Express-News]

WORKFORCE | Austin City Council member Kathie Tovo has proposed that the municipal government look at ways to create a third-party appeals process for members of the city workforce who feel that their claims of harassment, discrimination and retaliation aren’t being properly addressed by the city personnel investigating their cases. That could involve expanding the duties of the Municipal Civil Service Commission beyond its current duties to weigh appeals related to denied promotions and discipline. [Austin American Statesman]

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | This central Florida city near Orlando is putting out the welcome mat for Puerto Ricans leaving the island due to the current dismal economic and fiscal climate there. About 20,000 residents, or about one-third of the city’s population, is Puerto Rican. Kissimmee plans to offer economic development incentives to boost the area’s medical services footprint. [Orlando Sentinel]

ALCOHOL | The state of California charges less than most other states on beer, wine and liquor imports. The state’s rate on beer is 20 cents per gallon, which is charged to person or business who is importing the product and usually passed on to the consumer. Southern states typically have higher beer excise taxes with Tennessee’s being the highest at $1.29 per gallon. Wyoming’s rate is $0.02 per gallon. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

SANITATION | Rat-baiting requests have risen in Chicago, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel is on the case. He’s sponsoring an ordinance that would require residents to clean their property of animal feces daily or else face fines up to $500. The Department of Streets and Sanitation is also running computer analyses of future water and sewer repairs to plan rat abatement prior to starting work. [DNAinfo Chicago]

LICENSING | Renewed attempts to set driver insurance standards for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft in Hawaii were quashed in committee Wednesday. Drivers would have been required to carry primary liability coverage of, at minimum, $100,000 per person and $50,000 for property damage. GPS and electronic records of every trip would’ve had to be kept for five years. Uber already has $1 million liability coverage per incident. [Honolulu Civil Beat]

ECONOMY | More than 200 protesters rallied in front of Carrier Corp.’s manufacturing plant to contest the site’s closure and outsourcing of 1,400 jobs to Mexico. The heating and cooling company intends to pay its Mexican employees $3 an hour, compared to the $23 an hour the highest-paid U.S. workers make, according to union representatives. Indiana and Indianapolis are providing assistance and free job training to displaced workers. [The Indianapolis Star]

NATURAL RESOURCES | A Canadian mining company wants to drill 30 exploratory holes near scenic Emigrant Peak in Chico. Locals and scientists have already begun protesting the harmful environmental effects of a mine, particularly on the nearby hot springs. “That whole mountain is like a sponge full of water,” said one area vacation rental owner, warning of the pollution dangers of poking holes in its side. [Billings Gazette]

GUN CONTROL | Richland County’s Department of Natural Resources is working on buying an old, private shooting club to turn into a public range. The move hasn’t seen any opposition and is being billed as beneficial to public safety. “Where there’s an opportunity to practice and learn, there’s less chance of danger,” said firearms instructor Elaine Henderson. [The State]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty. Dave Nyczepir is Route Fifty’s News Editor.

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