Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Dallas City Council member indicted … pipe dream for new Ala. interstate … and a frustrated city manager leaves job due to armchair quarterbacks.
Good morning, it’s Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Here’s an abbreviated version of Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup. Scroll down for stories from Montgomery, Alabama; Bainbridge Island, Washington; Allentown, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Have a good weekend ...
STATE GOVERNMENT | There are many Democratic leaders in Pennsylvania who support the legalization of recreational marijuana in the commonwealth. That includes Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who sees opportunity to boost state revenue, and the mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. But Gov. Tom Wolf, in a recent radio interview, said he doesn’t think Pennsylvania is “ready for recreational marijuana.” A 2017 Franklin and Marshall poll showed that 59 percent of Pennsylvanians think the commonwealth should legalize marijuana for recreational use. [BillyPenn; PhillyMag]
- Montgomery, Alabama: Don’t hold your breath for the construction of a new interstate highway across Alabama, an idea proposed by a group of college students. The Alabama Department of Transportation “has no plans at present to move forward on the idea, has not had discussions with any of the groups in favor of the idea and doesn't have available funding to do the evaluations to begin planning a project like Interstate 14 through Alabama.” [AL.com]
- Topeka, Kansas: The ultimate winner of the ever-so-close Kansas GOP gubernatorial primary—either Gov. Jeff Colyer or Secretary of State Kris Kobach—may ultimately be decided in court. [The Kansas City Star]
- Newark, New Jersey: During a meeting at New Jersey Transit headquarters on Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy told reporters that he understands the “anger and cynicism” coming from Garden State commuters. “We are climbing out of a deep hole after eight years of failure,” Murphy said referring to the agency’s stewardship under his predecessor, Chris Christie. [Bloomberg News]
- Providence, Rhode Island: During an event on Tuesday, Gov. Gina Raimondo touted the state’s clean energy future plan, which includes creating more than 5,000 jobs in offshore wind development. [Rhode Island Public Radio]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | Dallas City Councilmember Dwaine Caraway resigned his seat on Thursday and pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges related to the “Louisiana-based technology company at the center of Dallas County Schools stop arm-camera scandal.” In a statement, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that Caraway “championed much good in his time in public office, particularly for the youth of our city,” but added that he appreciates that Caraway is “admitting his crimes and sparing the city what could have been a drawn out legal battle.” [Dallas Observer; Dallas Morning News; @Mike_Rawlings]
- Bainbridge Island, Washington: Thanks to a “vocal group of ‘armchair quarterbacks’ and conflicts with Councilman Ron Peltier,” a frustrated City Manager Doug Shulze is resigning his post and taking a new one in California. Shulze told a local newspaper in an interview: “Ron has been difficult. He’s a bully and everything is a second-guess and a battle.” [Kitsap Sun]
- Houston, Texas: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett have made an appeal to Houston-area residents to approve Proposal A, a $2.5 billion bond measure for flood control projects. [Houston Public Media]
- Boston, Massachusetts: Boston will expand its police body-worn camera program. [SmartCitiesDive
- Fresno, California: The Fresno City Council approved a record $2.8 million settlement in the case of fatal officer-involved shooting of an unarmed man in 2016. [Fresno Bee]
- Allentown, Pennsylvania: Allentown officials told members of the City Council on Wednesday that the city may need an additional $500,000 to cover the costs of litigation. [Morning Call]
- New Orleans, Louisiana: Mayor LaToya Cantrell has fired Stephen Gordon, the city’s 911 director. [The Times Picayune / NOLA.com]
- Plattsburgh, New York: See if you can keep this all straight: “City of Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read has reiterated his stance that the city needs to annex a vital piece of land in the Town of Plattsburgh, and he won't stop until it is done.” [Press-Republican]
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Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.