Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Sidewalk vending decriminalization in California … the most cost-effective bus lane enforcement … and Miami’s mystery fountain.
Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. The floods from Hurricane Florence lead our state and local government news roundup, but scroll down for more stories from places like San Diego, California; Miami, Florida; and Franklin County, Ohio.
STATE GOVERNMENT | The North Carolina Department of Transportation is urging residents to hold off on returning to coastal areas as floodwaters have closed many roadways in the southeastern part of the state, which took the brunt of Hurricane Florence. The department posted images captured by an aerial drone showing Interstate 40 under water in Pender County north of Wilmington. Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters while touring hard-hit New Bern on Monday: “I know it was hard for [evacuees] to leave and it’s even more difficult for them to be waiting at home not knowing what is happening here or whether they even have a home to come back to,” said Cooper. “But we’re asking people to wait a while before they come home.” [The News & Observer; @NCDOT; New Bern Sun Journal]
- Pine Ridge, South Carolina: Continued flooding is expected in parts of the Carolinas impacted by Florence. “We saw a lot of flash flooding over the last couple of days,” said Derrec Becker, a spokesman for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. “Now, what we’ll start to see over the next few days is that slow march of the water along the river system to the Atlantic Ocean. That’s going to result, potentially, in a significant amount of flooding.” [The State]
- Los Angeles, California: Gov Jerry Brown on Monday approved legislation that decriminalizes vending on sidewalks and in parks. [KTLA; KNBC]
- San Juan, Puerto Rico: The territorial government on Puerto Rico has told some residents seeking aid to rebuild after Hurricane Maria can only do so if they relocate their homes out of flood-prone areas. [The Wall Street Journal]
- Trenton, New Jersey: The administration of Gov. Phil Murphy “is expecting to save nearly $500 million in the next two years by steering employees and retirees to in-network doctors and generic drugs, the result of a pact between the Democratic governor and unions.” [NorthJersey.com]
- Seattle, Washington: The Washington State Department of Transportation has decided to delay the opening of the new tunnel that will replace the aging and seismically unsound State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle to January 2019 to lessen the impacts during the holiday season. [The Seattle Times]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | An investigation by Voice of San Diego discovered through public records that San Diego County public school employees who are found to have sexually harassed another employee or a student are “sometimes shuffled place to place within school districts or between school districts, leaving parents, students and staff unaware of prior misbehavior.” [Voice of San Diego]
- New York City, New York: An excerpt from a new book by investor Bradley Tusk details the “inside story of how Uber fought New York’s City Hall and won.” [Fast Company]
- Washington, D.C.: The best way to ensure that a bus-only lane doesn’t get clogged with general purpose traffic is through enforcement. A report released by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board last year shows that the most effective form of enforcement are cameras mounted to the front of buses, which have “the highest return on investment, with $1 invested returning nearly $8 in ‘travel time savings and fleet saving benefits.’” [Mobility Lab; National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board]
- Franklin County, Ohio: A collaboration involving local firefighters “seeks to fill a gap in the health-care system for seniors by connecting them with services available in their community to help them age in place.” [The Columbus Dispatch]
- Miami, Florida: The out-of-service Mildred and Claude Pepper Fountain in Bayfront Park in downtown Miami hasn’t worked for quite some time, causing some people to wonder if the structure is a helicopter pad or an unusual bunker shaped military monument. [Miami Herald]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.