Author Archive

Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene

Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Over the course of nearly 30 years, Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, principals of Barrett and Greene, Inc. have done much-praised analysis, research and writing about state and local governments. Described by Peter Harkness, founder of Governing Magazine as "by far the most experienced journalists in the country covering public performance," they pioneered "grading the cities, counties and states" in management. Related to that work, they founded the Government Performance Project. They are columnists and senior advisors at Route Fifty, special project consultants to the Volcker Alliance, senior advisors at the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago and fellows in the National Academy of Public Administration. Greene has been named chair of The Center for Accountability and Performance at the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). In addition, they are columnists for IPMA-HR and consultants to the National Association of State Personnel Executives.
Management

The Escalating Crisis in Police Hiring

COMMENTARY | As revenues drop and passionate debates over police mission, budget and purpose continue, cities still face the arduous task of recruiting top-notch candidates.

Management

The Poor Performance of Performance Contracts

States and local governments have embraced “performance contracts,” requiring contractors to meet certain objectives. Too often, however, they don’t actually check on the success in meeting these goals.

Public Safety

Can Civilian Oversight Change Police Behavior?

COMMENTARY | Cities across the country are looking at creating police oversight bodies. That makes questions about their efficacy and value more important than ever.

Management

Kansas City Government Employees: 'Please Don’t Rush to Reopen'

COMMENTARY | What are public sector employee concerns about the return to work? Kansas City has a better idea than many other local governments based on multiple employee surveys.

Finance

Pandemic Aid: What Can We Learn From the 2009 Stimulus?

COMMENTARY | As state and local leaders wait to see if they will get more federal aid to deal with their growing revenue shortfalls, fiscal stability will be more attainable by paying heed to experts who helped the country out of the Great Recession.

Health & Human Services

The Hidden Crisis: Caring for Vulnerable Adults at Home During the Coronavirus

COMMENTARY | Faced with fears of contagion and shortages of personal protective equipment, home and community care workers and providers struggle to serve a vulnerable population.

Management

‘There’s Never Been Anything Like This:’ Managing the State Employee Workforce

An interview about the challenges faced by human resource directors as they figure out leave policies, hazardous duty pay and countless other workforce issues during the coronavirus crisis.

Tech & Data

The Coronavirus Cyber Safety Challenge: 'New Opportunities for the Bad Guys'

COMMENTARY | State and local governments confront multiple technology security issues as they deal with proliferating attacks and a disease-transformed work environment.

Management

Lessons from States that Embraced Telework Before the Coronavirus

COMMENTARY | How to avoid certain pitfalls now that many—or most—employees must now work from home.

Management

How ‘Ghosting’ Afflicts Public Sector Recruitment

COMMENTARY | Too often, that perfect candidate just disappears.

Tech & Data

The Human Cost of Missing Data in Prisons

COMMENTARY | Nowhere is good information about operations more critical than in prisons and jails. But too often states simply lack the kind of data that holds officials accountable.

Finance

Do Older Taxpayers Balk at Supporting Schools?

COMMENTARY | In certain places, opponents to new school taxes are finding success by courting older voters.

Management

Whistleblowing Isn't Just a Federal Issue

COMMENTARY | An interview about the first comprehensive study of state whistleblower laws and how states protect—or don’t protect—people who report wrongdoing.

Management

How Governments Are Recruiting Young Workers

COMMENTARY | From initiatives that allow new parents to bring their babies to work to upgraded facilities, state and local government leaders are aiming to compete with the private sector.

Management

What Stands Between Young People and Local Government Jobs?

COMMENTARY | Many millennials or members of Generation Z are interested in meaningful work that can help improve people’s lives, but they don’t necessarily see government jobs in that light.

Health & Human Services

Too Many Drugs, Too Little Data

COMMENTARY | Unlike other states, Massachusetts leaders relied on data—crucial in developing policies, but too often not available—to guide their decision to begin allowing medication-assisted treatment for drug addiction in jails.

Finance

The Troubling Decline in City Revenue Growth

COMMENTARY | The economy continues to grow, yet cities anticipate revenue problems. How can both be true?

Public Safety

The New First Responder Crisis: Not Enough Dispatchers

COMMENTARY | What can governments do to recruit and keep the “first” first responders?

Finance

When the Savings Don’t Materialize

COMMENTARY | Sometimes, state and local governments don’t end up seeing the results they hoped for. Then what happens?