The City Council in Amarillo, Texas, approved a maximum tax rate increase that requires a public vote in November because it exceeds the "voter approval tax rate." The rate that would be implemented if the vote fails will still be higher than the 2020 rate.
A "triage pod" in Columbus, Ohio, that consisted of dispatchers, emergency medical personnel and public health professionals was able to handle a significant number of calls that did not require police or firefighters, city officials said. "What this program so clearly demonstrates is the need to strengthen and diversify our front-line responses so that police officers can focus on what they were always intended to do: address violent crime and keep our neighborhoods safe," Mayor Andrew Ginther said.
The County Commission in Jefferson County, Ala., is trying to cut down on illegal dumping in its unincorporated space, where some residents participate in municipal trash pick-up but others opt out. Commissioner Steve Ammons points out that the county's frequent flooding redistributes the trash anyway; he recommends "something legislative we can do to find something more stringent to hold folks accountable because we're about to be on the stage for the World Games next year."
The historic Robinson Home at the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vt., is scheduled to reopen in September after undergoing preservation work. The project includes stabilizing the footings on the historic granary building, restoring the porches and repairing plaster.
City Manager Noel Bernal of Brownsville, Texas, will participate in a local cycling event in the hopes of getting feedback from residents on the municipal plan for sidewalks and trails. Bernal says he is also open to discussing other local issues with participants during the free event.
Prosecutors in Ingham County, Mich., have announced they no longer will seek criminal charges against drivers pulled over for minor infractions that do not threaten public safety. The county hopes to reduce the number of racially biased traffic stops and lower the number of potential violent encounters between drivers and police.
City Council members in Portland, Ore., have approved protocols that ban people experiencing homelessness from camping in areas deemed to be at high risk of fire to reduce the number of fires accidentally ignited in dry regions. The policy, which will ban camping in areas designated by fire officials as "high risk," will remain in force throughout wildfire season and whenever burn bans are in place.
Officials in West Lafayette, Ind., are hoping to improve food-waste recycling by investing in a new bin to simplify and expand the city's collection of food waste. Collected food waste is taken to a wastewater treatment plant, where it is converted into energy that helps power the facility.
Protesters and counterprotesters in Charleston, S.C., will be required to obtain a permit from local law enforcement and will be barred from brandishing weapons or disrupting traffic under an ordinance approved last week by city officials. Protests must take place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. under the new rules.
Simply deciding to set audacious stretch goals is an important step for companies and individuals, provided the goals are clear and accountable, writes Nick McLean of Four Pillars Investors. "Shooting for the stars requires stretch goals that might feel uncomfortable to some, yet clear goals and achievable growth metrics make it possible," McLean writes.
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