Transcripts

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Joe Supervielle:

Welcome to Voices in Local Government, an ICMA podcast. My name is Joe Supervielle. With us today is Dan Dowell, Senior Vice President of ABM Industries, to discuss long term investment for local governments. Thanks for joining us today

Dan Dowell:

Morning.

Joe Supervielle:

So, a big topic on everyone's minds; long term investment economic development budgets. It's a big topic, but we're going to try and break it down and share a few ideas, maybe some innovative ideas for local government to move beyond kind of just simply covering immediate needs. Where do you think is a good starting point for local government to spend on... try and get a return on investment, think long term, big picture, instead of just, "What do we have to get done this quarter of this year?"

Dan Dowell:

Some of the challenges we're seeing with cities is there's been a while overall migration in the United States, moving from state to state, city to city has been its lowest since... according to the census, 1947. We have seen pockets of large movements. Some states have seen significant movements of individuals from their state to others. There are a variety of reasons; maybe low taxation, maybe the COVID rules. What that's created is competition for population. Competition for students. And the relationship between cities and counties and schools I think has never been more important as students are... and individuals, much like you and I Joe are working remotely today. And where is that going to settle in long term?

              Our organization is still not fully back in the office. And what that's created is large gaps in services inside the city and the downtown, meaning people aren't coming to the office, so they aren't going to the restaurants. And what that's done is put a large burden on rural areas to make sure their broadband is up to current standards because of the need for students and individuals like us to work remotely. I think we've seen real high need for infrastructure around broadband as one of the top areas we're seeing, beyond just the normal deferred maintenance that cities have been experiencing for decades. The renewed services I think out there have been increasingly important.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. We'll get into broadband specifically in a minute, but let's zoom out a little bit and can you just define what infrastructure means either to you personally or ABM in general? People think of buildings, roads, bridges, sewer systems, kind of the big ticket items construction type things, but when you hear a city council or a politician say, "We need to invest in our infrastructure," it's kind of a generic blanket political statement. But ICMA and our membership and city managers, what are practical examples beyond those obvious ones that we could start thinking about to have that longer impact and create opportunity for economic development?

Dan Dowell:

So, you named a number of them. I think that kind of typically fit the description well. A lot of what we're seeing right now is a narrative around equity and neighborhoods and spending in neighborhoods. So, I think that the infrastructure around parks in particular and greenways as part of that infrastructure build. And when we look at the need for infrastructural renewal and economic development, we're seeing a number of cities that we serve looking at ways to expand services. We have one that added an RV park around a large lake they had as a way to bring more tourism to the city. So, I think that infrastructure net and description is probably broader than the few items that you named a few moments ago. I think it's much larger.

Joe Supervielle:

And then the broadband that might be under that umbrella, we don't want to get too technical on this particular episode, but in general, still a challenge I think. Internet connection kind of got fast tracked on the importance because of COVID. It's not just a luxury or a kind of entertainment aspect anymore, it's critical to both working and educational, whether it's at the school or at home for homework or research that K through 12 kids are doing. But it's not easy. There's a lot of backend telecom investment that goes into it. Local governments have talked about kind of trying to create it as their own service. Some have tried. Some have done it. But it's a real challenge. And that's just frankly not realistic for a lot of locations. So, for those that are still maybe relying on those telecom companies, there are capacity issues in low income areas in the city.

              There might be coverage, but capacity is an issue. And then there's just coverage issues in rural areas that are not necessarily going to get solved quickly. Is there even a first step? Is this kind of just beyond the scope of local government? What do you think a city manager or a town county manager can do when there's not an easy solution to broadband access?

Dan Dowell:

So, there are a number of ways I think they can get help. There are grants right now that can underwrite some of the cost of the broadband infrastructure. We have a couple clients we're serving now in smaller rural communities where the telecoms and other internet service providers. It's too small a market, so they don't get the commercial return that they would generally demand for their corporate investment. But cities are looking at this as an extension of their enterprise zones and their enterprise services. And they're taking it upon themselves to install broadband in their community because they know it's part of the need of education. It's part of the need to continue to attract people to their communities. So, we've seen a number of cities take it on themselves and have found ways to support that either through revenue growth. In some instances we have worked to get grants for clients to help underwrite some of the cost.

              So, we think it's doable. Now, there are some definitely some communities out there that are just going to be too small. That the economic return for them is just going to be hard to bear. And I think that's where we're going to see the 5G and some of the other services are going to have to get extended out there. And I think some of what we're seeing in the cellular service in those arena, there's some social networking going on that is promoting the need for them to come into these communities because employees need to work remotely, coming back to the office.

              I know as we look at some of the surveys we've done in the co commercial space that a hundred percent of the population coming back to the offices is likely not going to happen. That there's going to be a lot of work ways flexibility in the go forward. So, I think there's a lot of options for these smaller communities because the need is just so great. The differential between students and communities without broadband and how they thrive through COVID versus those who struggled. We do a lot of work with education and that community in particular was hard hit with the distance learning difficulties. And I think that's why broadbands has lifted in its importance.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. Let's transition into the school systems, the K through 12 specifically. Similar to infrastructure, the political line, whether it's a city council mayor, whoever, there's that applause line of, "Well, we need to invest more in our schools," and who's going to disagree with that, but it's been repeated forever, kind of leaving the curriculum discussions or even teacher pay on the side, which is not really our focus today although obviously important to the bigger picture here. What specifically can local government do to better invest for their school systems long term? Broadband we kind of covered. What else are our big ticket items or smaller things that can kind of help on the margins that school systems can do to not only improve the school systems for the teachers and students, but you said it earlier, attract citizens. That's obviously a big... it's up there on the list when people are deciding where to live, especially when they're buying homes and that gets in the property tax, et cetera. So, what can school districts do?

Dan Dowell:

I think most of the people are going to know the link between cities and schools and the economic development and attracting new businesses to their community. It's the relationship between the schools in the city. How good is the school system? What is the city doing to promote wellbeing around the community? It's just increasingly important. So, I think that relationship between schools and cities has gotten increasingly important. We've seen large migration shifts in states like California and the upper Northeast where people... We saw the growth in population move to Texas and Florida and North Carolina, South Carolina in states that border California. In one report, I saw it was based on taxation rates and others, another report it was based on COVID restrictions or the lack of COVID restrictions.

              And so I think as people looked at the communities they want to move to... Again, they're looking, "What is the quality of your life in the city? How is my wellbeing promoted in that city? And then as I move my kids into a new school system, what does the school system look like? What are their graduation rates?" And I think that relationship between cities and schools therefore I think has increased in importance.

Joe Supervielle:

Instead of just investing, we can look at it the other way. How can school systems save or potentially avoid wasteful spending? I know there was a lot of technology implemented during remote learning that was maybe well intended, but not executed well. Not necessarily what the teachers were asking for and not what was helping the students. And aside from local government professionals, I think there might be a lot of people in the audience just as parents nodding their head right now. Like, " Yeah. That was... It did this, this and this. And it was not helpful. I don't know what they're doing or what they're spending my money on." How can school systems or with the help of local government get a review system in place or just be more pragmatic? You can't predict the future. You got to try some things and they're not all going to work, but what about on the saving end instead of just investing?

Dan Dowell:

So, a lot of the research I've done, Joe, I really wanted to compare the great recession to what we went through in COVID. Is a lot of interruption in services. Lot of interruption in revenues. And so President Obama in 2010 came out with the [era 00:10:24] dollars that went to school systems to help them kind of the shovel-ready projects. That money was a great infusion. It helped schools with a lot of deferred maintenance. It was spent very quickly. But most school systems have not recovered from a revenue perspective since that time period. Since the great recession most school districts are not back to the same revenue levels they were pre-recession. So, I looked at that as we got these large influxes of stimulus dollars this time. What are school systems doing differently? And surprisingly what we're finding that they're making the same kind of investments. They're very short term.

              As I did some work with the School Board Association and asked the question around, "How are you spending your money?" There was increase in teacher salaries. There was increase in substitute teachers, lowering the student teacher ratio as a way to increase test scores and increase graduation rates and a way to try to help these kids that struggle during the pandemic catch up. The problem is Joe, that once those era dollars are spent, which are going to probably be in the next 18 months to two years, there's no way to keep that strategy in play. So, my concern is that the education gap that's trying to get closed, what happen when all of those measures and procedures are gone? There's no way to fund that level. Does that learning gap come back?

              So, really what we're trying to advocate is how do we use the era dollars we have today. Invest in the ways and strategies that promote long term learning growth. And there are ways to do that tied to making the learning environment more comfortable, because that's an important part of a thriving learning environment. How do we keep the air cleaner so the community feels safer getting in the classroom. Interesting status, one sixth of a community enters a school building every day. Which means your community is looking at, "How clean is my building? How comfortable is my building? Are my students thriving here?"

Joe Supervielle:

"Is the heater on?" I might point out because that's not always as automatic as one might think.

Dan Dowell:

That's right. And we have a number of school districts that still don't have air conditioning in climates that need it. One of the biggest indicators of how well students are going to do is how comfortable is the environment. And what we've learned through the pandemic in all buildings, not just school buildings, but city buildings, that it is important to make sure that we're treating the air properly so that everybody feels comfortable being in the buildings. And that's a big strategy right now around indoor air quality. Increasing it. That's what we're really advocating Joe, is being prudent with the investments and making sure that the investment you're making today is going to give longer term returns rather than just, "Hey, I'm going to spend the money today and then the two years, we'll adapt that." Again, what the recession showed us is that's not easy to do.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. And you mentioned comfort. It might sound kind of low level, but decades ago at this point, I won't say exactly what year, I remember taking a standardized test in high school in one of those little extra trailers in Miami, Florida in whatever was September. And I raised my hand and I don't think it went well, but probably wasn't the only one struggling in that type of environment trying to take this test.

Dan Dowell:

I remember same thing being in high school and ask a teacher, "Can we go outdoors? Because it's just too hot in this building." And there wasn't anything you were focused on other than, "It's just too hot."

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah.

Dan Dowell:

And office buildings are the same way..you think of a city building and it's just not comfortable. It's hot. How productive are the employees going to be when it's uncomfortable in the building? Or the indoor air quality is not good. They're not going to be productive.

Joe Supervielle:

One last question on the education system. And again, this gets complicated. School systems are different, varying by location, how they interact with the local form of government. But in general, you've worked a lot with these school districts and then the local government side as well. How can each side do a little bit better in communicating or connecting? Because everyone's got slightly different priorities or responsibilities. But in your experience as kind of an outside perspective, how can a city manager communicate or build a better relationship with their kind of equivalent or counterpart in the school district and vice versa?

Dan Dowell:

I've seen a number of different strategies. In the states where the city or the county controls the funding of schools, that gets to be a pretty contentious relationship. Schools are always asking for more money and the community at large, either the county or the city that controls school spending they've got their own priorities that they're trying to get accomplished. And I just think communication is the biggest thing. Where I see schools thriving, there's a lot of community involvement between the city and the county and the schools. They're doing a lot of town halls where they're sharing, "These are my goals. These are what we're trying to get accomplished in the city, is trying to get alignment with those goals.2 And they're sharing that kind of communication and then communicating it out to the community at large. I think it's just important, critically important as we go forward. And we shared some of the thoughts, Joe, and population swings that if the city and the schools can't get together and show a unified front, I think both sides are going to continue to struggle.

              And as a voter and a citizen, I want my school system and my city and the county I live in to be cohesive and have a unified front and have the greater good at the center of what they're trying to get accomplished.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. So, circling back to the long term investment, one good example... and again, we've seen this implemented and really show success in a variety of locations, is electric vehicle fleets on the city county level. Do you think it's a matter of kind of declaring at some point, "Hey, every new vehicle from this point forward is going to be electric." We're going to be willing to pay a little bit more now to reduce costs, reduce maintenance, and have these things last longer. Is it more gradual? It's most likely case by case, but what do you think is the starting point for a location who hasn't really done much of this yet and what have you seen worked in other spots?

Dan Dowell:

Wow. This is a big subject, especially to think infrastructure and the social change that's coming around electrification of not only fleets, but our cars and vehicles and the forecast for electric vehicle production in the near term is significant. And you overlap that with a number of states; New York, California, and others, Virginia have put a mission guidelines and mandates in place that said, "We will be carbon neutral by 2040." And some are even more aggressive. Not only in fleets, but in buildings. Complete electrification of buildings. And New York has instituted the city and it has actually put standards in place of what the emissions from buildings look like. So, there are heavy incentives out there and penalties going to be in place in the near term. So, I think that's upon us. 2030 in a number of communities is when there has to be significant reduction in green health gases. Not only in the buildings, but in electrification of fleets.

              So, I think that is something that in the very near term is going to be continued to get, I think excitement. I like it. I've certainly been in a number of electric vehicles who think, "Man, they are just significantly different than the first generations." We're seeing states like California, utilities given incentive for electrification of school buses, electrification of buildings, because what's happened in these states that have had a lot of investment in solar, the utility grid is seen when the peak demand used to be... You think about it, Joe, that during the air conditioning period, when everybody's in the office buildings and the kids are in school. So, highest demand for electricity at that period of time. 8:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon, that's the peak. That is shifted now to be at night when everybody goes home because during the day we've got solar power and we've got battery backup.

              And so the load shift has moved to night. So, what other utilities are doing is incentivizing the consumption electricity back to that 4:00 to 8:00 period. So, they're actually paying for schools and electrification and charging of vehicles to happen in the more traditional 4:00 to 8:00 period of time. So yeah, I think that it's going to continue to be something that gains a lot of attention and a lot of momentum. And I think we're going to see some really positive shift electrification.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. I think a lot of people would be excited by it, but there's also the flip side, which is your average citizen who's not necessarily keeping up with everything or reviewing the line items of a budget. They might see an electric bus or whatever utility vehicle that the city, the town has put out there and the reaction and could be, "Well, that's good in general, but that's probably really expensive and you all haven't fixed the pothole or X, Y, and Z that are more urgent to me." And that goes back to long term investment versus, "We have to fix these priorities," and it's a tug of war between those things, but how can a local government not avoid that issue, but kind of solve it.

              It goes back to maybe communicating better to the public. But again, they're not necessarily checking out the website or the Twitter feed every day. So, even though it's a net positive and for sure a long term investment, how can local government make the case for the... whether it's electric vehicle or anything else that's long term, how can local government do a better job of communicating to the public?

Dan Dowell:

Yeah, sure. Great question. I think it comes down to doing an analysis on the long term return or comparison if we stay fossil fuel based versus electrification of vehicles, what is our long term cost comparison of the two? And what we're finding is the long term cost of an electrified vehicle, even though the first initial capital costs are greater... And there are some rebates and some things that are bringing the cost of electrical vehicles down. I would communicate to the community that we have done a long term analysis on electrification of our fleet versus fossil fuel and we're finding that the electrification of our fleet not only is lower in the long term cost, but we feel socially it's more responsible to make sure that we're doing what we can to protect the environment. And depending on where you come on global warming, this still is again, I think socially responsible investment. And it is financially I think responsible too, when we look at a long term comparison of costs, operating costs.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. Climate change and responsibility in general. Again, local government, most of these people live here hopefully long term, if you're making it ideal for them so they can project out to their kids and even their grandkids and beyond on what are the best choices long term. But then the financial side of it is real. And we're not just doing it for the sake of it or to pat ourselves on the back that, "Hey, we're being green." Just the buzzword we're being green it's actually going to do better for the bottom line long term which was what this whole episode was about. So Dan, thanks for your time. Thanks for your expertise. And all the work ABM is doing with local governments. Audience, you can find Dan on LinkedIn. Feel free to reach out with any questions. Check out more about sustainable facility maintenance solutions at abm.com. Thanks again, Dan.

Dan Dowell:

Thanks, Joe. Thanks everybody.

Joe Supervielle:

With us today is the Assistant City Manager of Novi, Michigan and ICMA Vice President of Midwest region, Victor Cardenas. Thanks for joining today.

Victor Cardenas:

Thanks for having me, Joe.

Joe Supervielle:

So, can you give the audience a quick introduction on yourself and the city there in Michigan? Kind of just ballpark on population, budget, staff size.

Victor Cardenas:

Yeah, sure. So, I've been in Novi here for about almost 12 years. Came here in late 2010 and it's a fantastic community that has around six to 6,000 residents. We have about 270 employees. Our general fund budget's around 37 million, total budget is around 70 million. And so it's a fantastic diverse community. We're like the little Japan of the Midwest. We have a great concentration of Japan residents mainly centered around the automotive industry. So, we have a lot of Japan nationals that come here for about two to three years and before they go back to Japan, to their main company. So, that adds a fantastic dichotomy to our community. We have a Japanese day school here that people come from Ohio and other sides of the state just to...

              They enroll their kids into Japanese day school during the weekends. And then we have festivals. Not only for Japan, but for Indian population. So, it's a very fantastic community that really brings the melting pot for all cultures. I mean, we have a great economic base that has a lot of industry, R&D and residential. So, all of that along with our retail base. We have a huge mall here as well. Really adds to the character of our community.

Joe Supervielle:

Big picture. What are your type concerns, challenges, and even opportunities that you're facing there, you think other managers in the region are facing? Going into kind of... Well, well into 2022 at this point.

Victor Cardenas:

I think all of us in the public sector, all my manager, colleagues, and also the private sector, we're all kind of just clamoring and scrambling for talent. It's not just our public safety employees, but it's our public works. It's our office staff. It's really just identification of talent. Going forward has been our biggest challenge. So, looking forward to talking to our colleagues and getting best practices and seeing where they can find this talent to fill our vital positions that we have all across the board. Like I said, not just in one or two departments, it's all across the board.

              And really just, it's been quite a long time since being able to get together with our colleagues. I think these conferences, these regional get togethers and our annual conferences a way to kind of meet our friends and our compatriots from across the country and across the world to figure out how they're doing and learning what they're doing in their respective communities and those best practices. So, it's been some time. Obviously we were met in Portland, but that was kind of a hybrid situation. So, getting together with... and our regional partners and then looking forward to our friends in Columbus, I think is going to be what I'm really getting excited about just to getting back to the new normal, the user buzzword.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. Well, you said hiring and even retention is a challenge for not just local government, but across pretty much every industry right now. We'll have an upcoming podcast actually on employee engagement that might be able to share a few tips, but you said it too. There should be some good... whether it's a formal presentation or a session, or just kind of those informal talks in the hallways at these regionals to try and address that. Was there anything else... maybe not just from your viewpoint, but what has the council kind of given as priorities or what even have you heard from the public in terms of what they're looking for? Anything besides the hiring aspect?

Victor Cardenas:

I think we're always trying to improve quality of life. So, infrastructure's a big deal. We have a citizen relationship management system where we get feedback from residents and they get requests for services. We get text messages. So, that obviously with the thaw right now and the stone melting, we're getting a tons of potholes. So people are concerned about those potholes and what's that doing to their cars. So, we're trying to get ramped up for that season and look at how we can best remedy those issues. We have partners that have road construction projects as well around us that we have no control over, but trying to educate residents and constantly trying to... and inform them of whose road is whose responsibility. Because presidents don't know that this one is our responsibility. That one is the county's. That one is... and the next county over.

              So, it's just trying to constantly just educate our residents and get them what they need to help improve their quality of life. But in reality, they just want the stuff fixed. So just trying to work with our partners to get those roads fixed and get what they need done. And always, there's always a clamoring for non-motorized improvements and pathways and sidewalks. So just working with city council to get those up and running and get those repaired. So, we're a newer community. We're only founded in the early to mid sixties. So, we don't have the same challenges some of our colleagues do around the country, around the Midwest in terms of older infrastructure. So, now we're getting to that point now where some of those sidewalks are getting raised by tree routes.

              And so we're just trying to work with our HOAs and our other partners to get those fixed and those repaired and new programs in place to get those taken care of. So, I think that's the main thing we've been hearing, is mainly those roads and those sidewalks, getting those fixed and repaired and just taking care of what they need to so they can get back to work, if they're driving to work. A lot of them are working remotely still. So, some people are still having concerns about their internet connectivity and we have a broadband committee that's been starting up seeing if we can leverage those resources from the feds. See if we can get some new fiber into the community. So we're researching that right now and just got to consultant to kind of work up with a plan way forward to see if we can identify some new resources in that regard. So, it's really kind of a whole gamut of infrastructure; well, digitally and tangible with the actual concrete and asphalt on the ground as well.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. Infrastructure's an interesting topic because there's the immediate, "Hey, fix this pothole. It's on my commute." This is today kind of thing. But then there's also the longer term, whether it's those sidewalks are... You said, but 50, 60 years on eventually some bigger picture things they're going to have to be worked on and that's obviously not cheap. And the internet connectivity too. That's a topic that we keep hearing more and more about. Some communities are not really sure where to start. There's issues when it's kind of the more rural area. I know you guys are closer to Detroit, but sometimes it gets far out there and it's hard to get the telecom companies to invest. But if you all early on in kind of consulting some outside vendors and perspectives, I think that would be definitely something of interest for other members to learn from you all. See where that might go and see how that can fix. We've all learned how important it is during COVID restrictions to have everyone digitally connected.

Victor Cardenas:

Yeah. I mean, we thought we're jumping on it, but there' another community that's been working on this for 10 years. I just heard about Fort Collins who's always a place that we always look at in Colorado, is a benchmark of what they're doing. And they've been working on something for 10 years. They get broadband into their community. So, there's all these nuggets of information out there that we need to work with our colleagues and see what their best practices is. Because no matter where we look at, it could be here in the US, it could be across the pond over in Europe or anywhere else that we're all dealing with the same kind of stuff.

              We're all dealing with road infrastructure, water, sewer infrastructure, internet connectivity. So there's so many great examples and ways of doing things. And that's what I love about ICMA, kind of brings it all together and using resources like the podcast here or our conferences or other webinars to kind of get that information out to our colleagues all across the membership sphere to get them what they need to... getting them the tools they need to help better their communities, because that's what we're all here for.

Joe Supervielle:

Yeah. You just pre-empeted the next question, which is kind of your vision on how ICMA fits in. What can we do as staff do more of, do better, do more efficiently aside from just the in person or even digital meetings platforms like this, but at the Midwest, there's actually going to be a session called ICMA leadership and member dialogue. What you want and need from ICMA. So, you kind of just touched on a lot of them, but is there anything else in your role on the board that you've heard from others formal or otherwise on hey, new ideas or maybe they should try this or do that to help kind of increase the value of the membership?

Victor Cardenas:

It's so hard to try to think of one thing, but there's just so much content out there. There's just unbelievable amounts of content. If you just... even for a personal life, you look at like, "I want to watch a TV show." You're paralyzed with the choices of all the different streaming services and what to watch and where to watch it.

Joe Supervielle:

How to prioritize it.

Victor Cardenas:

Exactly. I think the same thing is in our field. I mean there's podcasts, there's the PM magazine. There's webinars, there's blogs. I mean, that's just with ICMA. Then there's all of our partners out there and strategic partners that have all of their materials out as well and their magazine. So I mean, I have some great mentors in my life that have got me, "Look at this for this as a great resource for development and..." Or, "Here's for this for HR stuff." And it's just like the piles keep rising on my bookstand or my nightstand.

              So, it's just trying to keep on producing that kind of stuff. Got to be getting that information out to wherever that people look at it. So, nice to make connects and also fantastic resource. So getting information out there and to keep on encouraging that. Then you have social media. You have all the Twitter pages and the Facebook pages. I think staff has... ICMA staff. It's just like our staffs in our respective communities. It's just trying to keep up with all the information and getting data out there for our residents and our stakeholders alike. So, it's just keep on that and encouraging that and just making sure that our conference team has what they need to put on great conferences to bring together our colleagues from across the world to wherever that might be.

              This year is going to be Columbus and then we got the Midwest regional or all the regionals across the country right now going on. So, it's just getting that guy content, identifying those great leaders out there and those great partners to get their messages out. Because we're all busy in our jobs, but then, "Okay. By the way, we need you to present this fantastic, relevant, engaging session for your conference or your podcast or whatever." So, just trying to keep people engaged, keep them motivated. And I just want to get that information out to everyone so that we can consume it and help that solve whatever problem we have in our community. I don't want to add on some more stuff of what we can keep on doing, but it's just really just supporting our staffs and supporting our colleagues. So, give them what they need, the tools they need to help them in their everyday jobs.

Joe Supervielle:

Sure. Well, Mr Cardenas, thanks for your time today. I appreciate your insight on the region there and kind of the ICMA membership as a whole. St. Louis Midwest regional March 23rd through 25th, you can go to regionals.icma.org for registration. Thank you.

Victor Cardenas:

Great. Thank you.

 

Episode is sponsored by

Guest Information

Dan Dowell, senior vice president, Education Sales & Strategy, ABM Industries | email | LinkedIn

Victor Cardenas, ICMA-CM, assistant city manager, Novi, Michigan and vice president, Midwest region | LinkedIn

Episode Notes

Dan Dowell, senior vice president at ABM Industries shares ideas on how recent local government funding can go beyond immediate fixes to focus on sustainable long-term investments, including:

  1. Economic development
  2. Infrastructure
  3. K-12 support (other than teacher pay and curriculum debates)
  4. Savings and sustainability through electric fleets and buildings

Bonus Content: Victor Cardenas gives the pulse of ICMA's Midwest region ahead of upcoming 2022 ICMA Regional Conferences (22:03).

Resources

ICMA Economic Development Topic

ICMA 2022 Regionals: Build Your Resilience

New, Reduced Membership Dues

A new, reduced dues rate is available for CAOs/ACAOs, along with additional discounts for those in smaller communities, has been implemented. Learn more and be sure to join or renew today!

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