Some business thinkers appear to believe that making workers happy is less important than ensuring their engagement, but the two qualities are linked, writes Rodd Wagner. Engagement without concern for employees is one-sided, Wagner argues. "[T]he leader who unreservedly wants the best for his or her workers will find they reciprocate with tremendous commitment to the firm and intensity in their work," he writes.
Edmonton, Alberta, Mayor Don Iveson is looking for ways to help people living in government-subsidized housing as agreements expire during the next 10 to 15 years. Iveson has suggested larger-density construction to replace subsidized housing. "Without [social-housing agreements], we're going to have more homelessness, more social disorder, higher policing costs, more health care costs," Iveson said.
Harold Stewart has resigned as city manager of Knoxville, Iowa, to take the same post in Warrensburg, Mo. Stewart started managing Knoxville in 2011 and had similar jobs before that in Yuma, Ariz., and Ogallala, Neb.
Seattle voters will be asked in the fall to approve a $930 million transportation levy to improve roads. The City Council has approved the ballot measure, which President Tim Burgess says will cost the average homeowner up to $12 per month if it passes.
Three San Jacinto, Calif., parks that were closed in December because of budget shortfalls have been reopened thanks to funds coming from a property tax increase. The pool and some playground equipment at Sallee Park remain inaccessible.
Electronic playground equipment has been installed at Thompson Park in New Albany, Ohio, including games based on using buttons on posts that light up when pushed. "People can play in teams or one on one. We want it to appeal to a wide variety," said New Albany parks official Brian Smith.
More than 200 trees composed of nine species have been planted on a New Orleans lot that had not been improved since Hurricane Katrina. A resident urged the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority to improve the property, and the authority is working on five other lots and a rain garden.
Once-neglected Johnsons Park in Milwaukee is being renovated with a mix of private and public money. Among the improvements are 80 trees, handicapped-accessible paths, sports fields, a stage for community performances and bicycle racks.
Residents and city officials in Liberty, Mo., are working together to revitalize city parks. No funding has been discussed, but planning meetings have been held. "We are already a destination community, but in attracting and retaining residents, businesses and visitors, we have to have stellar parks," said Janet Bartnik, the city's parks and recreation director.
Officials with Salem Health, a medical center in Salem, Ore., have held an open house to discuss plans for a memorial garden and adaptive playground. The inclusive playground would include an adaptive see-saw, a geodesic climbing structure and therapy path. The project would stand on the site of the former Oregon School for the Blind.