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Attorney General Janet Reno will address NLC delegates; local leaders gear up for Orlando meeting.

Local Leaders Gear Up For Orlando Meeting

U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, will address local government leaders at the Congress of Cities' delegates luncheon on Sunday, December 5. Delegates also will recognize former NLC Presidents Charlie Royer and Pam Plumb and noted scholar Norm Ornstein among featured presenters at this year's annual meeting.

The 70th Annual Congress of Cities and Exposition in Orlando, December 2-5, promises to provide delegates with a wealth of innovative and diverse information to facilitate better local governing and stronger leadership and to learn what their peers are doing and thinking.

One way this will be accomplished is through popular TV talk show technology where delegates will weigh in with their opinions via a push-button automated response system. A computer will immediataly tally responses and project audience ideas on giant-size video screen at the closing plenary.

NLC has added a new dimension to Congress of Cities this year with a "menu" of seven special conference tracks. Each track will have one facilitator who will conduct four ongoing "brainstoriming focus groups" with questions and answers on the tough municipal issues of public safety; infrastructure investment; mandates; local economies; health care; small cities and towns; and youth, education and families.

Norman Ornstein will lead the closing plenary, aimed at drawing conclusions and exchanging ideas on the tracks, and the conference as a whole. This session is where delegates' keypad responses will be used and it is planned to synthesize all elements of the meeting.

Ornstein has written several political books and is a political contributor to the MacNeil/Lehrer News, election analyst for CBS News and president of the Gallup Organization, of "The People, Press and Politics" a Times Mirror Company that studies the American electorate.

The closing sessions and diverse offering of other plenaries, workshops, pre-conference seminars, and luncheons emphasize "Cities in Action" - the conference theme for this year.

To balance the hard work of the conference, NLC Immediate Past President and Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood has planned a variety of events to help conference attendees get to know Orlando and its wealth of innovative programs. For fun there is always Disney World and this year's closing event will take place at Sea World, the famous home of Shamu the whale.

The mini tracks resulted from the recommendation of the 1993 Conference Program Committee. Each mini track will hold four workshops. The idea of each mini track is to examine how that particular mini track folds into the overall puzzle of running local government.

The mission of each session is to design a piece of the puzzle and involves exploring the present process of the topic, reforming it to meet the needs of the future and then crafting solutions compliment the other seven track. The audience-interactive mini tracks will be led by experts on the various topics and are outlined as follows:

For each min track, four different panels of experts have been invited to discuss, debate and deliberate these issues. They will include local government officials, outside experts in the related areas, representatives from the academic, health, technological and scientific fields.

The facilitators, track descriptions and worrkshops within each track that will be presented as follows.

Mini Track:

Local Economies

Pam Plumb, President of Pamela P. Plumb & Associates, and president of the National League of Cities in 1988 while serving as Councilor of Portland, Maine will facilitate this series of worshops dealing with the challenges municipal leaders face in the 1990s in their struggle to address the economic development needs of their communities. Sessions will examine trends affecting local community economies, goals, planning techniques, and implementation strategies used by communities to enhance local economic development. The special roles of elected officials in advance locally defined economic development goals will be a key focus. The workshops are:

* New Ways to Think About Your Local Economy

* Multiple Goals in Developing Your Local Economy

* Using Tools to Develop Your Local Economy

* International Economies and Series Recapitulation

Mini-Track:

Mandates

Of all the issues that engage local officials in their relationships with state legislators and members of Congress, none are more contentious than unfunded mandates. Mandates go to the heart of what governing is all about - autonomy and money. Janet Kelly, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bowling Green University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and author of several NLC publications on mandates will serve as facilitator for the workshops that will be presented in this track. The workshops are:

* Unfunded Mandates - What are the Real Issues?

* Increasing Public Awareness of Unfunded Mandates - What Can Be Done?

* State Responses to Unfunded Mandates - Pseudo-Cure or Panacea?

* Beyond the Mandates Mess - New Ideas for Intergovernmental Relationships

Mini-Track:

Health Care

Reforming the nation's massive health care system is one of the most difficult tasks facing us today. Once President Clinton's health care plan is issued, comprehensive analyses will begin to determine its impact on municipalities, the consequences of which will affect every American, whether directly or indirectly. How we buy into the health care plan, the impacts on regional health care and our responsibilities in rural areas, and the impact of federal drug legislation are some of the many issues that will be addressed in this series of workshops covering a broad range of health care issues.

* Health Care Reform and Our Cities and Towns: Will Our Pocketbooks, Policies and Priorities Ever Be the Same?

* Silent Killer: The Health Care Crisis in Rural America

* Public Hospitals: An Endangered Species Worth Saving

* Accepting Change: Will the New Health Care Reform Help Us Become a "Kinder, Gentler, and Healthier" Nation?

Mini-Track:

Infrastructure

Investment

Charles Royer, director of John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics in Cambridge, Mass. will facilitate this series of workshops that will address the future municipal growth, international competitiveness, and economic security that require investment in our system of bridges, roads, streets, water/sewerage facilities, public transit, telecommunications facilities, and airports. Achieving these goals will require long-term perspectives that emphasize smart investments in our country's foundations. Royer, delegates will remember, served as president of the National League of Cities in 1983 during his tenure as mayorr of Seattle. The workshops are:

* Making ISTEA Work for You: Taking Advantage of New Programs and Flexibility

* Trends in Infrastructure Financing

* Paving the Way to Prosperity: It Begins With Infrastructure and Succeeds With a Plan

* Local Governments in Telecommunications: Connecting With Information Highways for the Future

Mini-Track:

Small Cities

Small cities and towns make up the largest portion of municipal governments in the United States. This track will explore the tenets of rethinking, reforming and rebuilding in smaller communities. Having limited resources, whether related to finances, equipment or staff, has inspired leaders in small cities to experiment and be more willing to accept a new approach. The practical application of techniques to "reinvent government," such as greater regional thinking, entrepreneurial practices and quality customer service, are already making progress in many small hometowns. Jonathan Howes will facilitate this session.

In 1990, while mayor of Chapel Hill, N.C., Howes served as the first chair of the NLC Advisory Council. Howes was appointed by Governor James B. Hunt to the post of Secretary to the North Carolina Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources in Chapel Hill where he currently serves.

* Small City Economic Development: Wake Up! The Rules Have Changed

* Before It Was Popular - Reinventing Small City Government

* Why a Regional Approach Makes Sense

* Turning Assets into Dollars

Mini-Track:

Public Safety

Hallem H. Williams, Jr., former director for the Distric of Columbia Department of Corrections, and currently the Chief Executive Officer of Justice Services, Inc., will lead the discussion in the four worshops within this track. Restoring public safety in our cities and towns by confronting crime, violence, and drugs is one of the top priorities for our nation's local leaders. Whether working at the national level to develop a framework that will support and enhance local efforts, or exploring local and regional options for maximizing available resources to make communities safer, local leaders face challenging opportunities on all fronts.

* Cities and Citizens: Partners in Public Safety

* Design and Development: Ingredients for Safe Communities

* After the Crime: The victim and the Criminal

* New technologies. Mapping the Course to Interlocal Cooperation

Mini-Track:

Youth, Education

and Families

The changing conditions forr families, youth and education continue to present critical issues to local elected leaders in the 1990s. Change is the watchword. Not only is every facet of family needs and opportunities changing, but also the communities in which families live are changing. This series of workshops, facilitated by Karen J. Pittman, senior vice president and director of the Center forr Youth Development and Policy Research, located in Washington, D.C., will look at these issues in the context of the local community.

It is a given that families and communities need each other. The well-being is inextricably tied to the well-being of communities.

* Youth, Education and Families: An Overview

* Enhancing Interdepende: Families and the Community

* Maximizing Teaching and Learning: Taking Advantage of Your Community's Assets

* Collaborative Community Development: Business and Community.
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Title Annotation:includes related conference schedule; National League of Cities, Orlando, Florida
Author:Ferring, P. Diane; Baker, Denise
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Oct 18, 1993
Words:1504
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