Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm in Law School Now!

So, I haven't written in this blog for a while.  Life's been crazy these past few months.  More than crazy.

Here's a run-down of topics I hope to address in the next few weeks:

  • My dog, Jack
  • Graduating with my Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University
  • Getting destroyed by an 18-wheeler on my move out to Utah
  • The horrors of insurance
  • My adorable niece and nephew
  • The horrors of renting in Provo
  • Finally, law school

Stay tuned, folks.  Its going to be awesome.  You'll know so much about me that...well, you'll be thankful you are you.  (Does that make any sense?)

And, yes, there are pics.  It all happened.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ICMA in Milwaukee

Well, here's the crew - the local government management students from Indiana University.  Aren't we a good-looking bunch?

A light rain was coming down when we met in the parking lot outside my apartment to start our trip to Milwaukee to attend the 97th Annual City/County Management Association Conference.  Professor Powell, our program director, had reserved a university van for us, so the seven of us piled in and we began the five-hour trip.

When we arrived in Milwaukee we checked in and attended a reception.  The real show wouldn't begin until Monday.  I went back to the hotel a little early to get some personal time in by reading the scriptures and trying to observe what I could of Sunday as the Lord's Day.  Its tough when your schedule is dictated by conferences and others' preferences to find that alone time with God and your own thoughts but its always worth it.

Monday morning dawned gray but we were excited for the day's activities.  After the keynote speaker's inspirational remarks, we split up to go to different sessions and to sell ourselves to head-hunters and to the plethora of municipal managers.  I went to a session regarding management in the "new norm".  Essentially, it focused on the fact that cities can't expect to keep raking in the sales and property tax revenue like they have for so long and are going to have to learn how to do more with less.  I went to a presentation by ArcGIS with regards to the Government 2.0 movement next.  The Government 2.0 movement is an effort to bring government up to speed with new technical innovations in mobile and internet technology.  The presentation focused on new web applications.

Without boring you with the details of every presentation I attended, let me simply say that they were interesting, but a very disturbing theme started to emerge - pessimism.

That's right.  The Baby-Boomers and Gen-Xers have given up it seems.  I heard the same losing strategy when I attended a conference in Berlin, Germany earlier in May.  That losing strategy is the following: "We've broken our system and are leaving a legacy of failure to the next generation.  Our programs in the federal government are unsustainable at present.  Our cities are indebted and crumbing.  We're passing on the torch whether you want it or not.  Oh, and by the way, if you could keep my Social Security payments coming that'd be great."

I'm meeting this pessimism head-on and plan on showing these past few generations what the American Spirit really is.  We of the new generation that are coming of age are going to clean up your mess, but it's not going to be pretty or quick.

Enough ranting.  It was tough to stomach at the time, but its served to strengthen my resolve.

By far the most important and beneficial part of the conference was breaking out of my comfort zone and speaking with city managers, assistant city managers, and other civil servants.  I got a few business cards and was asked to send in a resume or two.  I'd call that a success.

Monday night we had dinner with the members of the Indiana Municipal Managers Association that were at the conference. (See photo above.)

Tuesday night were went to the sponsored dinner at the Discovery Museum and later to the Harley-Davidson Museum.  We snapped some photos.  We ate.  Good times.

Outside Harley-Davidson Museum

I think its a good fit, don't you?