Nov 2nd 2016 | Posted in Trends by Priscilla Loebenberg

Cities across the country are rushing to embrace smart city connectivity in a variety of ways. The internet of things (IoT) makes it possible to connect municipal services to citizens in ways that enrich their lives – using data and connectivity to improve efficiency and quality of life. From smart trash cans to sound-sensing streetlights to parking space […]

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Sep 12th 2016 | Posted in Opportunities, Trends by Government Contracting Pipeline
Miami Metrorail Underline
theunderline.org - concept

Miami-Dade County and city officials have approved a plan to build an urban park under the Miami Metrorail. The Underline will be a 10-mile linear park, about 100 feet wide. The greenway will utilize the area already owned by the county underneath the tracks. The city will fund 40 percent of the $120 million project using […]

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Aug 26th 2016 | Posted in Texas Government Insider, Trends by Priscilla Loebenberg
unmanned aerial system UAS

Government entities are using drones in a variety of ways, from checking roof leaks to patrolling parking lots to providing a visual assist during emergency situations. McAllen Independent School District’s board president, Sam Saldivar, Jr.,  recently announced the district’s intention to purchase state-of-the-art drones, or unmanned aerial system (UAS), to patrol all campuses. Saldivar said the drones […]

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Aug 24th 2016 | Posted in Transportation, Trends by Priscilla Loebenberg
Image of one of the various types of autonomous vehicles
Photo By Grendelkhan, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Self-driving cars have been so long on the horizon that some people may be surprised to see them popping up all over the county. Though research and testing on modern autonomous vehicles has been going on since the 1980s, seeing a car with no steering wheel in the adjacent lane on the highway could be […]

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Aug 12th 2016 | Posted in Texas Government Insider, Trends by Priscilla Loebenberg
unmanned aerial system UAS

Government entities are using drones in a variety of ways, from checking roof leaks to patrolling parking lots to providing a visual assist during emergency situations. McAllen Independent School District’s board president, Sam Saldivar, Jr.,  recently announced the district’s intention to purchase state-of-the-art drones, or unmanned aerial system (UAS), to patrol all campuses. Saldivar said the drones […]

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Apr 22nd 2016 | Posted in Trends by Peter Partheymuller

Masterson says that a project’s term varies according to the community’s needs, but developing a comprehensive plan can take more than a year — the first simmer for preparatory work and data collection, two semesters of course work and then another summer to finish the plan and design the final report. “Smaller projects, like a landscape architecture conceptual design might take only a few months. We are bound by semesters, and projects are executed and completed with that in mind.”

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Dec 11th 2015 | Posted in Trends by Peter Partheymuller
The logo for Gregg County, a county in East Texas that has helped form a purchasing assocation to foster cooperation with other entities in the area

Gregg, Smith county officials form purchasing association When Kelli Davis was named Gregg County purchasing agent in July 2014, County Judge Bill Stoudt asked her to consider the possibilities of joining with neighboring counties and other governmental entities to take advantage of joint purchasing association opportunities. Stoudt says he didn’t really have much knowledge of […]

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Apr 29th 2015 | Posted in Trends by Government Contracting Pipeline
Photo by Jamie McCaffrey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As local and state populations continue to expand throughout the country, America’s transportation infrastructure is deteriorating because of increasing traffic and decreasing funding. As a result, transit projects are growing and becoming increasingly important to help more Americans reach their jobs, education and day-to-day necessities such as health care, recreation and nutrition needs. All of […]

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Jan 30th 2015 | Posted in Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
Photo by Matthew Rutledge is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In the past, downtown was either a busy area – the thriving heart of business and commerce – or a largely unpopulated section where windows and doors were boarded up and crime was rampant. The increase in suburban malls, grocery chains, restaurants, recreational areas and apartment complexes lured citizens away from downtown. The exodus left […]

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Jan 16th 2015 | Posted in Infrastructure, Legislation/Policy, Mary Scott Nabers' Insights, State, Transportation, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
Photo by Chris (LA Wad) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Texans may be somewhat calmed by the knowledge that transportation infrastructure problems are nationwide. No state is exempt. Citizens won’t, however, be happy to know that transportation-related costs are destined to increase in Texas and in every other state in the near future. The nation’s transportation infrastructure needs have become too critical to ignore any […]

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Jan 7th 2015 | Posted in State, Transportation, Trends by Dawn Doyle
Photo by NC3D is licensed under CC BY 2.0

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, in Fresno, California’s high-speed rail project became the nation’s first project to break ground. Within seven years, the Fresno to the Burbank airport segment should be operational. Within 14 years, the system will be built out more than 500 miles in two directions, linking downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles. Ultimately, it will stretch from Sacramento to San Diego at 200 mph.

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Jan 2nd 2015 | Posted in Infrastructure, P3/PPP, State, Trends, Water by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Know what green bonds are? You probably do if you are a public official. But, otherwise, this may be an unfamiliar term. Because they are relatively new, it’s important to take note of green bonds. They are another alternative funding source for public projects. And, they are called green bonds, of course, because each project […]

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Dec 31st 2014 | Posted in State, Trends by Government Contracting Pipeline
Photo by Ken Teegardin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The effects of the Great Recession in 2008 are still being felt at the local and state levels of government. In fact, the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) notes in a recent report that those governments’ budget crises are long-term and, without policy changes, tax revenues will not return to pre-recession rates as a percentage […]

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Dec 31st 2014 | Posted in State, Technology, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Consolidation is a word that often strikes fear in the heart of a public servant. In the past, consolidation usually meant fewer full time employees (FTEs). Today, however, consolidation doesn’t always mean fewer workers. The basic concept behind consolidation is that by combining public agencies or entities that are performing similar functions, costs can be […]

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Dec 19th 2014 | Posted in Legislation/Policy, State, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

“Rebuilding” is a common word in state government these days. Nationwide, states are tasked with finding more efficient ways for rebuilding transportation, water resources, low-income housing, educational facilities and social service programs. But, nowhere has the term “rebuilding” been used more than in the realm of fiscal rebuilding. According to the recently released 2014 Fiscal […]

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Dec 17th 2014 | Posted in Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Public officials at the local levels of government struggle with budget cuts, debt issues and finding ways to fund critical projects. Fortunately, there are some interesting options. Historically, bonding has been the most popular way to finance public projects.  However, another option is becoming more common – Certificates of Participation or COPs. This type of […]

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Dec 12th 2014 | Posted in Infrastructure, Transportation, Trends, Water by Texas Government Insider
ReBuild Houston logo

Here’s a novel idea for government – don’t approve a project you can’t pay for. It’s served the city of Houston well over the last couple of years in its pay-as-you-go ReBuild Houston program. Like many other cities nationwide, Houston is experiencing major growth. And, with that growth, the city’s street and drainage repair and […]

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Dec 10th 2014 | Posted in P3/PPP, State, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Local, state and national parks have great value and are recognized as high-dollar public assets.  Parks are attractive aspects of any economic development effort and they draw tourists, local residents and the traveling public at-large. Their appeal is often the “tipping point” for corporations making relocation decisions and parks attract families to housing or retail […]

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Dec 5th 2014 | Posted in Federal, Mary Scott Nabers' Insights, P3/PPP, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

At a time when budgets are stretched thin, funding for social programs is available to local governmental entities through a new and innovative program. The new funding comes from a Social Innovation Fund and monetary awards are based on successful accomplishment of pre-determined social outcomes. According to a report from the Social Innovation Research Center, […]

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Nov 21st 2014 | Posted in News, Trends by Texas Government Insider
TCPN logo

Procurement through cooperative purchasing among public entities has enjoyed double-digit growth since last year. Government officials – from public schools to cities, counties, nonprofits and institutions of higher education – are leveraging the purchasing power of thousands of government entities through shared contracts that allow them to cut costs significantly and stretch taxpayer dollars.

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Nov 21st 2014 | Posted in P3/PPP, State, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Local government executives throughout the country are sending out “Help Wanted” messages. Because property tax revenues have declined and budgets are stretched to the breaking point, there is an immediate need for new revenue options for critical projects. As a result, cities and counties are hiring advisors who offer assistance in the area of “alternative […]

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Nov 12th 2014 | Posted in Federal, P3/PPP, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

It is extremely difficult for most people to become United States citizens or to stay in the country for long periods of time. Visas are hard to come by and difficult to keep. However, coming to America is not all that big a problem for wealthy families from foreign countries. A 1990 law that authorized the EB-5 program […]

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Oct 24th 2014 | Posted in State, Trends by Texas Government Insider
Photo by Kelly Taylor is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Texans set an all-time state record for registered voters for the upcoming Nov. 4 election. Voters are flocking to early voting locations in large numbers. And, candidates and pundits in both political camps are claiming both as signs of their campaigns’ impending victory.The new record set this year is 14,025, 441, besting the old record of 13,46,226 set in time for the November 2012 presidential election.

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Oct 17th 2014 | Posted in Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

“Future-proofing” is a new ‘buzz word’ in many cities. One of the hottest topics among leaders at the local levels of government is how to ensure that a community has the capacity to rebound quickly after a disaster. As a result, many cities have added a new position on municipal org charts – a chief […]

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Oct 1st 2014 | Posted in Public Safety, Technology, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Big Data – it’s one of the hottest buzzwords of the decade – but what does it mean? For some, it congers up frightening scenarios related to a loss of privacy. For others it is a way to incorporate huge amounts of data into processes that allow for mining, categorizing, storing and accessing information. Some […]

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