Volume 3, Issue 38January 18, 2012
QR codes becoming 'fashionable' for governments

Mary Scott NabersKnow what a QR code is? If not, read on, because it's the latest technology destined to change the way we work and interact with government. Businesses have been using these black and Q.R. Codewhite square barcodes for years but the majority of us paid little attention to them. Tech-savvy customers may use QR codes to link to locations, products, service promotions, contests and messages. But only recently have they become fashionable - and useful - in the government arena.


The "QR" stands for "quick response" - meaning the codes can be read quickly by smart phones. Information is encoded in the barcode and a cell phone with a QR code-reading application allows a user to get various types of information. Code reading applications are easily downloaded and many are free. 




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Support continues for I-banks
Headlines from around the nation
Michigan funds seek collaborations
Obama wants consolidation power
Upcoming education opportunities
Other contracting opportunities
Who's winning the contracts?
News about P3s
Odds & ends
Where are they now?
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
Support continues to grow for national infrastructure bank


New York senator says I-banks could relieve financial stress on governments

Kirsten Gillibrand
Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has become the latest among a growing list of supporters of a national infrastructure bank (I-bank). In New York alone, said Gillibrand, the state's roads, bridges, highways, sewers and ports need upgrades and rehabilitation that would cost millions, if not billions. She said correcting the many problems related to a crumbling infrastructure are not just an economic issue, but a public safety issue. One solution, said the senator, would be a national infrastructure bank that allows direct private equity investment into long-term, large-scale infrastructure projects. She said investors might include everything from pension funds to life insurance companies. She said there are trillions of dollars "sitting on the sidelines of our economy today."


Gillibrand described an I-bank as "a basic public-private partnership that cuts government spending as it takes pressure off state and local government and pressure off our property taxes to do some of these long-term, large-scale infrastructure projects." She said the result could be investments in infrastructure projects such as high-speed rail, rural broadband, health care IT and even a new electric grid. Many states already have infrastructure banks, and President Obama is pushing for a national I-bank.


I-banks are structured around government seed money being provided for loans. The loans are made to government entities and sometimes even private sector entities. The bulk of the loan is paid back through user-fees, public-private partnerships or dedicated taxes. "When you reduce the government's role in spending you can take the politics out of the process so that many of these projects can move forward," said Gillibrand.


Headlines from around the nation...

Five colleges to test bulk-purchasing of e-Textbooks in bid to rein in costs


YouTube to modify terms of service exclusively for state governments


(To view these stories, click here and look under "Around the Nation.")


Michigan funds seek to spark technology collaborations


$2.5 million available for technology projects across government lines
Rick Schneider
Rick Snyder

A fund approved by the Michigan State Legislature to meld technology collaborations between state and local government was formalized recently at the direction of Gov. Rick Snyder. The $2.5 million fund will be overseen by a five-person board including John Nixon, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and state CIO David Behen. The board will solicit proposals for projects, determine eligibility criteria and oversee performance and reporting and loan repayment and reserves the right to terminate under-performing projects.


The directive from Snyder establishes Information, Communications and Technology (ITC) management responsibilities as well as an ITC Innovation Fund Investment Board within the Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Loan funds are available to all Michigan executive branch agencies and departments, shared service projects involving local governments and other public service providers.


Michigan has a reputation for being a leader in information technology, Snyder said, and has saved money by standardizing and consolidating IT functions. "We're now taking Michigan to the next level by providing start-up funding to encourage greater innovation and efficiency," said Snyder.


The seed money for these project will likely be awarded in amounts between $100,000 and $300,000. Thus, 10 or more projects could be funded during the budget year. The fund will improve the manner in which information technology resources are allocated, provide venture capital loans for new technology projects that otherwise would not receive funding and support the modernization of state government. It is expected that projects crossing government boundaries will spur collaborations between the state and local governments and schools. The $2.5 million in funding is half of the $5 million sought for the new fund.


Gemini Global Group

Obama asks for authority to consolidate some agencies


Says streamlining government will make it more efficient, responsive to people

Saying it will help streamline government and make government more responsive to the people, President Obama has asked Congress to reinstate Presidential authority to reorganize and consolidate the federal government. He also said the consolidation of some agencies will help eliminate duplication, waste and inefficiencies.


Specifically, the President has proposed consolidating six agencies - U.S. Department of Commerce's core business and trade functions, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency - into one agency whose goal will be to promote competitiveness, exports and American business.


Saying the government has not changed to keep up with the changing economy, Obama pointed out it has instead grown even more complex. He said he is seeking the same authority previous presidents have had to streamline and reform the Executive Branch. "This is the same sort of authority that every business owner has to make sure that his or her company keeps pace with the times," he said, adding he would only use the authority "for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service and a leaner government."


Unlike the authority granted some previous presidents, Obama's proposal would initiate new accountability by mandating that any plan must reduce the number of government agencies or save taxpayer dollars. It would also ensure timely review by Congress.


The goal of the first round of proposed consolidations, said the president, is to help businesses of all sizes grow and compete and create jobs that will expand the nation's economy. His proposal also would guarantee a vote, within 90 days, on any idea the president offers to consolidate agencies, provided it saves money and cuts the government. Although not offering any examples, the president said he would use his expanded authority to recommend the collapsing of other agencies across the government, not just in the business field.


Upcoming education opportunities


Private funding, donations sought to help build CSU stadium

Private funding will be one of the avenues for gathering enough money to build a new stadium for Colorado State University, along with alumni donations. Estimated cost for the stadium is between $100 million and $200 million. CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham said the university is actively moving toward construction of a new stadium, and it "is going to happen."  


Money set aside by legislature to bring laptops to all Idaho schools

Tom Luna
Tom Luna

Money set aside by state legislators in Idaho in 2011 for technology upgrades in the state's schools could mean students statewide will have access to devices such as iPads, laptops and desktop computers. Although the state eventually plans to provide laptops for every high school teacher and student in the state and make online courses a requirement for graduation, some districts already are tapping into the $13 million in state funds provided by the legislature. That $13 million is not part of the statewide laptop program, however, and is making its way to school districts throughout the state for things such as Internet access, technology, hardware, software and teacher training. Some schools are placing new technology in the hands of lower grade students to prepare them for the next step in their education. Some $4 million of the $13 million has already been allocated and plans on how the remaining $9 million will be spent have been sent to the state Department of Education. Public Schools chief Tom Luna said a task force recommended the computers be deployed in 9th through 12th grades, starting with one-third of all high schools. That could result in some teachers having the devices two years before students, he said, but it would still provide teachers an opportunity for training.


Scores of Florida school projects at risk because of shortfalls

Florida educators are watching closely to see if their schools, community colleges and state universities will come under the budget knife again, with dozens of new construction projects at risk. Some speculate that projects currently on the drawing board could be back-burnered for years. Officials have stopped payments to some projects, including some already under way and as crucial as roof replacements and HVAC upgrades, and Gov. Rick Scott has asked that schools and colleges return as much as $250 million to the state. Scott's request comes on the heels of a report showing the state will have no money to invest over the next two years in education construction funding. The state uses funds from utility taxes to pay for school construction costs, along with some lottery proceeds and sales tax revenue. He has asked education officials for a list of what money might be left over from older construction projects that can be used to cover $250 million in projects approved, but not funded. State education officials have already suspended payments for new projects, but not previously approved contracts. Officials hope it will be a temporary suspension. However, the suspension could also affect projects that have not yet been completed.


Martin O'Malley
Martin O'Malley

Maryland governor proposing $370 million in school construction funds

More than $370 million in school construction funding for next year's budget is being proposed by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. The amount includes $350 million for the Public School Construction Program and more than $20 million for programs to build and repair schools. This is the sixth time O'Malley has made school construction a top priority in his budgets, having earmarked more than $1 billion for capital school projects during his first four years as governor. Last year, the General Assembly approved $311 million for school construction and an additional $47 million from the alcohol tax revenues. The money that O'Malley is proposing for the next round of funding will come from increasing borrowing.


Oklahoma schools propose $4.5 million in costs for necessary projects

The board of the Plainview Schools in Oklahoma has recommended 17 projects for facilities within the district. The total price tag for the proposals is $4.5 million. Among the items sought are new school buses, technology upgrades and new heating and air conditioning. Officials say the "want list" comes from ideas from students, faculty and parents. The next step for the board will be to decide if they want to call a bond election to raise necessary funding for the projects. The earliest a bond vote could be held is in April.


Nebraska school district planning $14 million bond referendum

Officials in the Norris School District in southeast Nebraska have called for a mail-in bond election to address needs in the district. They say because of lower interest rates and retirement of other bonds, now is a good time to issue $14 million bonds for a variety of projects. Ballots will be mailed to registered voters in late February and must be returned by March 13. The bond proceeds would be used to build an elementary school and renovate the high school. 


Grant will contribute to $60 million expansion of Indiana University building

Business BuildingThe Indiana University Kelley School of Business is the recipient of a $33 million grant from the Lilly Endowment that will help defray the $60 million in costs to expand and renovate the business school on IU's Bloomington campus. The addition will be in a traditional college gothic architectural style (see accompanying artist's rendering of the building). The 71,000-square-foot space will include at least 20 new classrooms and other educational rooms. The funds not only will be used for construction and renovation, but also for new technology officials are hopeful will continue to attract top students to the campus. The grant is the largest gift in the business school's history. The grant funds will be combined with some $27 million in contributions from alumni and businesses throughout the state raised by the IU Foundation. Dean Daniel C. Smith said the new technology will allow business students to interact live with students, academics, business owners, managers and leaders around the world.


Need Federal Contracting?

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Santa Maria police headquarters still on track for construction

The Santa Maria, California, City Council recently approved seeking bids to retrofit a building it bought more than three years ago to become the city's police headquarters. Officials there hope to open bids by Jan. 24 and award a contract on Feb. 21, or approximately six months after receiving bids. The bids are expected to come in at between $1.5 million and $1.8 million. The retrofits are needed to reinforce the building's walls to meet public safety construction standards. Once the retrofits are completed, another $4 million in improvements will have to be made before the facility is occupied. Some of those projects include creating a crime lab, property and evidence room, interrogation rooms, communications center, offices and more.


Numerous contracting opportunities available in El Paso area

There is a wide range of contracting opportunities currently available in the El Paso area. Some of those opportunities include:

  • Ysleta Independent School District is requesting bids for grounds and landscaping materials;
  • Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc. is requesting proposals from subcontractors or vendors for the Fort Bliss Project, JLENS / THAAD Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facilities project;
  • Texas Department of Transportation is requesting bids for El Paso County riprap installation;
  • The University of Texas at El Paso is requesting bids for Physical Science Building electrical equipment replacement;
  • Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, La Tuna, Federal Correctional Institution, is requesting bids to replace high-voltage cable. Total small-business set aside;
  • Comptroller of Public Accounts is requesting bids for printing business cards; and
  • Department of Veteran Affairs is requesting bids for AMA glass block and cover stairway. Service-disabled veteran-owned small-business set aside.

West St. Paul city hall, sports dome take another step toward construction

John Zanmiller
John Zanmiller

City Council members in West St. Paul, Minnesota, recently entered into a contract for the design and oversight of construction of an expansion and remodeling of the City Hall and a 100,000-square-foot sports dome next to it. Another contract was issued with a sports facility development and management organization to market the dome and secure lease agreements with users. Those agreements will let city officials know if the facility will generate enough money to pay down the debt and operating expenses. "We think the revenue is going to offset the expense, but we have to do the due diligence," said City Manager John Zanmiller. "If it comes back and the leases don't justify it, it's not going to happen." Building a dome for soccer, lacrosse and other sports on city-owned property to the east of City Hall would cost the city about $6.4 million. Officials hope to have final designs completed by the spring, with hopes of getting the dome constructed and up and running by October. A needs assessment last year revealed the City Hall building needed roof repairs and HVAC upgrades. At a cost of approximately $7.3 million, that project calls for the police department to take over the rest of the City Hall building, which would be renovated. A new two-story, 17,000-square-foot building would be built next to it. Officials hope for a summer 2013 completion date.


Several bid opportunities available in areas of New Mexico

Numerous contract opportunities are currently available in New Mexico. Among them are:

  • Dona Ana County is requesting bids for digital copier services on a cost-per-printed-copy basis;
  • The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is requesting bids for collaborative activities professional services; and
  • The Department of the Army is requesting sources sought for electronic message board signs at White Sands Missile Range.

New York county solicits bids for document scanning services

St. Lawrence County in New York will seek requests for proposals for document scanning services for the County Clerk's Office. The current contract is soon ending and officials want to ensure through the bid process that they are getting the most for their money. One company has had the contract for the service since 2006 and was recommended by the County Clerk to continue to hold the contract. However, the county requires an RFP for any contract that exceeds $10,000 annually. The scanning service contract currently costs $9,725 per month. 


Who's winning the contracts?


Want to know who your competition is? Who was awarded the contract on a particular project? Below are listed some recent winners of major government contracts:

  • Advanced Quality Construction Inc. was awarded a $149,000 contract by the Mandeville, Louisiana, City Council to repair the bridge in Golden Glen subdivision, including replacing pilings but reusing the bridge deck.
  • Lone Star Dirt and Paving has been awarded an $8.9 million contract from the City of Lubbock to rebuild a portion of 34th Street between Indiana Avenue and Avenue Q, including replacing pavement, installing drainage and revamping curbs, sidewalks and driveway approaches.
  • Branch Highways Inc. has been awarded a $2.9 million contract from the Virginia Department of Transportation to build the first part of a thoroughfare from Peppers Ferry Road to Cassell Road in Wytheville.
  • International Relief & Development and AIC American Intercontinental Constructors won a $750 million contract from the Agency for International Development for construction of structures and facilities.
  • Flintco LLC has won a $1.89 million contract from the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust to prepare design and construction documents for the reconstruction of the east passenger concourse at Tulsa International Airport.
  • Beam Construction has been awarded an $11.57 million contract by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Board of Education to build a new school to replace the current Pineville Elementary School.
  • Jarrell Mechanical Contractors was awarded a $12,921 contract by the city of Washington, Missouri, for HVAC work at the Washington public safety building's computer server room.
  • I.M. Systems Group and Earth Resources Technology won a $550 million contract from the U.S. Department of Commerce for professional, administrative and management support services.
Did you miss TGI?

News about public-private partnerships (P3s)


New Orleans field part of P3 to upgrade Joe Brown Park

Mitch Landrieu
Mitch Landrieu

In New Orleans, residents are heralding a new turf football field at Joe Brown Park that is expected to spawn more than $23 million in upgrades at the facility. In addition to that field, recent upgrades include a $3.8 million Victory Field complex, renovations to the park's recreation center and a new eight-lane running track. All of the upgrades were necessary following the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Coming together to ensure the upgrades happened were a major retail sports equipment provider, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and a foundation set up by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The city of New Orleans pitched in $3 million for upgrades to the park's indoor pool. Officials hope the park investment will provide the catalyst for increased development in eastern New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said another $10 million in public works projects are expected, including a baseball field, tennis courts, play spots, expansion and widening of walking trails, a small amphitheater, picnic shelters, concession stands and parking.  


Niagara Falls International Airport seeks partnership for development

The Niagara Falls International Airport Stakeholders Group is seeking more carriers to help develop the local economy in western New York. A public-private partnership is looking at development close to the airport. The partners in the effort include various Niagara County government agencies, the Buffalo-Niagara Enterprise, the Fashion Outlets, local hotels and motels and a gaming company that already has donated $1 million to the campaign. All of the stakeholders are hoping for increased casino business and increased airport business for the region. The stakeholders plan to use incentives to bring in more international charters and cargo planes. Because of the length of the runway - the longest in the state - it is ideal for a regional cargo hub. Officials are hoping their working together will bring in new dollars to support the local economy.


Kirk pushes proposal touting increased access to P3s

Mark Kirk
Mark Kirk

With Congress facing action on a transportation bill this year, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois is pushing his public-private partnership (P3) transportation plan that he says will eliminate barriers for using P3s. Kirk sees P3s as an alternative to other proposed fixes for transportation needs - an increase in the federal gasoline tax or a 30 percent reduction in the Transportation Fund. Because newer model vehicles get better gas mileage and because some motorists are driving fewer miles or taking alternative transportation due to high gas prices, the federal gas tax of 18 cents per gallon no longer provides enough revenue to take care of the nation's transportation needs. He also said that if that rate is increased, it will mean just one more burden on working class Americans, and that if gas prices go above $4 per gallon, the nation will see another recession. His Lincoln Legacy Development Act would remove federal restrictions on P3s, provide greater flexibility for the states to generate transportation revenues and increase access to private funding investments in infrastructure from roads to ports. Kirk says his legislation would allow for P3s to raise $100 billion in funding.


Hotel, conference center on Texas campus gets new life

Officials with the University of North Texas are all smiles because a Missouri company is showing interest again in bringing a hotel and conference center to the Denton, Texas, campus. An unsolicited proposal was offered by a hospitality management group and will now begin negotiating a developer's agreement. The proposal includes a 250-bed, full-service hotel on university property. It would also include a 120,000-square-foot conference and exhibition center for the city. A second, 100-room hotel is planned for that site as well. UNT would lease the land for the development but would not be required to finance any of the project, according to university officials. At the time the project was talked about initially the developer planned to run the hotel and conference center, and the city was expected to offer hotel-motel occupancy taxes to supplement private funding for the conference center. City officials also considered selling bonds for the project.


Odds & ends
Some contracting opportunities from across the country
  • The Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas is seeking bids for a cell house metal roof retrofit estimated to cost $182,532.
  • Bids are being sought for redevelopment of Phase 2.1 of the Jardine Apartments on the campus of Kansas State University.


  • Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, part of the State System of Higher Education, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase and installation of a user-friendly software package running on a Microsoft SQL Server or Informix database server for managing campus housing and the campus judicial process.
  • Bureau of Training Services, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has issued an RFP for Training Delivery for constables' basic training, continuing education, firearms and optional training.


New York

  • The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is seeking proposals for the provision of general construction services for Pier 2 pile repairs as part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park project, an 85-acre waterfront park in Brooklyn, NY. This project entails timber pile repairs and encapsulation and spall repairs to Pier 2.
  • The New York City Police Department seeks a vendor for furnishing all labor and material necessary and required for armored car services for four (4) tow operations pounds.


  • The State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services is seeking responsible companies to provide five day janitorial services for James R. Thompson center, Chicago.
  • The Office of the Secretary of State is requesting bids from qualified vendors for the furnishing of 129 Motorola XOOM Tablet Computers with Wi-FI 32 GB-Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) 1 GHz or approved equivalent.
  • The Office of the Secretary of State is requesting bids from qualified vendors for Off-Site Image Consolidation & Storage Services.


  • Nevada State Purchasing Division, on behalf of Lakes Crossing Center, is seeking proposals from qualified, fully licensed medical doctors with their residency in psychiatry and who have experience in the delivery of forensic services. The objective is to contract for one full time position requiring up to 40 hours a week plus some weekend and nighttime on-call duties and two part-time positions requiring up to 20 hours a week plus some weekend and nighttime on-call duties.
  • Nevada State Purchasing Division, on behalf of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) is seeking proposals from qualified vendors for the purpose of contracting with a payment receipting vendor who processes electronic payments via the Internet. DWSS desires to pursue Web-based electronic payment processing services for the purpose of accepting child support payments and other associated fees.
Where are they now?

 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature John White.


John White
John White

John White received a bachelor's degree in English with distinction from the University of Virginia, and earned a master' degree in public administration from New York University. His educational career began as a teacher at William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey. He later worked for Teach for America (TFA) in New Jersey, where he coached and mentored new TFA recruits before becoming executive director of TFA-Chicago two years later. White served as Deputy Chief Operating Officer as well as Chief Executive Officer for NYC's Portfolio Division, leading the city's efforts to turn around more than 100 failing schools and start 500 new schools. In 2006, White was asked by New York City Chancellor Joel Klein to join the senior leadership team of the largest school district in the country. He served as Deputy Chancellor of Talent, Labor and Innovation, leading the negotiations for the city, as state policymakers and teacher unions debated legislation aimed at boosting New York State's bid for Race to the Top (R2T) funds. White became Superintendent of the state-run Recovery School District in New Orleans in May 2011. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) recently selected White as Louisiana's new State Superintendent of Education, effective immediately. He will oversee the state's 679,000 public school students and its 70 school districts.


Opportunity of the week...

A Maryland school district will seek bids in February for the second phase of $9 million in renovations at a middle school, including a four-story addition, replacement of 8-foot windows, a new geothermal heating and cooling system and 250 additional parking spaces. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or




Cecilia MunozJimmy GoodsonKurt BrowningCecilia Munoz (top left), White House director of Intergovernmental Affairs and long a supporter of immigration reform, has been named President Barack Obama's Domestic Policy Advisor and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, replacing Melody Barnes, who resigned. Dr. Jimmy Goodson (top middle), who retired as president of Victoria (Texas) College in 2008, has been named to serve as Coastal Bend College interim president, following the resignation of Dr. Thomas Baynum. Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning (top right) recently resigned his post as the state's chief elections official and cultural affairs officer, effective Feb. 17. Corinne Hill, interim director of the Dallas Public Library, has accepted a position as the permanent executive director of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Public Library, succeeding David Clapp, who retired last year. Meredith Hildreth, who holds a master's degree in urban studies and urban planning and has private sector experience in planning, sustainability, economic development, transit planning, storm water management and grants, has been named the new sustainability officer of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Florida attorney J. Dudley Goodlette, a former state representative from Naples, has been Angela RaneyRebecca FeldmanLanier Canslerchosen to serve as interim president of Edison State College, his first position in academics. Angela Raney (middle right), elementary school principal in Hempstead County, Arkansas, has been chosen as the Spring Hill School District's new superintendent. Rebecca Feldman (middle center), who has both private and public sector experience, has been selected as the executive director of the Morris County (New Jersey) Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership supported by the private sector and the Morris County Freeholders. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler (middle left), has resigned his post to become head of a new commission on affordable health care and Al Delia, the governor's senior adviser for policy, has been named acting secretary of the department. Michael Banks, vice president for academic and student affairs at St. Charles Community College, has been chosen the next president of the Blue River campus of the Metropolitan Community College system in Kansas City, Missouri. Nicholas D. Young, who has been superintendent in Hadley, Massachusetts, for the last 11 years, has been chosen as the new superintendent for schools in South Hadley. Longtime Springfield, Massachusetts, Fire Commissioner Gary Cassanelli, who was appointed fire chief in 1990 and commissioner Rick HomansWilliam DaleyWilliam Andersonin 2005, has announced his retirement after 35 years of service. Rick Homans (bottom left), former director of New Mexico's Spaceport America, is the new CEO and president of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. White House Chief of Staff William Daley (bottom center), is resigning the post he has held since January of last year, and will be replaced by Jacob Lew, the budget director. William Anderson (bottom right), police chief of Greenville, North Carolina, and former police commander in Daytona, Florida, and police chief in Elizabeth City and Deland, Florida, has been selected to head the Asheville Police Department. Brad Flaherty, who began working for the Washington State Revenue Department in 1979 as a revenue estimator and was since named assistant director of the property tax division and then agency deputy director, has been appointed to head the department, replacing Suzan DelBene, who resigned to run for Congress. Robert R. Latham, Jr., who was executive director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency from 2000 to 2006 and during and after Hurricane Katrina, will serve the agency again as the new executive director, following the retirement of former director Mike Womack. Education reformer Paul G. Vallas, who has led school districts in Chicago and Philadelphia and also led the Louisiana Recovery School District that operates many New Orleans public schools since Hurricane Katrina struck, has been chosen as interim superintendent of the Bridgeport, Connecticut, school district. 


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P3 workshop planned in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 25

Recent revisions in Texas law provide for additional opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) at all levels of government. The new law addresses a wide range of project types that include public buildings, water and wastewater systems, transportation and energy projects. The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships will host a workshop in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 25, 2012 on "PPPs and Texas SB 1048: New Tools for Meeting Facilities and Infrastructure Needs. The workshop will be at the Hilton Austin, 500 E. Fourth Street, 78701. Sponsorships are available. To view the agenda, print a registration form and for more information, click here


AHR Expo scheduled for Jan. 23-25 in Chicago

The 64th International Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo 2012 is slated for Jan. 23-25, 2012, at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lakeshore Dr. in Chicago, Illinois. More than 2,000 exhibiting companies from more than 30 companies around the world will be on hand. Leading manufacturers and suppliers will showcase their latest products from the most energy-efficient systems and more sustainable building technology to state-of-the-art automation and controls, software, innovative tools, services and more. Some 50,000 visitors will come to see what's new - contractors, engineers, facility managers, OEMs and other HVAC&R industry professionals from all 50 states and more than 120 countries! To see a show preview, click here. To register, click here.


AAC&U annual meeting slated for Jan. 25-28 in Washington, D.C.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities is planning its annual meeting for Jan. 25-28 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. The theme for this year's meeting is "Shared Futures, Difficult Choices - Reclaiming a Democratic Vision for College Learning, Global Engagement and Success." The meeting will feature networking, workshops and forums. Among the many topics for some of the sessions are strategies for the 21st century, global learning in a global century, how to prepare global leaders and more. To view the schedule for the event, click here. To register, click here.


NABE Economic Policy Conference dates announced for March 25-27

The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) 2012 Economic Policy Conference is slated for March 25-27, 2012, at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, VA. Theme for the conference is "From Crisis Management to Long-Term Renewal," and will focus on how best to address immediate policy challenges - sluggish economic growth, high unemployment and spiraling deficits - in the context of the nation's obligations to tackle fiscal imbalances, maintain competitiveness and adequately invest in education, energy and infrastructure. There is an early bird discount for early registration by Jan. 31. Among the numerous speakers are FedEx CEO Fred Smith and Doug Elmendorf, Congressional Budget Office director. To view the agenda, click here. For information on registration, click here.


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