Cityscape — January 2015
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While January is typically when everyone focuses on personal reflection and goal-setting, the League goes through that endeavor every other August. We’re not sure if that puts us ahead of the game or behind the curve, but we know we’re pretty exhausted when we’re done! This year, the executive board reviewed every product and service the League offers. The list covered two walls of the League’s conference room. As we assessed these items, board and staff members had repeated conversations explaining what some of these items were.

Those conversations revealed the need to highlight our services a bit more. What better time than during this season of reflection and goal-setting, right?

The League introduced several new programs in 2014, all of which will continue in 2015. Here are some highlights:

We got social! The League (finally) launched a formal social media presence on Facebook and Twitter in the fall of 2014. We hope to see you in the Twitterverse!

Online Training: The League rolled out nine webinars in 2014, with five more slated for 2015. For 2014, we focused largely on basic training elements that would be useful to the new crop of city officials joining local government after the 2013 municipal elections. That included topics like Intro for New City Clerks and Open Meetings, Open Records. We also covered Negotiation Strategies and ATV and Golf Cart Policies. The webinars are still available online, cost $35 and make great group training. Looking for the 2015 topics? Head to page 14!

Thanks to the League’s partnership with Iowa State University Extension to Communities we’ve also been able to offer step-by-step training on completing the Annual Financial Report online. It is critical that every city complete this state-mandated filing by December 1 each year, so online training will help us reach the goal of 100 percent completion.

City Week: 2014 included the inaugural “City Week” celebration, October 6-10. This week-long celebration evolved from the League Executive Board’s strategic planning initiative to promote positive city stories and help cities to better communicate their successes to their citizens. Planning for City Week in October 2015 is already in the works, so mark your calendar for October 12-16, 2015, and visit for planning tools and ideas.

Special Reports: The League issues Special Reports when we see a need to dig into the details of a topic. You’ll find all the current Special Reports under Publications on the League Web site. In 2014, the League released two new Special Reports and updated several others. Both of the new reports, on changes to the property taxes system and transportation, were first issued as a multi-issue article series in Cityscape.

Want a sneak peek of what is coming in 2015? Expect changes to the All-Star Community Awards program, a new look to the League’s Web site, an Economic Development workshop incorporated into Legislative Day, a Leadership Summit to focus on advanced city government topics, a city/county Technology Summit to promote safer “cyber practices” and a redcarpet welcome from Cedar Rapids as they host our 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibit for the first time since 2002!

Here’s your chance to reflect on the League’s service offerings! Head to Twitter or Facebook and tell us what you liked best from the League’s 2014 service offerings and what you’d like to see in 2015. Respondents will be entered in a drawing for a free webinar registration!

League Staff Iowa League of Cities