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Viewpoints

State of the State: Great challenges require great cooperation State of the State: Great challenges require great cooperation
January 14, 2015   |  Governor Nathan Deal
Text of Gov. Nathan Deal's State-of-the-State address delivered on January 14, 2015.

Sales Tax Trends are the Pulse of Local Economies
January 8, 2015   |  Michael McPherson, GMA Governmental Relations Associate
Finding sales tax data should be as easy as finding your pulse since sales tax trends are the economic pulse of your community. Checking, measuring and analyzing your pulse on a regular basis is a vital component of maintaining your health.

Be Sure to Connect with State and Federal Leaders in 2015 Be Sure to Connect with State and Federal Leaders in 2015
January 8, 2015   |  Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
With the beginning of the new year, it is time for the legislative machine to begin cranking up once again. We have a new General Assembly session that begins the second week of January and with it comes a need for ethics reform, funding for transportation, a good look at declining revenues for cities, counties and school systems and a litany of other issues that will rise to the surface over the next 40 legislative days.

Transportation Funding Can’t be at Expense of Local Priorities Transportation Funding Can’t be at Expense of Local Priorities
December 30, 2014   |  Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
Soon, the Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding will issue a report containing a number of funding options that if implemented, would help the state of Georgia raise additional funds to address its transportation needs. Although I served as a member of the Joint Study Committee, I could not sign the report for one simple reason: it includes language that suggests taking or restricting revenues that fund local priorities.

State-level Revenue Needed for Transportation State-level Revenue Needed for Transportation
December 29, 2014   |  Robert Reichert, Mayor, Macon-Bibb County
My experience and familiarity with transportation leads me to believe that our failure to provide necessary transportation infrastructure funding is false economy. My opinion is shared by many who are currently serving in political office across this state; there is consensus on the need, the dilemma is finding the necessary funds today, to invest in our transportation infrastructure for tomorrow.

Reliable Data Equals Efficiency and Partnership In Good Government
November 7, 2014   |  Michael McPherson, GMA Governmental Relations Associate
Some cannot hear the term “government administration” without immediately associating the thought with wastefulness and inefficiency. Many truly believe that the services that local governments provide to their residents should be “run like a business.” But what does that mean exactly?

Cities Can Win When We Show Up and Pay Attention Cities Can Win When We Show Up and Pay Attention
November 6, 2014   |  Keith Brady, GMA President
Our call as city officials is to make decisions for the good of our city. It’s often an inward, narrowly focused activity. To be effective leaders, however, we don’t have the luxury of only focusing inward. We must be willing to look up, pay attention to what is going on around us and do what we must do to engage with those that have influence on how we conduct our business at home.

It’s a Great Season to Reflect on Who and What Makes Our Cities Special It’s a Great Season to Reflect on Who and What Makes Our Cities Special
October 6, 2014   |  Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
Fall is a favorite time of year for many of us. The leaves begin to change, the temperature gets cooler and cities across the state host festivals and other events that bring crowds of residents and tourists to their downtowns. Georgia’s cities have a lot to offer.

Arts and Tourism Fuel Georgia’s Economic Vitality Arts and Tourism Fuel Georgia’s Economic Vitality
October 6, 2014   |  Karen L. Paty, Executive Director, Georgia Council for the Arts
The incredible opportunity that arises in marketing our state through the arts is the ability to unearth local history, celebrating what makes each community unique, and placing a magnifying glass on the story that is distinctly theirs to tell.

Cities Need Sound, Reliable Sales Tax Data
October 6, 2014   |  Michael McPherson, GMA Governmental Relations Associate
In The Speckled Band, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, once turned to his faithful counterpart, Dr. Watson, and said, “… how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data.” Fictional character or not, Holmes was right.

GMA Property Committee Evaluating GMA's Future Needs GMA Property Committee Evaluating GMA's Future Needs
September 5, 2014   |  Keith Brady, GMA President
What we’ve become over the last 81 years is significantly different than what our early leaders could have predicted. As we look to the next 81 years, the challenge for us today is to create a framework that allows for continued growth while providing GMA’s future leadership and staff the flexibility to meet the needs of the membership.

Agriculture is Georgia’s Heritage and Future
September 5, 2014   |  Gary Black, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Agriculture
As a Georgian, even if agriculture is not in your immediate family lineage, it is still a part of your being. Our homeland was indeed named in honor of King George, but have you ever considered the root meaning? In the Greek, George or the feminine form “Georgia,” means “a farmer.” Agriculture is our heritage, our current $77 billion leading industry, and I believe our future as well.

How Our Cities Improve Education How Our Cities Improve Education
August 4, 2014   |  Neil Shorthouse, Past President, Communities in Schools of Georgia
Schools are focused, as they should be, on what goes on inside their four walls—presenting challenging learning concepts, ideas and principles to students. Cities, however, can help set the vision for a community that focuses all the positive forces within it on the need to create an environment that enables and supports a healthy learning environment.

Georgia: The State of Education Georgia: The State of Education
August 4, 2014   |  Sis Henry, Executive Director, Georgia School Boards Association
In Georgia, we have 1.7 million children in our public schools—92 percent of the school age children in the state. On the most recent national tests, Georgia leads the country when looking at year-to-year growth according to Department of Education research. However, we still face many challenges. Our graduation rate is 72 percent, an improvement but not where we need to be.

Governance is a Team Sport Governance is a Team Sport
August 4, 2014   |  Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
For the most part, Georgia's cities are in a good place. Many cities are doing great and have moved beyond the great recession. However, it is also sad to note that many cites, especially those from the more rural areas of the state, are still facing challenges. There are some outside forces at work—things beyond the control of city officials—but some of what is happening is self-inflicted.

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