Civic News & Info
Iowa Leaders Focus on Creating Communities for All Ages PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Ann Black   
Monday, 25 June 2012 09:17

What: “Iowa:  Creating Communities for All Ages” Roundtable Forum hosted by GOVERNING magazine in cooperation with AARP

Where: Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust St.

When: 11:45 am – 12:15 pm – Governor Terry Branstad presents proclamation and remarks

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm – Media Availability with:

Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President

Paul Taylor, Editor, GOVERNING magazine

Jay Byers, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Des Moines Partnership

Background: As the fifth oldest state in the nation, Iowa, and Des Moines were selected by GOVERNING Magazine and AARP to host a roundtable discussion on planning for an aging population while improving life for residents of all ages.  Des Moines is one of four locations selected to convene thought-leaders in this future-focused discussion.  Recommendations from Iowa, as well as the other locations – Lansing, Mich., Philadelphia, Penn., and Sacramento, Calif., will be presented at a summary event this fall in Washington, D.C.

The Des Moines GOVERNING Roundtable is from 10 am to 2 pm on Wednesday, June 27th.  The session is open to media at 11:45 am to cover Gov. Branstad’s remarks followed by a media availability with roundtable leaders.

More than 60 public and private sector leaders, community planners and policymakers from Central Iowa and across the state are attending the Iowa event to share visionary projects and take a deeper look at strategies to enable older residents to remain active and engaged in their communities for as long as possible.

 
Loebsack Announces $2.7 Million in Transportation Funds for Clinton PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:45

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that the City of Clinton has received $2.7 million to reconstruct 1.77 miles of Camanche Avenue/Highways 30 & 67.  The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program.   Loebsack wrote a letter in support of this project and his office also met with the Department of Transportation together with the City to discuss the application.

“This announcement is great news for the people of Clinton and their efforts to revitalize the river area, which brings with it continued economic growth,” said Loebsack.  “I had the opportunity to meet with community leaders about the importance of this project and was happy to support the proposal.  I am excited to see the improvements that will be made and the valuable local jobs that will be created.”

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SCOTT COUNTY, IOWA IS AWARDED HIGHEST HONOR IN GOVERNMENTAL BUDGETING PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Chris Berge   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:39
Tom Sunderbruch, Chairman of the Scott County Board of Supervisors announced today that Scott County has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for Scott County’s current FY12 Budget.

Scott County is one of only two Iowa counties (Scott and Linn County) to hold the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The County has received this award for the last twenty four consecutive years. Only 10 of the 1,488 governmental units in the State of Iowa currently hold this honor.

Tom Sunderbruch stated that this award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting. Its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by the elected officials and management of Scott County and reflects their commitment to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.

In order to receive the award, Scott County had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as 1) A policy document 2) A financial plan 3) An operations guide 4) Communications device. Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories to receive this award.

For budgets, including fiscal period 2010, over 1,289 governmental entities have received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award nationwide. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide excellent examples for other governments throughout North America.

Tom Sunderbruch stated that the Board designates the achievement of this certification as a high priority. The Board expressed their appreciation to Dee F. Bruemmer, County Administrator and to the County’s designated budget analysts and support staff for their work and professional guidance in helping the county to obtain this governmental budgeting honor.

The budget analysts and support staff members are listed below:

Ed Rivers, Health Director
Pam Bennett, Office Administrator, Sheriff’s Department
Chris Berge, Administrative Assistant
Sue Brewer, Operations Manager, Recorder’s Office
Lori Elam, Community Services Director
Tim Huey, Planning & Development Director
Craig Hufford, Financial Management Supervisor, Treasurer’s Office
Sarah Kautz, Budget Manager
Roland Caldwell, Operations Manager, Auditor’s Office
Kathy Walsh, Office Administrator, Attorney’s Office

The GFOA is a non-profit professional association serving over 17,500 government finance professionals throughout North America. GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

For more information on this press release please contact:

David Farmer, CPA, Budget Manager
Scott County Administrative Center
600 West 4th Street
Davenport, IA 52801-1003
563-326-8651

Stephen J. Gauthier
Government Finance Officers Association
180 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601
312-977-9700

 
Americans Show Alarming Complacency in Emergencies: News Survey and Experts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Luke Cushman   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:38

Americans Remain Complacent as Devastating Disasters Strike

 

New Study Finds Many Americans Largely Unaware of Local Emergency Communications

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Embargoed) – June 19, 2012 – Despite a record-breaking year of federally declared disasters in 2011, including floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires, many Americans still lack basic awareness of their local emergency communications systems.  At the BE Safe America Congressional Briefing presented by Safe America Foundation at the U.S. Capitol, Federal Signal Corporation today announced the findings of the 2012 Public Safety Survey, which takes a hard look at how knowledgeable and prepared Americans are for emergencies.  While the survey found that more than 56 percent of Americans believe they are aware of the steps they need to take should disaster strike, the results uncover a shocking lack of knowledge—and even indifference—surrounding emergency alerts and notifications.

 

“Not only is it necessary to create a  thorough preparedness and response plan for an emergency or disaster, it’s critical that people are as educated as possible about the emergency communications systems in place within their communities—which can prove lifesaving,” said Len Pagano, president and CEO, Safe America Foundation.  “We were surprised to see just how many people remain unaware of the alerting systems in their area, and even more disconcerting, how many are apathetic in their response to emergency scenarios and communications.”

 

Conducted for the third consecutive year by Zogby International, the survey found that 71 percent of Americans are unsure if they have a personal alerting and notification system (ANS) in their area, which includes a combination of options for calls, text and email message notifications.  Yet, respondents said they would be more motivated to take action in an emergency by ANS alerts than any other communication, ahead of traditional warning sirens, radio and TV public services announcements and even word-of-mouth communication from friends and family.

 

The survey also showed that the public is largely unaware of their local warning sirens.  More than half (57 percent) of those surveyed do not know when sirens in their area are tested, and 70 percent are unaware of the sounds and sirens associated with various warnings.  In fact, more than one in four respondents did not know if their community has a warning siren system at all.

 

“With all of the options available to keep the public informed of nearby disasters or emergencies, we were alarmed to see how many people aren’t aware of the existing notification systems in their communities,” said Joe Wilson, president of the Industrial Systems Division, Safety and Security Group at Federal Signal.  “In times of crisis, people need to act fast—or risk waiting until it’s too late.  Now more than ever, it is essential that we educate communities on the emergency communications options available to them, and to drive the sense of urgency surrounding swift response to emergency alerts.”

 

Even severe weather conditions do not motivate Americans to take action.  Less than one half (47 percent) of survey respondents would take action based on a potential severe weather warning and one-third (33 percent) of respondents would require actual property damage or injury in order to care strongly about public safety awareness.  Further, one in four respondents (28 percent) would require confirmation of severe weather, such as an actual tornado sighting, flood waters or a visible fire in order to take immediate action.  A shocking 1 in 12 people said that nothing would cause them to care.

 

“We were shocked to see that the public could be so complacent when it comes to awareness and response to emergency communication,” said Wilson.  “The fact that people could receive a warning that wouldn’t motivate them to action is extremely concerning, particularly with 99 FEMA major disaster declarations issued last year alone.”

 

Survey findings show that the public continues to rely on community officials to ensure public safety.  In fact, results found that more than half of respondents (58 percent) trust local and regional government to ensure sufficient public safety standards, communication and planning in their area.  Yet, only 29 percent feel that their community officials currently are investing in, or giving government attention to, their public safety.  In terms of potential contributing factors, more than one-third feel that the economy has had a negative impact on the level of investment in their community.

 

“Preparedness starts with awareness,” said Wilson. “As emergency managers strive to support their community with effective programming and planning, it’s imperative that the public stay informed of what communications systems local officials and emergency managers currently have in place—and more importantly, that communities are prepared to respond efficiently and effectively.”

 

For more information on the 2012 Federal Signal Public Safety Survey, visit http://www.alertnotification.com/.

 

About the Survey

Zogby International was commissioned by Federal Signal to conduct an online nationwide survey of 2,059 adults. All surveys were completed June 1 through June 4, 2012. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate.

 

About Federal Signal

Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE:FSS) enhances the safety, security and well-being of communities and workplaces around the world. Founded in 1901, Federal Signal is a leading global designer and manufacturer of products and total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and institutional customers. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., with manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates four groups: Safety and Security Systems, Environmental Solutions, Federal Signal Technologies, and Fire Rescue. For more information on Federal Signal, visit: http://www.federalsignal.com.

 

About the Safe America Foundation & BE Safe America

The Safe America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit licensed by the state of Georgia. Chartered in 1994, the Marietta, Georgia based foundation partners with corporate, governmental, public and private sector organizations, and other nonprofits to improve the safety awareness and preparedness of Americans nationwide. The BE Safe America Program is the nation’s first coast-to-coast “drill” involving more than two million Americans in grassroots emergency drills this September – October.  Included is the “Text First. Talk Second” Campaign, being endorsed by First Spouses across the country and headed by Puerto Rico First Lady Luce Vela.  For more information please contact Matthew Thome at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or via cell at 847-431-7825.

 
Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Bold Action on Immigration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 18 June 2012 13:39

CHICAGO ­– June 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today applauded President Obama for his action to end the deportation of young, law-abiding immigrants and allow them the opportunity to join our democracy:

“Hard-working immigrants who make positive contributions to their communities and our country deserve the chance to succeed. President Obama’s action today means that hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants will have the chance to build a brighter future for themselves.

“I fought for and signed the Illinois DREAM Act to ensure that all Illinois children have the opportunity to get a good education. Today’s announcement means that immigrants can pursue their education and their careers without fear of being removed from the only home they have ever known.”

“President Obama’s leadership on this issue will make our nation stronger now and in the future.”

 

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