Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

May 11, 2023

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Public Service Recognition Week Is This Week!

National Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), an annual opportunity across the United States to pay tribute to public service employees, takes place this week—and, for ASPA, through the month of May. We are excited to see a number of ASPA Chapters are hosting events in honor of PSRW, including:

  • May 2: Central Florida Chapter Public Service Awards Ceremony
  • May 3: Rhode Island Chapter 12th Annual Public Service and Leadership Conference
  • May 4: Iowa Chapter Awards Presentation
  • May 9: Evergreen Chapter PSRW Awards Celebration
  • May 10: Sacramento Chapter 41st Annual Awards Dinner
  • May 11: Greater Houston Chapter Awards Ceremony
  • May 17: New Jersey Chapter Public Service Awards Reception
  • May 20: CenTex Chapter PSRW Luncheon
  • May 23: New York Metropolitan Chapter Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner
  • May 24: Utah Chapter Annual Award Luncheon
  • May: South Carolina Chapter PSRW Awards Ceremony
If you are a member of any of these groups, make sure you join your Chapter in honoring your public servants—and, of course, anyone can participate in the virtual events, so feel free to join a Chapter for their event if yours isn't holding one! Find more information on our online calendar.

We also are pleased to showcase some very special messages from ASPA National Council members recognizing PSRW2023:

- Patria de Lancer Julnes, President

- John Bartle, President-Elect

- Malcolm Oliver, District I Representative

- Marlon Brown, District II Representative

- Thomas Stanton, District II Representative

- Ronald Sanders, District III Representative

- Merlene-Patrice Bourdeau-Quispe, District IV Representative

- Ana-Maria Dimand, District IV Representative

- Galia Cohen, District V Representative

There are many ways anyone can honor Public Service Recognition Week. From letter-writing campaigns to social media posts to op-eds in your local newspapers, use this week to show public administrators at the local, state and federal level that their work is valued. If you need help getting started, the Partnership for Public Service has put together a wide range of tools and resources you can use to amp up this year's celebration. (Thanks, Partnership!) However you choose to get involved this week (or month), make sure you show your hard-working public servants—who remain demoralized, underpaid and attacked for their efforts—that you value them.

For the public servants reading this message: Happy PSRW! The American Society for Public Administration—all 12,000 members and partners—appreciates you! Thank you for your service!

If you are affiliated with an ASPA Chapter or Section hosting an event that is not on the list above, please let us know so we can include you on future lists!


E-Learning at Your Fingertips

ASPA staff work tirelessly to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing all year long through our e-learning program. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Student and New Professional series programming.

KeepingCurrent: What Do the Keys Say? A Look Ahead to 2024
May 16 | 1 p.m. EDT

Allan Lichtman, Distinguished Professor, American University
Bill Shields, Moderator, Executive Director and CEO, ASPA

The "keys to the White House" is a system created by Allan Lichtman to predict the outcome of presidential elections in the United States. Using his own system, he has correctly predicted the outcomes of all presidential elections from 1984 to 2020, with the exception of the 2000 election. Join Lichtman as he discusses what the keys say for the 2024 presidential election.

BookTalk: Understanding Municipal Fiscal Health
May 25 | 1 p.m. EDT

Wally Bobkiewicz, City Administrator, City of Issaquah, Washington
Craig Maher, Director, School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Bruce McDonald, Associate Professor, North Carolina State University

Understanding Municipal Fiscal Health provides an in-depth assessment of the fiscal health of cities throughout the United States. The book examines the tools currently available to cities for designing a revenue structure, measuring fiscal conditions and measuring fiscal health. It explains how artificial policies such as tax and expenditure limitations influence fiscal policies, and how communities can overcome socioeconomic and state-policy barriers to produce strong fiscal conditions. The authors go beyond simple theory to analyze patterns of fiscal health using actual financial, demographic and TEL data from an accurate data source, the Government Financial Officers Association survey. The book offers a solid basis of empirical evidence including quantitative case studies—complete with discussion questions—to help practitioners better understand the environment in which they are functioning and the policy tools they need to help advocate for change. This book teaches the reader the science and art of municipal financial analysis, and will be invaluable for local and state officials, analysts, and students and researchers.

From the Archives
KeepingCurrent: Local Government Communications—Lessons Following COVID and Crisis
Local government communications with the public experienced significant disruption and change during the pandemic. The public health crisis required cities, counties and other local units to convey public health information that was not traditionally within their sphere of policy responsibility, and residents needed to be informed about modifications to government operations. During this time, local governments also continued to cope with other communications challenges, including natural disasters and emergencies. This webinar discussed front-line experiences from local governments across the United States including lessons learned from the pandemic for the future of public communications.

Now in the ASPA Bookstore!

You may have missed ASPA's 2023 Annual Conference, but you don't have to miss this excellent book from our keynote speaker, Anne Applebaum: Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. We have a limited number of signed copies on hand; purchase yours from our bookstore for only $18.

In this book, Applebaum explains with electrifying clarity why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Applebaum (an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West) explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

It's not too late to receive access to this year's conference recordings and access Applebaum's keynote address—and the rest of the presentations. Contact us for more information.

The End of the COVID Health Emergency

The COVID-19 public health emergency declaration ends today, launching changes to a variety of programs, flexibilities and spending rules. This includes:

  • Pandemic relief program oversight, particularly related to fraud
  • Continuity of care for veterans being served by Veterans Affairs
  • Title 42 and migrant aid at the border
  • Mortgages through Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Agriculture
  • COVID testing, including home test kits, PCR testing and data sharing
  • Adjustments across federal agencies to telework and remote work
Many of these topics have been covered by media for the past several weeks as the Biden administration has prepared for everything the end of the emergency will bring, including the programs providing social services that will now face uphill climbs: Few nationwide "fixes" are being contemplated at this time; some of the burden will fall on state and local governments to provide more support for their communities as their struggles are exacerbated. This publication will provide details about these shifting challenges throughout the coming months.


VCU's Wilder School Celebrates Public Service Recognition Week

The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs hosted the 2023 Excellence in Virginia Government Awards this spring, honoring public servants across Virginia.

The 16th Excellence in Virginia Government Awards took place on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, celebrating Virginians who have made extraordinary contributions to the practice of government and the welfare of the state's communities and citizens.

“These awards recognize outstanding work at all levels of government in Virginia and honor dedicated public service, innovative approaches and commitment to excellence,” commented Susan T. Gooden, dean of the Wilder School.

Awards given out included the Lifetime Achievement Award, Community Enhancement Award, Grace E. Harris Leadership Award, Hill-Robinson Expansion of Freedom Award, Innovation in Government Award, Public-Private Partnership Award and Unsung Heroes Award.

Click here for more information.

Public Administration Today Highlight

Public Administration Today features white papers, research and blogs from across the profession. This edition's highlight looks at urban structures! If you're interested in more—especially your own curated news feed in your inbox every week—visit the website, create an account and check off your interest areas so you can stay up to date about the latest research being released!

This Texas BBQ Joint Serves Up Brisket, Ribs and Jobs for the Unhoused
An El Paso lawyer-turned pitmaster is behind Halellujah BBQ, a new project of the Rescue Mission of El Paso... The women and men overseeing this newly opened BBQ joint are all familiar with the transient lifestyle and drug addiction—they all are graduates of homelessness-related programs at the Rescue Mission of El Paso... Since 1952, the Rescue Mission of El Paso has been helping the city’s unhoused and transient community.

Miami-Dade County Offers Scholarships

Spread the word! The Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department is offering scholarships for qualifying students. Office of Neighborhood Safety and Community Advisory Committees Scholarships:

  • 50 $1,500 college scholarships
  • Candidates must be between the ages of 16-25
  • Candidates must be enrolled in or attending a college or vocational institution in Fall 2023 with a minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Applicants must reside within the boundaries of any of the 16 target areas represented by a Community Advisory Committee
  • Applicants must reside in Miami-Dade County
  • Applicants must have an annual household income that does not exceed 200 percent of the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) Poverty Income Guidelines
  • Other requirements include financial circumstances and submission of an essay
All applications are due Friday, May 19. Click here for more information.


NISPAcee 2023 Conference in Belgrade, Serbia

NISPAcee has announced its 2023 conference will take place May 25-27 in Belgrade, Serbia, with the theme, "The Future of Public Administration Enabled through Emerging Technologies."

Contemporary public administration is tackling the challenges of globalization, social and demographic changes, migration and climate change. Layered and complex reform trajectories and instruments are needed to modernize public administration, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery and achieve high standards of reliability and accountability. All sectors of society, including public administration, will have to play a role in the effort toward a green transformation. Faced with rapid and accelerating socio-economic change, public administration needs to take into account the opportunities offered by new technologies, as well as develop new services aimed at openness, transparency and citizen participation accordingly. The conference will pay particular attention to the topic of the digital transformation of public administration. The issues to be taken into consideration are: the role of the public sector in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as the challenges of implementing new technologies in the transformation of public administration. Moreover, in the knowledge society, the capacity to innovate and ability to implement innovations are very important for the public administration of the future.

Click here for more information and to register.

Government Finance Research Center Releases Audit Timing Report

The Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois Chicago and Merritt Research Services, an Investortools Company, have released this year’s audit timing report, "Public vs. Private Auditors, Big vs. Little Issuers: What’s Influencing the Timeliness of Municipal Bond Audits." In this report, authors Richard A. Ciccarone and Deborah Carroll offer an overview of audit time trends since 2010; recognize the timeliest audits for the 2021 fiscal year, grouped by municipal credit sector, from more than 10,000 municipal bond issuers in the Merritt Research Services database found in CreditScope; and conduct correlational analysis and difference of means testing to examine some potential reasons for variation in audit timing in an effort to develop solutions for improvement where it might be needed.

Merritt Research Services has been providing municipal bond credit data and information on nearly 10,000 municipal bond issuers for institutional investors since 1986. Since 2010, Merritt Research Services has tracked the time it takes for issuers to complete their audits after the close of their fiscal year. Last year, Merritt Research Services partnered with the Government Finance Research Center for the first time to issue this comprehensive annual report jointly, analyzing audit times among municipal bond issuers to acknowledge industry leaders who demonstrate best practices in debt management. The Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois Chicago is a leading, nationally recognized research center in the field of public finance. The center is dedicated to innovative and unbiased public finance research and education that provides technical assistance on how to make government work better and improve the fiscal health of our communities.

This effort between the Government Finance Research Center and Merritt Research Services aims to elevate the importance of timely audit reporting as an essential component of "best practice" when it comes to public finance. Timely, transparent and accessible financial information is essential for accurate credit evaluation and proper valuation of municipal bonds in the marketplace.

Policy Pathways Summer Academy Accepting Applications

Policy Pathways’ Summer Academy for Policy Leadership and Public Service Online (SAO) is accepting applications. This year’s session of SAO will be held June 25-July 8.

Policy Pathways offers the Summer Academy as an engaging remote learning experience for youth to learn the foundations of policy formation and analysis to jumpstart future degree programs and careers in public policy, public administration and international affairs. It seeks to provide students with college preparedness skills and experience to visualize such a career as both a reality and a means to utilize their passion for change and advocacy in the real world.

Its educational programming and real-world capstone projects draw upon an international network of professors, policy decisionmakers and corporate and nonprofit leaders who teach on a wide variety of related topics: critical thinking, foreign policy, statistics, data analysis, advocacy and persuasion, economics, leadership and citizenship development, and more.

Individuals ages 15–25 are encouraged to apply; no prior experience in civics or policy is required for participation. The application deadline has been extended: applications are due May 31, 2023. Click here for more information.

Public Integrity Special Issue: Ethical Challenges in Higher Education in the Contemporary Policy and Political Climate

Current politics, policy debates and the continued fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic have put an increased amount of pressure on the higher education system (Blakenberger & Williams, 2020). State policies that have been adopted or discussed in places such as Florida have created a different institutional system for colleges and universities to operate in. This new policy and political landscape are causing issues of faculty migration, enrollment shifts and funding changes that create difficult administrative decisions evidenced by reducing faculty positions and the battles between unions and institutions over fair pay and working conditions. From a faculty perspective, there are concerns regarding their shifting roles and how they can continue to be effective as the system goes through a significant shift (Lovell, 2023). Trust in public figures is a common topic in administration (De Boer, 2020; Wade & Fiorentino, 2023), especially where education and politics are concerned (Bell et al, 2021).

As policy feedback has hit a new high with the salience of state policies that inhibit academic freedom rising, higher education administrators and decision-makers are faced with a new set of challenging decisions (Jeon & Exmeyer, 2022; Mettler, Jacobs, & Zhu, 2022). With shifts in challenges comes shifts in how administrators approach managing their institutions and how these structures are evolving (Borry, 2017; Khelifi, 2017). This new set of challenges include topics from changes in curriculum to managing faculty positions and power. Morality and ethical shifts have caused changes in higher education (Prisacariu & Shah, 2016) and set standards that administrators and faculty have to respond to in order to evolve. Analyzing these morality and ethical shifts, what these challenges are, and the results of them is the subject of this special issue with the overarching objective being to provide a new platform to expand this discussion within higher education.

The main objective of Public Integrity is to expand the discussion of ethics, morality and administration. This special issue aims to bring together contributions from multiple disciplines and encourages interdisciplinary work that address this focus within higher education. In addition, researchers using a variety of methodologies and approaches (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods) are encouraged to submit their work.

Those wishing to have their work included in the special issue will submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to the guest editor. Submissions should include the scope of the project, the foundations of the work, how the work fits the issue and journal’s aims, and an explanation of the question, methodological approach, and anticipated findings and impacts on the field of research. All accepted papers will go through the double-blind peer review process at Public Integrity and acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication.

The deadline for abstracts has been extended; all abstracts are due June 1. Click here for more information.

Tips and Resources

Respectful Persuasion Is a Relay Race, Not a Solo Sprint—Three Keys to Putting It in Practice
Immanuel Kant’s ideas about respect are still important today, in a world where social media and echo chambers make manipulation easy.

In the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity


Members in the News

How One State Is Confronting PTSD among Police Officers
By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene

Our Accountability System Is Broken. Fix It First
By Ron Sanders

The Gathering Storm Threatening the Civil Service
By Don Kettl

Celebrating Public Service—and Public Servants
By Bob Lavigna

Tell Me Something Good...

Need some good news in your world? Check this out:

Cities Are Learning to Manage Urban Stormwater the Way Nature Would
As the rainy season begins for most of the country, a new report offers the first baseline assessment of the systems in place using green infrastructure to manage stormwater.



Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

Calls for proposals and other updates:
  • Public Money and Management Special Issue on "Hyper-Lean" Post Managerialism
    This PMM theme will concentrate on understanding the short- and long-term impact on economies, organizations and public sector and not-for-profit employees if the present priorities, funding and management models persist in terms of equity, fairness and the wellbeing of societies. Organizations need to do more than examine their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility, they need to examine the sustainability of the "hyper lean" post-managerialism logic. We welcome articles that challenge the present entrenched paradigm and instead propose new funding and management logics. All articles are due by July 31, 2023. Click here for more information.

  • GFOA Launches New Journal: Public Finance Journal
    Public Finance Journal (PFJ) is a biannual journal publishing peer-reviewed research that examines and analyzes contemporary issues in budgeting and finance and explores the applicability of solution sets. The journal is published by the Government Finance Officers Association and serves as a forum for discussion on significant issues related to the advancement of our scientific understanding. Articles are chosen for publication based on their originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness and accessibility. As a journal focused on connecting the science with the practice in public budgeting and finance, all manuscripts must connect the study with the needs and interests of both the scientific and practitioner communities in the field. The mission of Public Finance Journal is to serve those engaged in public budgeting and finance through the publication of significant advances in the science of the discipline that conveys both theoretical importance and timely application. Submissions can be accepted now going forward via the website.



Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)



American Society for Public Administration
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Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.