Friday, August 5, 2016

A Line In the Stand








Sometimes it's better to cross the line and suffer the consequences then to spend the rest of your life just staring at the line - and doing nothing.
 


Friday, October 30, 2015

A Great Quote From Benjamin Franklin - definitely worth remembering

"All Men Are Born Ignorant; But One Must Really Work Hard To Remain Stupid"










Benjamin Franklin
1706 - 1790

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Really Fun Trivia - A Great Gem for Local Public Officials


Many times local government and public officials are invited to community gatherings or social events as well as conferences and recognition programs where a meal and wine is served.  Personally I am not a big wine drinker.  A few of the public officials I worked with over all those years I was in local government could have been classified wine connoisseurs and many did enjoy a good glass of wine on occasion. 

So I thought I would share some really great trivia I recently learned from a colleague – Eba Gee, an expert on hospitality matters.  You might find this information useful and who knows, it might be something you can bring up to start a fun conversation when you are at a loss for words.   
     
The next time you enter a liquor store take a moment to look at the bottoms of the various wine bottles on the shelves. You’ll likely notice some of the bottles have indentations in their bottoms.  This inward dimple is officially called "The Punt" by Europeans; most American wine distributors refer to it as "the kick-up".  According to my friend Eba Gee, there is no one universal reason for "The Punt" in the bottom of a wine bottle but the explanations Eba shared are both bizarre and fascinating.

After reading Eba’s explanations, I think you will look at wine bottles differently.

      1)     Punts are carryovers from when wine bottles were hand blown. Glass blowers always pushed in the bottom of the bottle so when they removed their blow pipes no scars were left on the bottom and the bottom on the bottle would never scratch a table’s surface.
       2)     Punts actually make wine bottles less tipsy. A flat bottom wine bottle only needs a slight nudge on a dinner table to be unstable; however, a punt provides stability should the bottle be accidentally bumped by a diner guest.
      3)     Punts help consolidate any sediment in the bottom of the bottle and prevent it from being poured out into a glass.  (Years ago wines had a big problem with sediment; however, modern vintners now use filters and there is very little sediment in the wine sold today.)
      4)     Punts increase the strength of the bottle, allowing it to easily hold the high pressure of sparkling wines, champagnes and a variety of wines that are left to ferment in the bottle.
5)     Punts take up room in the bottle which allows a bottle
to appear larger, yet hold a lesser amount of wine.
6)     Punts prevent wine bottles from shattering should they be dropped or fall to the floor.
7)     Prior to the invention of cardboard and wooden boxes, wine bottles were typically laid on their sides in a line in the cargo holds of ships. The punt allowed one bottle’s neck to fit nicely in the base of another bottle, thus preventing the wine bottles from rolling around and also to be to stacked row upon row to the ceiling of the cargo hold.  
8)     Punts provide a convenient place for a Sommeliers’ (a term for a high class wine steward) thumb which makes it easier for the server to accurately pour wine into a glass.
9)     Punts make it easier for vintners to clean wine bottles prior to filling them with wine.  When a stream of hot water is injected into a bottle, it will hit the punt and be deflected back throughout the entire bottle more forcefully which cleans the bottles quicker.
10)  Connoisseurs of fine wines all insist “Punts make the wine taste better”.
Hope you found this wine bottle trivia of interest; I know I did.  If you know of any other reasons for a Punt in a wine bottle, will you let know and I will pass it on to Eba Gee. It you want more great trivia about liquor or the hospitality industry, visit Eba at www.barprofitman.blogspot.com .  Eba Gabe says hi.   

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Important Thought for Local Government Officials.

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were cold, so they lit a fire. Surprisingly the kayak did not sink proving once again that you can have your kayak and heat it too.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Training Programs for Local Government Employees

It's budget time at the County.

One county board members asks another county board member - "Well, what happens if we put money in our budget to provide our county employees with more professional training and then they leave us to go work for a bigger and better county?" 

The other county board member turns to his colleague and replies, "What happens if we don't invest in their professional development training to upgrade their skills?"

Monday, March 2, 2015

Life's Demerit System

This is something all local government officials should be aware of.

I never really thought about this before, but a friend sent this to me and I think this is pretty accurate. I am sure most men, married and single, will attest to some real wisdom in this email.

In the world of romance, there is only one rule that applies:

MAKE THE WOMAN HAPPY!

Okay, here is how Life's Demerit System works.

Do something she likes, and you get points.
Do something she dislikes, and points are subtracted.
You don't get any points for doing something she expects.
Sorry, that's the way the game is played.
Here is a non-exhaustive guide to the point system:

SIMPLE DUTIES

You make the bed. (+1)
You make the bed, but forget the decorative pillows. (-10)
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets. (-3)
You go out to buy her what she wants (+5) in the rain (+8)
But return with Jack Daniels. (-5)

PROTECTIVE DUTIES

You check out a suspicious noise at night. (+1)
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is nothing. (0)
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is something. (+5)
You pummel it with an iron rod. (+10)
It's her pet Schnauzer. (-20)

SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS

You stay by her side for the entire party. (+1)
You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with an old school friend. (-2)
Named Tina (-10)
Tina is a dancer. (-10)
Tina has breast implants. (-40)

HER BIRTHDAY

You take her out to dinner. (+2)
You take her out to dinner, and it's not a sports bar. (+3)
Okay, it's a sports bar. (-2)
And its all-you-can-eat night. (-3)
It's a sports bar, it's all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted the colors of your favorite team. (-10)

A NIGHT OUT

You take her to a movie. (+1)
You take her to a movie she likes. (+5)
You take her to a movie you hate. (+6)
You take her to a movie you like. (-2)
It's called 'Death Cop.' (-3)
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans. (-15)

YOUR PHYSIQUE

You develop a noticeable potbelly. (-15)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and exercise to get rid of it. (+10)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and resort to baggy jeans and baggy Hawaiian shirts. (-30)
You say, "It doesn't matter, you have one too." (-80)

THE BIG QUESTION

She asks, "Do I look fat?" (-5)
(Yes, you lose points no matter what)
You hesitate in responding. (-10)
You reply, "Where?" (-35)
You give any other response. (-20)

COMMUNICATION

When she wants to talk about a problem, you listen, displaying what looks like a concerned expression. (+2)
You listen, for over 30 minutes (+50)
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV. (+500)
She realizes this is because you have fallen asleep. (-4000)

Friday, December 19, 2014

How Local Government Decisions are Really Made

Careers in Government recently asked me to write an article highlighting the process of how local government decisions are really made.

Below is the link to their publication.

For those of you currently in, formerly in, or thinking about entering local government, this might be an interesting article to read.

Careers in Government Link

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Bright Shiney Pearl for All Of Us To Think About

Many of us, especially those close to my age, can easily remember that terrible disease polio. Several of us saw family members, relatives, neighbors and colleagues afflicted by this terrible illness.  

Rotary International, an organization which I am active in and proud to be a member, has been trying to eradicate this disease from the planet for years.  Please take a moment and review the poster below. 

Hopefully you will see that there may be a light at the end of this long tunnel and the tragic story may have a happy ending.  I know today is Veteran's Day and we should all focus on thanking the Vets we know who served.  But maybe tomorrow or the next day, if you see a Rotarian in your community, you might just want to say thanks as well.

Gabe Gabrielsen



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pearl of Wisdom # 88 Misuse of Language

Any local government official's misuse of "Literally" makes most constituents go "Figuratively" insane. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pearl of Wisdom # 56 ... Why Its Important You As A Public Official Get Things Done NOW

The clock of life is wound but once, and no one knows when the hands will stop. Now is the only time you own and control. Don't wait for the next board meeting or your next term in office. Place no faith in tomorrow, for the clock may soon be still.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Local Government Public Official Regrets

During my extensive career in local government I had the privilege to meet literally thousands of elected public officials.

Few, if any, ever expressed regrets about the motions they made while serving in public office.

However, almost everyone confided in me the regrets they had about the motions they did not make while serving in public office.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pearls of Wisdom # 18 --- Thoughts on Your Consituents

Your constituents will probably forget every thing you said while in public office.

Your constituents will most likely forget many of the things you did while in public office.

But one thing you can bank on:

Your constituents will never forget how you treated them and made them feel when you saw them while you were in public office.



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sexual Prowess and Local Government Accomplishments


Over the years I have come to believe that having actual accomplishments in a local public office for many public officials is a lot like having sex.

Some public officials - those who have actually had a lot of accomplishments while in office - don't talk about their accomplishments ... they considered it doing their job.

Yet there are others public officials who actually have had very few, if any, accomplishments while they were in public office; however, they talk about them consistently. 

My personal recommendation is be suspicious of any current or former local government public official who brags about all the accomplishments they have had while serving in local public office.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Out of Control Government Employees

If you are sick and tired of waste in government, this is a fantastic "short clip" that I encourage you to watch - and if possible share with your family and friends.  Its a short nine-minute clip revealing an in-depth report by Tom Brokaw, former NBC news anchor.

See for yourself how a single government employee - a military member of all things - was able to waste precious government resources immediately following World War II. How in the world could a member of the US Military have the audacity to take it upon himself to exceed his authority?

Most of us know about, or have heard about, the Uni-Bomber and the Boston Marathon Bombers ... but I personally had never heard of this guy who was called the Candy Bomber.

I know this clip starts off slow --- and you think nothing but music and singing will follow but if you are like me - I really think you will be shocked. I was flabbergasted.

If you watch this clip, I ask two things -

First, first let me know if you enjoyed it.

Second, forward this to your friends who are fed up with government waste and want more accountability placed on the actions of government employees.


http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=_vR2wgq0ZMc 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pearl # 11 -- Wisdom




Just because I can give local public officials - great advice that will save time, significantly reduce expenses and help them become more efficient ... doesn't mean I am smarted then any of them.  

All it means is that during my lengthy career in local government I did a lot of stupid sh** and over time by using the trial and error method I finally figured out a lot of things and now know first-hand how things really work.     

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Basic Composition of Most Elected Bodies

Just about every unit of local government has three types of elected officials serving in public office.

First - There are a few elected public officials who generally get their units of government in trouble.

Second - There are lots of elected public officials who don't have a clue what to do when their units of local government are in trouble.

Third - There are a handful of elected public officials who eventually step up to the plate and come up with solutions to dig their units of local government out of the trouble caused by their colleagues.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pearl # 10 Passing Local Government "Motions", "Resolutions" and "Ordinances"

The trouble with an elected board or council quickly passing motions, resolutions and ordinances is that the public never really appreciates all the behind-the-scenes difficulties, problems, bickering, infighting, compromises etc. the local public body had to endure to get them passed so quickly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pearl # 9 ---- Successful vs. Failed Government Programs

Every local public official needs to remember this sage advice.

Any successful program in local government will have many fathers who are all proud.

Any failed program in local government will be an orphan even if you can prove who the father is. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thoughts on Holding a Local Government Elected Office

If it were easy, everyone would run for a local government office.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Best Time

The best time to plant a tree in your community was 10 years ago. 

The second best time to plant a tree is right now.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Who Really Runs Local Governments

Who really runs our units of local and municipal government?

The answer?

1) The people we elect into public offices, and

2) The community residents who take the time to attend public meetings and share their opinions with our elected public officials. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Basic Types of Local Public Officials

In every community across America there are generally three types of local public officials in office:

1) Those who helped you during your difficult times,

2) Those who ignored you during your difficult times,

          and

3) Those who created your difficult times.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Some Local Public Officials Get Better While Others Get Bitter?


When most local public officials leave a contentious board or council meeting (typically a public meeting involving the approval of the operating annual budget, setting the local tax levy, voting on a facility project or deciding whether to terminate a high profile public employee), they are generally no longer the same person that went into the meeting.  They are changed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
When their personal beliefs and individual points of view are challenged by insensitive emotions, resentment, resistance character attacks and spiteful opinions, they transform. The vast majority grow and learn from the experience while regrettably some just go into denial and just get worse. 
Remember:  Truly great local public officials never, ever get bitter – they just get better.

   

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Are There So Many "Characters" in Public Office

Let's face it - across America there are "real characters" who serve in all types of local and municipal government public offices. 

 
The truth is, these local public officials didn't become "characters" after they got elected into their government offices, they were already "real characters" long before they got elected.  It was their neighbors, friends and fellow community residents who elected these "characters" into local public office. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pearl of Wisdom # 98

Some local pubic officials do everything in their power to create a political storm on their board or council, then complain when they get wet.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Isn't This a Great Pearl of Wisdom?



Wouldn't it be fantastic if every county, city, village and township posted signs similar to this in all their parks and forest preserves? 
 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pearl of Wisdom to Remember

I can't say I ever loved any local government public official; however, I assure you ... there were a great many I admired.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Take Heed! Lincoln I Believe Was Right!

For many local public officials, it is wise to heed the words of President Abraham Lincoln:

"It is better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool then to speak out and remove all doubt."

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Two Keys to Being a Great Local Government Public Official

Becoming a great local public official actually only requires two simple things:

1) Experience - Understanding your role in local government and knowing your constituents

2) Value - Offering the majority of your constituents something they can relate to.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Verbal Communication – Is It Important or Not?

Recently I was told this legend and I have absolutely no idea whether or not it is true.   However, the lesson content in this legend is so good that I just have to share it.  I believe every local public official needs to understand this issue.

The legend goes that there was an interesting exchange between two great geniuses. One genius was Charlie Chaplin, the great silent film star; the other genius was Albert Einstein, the world renowned physicist.

According to this legend, Einstein approached Mr. Chaplin and said, "Charlie, what I admire most about you is the fact that you don't say a word in any of the films you make yet the entire world understands everything you are trying to convey."

The legend goes on to say that Mr. Chaplin replied, “Yes Albert that is true; however, what I admire most about you is even greater. Everyone, including all the greatest minds in the world, respect you and what you speak yet no one understands a word of what you say or proclaim!"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Very Special Pearl of Wisdom - A Real Gem - The Vietman Wall


Most of you know I try my best to be non-political in all my posts and comments. I seldom if ever share my political opinion – I stick to the policies and processes of local government – not the politics. 

Today, I received this wonderful reminder from a good friend which I would like to share.  It contains a history that is slowly being forgotten and sadly most of us don’t even know.  I am not advocating anything – I am just sharing some unbelievable interesting statistics regarding the Vietnam Memorial Wall – something many of us especially in my generation find so special and hold so near and dear.
 
 


There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized.


The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 names on the Wall were 22 years old or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam.

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam.

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

31 sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia {wonder why so many from one school}

8 Women are on the Wall all nurses tending to the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.


Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest.  And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

I know that many who read this they will only see the numbers; however for those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we still see the faces, we still feel the pain.

There are very few if any wars that are noble; however those who gave it all were noble.

Maybe you can pass this on, to those like me, who served and still remember.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pearl # 98 Emotions of Local Public Officials

Most people are unaware of this odd fact that the range of emotions lobsters go through ... from being chosen at the tank in a grocery store to being brought home and then tossed alive into a pot of hot boiling water in someone's kitchen ... are almost identical to the range of emotions candidates for local public office experience from the time they are encouraged by family and friends to take out papers and run for public office to the time they are actually sworn in. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

An Interesting Thought To Ponder

A friend sent this to me and it kind of made me think.

Hope you enjoy.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Does Your Community Need Help with Economic Development? This article might be a good read.

I know there are many communities struggling to ignite economic development.  I found this great article on Why Local Governments Fail at Economic Development which I thought I would share with you.

Feel free to share this article with local public officials or  individuals who work in economic development agencies.