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. 

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. 

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,


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."