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A Top 10 List

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By manalk, on August 3, 2011

As clichéd as the idea is, I repeatedly find myself in awe of how fast time flies. It is already the first week of August, and my summer internship ends in two days. In order to start the process of reflecting on this professional work experience, I have created a list of Top 10 Things I have Learned this Summer:

  1. The meaning and context of planning and development jargon used by local government. Examples include: donut holes, ETJ, nonconforming use, and UDO.
  2. The fact that only a few local governments use comprehensive and effective performance measurement systems, even in times of difficult budgetary choices. Fairfax County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg are among the most well-known.
  3. A traditional 9-5 job is in some ways less stressful than the seemingly more relaxed student schedules. At the end of the day I may be more tired, but at least I don’t have to worry about a test and memo due the next morning.
  4. The purpose and organization of a county jail.
  5. The many types of planning and inspections fees, and how differently each jurisdiction names and charges these fees.
  6. As difficult as balancing budgets usually is, occasionally administrators find easy pots of money without having to make painful trade-offs. For example, Wake County’s manager, David Cooke, offered to ask the County’s ABC board for $400,000 to $500,000 to offset a few expenditures in the 2011-2012 budget.
  7. What happens to trash once it is picked up from our driveways.
  8. Attending a few Board of Commissioners meetings can teach you more about government activities than semesters learning policy making and administration at school.
  9. The words “Roof Access” and “Exit” painted on a door do not mean you can actually use that door to ‘access the roof’/observe downtown from the 10th floor. In fact, it may actually mean that you can NOT access the roof because doing so will trigger security alarms.
  10. There is politics (such as disagreements over redistricting) even on local government legislative boards, but it is rarely as intense as conflicts frequently seen in Congress.

    Observed mostly the 'political science' version in Wake County this summer.
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One Response to “A Top 10 List”

  1. Removal Firm

    I find the idea of creating a list with the useful conclusions or achivements one has done for a certain period pretty impressing. Life is like a busy street, with a lot of red and green lighs, with unknown intersectiosn, buzzers and people who are leaving you behing,so evaluation of the situation is the best way not to get lost.

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