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You Win Some, You Lose Some

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By Lena Geraghty, on July 14, 2014

Last week was full of PWE activities. On top of the usual time I spend at the Alameda Free Library, I participated in a library board of trustees meeting and met with the assistant city manager about performance measurement at the library and the City of Alameda.

First the not-as-good news: The adoption of my revisions to the Internet use policy were put on hold until September. They were about to be voted through until one board member stated he had a lot of issues with the revisions, which I considered very benign and had the support of the library director and all the library staff. I was a bit disappointed. The board member wasn’t able to explain his concerns with the revisions. He wanted to take the two months before the next board meeting to gather his thoughts and have the library staff adequately answer any questions even though he had the two-page document in hand for over a week already. It’s hard to come up against roadblocks like this especially when you’re feeling so positive about your work, but it’s not a total no and dismissal of my work. It just means I’ll have to come back to the library board meeting in September after the end of my PWE.

Now the good news: My meeting with the assistant city manager about performance measurement went really well. We talked a lot about the process Alameda went through to begin instituting performance measurement for the third time in twenty years. She was really receptive to my ideas about how the performance measures chosen by the city could be changed to demonstrate the great work being done in Alameda and avoid unintended consequences. She even asked me to write up my thoughts so she could share them with the consultants and the city manager. Our meeting ended with a discussion of steps I could take to pursue a career in local government. I’m continually surprised by how willing people are to take time out of their busy schedules to share their knowledge and help me further prepare for my dream public administration career.

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