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Elle Hempen

Co-Founder of The Atlas. I’m big on cities, infrastructure, reducing inefficiency, helping urban innovators succeed & the Michigan Wolverines.

Created: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 | Updated: Monday, October 26, 2020

We are strong believers that better and more data and information lead to better decision-making in local government. Our recently published survey – Local Government’s Next Normal – is a great example of how we’re seeking to increase information & ultimately improve decision-making in local government.

In July 2020, nearly 400 local government officials and staff from across the country took the Local Government’s Next Normal Survey, which we completed in partnership with ELGL, SeeClickFix and Route Fifty.

We just published the results, and they are fascinating! Explore them here.

Here are some of our top take-aways:

1. Shifting Priorities for Local Governments

Top priorities for local governments in the next 12 months include community engagement (45%), public health (44%), small business support (39%). Priorities that have decreased due to the pandemic include climate change, traffic & congestion, and homelessness. 

COVID budget impacts for local government.
COVID budget cuts will impact some areas more than others.

2. COVID-Related Budget Concerns

61% identified capital projects budgets were most likely to be significantly impacted by revenue shortfalls.

3. Managing People: COVID & Morale, Retirements

70% of respondents in larger communities say that planned retirements are being put on hold. 91% of respondents indicated the pandemic has neutrally or negatively impacted employee morale.

4. COVID’s Silver Linings for Cities

60% of respondents in smaller communities indicate that “new leaders” have been uncovered during the pandemic. 76% said their cities will adopt more software to streamline public services moving forward. 

Local governments expect to adopt more software and technology in the next 12 months.
Local governments are accelerating the adoption of software and technology to solve a wide range of challenges.

Above all, our top takeaways for local government officials & staff is this: you are not alone. The striking similarities in the survey responses – across job titles, geographic locations and population sizes served – prove that. It is only together that we will build back better from COVID-19.

Want to ask other local government officials & staff questions about this article? To react, comment & ask questions:
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