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Feb 9, 2015

Ed Benton, Managing Editor of State and Local Government Review, interviews public managers across the United States about their reflections on a recent article published in State and Local Government Review and the current challenges faced by their local governments.


The article, published in the September 2014 issue, is entitled “Strategic Alignment of the New Normal: Collaboration, Sustainability, and Deliberation in Local Government Across Boundaries,” and is written by Michael Abels of the University of Central Florida. The paper can be found online at



Local government is assuming a new and transformational leadership role in this era of the “new normal,” which is highlighted by structural resource scarcity and the assumption of new missions in our federal structure. These new missions mandate regional governance, both in planning and in service delivery. Planning in the twenty-first century must be strategic, regionally based, and founded on the principles of community sustainability. Service delivery, while maintaining its traditional emphasis on public safety and service, must move into areas that address the growing social and economic needs of our citizens. The foundation for mission success will see regionalism, deliberative democracy, and strategic sustainability as foundation for local governance.