The Thicket was pink with pleasure when we read a recent issue of the B and G Report by Governing magazine columnists Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene:
We don't want to make other bloggers jealous. There are lots of really good ones out there, but we think our favorite may be The Thicket, from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Regular readers of the B&G Report will likely know this, based on the frequency with which we pass along items we've found there.
Here are a couple of interesting tidbits from their most recent issue:
Mark Twain is the source for our favorite quote of the last couple of weeks: "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable."
Public Civility Corner. Here's some advice we received from a Florida city councilwoman that seemed like a good approach to dealing with citizens who go into attack mode: "I learned quickly that the only thing I can control in these situations is myself. I remind myself that these citizens would be yelling at whoever was sitting in the seat. I also believe that if they met me standing in line at the grocery store, they would think I was a nice lady. I listen, repeat their concerns back to them to make sure I have a complete understanding of the situation. I then work hard to 'promise little and deliver big.' Many times just letting citizens 'dump their bucket' towards me gets the stress off of them. If I am able to get the situation resolved to their satisfaction, then and only then do I say something that they should call me in the future before it gets so stressful. There have been times I haven't been able to resolve it to their satisfaction, due to city policy or cost. I have had citizens angry that I couldn't do what they wanted and they left angry. Just like sports, you can't win them all."
Barrett and Greene also write a very useful "Implementation of the Recovery Act Blog" for the IBM Center for the Business of Government.