8 Things Every City Clerk Should Understand and Know About in 2016


T2014-10-03O-Nahe job of being a City Clerk requires wearing many hats: software user, recorder, reporter, coworker, conference-goer, accountant, social media expert, customer service provider, budgeter…there is no end to the many roles and tasks completed by city clerks on the daily. In honor of a new year that promotes continued learning and self-improvement, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the eight things every city clerk should know and understand for 2016.

What the Cloud is?
With so many agencies going to “The Cloud,” it is important to know exactly what this dreamy concept is and how it affects data computing and storage. Read more >

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Five TED Talks for Government Employees

Iwidth="300"f you’ve seen them before, you probably love them. And if you haven’t, you probably should: TED Talks.

These fabulous, inspiring online speeches provide thoughtful, dynamic insight on a broad range of issues from democracy to music.

Though often admired for their insightful talks about culture, lifestyle, innovation, and arts, we found five particular TED Talks that we believe are inspiring for Government employees: government innovation; building great cities; promoting change; city design; and one on open-source government.

So, grab your lunchtime popcorn from the snack station microwave, grab a water bottle, and sit down and enjoy these work-related government TED Talks. Read more >

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Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cure-All

Just in Time for the Holidays!

C2014-10-03O-Naookies. They can help any number of ailments: bitter coffee mouth, the miss your family holiday blues, and lack of yuletide-itis.
If you didn’t already know, we’ve got a bit of a thing for cookies here at Black Mountain Software. In fact, we are so serious about our cookies that we do a blind cookie tasting every year to choose the perfect cookie. And we think the results are just…sweet!

If you suffer from bitter coffee mouth or lack of yuletide-itis, and you’re yearning a super yummy remedy, we’ve got a cookie cure-all recipe that is sure to keep you from falling to “crumbles!” It’s the Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie recipe, inspired by our 2013 BMS Cookie of the Year. Read more >

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Guidelines for Government Gift Giving

‘Twidth="300"is the season of yuletide, carols, and…regulated gift giving?

It might seem like there’s a tiny heart “two sizes too small” in the office of Government Compliance and Ethics when it comes to gift giving guidelines set for government officials. However, these policies exist to prevent the potential of a token of appreciation becoming an incentive, bribe, or obligation.

That’s not to say you can’t show appreciation for your fellow government officials and coworkers; gift giving is perfectly acceptable as long as the laws, regulations and gift giving guidelines are followed.

The basic theory behind government gift giving is this: if it can be conceived as a bribe, or sway a government official to make a particular decision, it’s ILLEGAL. Read more >

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Ten Depression Busters for Winter Blues

IFeel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org  This microstock required lots of post processing to get the blue tint. I also needed a bounce card to  get more detail in the glasses.t’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but often, the mix of cold weather, overindulgence and the financial stress of the holidays can leave many feeling the winter blues.

If you are in a seasonal funk, there are a few things you can do to help improve your everyday mood. Check out our Ten Depression Busters, which can help brighten your spirits this holiday season and beyond.

Ten Depression Busters for the Winter Blues

  • Don’t overindulge. Winter holidays are synonymous with mashed potatoes and gravy, pies, desserts, and alcohol. What you eat and drink can have a huge impact on how you feel, so try to maintain as normal eating patterns as possible so you can feel your best.
  • Read more >
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    Survival Guide for Local Government Budget Season

    Feel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org  This microstock required lots of post processing to get the blue tint. I also needed a bounce card to  get more detail in the glasses.

    We said the “B” word: Budgets. They can be…well, a bugger. Long, complicated, and requiring a lot of analysis. A few “B” words came to our mind when thinking of budget: “boring,” “baffling,” and “bothersome.” But that’s ok, because we’ve pulled together a list of local government best budget practices that are the exact opposite–short and sweet–to assist with your budgeting success.

     

    A Clerk’s Survival Guide to Government Budget Planning

    Determine What Elements to Include In Your Annual Budget.

    Planning the annual budget is a long process, with many daunting tasks and thoughtful considerations. Some budgets are fairly straight forward, while others are specific and complex documents. Read more >

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    Keys to Good Customer Service in Eight Letters (CUSTOMER)

    2014-10-03O-Na

    We love customer service! We love working with clients, and getting to know them throughout the integration process. In honor of Customer Service Week, we thought we would publish our thoughts on what makes good customer service.

    No matter what your job or industry, there are always moments when we need to put on our customer service hats. That’s why these principles apply to everyone, no matter what product or service they deliver, and how often they interface with customers!

    Keys to Good Customer Service in Eight Letters

    C – Confidence. Being well-trained and knowledgeable, offering immediate answers, and having the ability and permission to deal with the issue at hand all creates a confidence with the customer that will keep them coming back. Read more >

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    Ease the Pain of ACA Reporting Requirements

    The_Affordable_Care_Act

    It’s every agency’s nightmare: more, new or changing federal reporting requirements. The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, reporting requirements are in effect, and we have until the beginning of next year to determine how to effectively and accurately report a variety of health care and employee information or face penalties and excise taxes.

    In order to successfully fulfill the ACA reporting requirements, it is important to understand what ACA reporting is, when it is required, what it involves, and what your software vendor is doing to assist with an easy transition. This most certainly will affect your administrative process, and the software tools and support to comply will be more important than ever. Read more >

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    When “Good” Back-Ups Go Bad—Will Your Data Really Survive An Unexpected Loss?

    At BMS, we want our tools and services to empower our clients, and provide them with unparalleled functionality and trusted reliability. We strive to craft products that can be counted on to perform seamlessly each and every day. Sometimes, however, our clients face technological glitches that are outside of our control, resulting in unexpected data loss. Some causes of this loss include outdated technology, power outages, or viruses/malware. Regardless of the cause, a data loss can set their operations back days, and sometimes even weeks, thereby costing invaluable time and money.

    BMS knows that, while data loss can happen to any client, the resulting headaches are 100% preventable. Read more >

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    Dealing with Personality Type A and B in the Workplace

    Photo Cred: http://www.simplypsychology.org/personality-a.html

    Photo Cred: http://www.simplypsychology.org/personality-a.html

    Which is better, personality type A or B? Well, that probably depends on your own personality type and job function.

    From the time we pick up our first color crayon, to the time we wave goodbye into retirement, we are taught to accept and applaud all personality types. But that can be difficult in a tight office where A’s and B’s commingle throughout the day on various tasks and projects.

    How do you know if you are a Type A or B? Let’s take a quick look!

    “A” stands for…

    Ambitious, Aggressive, Achievers. People with Type A personality traits are ambitious go-getters, but their way of doing things can often come off as controlling or aggressive. Read more >

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