Tag Archives: Clerk

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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    Appointed Vs. Elected Clerks: Which is Better?

    ballot for elected officialRecently on our LinkedIn Group, The City Clerk Café, someone posed the question, “Which is better – elected or appointed clerks?” and asked for feedback regarding how their city clerk positions are filled and what the pros and cons are of each.

    We thought this brought up a great topic of debate and would like to share with you some of the benefits we (and fellow city clerks) came up with when it comes to both types of city officials.

    Pros to Appointed Clerks

    No campaign garbage. When a clerk is appointed, they don’t have to spend time campaigning and rallying, so there is no election mail, campaign flyers, and yard signs to produce, procure, and assemble just to end up in the landfill someday. Read more >

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    How To: Have A Positive Attitude in 32 Words

    positive thoughtsA Guest Blog for Your Enjoyment…

    Have you ever wondered why some people get sick more often than others? Stress has long been attributed to both mental and physical health, but some believe there’s even more to it.

    In fact, in my small little spiritual circle, there appear to be members who are immune to everything. This sort of immunity seems to suggest we have a little more control over our mood and destiny than we commonly believe.

    In the last century, a Japanese gentleman named Mikao Usui developed a modality to help the willing student realize his potential to help others with healing. Read more >

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    Time Saver Tip: P-Card Credit Card Management Software by BMS

    Are you already enjoying or still just thinking about getting in on the BMO P-Card rebates that MASBO is sharing with Montana school districts which use BMO’s Procurement Card (P-Card)? The P-Card and most bank credit cards offer sophisticated controls and aid in reducing paperwork. Rebates based on use activity are making P-Cards a particularly hot topic. They seem like the sweetest thing since Splenda!

    As sweet as it all seems, tracking credit cards and vendor purchases can be quite a task for the school district clerk. For example, maybe you need to find an invoice but can’t remember when the item was purchased. Read more >

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    Chronicles of a Montana Road Warrior – HE LIVES!

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited photographed ...Guest Blog by David Morton, Customer Solutions Coordinator

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    “Something of interest must have occurred in the last 12 months, Mr. Morton!” exclaimed BMS Marketing Director, Mrs. Smith, as she searched an empty file labeled “David’s Recent Travel Articles.”

    I looked at my inquisitor, eyes half-lidded, the guile of a 5-year-old plainly on my face. “If I could remember something interesting, I would gladly tell you,” oozed lazy-like out of my mouth.

    “Well, Mr. Morton, today you seem no more professional than a 5-year-old. If you don’t remember interesting things, how can we believe anything you’ve ever told us is true?”

    I was tempted to quote from an ancient Tom Cruise movie, but knew she would simply respond with, “Oh, how cliché” and then with certainty I would have replied, “NO! Read more >

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    2,000 Members and Counting…City Clerk Cafe

    city_clerk_coloredWhere can you learn about storage apps such as Dropbox, gather tips for taking minutes, and exchange stories from the frontline of a City Clerk?  You can do all this (and more!) on the The City Clerk Cafe on LinkedIn.  And that’s probably why so many city clerks–2,000-plus actually–have joined this LinkedIn group.

    The City Clerk Cafe has thousands of members from all around the country, giving clerks the opportunity to connect, network, and brainstorm together in an organized forum.  It also allows members to track discussions, search for jobs, ask questions, share advice, and get updates on the latest seminars and conferences.  And the best part is you can choose the frequency and depth of the updates you receive straight to your work Inbox by customizing your settings and choosing the conversations you subscribe to. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Small Cities, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

    Small Town Stories: Helena, Georgia

    helena-ga-telfair-county-museum-of-history-railroad-depot-small-town-america-photo-ccopyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia1Recently, we ran a story on the friendly merger of two sister cities in Georgia: McRae and Helena. We are thrilled that during this transition, the cities have decided to merge their software, too, and now McRae will join Helena as part of our Black Mountain Software family.

    While McRae is new to us and that is very exciting, we feel that we haven’t done enough talking about how much Helena—a BMS customer since 2006–has meant to us. Over the years, we have enjoyed the southern friendliness and courtesy in our working relationship with the clerks and city manager of Helena: Janeen Tokar (City Manager), Allison Cox (UB Clerk), and Heather Livingston (City Clerk). Read more >

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