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City Management Snapshots: On the Run
City Management Snapshots: On the Run
by Ben Leiter
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.85
21 used & new from $6.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life as a City Manager, October 25, 2013
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City Management Snapshots

As a former City Manager and author of six local government books, I found City Management Snapshots a delight to read. I also found it full of valuable advice. Even seasoned managers will find this book fresh and insightful. If I were still teaching, it would be required reading for my public administration students.

The author who uses the pen name, Ben Leiter, presents over 60 stories accumulated over 40 years of public service. He dubs these real life vignettes ‘snapshots’. City Management Snapshots can be comfortably read in one setting. However, I found it much more enjoyable to read a few snapshots, sit back and then reflect on what the author has presented. Some of the impressions I gleaned from the book include:

1. We begin accumulating snapshots as soon as we begin our government careers.
2. We don’t have to be the star of a snapshot. We can observe the actions of others to accumulate meaningful snapshots.
3. Bad experiences provide some of the best snapshots. We seem to learn much more from our mistakes.
4. “What did I learn from this experience?” is one of the most important snapshot lessons.
5. Most managers don’t purposefully go out and collect snapshots. They occur. On some days you may not get any, on other days they fall like rain.

Our stints as local government managers result in our own album of snapshots and as time goes on, the size of one’s snapshot album grows. Our resulting albums contain different snapshots but in a way they are similar in that every day in city management is different and challenging.

The author’s writing style is casual, with a bit of Howard Cossel “telling it like it is,” sprinkled throughout the book. But don’t be fooled, there is a great deal of wisdom in these stories. A sampling of the author’s album includes recollections about corrupt newspaper editors, police officers who nefariously tail councilmemember families; and dealing with toxic employees. Tales about real life heroes balance these gut-wrenching experiences.

City management is an honorable and ethical profession that emphasizes the training and development of members. This book is a wonderful mentoring tool.

Submitted by Len Wood, former city manager of Rancho Palos Verdes and Claremont and author of six books including Local Government Dollars and Sense: 225 Financial Tips on Guarding the Public Checkbook.

Fire and Ice: A Beaumont and Brady Novel
Fire and Ice: A Beaumont and Brady Novel
by J. A. Jance
Edition: Hardcover
32 used & new from $0.88

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too muddled, September 29, 2010
This is my first J.A. Jance novel. It started out with a bang. Six bodies dumped in different places. Shorn of teeth, each was wrapped in a tarp and set afire with gasoline. It looked like a good mystery with lots of suspense. I was ready for a good read. Unfortunately, it flatlined from there. Too many characters and too much unimportant detail. I got confused when the two key characters, Sheriff Joanna Brady and Investigator J.P. Beaumont were covered in the same chapter with no signal to the reader that the author was changing characters. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the less than thrilling ending. I expected some grand conspiracy but it just sort of ended.

Honeymoon With A Killer
Honeymoon With A Killer
by Don Lasseter
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.99
80 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced, Engrossing, May 10, 2010
I decided to not purchase this book after reading some of the reviews. Fortunately, I was given a copy by a friend. I absolutely loved the book. This is an unusual case and Lasseter and Bowers do an excellent job relating the circumstances and facts. Unlike some true crime authors, Lasseter and Bowers waited until the defendants exhausted their appeals before writing their book, so I didn't have to go on the internet to find out what happened. I also appreciated the fact that the authors didn't bore us with the life histories of secondary players. I found the book excellent, from the beginning to the final page.

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