"I've heard that you can use Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) with the MicroPaver pavement management system, enabling inspectors to input inspection data while out in the field. Before I buy a PDA, I'd like to know what the requirements are for equipment."
Currently, Pocket Inspector only works on PDAs that have Windows CE 3.0 or Pocket PC 2002 as an operating system. The MicroPaver software contains a Handheld PCI Inspector program that can be downloaded on the handheld device. Microsoft Active Sync (a free program that can be downloaded from Microsoft) must be installed on the main computer. The MicroPaver User Manual contains detailed instructions for data transfer. If your agency is looking for a pavement management system, contact Teresa Hon at firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest version of the MicroPaver software and its applications.
"We're recruiting for several positions in our department due to a buy-out for early retirement offered by our city. After interviewing several younger people, we don't seem to be having much luck. Can you give us some suggestions as to what they are looking for? We think our current benefits are pretty good but they don't seem to be impressed."
Thus continues the ongoing saga of Baby Boomers versus Generations X and Y! While our programs and benefits may seem fine to us, younger workers are looking for a variety of items we normally don't even consider. Programs that appeal to younger workers include recognition and incentive bonuses; a shortened hiring process as opposed to the traditional two-three month round of several interviews and tests; three weeks of paid vacation granted after one year of employment; fitness benefits; alternative work schedules; opportunities to telecommute; and many others. There's a great article written by Glenn Southard and Jim Lewis, Claremont, CA in Public Management (PM) Magazine published by ICMA. I'm sure you could contact either of these guys to get a copy. Contact me for their contact information. (Also, check out Lew Bender's article, "Thoughts on today's generational divide," in the April issue of the APWA Reporter—Ed.)
"With all the emphasis lately on painting barnyard animals and the like for public display in our cities, you'd think someone could come up with a clever idea for disguising some of our essential facilities. Any ideas?"
Cows, horses, elephants, pigs, and bears, oh my! We've probably all seen the parades of these creatures on our city streets in an effort to bring art to the masses. You might talk with Maggie Hinton, Refuse Director for the City of Detroit, about the "Detroit Pretty City" project last year that gave 20 Detroit-area artists commissions to transform ordinary trash receptacles into practical works of art. The program was developed by the environmental consulting firm of Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. and the receptacles were set out on city streets between May and October of last year. You can contact Maggie at email@example.com.
"While surfing the APWA website recently, I noticed that there have been several new agencies that have been accredited. Our agency has been working to complete the Self-Assessment phase and will be ready to sign a contract by the end of this year. I think I heard something about a new Public Works Management Practices Manual coming out this fall. Will that make any difference to us?"
The answer is "Yes" it probably will. Every three years the Accreditation Council conducts a thorough review of the Manual and makes deletions of outdated practices, refines existing ones, and may add new practices or chapters as the industry changes. This spring that review is being undertaken and it is intended that the new Manual will be available at the 2004 APWA Congress in Atlanta in mid-September. What that means to agencies who have NOT signed contracts to begin the accreditation process, is that either you need to sign your contract to lock in the 4th edition of the Manual as your reference document or be prepared to upgrade to the 5th edition in September. While we don't anticipate a huge number of changes in the 5th edition, depending on where you are in the Improvement Phase process of Self-Assessment, you may want to ensure you can complete your accreditation under the Manual you have been working with. "A word to the wise is sufficient." If you have questions, please contact me.
Questions are welcome.
Please address all inquiries to:
Director of Technical Services
APWA, 2345 Grand Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64108-2625
Fax questions to (816) 472-0405