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March 18, 2022
Introductions, Mingling, and Welcome (9:20AM)
PANEL TITLE: Diverse Methods Investigating Regional and Interlocal Governance Mechanisms for Physical and Human Infrastructure
The impacts of the federal bipartisan physical infrastructure bill (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 2021-2022) will be a story of not just intergovernmental implementation through federal-state or state-local relations. It will also require an understanding of how local governments and the constellations of interlocal mechanisms that operate at the substate level function as resources are deployed. Scholars often consider special districts, regional public sector organizations, interlocal agreements, and other collective action mechanisms in isolation. While developing a rigorous understanding of the components requires narrow focus, the larger network is not nearly as siloed.
The Build Back Better bill focusing on human infrastructure–in whatever final resulting form—will rely on many of the same overlapping constellations of local governments and interlocal mechanisms, as well as partnerships with civic sector providers. The governance and implementation of programs through Area Agencies on Aging, multijurisdictional opioid addiction response partnerships, watershed coalitions, and educational partnerships operate within some of these same regional public sector organizations. The special districts and interlocal agreements impacted by investments in human infrastructure may involve many of the same local government and civic sector partners as the physical infrastructure investments. Our panelists will discuss ongoing governance research focused on four areas central to physical and human infrastructure needs in the U.S.: water systems management, broadband deployment, behavioral health care, and sustainability planning. Each panelist applies different research techniques to capture these questions: network analysis, individual case study, interview data analysis, and survey data analysis.
Putting fragmentation back together again: Advancing a typology of successful water
Kate Albrecht, University of Illinois-Chicago (presenter)
Thomas Skuzinski, Northern Illinois University
Jason Michnick, University of Illinois-Chicago
Carolina Velandia Hernandez, Northern Illinois University
Rural Broadband and Co-Regional Activity in Southwestern North Carolina
Jay Rickabaugh, Appalachian State University (presenter, confirmed)
Jen Luetkemeyer, Appalachian State University
Outcome Insights: Applying an NPG lens to examine a capacity building initiative among
the government and its partners
Sapna Varkey, University of Missouri-Saint Louis (presenter)
Kara Lawrence, North Carolina State University
Leila Chelbi, North Carolina State University
Amanda J. Stewart, North Carolina State University
Richard M. Clerkin, North Carolina State University
Infrastructure Regionalism and Sustainability Planning in Illinois Municipalities
Thomas Skuzinski, Northern Illinois University
11:15-12:15: Roundtable Discussion: Future Research Questions and Idea Brainstorm
Professor Deil Wright was a true master of mentorship and research collaboration. As such, to honor his legacy to the section and to the field, we will dedicate an hour of the day to an open conversation among attendees about their research in progress. Attendees are invited to share about current research, their future ideas, any stumbling blocks they may be grappling with on their projects, and other topics related to federalism, intergovernmental relations, intergovernmental management, or general professional development in the field.
PANEL TITLE: COVID-19, Policy, and Outcomes in the Federal System
Negativity Bias in City Councilors’ Responsibility Attribution for COVID-19 Outcomes
Ulrich Jensen, Akheil Singla, Justin Stritch, and David Swindell*
Arizona State University
School of Public Affairs
Presenter: David Swindell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Public health services in the United States are collaboratively provided by all levels of U.S. governments, creating a complicated and often conflicted policy environment during a pandemic like COVID-19. When facing poor-COVID-19 outcomes (e.g., high case and death rates), elected officials can deflect blame up or down the vertical hierarchy of government instead of accepting responsibility. The result may worsen intergovernmental service delivery and result in an erosion of accountability and trust among citizens. To explore whether such blame shifting occurs, we manipulated the saliency of states’ relative performance on central COVID-19 outcomes as part of a survey experiment among 339 political decision makers serving on city councils across the United States. Drawing on the concept of “negativity bias,” we show that elected officials are highly motivated to shift blame to external factors instead of assuming responsibility when poor performance is made salient. Elected officials in better-performing states, however, do not claim credit for lower COVID-19 case and fatality rates, supporting the notion that political leaders place disproportionate weight on negative information when attributing responsibility for policy outcomes. Our findings have extensive ramifications, as failure to assume responsibility when it is needed the most can further erode citizen trust in public institutions and exacerbate resistance to the very public health measures prescribed by these institutions to combat COVID-19.
Policymaking During COVID-19: Preemptive State Interventions and the Factors Influencing Policy Implementation Success
Seungkyu Choi, Michelle Allgood (Presenter), and David Swindell
Arizona State University
School of Public Affairs
COVID-19 not only sparked a public health crisis, but created a series of policy preemption battles. This article examines how COVID-19 interventions played out at the state level given the absence of guidance to create a coordinated national response. Specifically, we examine how four specific interventions (i.e., masking, school closures, restaurant closures, and travel restrictions) traveled through the policy creation and implementation process as outlined by a modified version of Kingdon’s multiple streams approach. We focus on how the level of policy rigidness and enforcement of behavioral interventions helps us understand the success and failures of reducing the number of positive test rates over a 20 week period (March – July, 2020). Our findings suggest that highly restrictive policies are effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19, but the mechanisms and dynamics vary based on the specific intervention. We also find a strong association between the states’ political orientation and a governor’s inclination to use restrictive interventions. Governors from conservative states are less likely to employ preemptive actions such as face mask regulations and travel restrictions and more likely to preempt local governments from exceeding state-specified responses.
Defining Urban Sustainability: An Examination of U.S. Cities
University of Central Florida
Sustainability has become an umbrella concept under which urban environmental quality, resource conservation, equity, climate mitigation, economic health and environmental justice all occur. As such, research has sought to gain a deeper understanding of how cities are pursuing these and other objectives. To this end, a relatively large scholarly literature has emerged on city sustainability policies and programmatic efforts. However, how city officials define sustainability is also critical; such conceptualizations reflects the city’s sustainability agenda and guide the city’s operationalization of sustainability objectives.
This study uses a unique collection of qualitative data from over 400 US cities collected at two points in time: 2015 and 2020. Specifically, local government staff with sustainability-related responsibilities provided open-ended descriptions of sustainability as it is practiced in their communities. We develop and apply a coding protocol to the definitions in order to assess patterns and generate groupings of similar cities. We present descriptive statistics illustrating how cities’ conceptualizations of sustainability have shifted over time and present the results of a multivariate analysis that differentiate groups of cities based on community characteristics.
Preliminary results suggest that although some cities define sustainability in relatively comprehensive terms and reflect a future oriented perspective, other cities define sustainability more programmatically. Results also point toward the challenges of pursuing sustainability without generating co-benefits, a lack of political support, and limited resources. These and other findings add new evidence of how sustainability is practiced and the similarities and differences across cities.
3:00PM: Program Concludes
5:00PM: SIAM Business Meeting
The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) invites scholars and practitioners to submit proposals for papers to be presented at the 4th annual Deil S. Wright Symposium. The symposium honors the career and contributions of Professor Deil S. Wright, who was a charter member of the Section and remained active until his passing in 2009. The Wright Symposium will be a preconference event held on Friday, March 17, 2017 at the national conference of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) in Atlanta, Georgia.
The theme of the all-day symposium is “Evidence-Based Intergovernmental Management: Knowledge at Work.” It will focus on U.S. federalism and comparative federalism. Through decades of research on federalism and intergovernmental relations, public administration scholars have generated knowledge about effective governance and management in federal systems. While the cumulative lessons of this research may be familiar to some, they have not been discussed widely by scholars or used by professional public managers. Today, public officials are expected to take evidence-based approaches to policy design and implementation, and the record of research evidence about what has worked and what has failed to produce desired results would be an invaluable resource. Scholars of federalism, intergovernmental relations, intergovernmental management, and collaborative management can help improve federal systems by providing meta-analyses and synthesizing evidence in the field to inform practice. The 2017 Wright Symposium provides an excellent forum for doing so.
Proposed paper topics are invited that would help scholars and government professionals better understand what we have learned from the cumulative research on intergovernmental relations and management. Papers are welcome to advance new research propositions, identify research gaps, or provide empirical evidence. The goal is to emphasize for public managers how evidence can be used to shape intergovernmental management practice. Topics might include, but are not limited to the:
- Design, accountability, and evaluation of intergovernmental grants and programs, including revenue sharing and fiscal equalization;
- Development of collaborative intergovernmental competencies or skills by federal, regional, state, and local public managers;
- Effectiveness of elected executives in managing intergovernmental relations in presidential and parliamentary federal systems;
- Effectiveness of intergovernmental, interjurisdictional, and intersectoral management networks;
- Value of intergovernmental institutions, such as the U.S. Advisory Commission on
Intergovernmental Relations, Council of Australian Governments, or the White House Office on Intergovernmental Affairs;
- Impact of federalism executive orders or presidential decrees on intergovernmental relations;
- Impacts of federal mandates and conditions attached to federal grants-in-aid;
- Effectiveness of regulatory waivers;
- Diffusion of evidence-based practices horizontally across constituent units such as states, provinces, and cantons;
- Performance of regional governments and organizations, such as consolidated or amalgamated local governments, metropolitan governments, councils of governments, and city-states;
- Advantages and disadvantages of optional forms of local government;
- Consequences of litigation for the authority of public managers in intergovernmental programs;
- Impacts of court orders, consent decrees, and other judicial interventions into intergovernmental relations.
Proposals for the symposium should be submitted by email to Carl Stenberg (email@example.com) before October 1. Proposals should be well developed and clearly demonstrate the ability to deliver a finished paper. The Wright Symposium planning committee – Ann Bowman, John Kincaid, Michael McGuire, Eric Zeemering, and Carl Stenberg — will review proposals and make decisions by October 22. Questions can be directed to committee members. Please circulate this call for papers among interested colleagues.
Presenters at the Deil Wright Symposium (L-R): Chang-Gyu Kwak (Florida State University), Meghan Rubado (Temple University), Yu Shi (University of Illinois at Chicago), Hyungjun Ji (Arizona State University), KyungWoo (John) Kim (University of North Texas), Dr. Richard Feiock (Florida State University).
We invite all members of SIAM to join us in the ongoing and important discussion about our section’s mission and future work. The Wright Symposium has become a hallmark event for the presentation of research on federalism and intergovernmental relations. This year, we invite members to join us for a panel discussion regarding the recent membership survey and work of the mission implementation committee, which will be held during the Wright Sympoisum, March 18 at 11:00 AM. This panel will provide members an opportunity to hear about the deliberative work of the Mission Implementation Committee, and hear an early preview of their recommendations before the business meeting. Then, please be sure to attend the section business meeting, scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM. The SIAM events in Seattle provide us with an opportunity to unite behind our shared interests in federalism, intergovernmental relations, and collaborative management.
2016 DEIL S. WRIGHT SYMPOSIUM ANNOUNCEMENT
The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) invites ASPA members to attend the 2016 Deil S. Wright Symposium at the 2016 ASPA national conference in Seattle. The symposium honors the career and contributions of Professor Deil S. Wright, who was a charter member of SIAM and remained active until his passing in 2009. The all-day meeting on Friday, March 18 will feature cutting edge research on local governance and intergovernmental management by outstanding doctoral candidates and junior scholars, collaborating with faculty members, as well as a panel discussion on the Section’s mission. The theme of the symposium is “Intergovernmental Management in Transition” Following is the preliminary agenda.
Thank you to all who participated in the 2015 Deil S. Wright Symposium. Links for each of the papers are below.
An Exploration of Collaboration Risk in Joint Ventures:Perceptions of Risk by Local Economic Development Officials by Jered B. Carr, Christopher V. Hawkins, & Drew E. Westberg
Taking the High Road: Local Government Managers’ Perceptions on Implementing LocalOption Recreational Marijuana in Colorado by Bruce J. Perlman, Sara Shoemate, Nicholas Edwardson, Michael J. Scicchitano, & Tracy L. Johns
Is the Teaching of Federalism and Intergovernmental RelationsDead or Alive in American Public Administration? by Richard L. Cole & John Kincaid
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs:Energy Efficiency and Growth through State and Local Implementation by Benjamin H. Deitchman
Funding the Built and NaturalEnvironment (Infrastructure) inthe 21st CenturyAn Evolving Example of Deil Wright’sOverlapping Model of IGR by Mark Pisano
The Status of Home Rule in Illinois* by Heidi Koenig
* paper requested from author. When it is received, a link will be developed.
Richard C. Feiock, Florida State University
The first outcome will be to collect the best practices and catalog what is working in the country, which could be used as building blocks for this emerging way of building the nation’s infrastructure. The historical pathway to developing governance innovations has been to start with experiments undertaken in the states and regions of the country. Twenty-eight states have enacted laws providing for tolls or fees to fund transportation and even more have laws that fund utilities; but now many states are also returning to directly capturing the economic benefits that infrastructure creates and capturing the revenue streams from people and property to fund these investments. The working group members have participated in many of these experiments in states including: Virginia, Maryland, Texas and California. Virginia used assessment financing to complement federal funding on the Metro Silverline. Maryland is doing the same on transit in the district. California has enacted legislation SB628 “Enhance Infrastructure Districts” that uses these principles. The effort will encourage all states and regions to develop a legislative structure for financing infrastructure using the lessons and practices learned.
The next outcome will be to develop policy options that Congress could enact that flesh out the national role in this framework and accelerate mobilization of this new national capacity to fund critically needed national infrastructure. Creating the federal role in linking benefits with revenues could accelerate the experiments in the country. Some of these options are identified in the “Memo to National Leaders:” developing risk assessment and mitigation capacity assistance for fiscal, environmental, institutional and technical issues that will be encountered in this approach. Included in this work is the intergovernmental regulatory overlay that is frustrating and hindering the capacity of state and regions in making investment decisions, particularly in the natural environment. The working group is also exploring a national loan program that integrates many existing federal loan programs into a de-facto infrastructure bank loan program. By bringing multiple loans together a diversified portfolio is created and the risks lowered. The combination of combination of loan programs also creates a significant portfolio without increasing further federal financial exposure.
The working group is exploring is new approaches for benefit payment approaches such as distance based charges for transportation, the bundling of fee and revenue sources used by states and regions so that nexus can be improved, and planning approaches that bring better nexus information to the decision making table. Most importantly this beneficial use approach to funding creates the capacity to capture increasing amounts of private capital that is seeking longer term returns in our nations public goods where the risks are mitigated and shared