• Every month we exhort you to sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter. We're not trying to prolong your day by giving you another e-mail to process; it's just that “PUBLIC WORKS Update” is one of two ways to access a wealth of information that's NOT (usually) in the magazine:

    Answers to reader questions posed to Americans with Disabilities Act consultant Michele Ohmes

  • Commentary by Geneva, Ill., Assistant Public Works Director/City Engineer Pam Broviak, PE, whose substantial gifts include the ability to explain communications technology in plain English.

If you don't receive our e-newsletter, follow the directions on the bottom right-hand side of this page. You'll be asked to provide basic information (title, organization, etc.) to confirm you qualify for a free subscription.

If you don't want the e-newsletter but would like to see what these two excellent resources have to say, you can do that, too.

Go to www.pwmag.com and click on blogs at the far right of the horizontal bar highlighted in tan. Pam's column is called “The Works” and Michele's is “ADA Corner.” (Reflecting one of my less creative moments, mine's “Stephanie's Insights.”)

If you'd like to comment, you'll have to register by creating a username and password. This is the type of Internet-related baggage that drives me up the wall. Unfortunately, however, this requirement is no longer the wave of the future; it's here to stay. Virtually everything I do online — banking, managing my benefits, ordering a product I'll never order again — involves coming up with a new username and password.

Security experts say you shouldn't use the same combination more than once. A few years ago I accepted that my brain could no longer retain my plethora of identities and created an Excel spreadsheet listing the information for each Web site I visit in alphabetical order. Hardly a revolutionary tool, but one that's cut down on the amount of screaming emanating from my office.

So I apologize that you'll have to do this to enter an online conversation. However, our system allows government employees to comment anonymously. Or you can use your name, as Karl Sieg did when Pam introduced alternatives to MicroSoft's PowerPoint. He asked why bother if PowerPoint works for you?

Her reply ... well, you'll have visit Pam's blog to check it out. Good luck and we look forward to “talking” to you.

- Stephanie Johnston,
Editor in Chief


Not sure if local municipalities would be immediately affected.

People would continue to lose faith in the public sector, despite our hard work.

The federal government is more than $14 trillion in the hole and every state is in the red. Heaven help us!

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