PA 582 Discussions Week 1-7

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PA 582 Discussions Week 1-7

PA 582 Viewpoints Week 1 Discussions 1 All Students Posts 28 Pages Keller  Let’s begin the discussion by you answering the question, what does the term public administration mean to you? How have you been involved with public administration? What are the differences between the private sector and the public sector? What does public policy mean to you? What is the difference between policy and administration?  What values are important to public policy that impact public administration?  What values are important to public policy that impact public administration? What is the citizen’s role in the public policy process at the three levels of government?…

 PA 582 Approaches to Public Administration Week 1 Discussions 2 All Students Posts 29 Pages Keller 

The three approaches are a method to understand or categorize public administration.  We may find ourselves tending to favor one approach over another because of our own philosophical thoughts and interests.  When you think about the three approaches, is there one better than the other?  Choose one of the approaches and explain the basics. Class, according to the authors of the course text, the New Public Management approach has become the dominant managerial approach in the U.S. When you consider the main features of this approach do you agree that it is the dominant approach? What is your evidence that government, especially local government, is getting worse?  Can you elaborate?  Also, I am not sure how you mean to link the employer’s desire or lack of desire for experienced workers with NPM? What are some current “trends” transforming our government and public administration today? Choose one of the trends transforming government, and address how that may impact the approach to Public Administration….

 PA 582 Policy Process Week 2 Discussions 1 All Students Posts 29 Pages Keller 

What is meant by the term “policy process”?  Who might be viewed as stakeholders on a federal policy issue?  To what extent do you feel that the stakeholders should have a say in the process of setting policy? Why have public administrators gained authority, independence and influence in policy making?  Is this a good thing? Class: As we continue to establish why public administrators have authority and influence, let’s shift the discussion a bit.  What has our political and legal system done to try to curb this trend?…

 PA 582 Citizens’ Input Week 2 Discussions 2 All Students Posts 29 Pages Keller 

Have you ever attended a meeting of a local government (I have attended hundreds, maybe thousands) or served on an advisory board? Could you please share your experiences? If not, could you please check the website of a local government in your area, and relate to us the procedures for attending and/or speaking? How do these local government procedures compare to procedures for public input at the State or Federal level? How do the local government procedures for public input compare to procedures for public input at the State or Federal level? If forming or membership in an interest group increases influence in the public policy making process, how is this helpful?  Is it always helpful?…

 PA 582 Comparing Budgets Week 3 Discussions 1 All Students Posts 32 Pages Keller 

Public services cost money.  Public administrators have a huge role in developing a government’s annual spending plan which depends upon a vast array of funding sources – mostly taxes.  This week we will be discussing governmental budgeting. When I prepare my annual city budget, I need to have a balanced budget.  In other words, cities and states cannot have a deficit.  On the other hand, the Federal government can spend more than it raises in revenues if it deems necessary.  What are the advantages of this authority? What is generally the largest expenditure of state and local governments combined?… Are some expenditures by government generally uncontrollable?  What are some examples?

 PA 582 Revenue Sources Week 3 Discussions 2 All Students Posts 38 Pages Keller 

Study and share a recent budget of your local government. Compare sources of revenue among classmates. What sources are the same? Which ones are different? What are the major sources of revenue for the school operations? Many governments use performance measurements or performance indicators to help create and guide the budget process.  What is performance budgeting and how is it an improvement over other budgeting?…

 PA 582 Goals of Public Policy Week 4 Discussions 1 All Students Posts 31 Pages Keller 

Let’s start with the Federal government.  Congress continues to debate an overhaul of immigrations laws.  Among other provisions, major controversies within the proposed legislation are the path to citizenship for existing illegal immigrants and border security.  In your view, what are the policy goals of the proposed bill – Efficiency? Equity? Stabilization? Or, what about “Obamacare”, one of the most divisive policies in recent history.  The law is beginning to be implemented now. In your view, what were the public policy goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 – Efficiency? Equity? Stabilization? If a public policy is establish to create equity, what will it do?  What will the result be? If a public policy is establish to create economic stability, what will it do?  What will the result be? If a public policy is establish to create efficiency in the broad context, what will it do?  What will the result be?…

 PA 582 Decision Making Week 4 Discussions 2 All Students Posts 28 Pages Keller 

Three models of decision making were addressed in this week’s readings. Let’s address each of the three starting with the rational-comprehensive model. Please describe that model. Which approach to public administration does it seem best suited to? Do you like and use this model? Class:  Sometimes my city staff gets frustrated with Council decisions that are not based on the NPM variant, but rely on the political approach.  Some would suggest that being politically astute is a necessary attribute of a city administrator. Can a public administrator successfully facilitate a politically motivated discussion? How? Please read the article.  What do you think of Benest’s (2013) advice?  How does this apply to the work of all public administrators?…

 PA 582 Implementation Week 5 Discussions 1 All Students Posts 30 Pages Keller 

What is meant by implementation? Assume in this regard that a new policy has been passed by the legislature in your state that is in your field of work, study or interest. In general terms, what are some of the steps for implementation? Some policies objectives are agreeable to most everyone, but the methods may not be agreeable to everyone.  Can you think of a policy that is attaining its objectives, but through an implementation to which you are opposed? For example, consider the use of roadblocks to combat DUIs. Or, red light cameras to deter red light violations. Of course the objective of the roadblocks is to decrease the number of people driving under the influence, but do you suppose that stopping every single person at a roadblock is constitutional? What about being cited for a running a red light after a photograph of your car? How do you think we can reconcile the idea of protecting everyone while still maintaining some sense of rights?…

 PA 582 Evaluation Week 5 Discussions 2 All Students Posts 25 Pages Keller 

A public administrator is apt to make sure the policy is meeting performance objectives?  Is that how everyone will evaluate it?  What are some of the problems in trying to evaluate the effectiveness of policy outputs and policy implementation? How can you as a public administrator bring the public into the process of evaluating a policy?  How can you facilitate public input?  Hold a hearing?  Send out a survey?  Other ways? The policy makers understand the benefits of new single family homes.  They know there was a cost to the program and why.  But, what they don’t know is if the discount in fees caused  anyone to build in St. Cloud that otherwise would not have.  The fundamental question here is – did the incentive cause more homes to be built in St. Cloud?  How can we demonstrate the effectiveness of the incentive?…

 PA 582 Sunset Provision Week 6 Discussions 1 All Students Posts 23 Pages Keller 

What does the term “sunset provision” mean?  Why are these used?  How does a sunset provision reduce the cost of a new program? What is the current status of the Patriot Act?  Have the provisions scheduled to sunset been reviewed? How does a sunset provision reduce the cost of a new program? Using the Patriot Act as an example, address the trade-off between security and privacy. Why might that have led to inclusion of a sunset provision? Do you think that the sunset provision helped get the act passed? Describe how a state legislature might make a sunset provision applicable to allagencies within that state. Why might such a general provision be created by the state? What would be the goal, in other words, of having a sunset for all agencies? How might this assist citizens in having a say in the government? Does this sound like a good thing to you?…

 PA 582 Citizen Involvement Week 6 Discussions 2 All Students Posts 27 Pages Keller 

I was a town manager in a small town in Maine in the 1980s (yes, I am old).  The Town of Easton had an elected Board of Selectmen and the Town Meeting form of government.  We brought the annual budget before the voters on an annual basis during the annual town meeting.  Portions of the budget could be approved or disapproved at the town meeting. What type of democracy have I described?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of this form of government?  Do you feel that citizens that show up have a right to have a direct say in local government decision-making? Or should each person’s voice just be heard through a representative? What are some of the problems in having citizen involvement in local government decision-making? Could having citizen involvement at every level of the decision-making process cause that process to become too burdensome and time-consuming?  Do you have any examples pertaining to meetings, studies, public hearings, focus groups, or other techniques that may have led to such delays?…

 PA 582 Public-Private Partnership Week 7 Discussions 1 All Students Posts 27 Pages Keller 

Let’s start by developing an understanding of public-private partnerships.  In general, what is meant by the term public-private partnership? Do you have an example from your own community? From a financial perspective, what is one advantage that might be present for a public-private partnership as compared to a project undertaken just by a public agency? Why should a government seek the best value in entering a public-private partnership rather than just the lowest cost? In your opinion, why can there be a difference between best value and lowest cost? Does this seem counter to the usual competitive bidding used by governments in many instances? Some of you probably drive on roads that are the product of a PPP.  From your perspective as a user, do you think this PPP is effective?  Is the road maintained well?  Is the cost reasonable?  Is it easy to pay your tolls?…

 PA 582 The Future Week 7 Discussions 2 All Students Posts 25 Pages Keller 

Let’s talk about significant issues for policy makers and public administrators today. From your studies this session, and especially from your work on the Course Project, what do you feel is a major public policy issue facing the United States in the coming years? In many of these issues there are multiple opinions from multiple stakeholders.  In many cases, each of us try to protect “our” interests.  How can we reconcile these differences? Class: There are parts of our system that help us to ‘cope’ and continue to provide valuable public services, aren’t there?  What are some skills we need as public administrators, combined with the system, to continue to provide valuable services?


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