About

engine room

As middle managers in the ‘engine room’ of local government we offer a frank and realistic discussion about what is happening in local government. Our view isn’t obscured by high office or immersion in the day to day operations. We will talk about the bits that are good, the bits that aren’t, and how they could be better. The aim is to provoke thinking, question practice, and encourage improvement. We are not trying to be systematic, comprehensive or authoritative. We are just writing about things that have happened to us or that we have observed happening to others.

The authors, writing as part of a blog club, have extensive experience working in local government and have started writing to get the things out of their heads that would otherwise rattle around in there for no good purpose.

For first time readers, the syntopicon provides a quick overview of the topics posted.

Update January 2016.

I have a confession.  What I wrote above almost a year ago is not exactly true.

Localgovernmentutopia.com has been a blog club, but not in the way you might think. Rather than several writers, it has ended up being one writer (with the exception of one post – see if you can find it) with assistance from several editors and lots of influencing from them and other colleagues across local government in Victoria. About 20 people have provided much of the inspiration, often unknowingly.

Writing under pseudonyms has allowed ideas to be expressed freely. When discussing the idea of a blog, my colleagues were alarmed at the damage it might to for employment prospects and much relieved to find out it would be anonymous. It seems that expressing ideas in local government is seen as dangerous.

As a professional development exercise, writing the blog has been tremendous. In penning over 200,000 words in a year I have examined many ideas, published provocations, engaged in debates (sometimes with myself), and allowed thoughts to grow and mature in public. In amongst them are some home truths and forthright opinions.

Writing from several viewpoints (the teaching, positively critical, negative and objective voices) has enabled clarity in thinking to emerge on matters I have been contemplating for years. Introducing a local government superhero provided another perspective but one that proved too difficult to sustain. Writing fiction is much more difficult that I thought it would be.

Hopefully, some coherent thinking has appeared as topics have been worked and reworked. I am also hopeful that some of my passion for local government and the potential it has to improve peoples’ lives has een evident.

Lastly, my apologies to The Brittas Empire.

LancingFarrell@gmail.com

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