SOUTHERN CITY QUARTER 3 2022 38 Municipal Equation Is on the Air NCLM’S PODCAST IS BACK IN 2022, COVERING SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT TOPICS AROUND THE LEAGUE AND AROUND THE STATE. Pre-pandemic, the League’s award-winning podcast Municipal Equation put a light on city-centric narratives nationwide. From planning to administration and downtown history to new urban concepts, Municipal Equation was a beacon of informative, interesting, and compelling stories. After a brief, COVID-caused pause, it’s back—this time with a direct focus on cities adapting to change. Throughout 2022, Municipal Equation has covered a number of key issues, including the American Rescue Plan, resilience, employee recruitment and retention, and some of the key initiatives happening in our cities. Hosted by NCLM’s own Ben Brown, a collection of this year’s stories can be seen below. You can listen to the entire Municipal Equation catalog—new and old episodes alike— at https://municipalequation.libsyn.com/. ARP in Action On this episode of Municipal Equation, NCLM’s podcast about cities and towns adapting to change, we explore how municipalities from the mountains to the coast are programming their American Rescue Plan allocations—federal funds with transformative potential, and recipient cities are acting in that regard. Plenty of examples to celebrate and inspire, here. Dreaming Big in Small Towns Cities and towns so good that vacations become permanent stays. We talk with VisitNC, the state’s promotional and tourism outfit, about its Dream Big in Small Town NC initiative, which aims to connect travelers with the state’s alluring small towns—places so great they’re hard to leave, and that’s the idea. Flexing the River (With Weldon, NC) A conversation with Mayor Hugh Credle of Weldon, NC, to learn how his small town is thinking big with the help of the river—the Roanoke—running just alongside its limits. Vision Zero In 2017, the City of Greensboro logged more than 40 vehicle crash fatalities, at the time a high mark that rattled officials enough to explore ways toward safer travels. This led city officials to a global movement in the form of a scalable initiative called Vision Zero. City of Greensboro Transportation Planning Engineer Lydia McIntyre explains what Vision Zero is, how it seeks to reduce traffic fatalities and serious accidents, and what the city has learned (with surprises) since embarking. Recruitment and Retention, Challenges, and Ideas It seems inconsistent: pandemic-related, record-level job losses while employers report their own hardships in finding workers. But that’s the nature of what analysts have called one of the strangest labor shortages in memory. Nationally, employers have reported too-tight talent pools or general hard times retaining staff. While much of the labor-shortage news spotlight is usually either broad-talking or sector-specific, municipalities far and wide indeed have felt the effect. On this episode, we hear from a few on their unique challenges and ideas to improve their situations. Boone, NC Shifts to Renewables The Town of Boone appears to be the first in North Carolina to have shifted from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy for its municipal facilities, and many years ahead of its own timeline for doing so. But how? We talk with Boone Sustainability Manager George Santucci for an education on how the town and its leaders paired will with recognition of resources to achieve a big goal the town’s people can be proud of.