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Darts and laurels

Laurels to those whoíve submitted feedback to the city of Salisbury on qualities it should seek in a new city manager. The array of suggestions offered so far points to the multifaceted talents required of a good city manager. Some residents emphasized hands-on budgeting and managerial expertise while others focused on economic growth and ěpeopleî skills. The person who gets the job will need to draw on all of the above, and more. Technical expertise is ineffective without leadership abilities; bridge-building works best when people believe those bridges are leading to a more prosperous future for everyone. By soliciting feedback in an open forum, the city set the right tone for what should be a transparent process to fill this key position. If you missed this weekís selection forum, you can still provide input online through Aug. 25. Go to www.salisburync.gov and click on ěCity Manager Surveyî under quick links or go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/FK73RVH.

Dart to an increase in workplace incivility, a trend tracked by psychology researchers and reported this week by USA Today. The Civility in America 2011 poll found that 43 percent of Americans say theyíve experienced incivility at work, and 38 percent believe the workplace is increasingly disrespectful. Part of this may relate to the ěbad bossî syndrome, since 65 percent of those polled blamed ěworkplace leadershipî for bothersome behavior. But 59 percent also blamed the employees themselves. The rise in rude behavior comes as no surprise, given higher work demands, longer hours and widespread angst about job stability (not to mention the high-octane impact of all those energy drinks). How to create a kinder, gentler office or shop floor? A recent article in Psychology Today cited these strategies for creating a better workplace: Promote teamwork, create a culture of mutual respect among employees and solicit feedback from staff on areas that need improvement.

Laurels to a slight drop in gasoline prices which has put the nationwide average at $3.606 a gallon, according to AAA. A 10-cents-a-gallon change (compared to a week ago) isnít reason to break out the champagne, but it does provide a sliver of relief for cash-strapped consumers irritated at the seeming disconnect between oil markets and the price at the pump. Analysts see the possibility of another 15-20 cent drop in the next week or so, depending on the price of crude.

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