Odis Jones is an urban planning professional who most recently served as the CEO of the Public Lighting Authority in Detroit, Michigan. As a corollary to his work, Odis Jones belongs to the International City Management Association.
The International City Management Association strives to foster excellence in local governments around the world. Its members are government leaders and the professionals who advance local government and better cities of all sizes.
The Association recently released a study that reaffirms the importance of public libraries in cities. In one survey, citizens were asked to rank their library’s role in achieving important community goals. Respondents in this survey considered their library to be highly influential in many crucial areas, particularly regarding access to the Internet, early education, and digital literacy.
Approximately 53 percent of government stakeholders polled believe that their public libraries receive adequate funding. This figure rises when libraries have a governing relationship with their city, which tends to be more common in cities larger than 100,000 people.
The International City Management Association hopes to use this information to make better use of public libraries and to improve their potential to engage residents and strengthen local communities.
Odis Jones recently served as the CEO of the Public Lighting Authority of Detroit. In this position he managed day-to-day operations for the Detroit-based utility company. Outside of work, Odis Jones is involved with the International City Management Association (ICMA).
The ICMA works with local government organizations in order to aid the development and betterment of communities through improved city management. Both large cities and small towns are members of this organization, and all benefit as city managers learn how best to work with their residents and solve the common problems most cities face.
In December of 2016, the ICMA discussed several ways to increase public safety when severe snowstorms occur. The organization stated the number one way to keep people safe was to restrict travel as much as possible, in order to prevent individuals from becoming trapped on interstates and other roads. Another key concern that should be addressed in public service announcements is the safety of individuals who remain in their cars while the engine is running. This can be dangerous if the tailpipe is not clear or if the vehicle is parked within an enclosed space, such as a garage. Finally, those that do feel the need to venture out in a snow storm should be encouraged to pack clothing, food, and water in their car. In the event that they get stranded on the road, they will have access to these basic needs until help arrives.