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This is the time of year when the days are at their shortest, the thermometer may dip below freezing, the stores are crowded with shoppers and publications are full of predictions for 2024.

We thought we’d join the pack and offer up seven forecasts for the world of state and local management in the months to come. If you have any to add, please send them our way at

1)    Whatever states and local governments choose to do about remote work – including hybrid work -- there’s going to be growing pushback from at least part of the staff. Settle on a requirement for three days in the office and people will want two. Cut back to two days and there’ll be complaints about the lack of socialization in an office that’s nearly empty. And whatever days you pick for staffers to come in they’ll be inconvenient for many. Figuring out this riddle is going to be a huge task for HR offices from coast to coast.


2)    As the American Rescue Plan Act money comes closer to running out, states that decided to cut back on taxes are going to begin to regret their actions – particularly if citizens get wind of the idea that services may be diminished in months or years to come.


3)    Though AI is going to keep advancing, and no one will know the outcomes for some time, the good news about its capacities is going to begin to outweigh the terrifying specters of the way it’s going to take over planet earth like some creature from outer space.


4)    The number of “chief officer” positions will continue to grow, following on the trend to appoint “chief sustainability officers” and “chief heat officers.” Many won’t be given enough money or staff to do their jobs.


5)    We don’t dabble in politics, but this felt worth saying: Whatever the pollsters say, most are going to be wrong.


6)    Ransomware attacks – already at peak levels – are going to accelerate even more as the bad guys get richer and cities (especially small ones) still won’t have sufficient resources to stop them.


7)    (Here’s an easy one) There’s going to be more than one natural disaster someplace, which will be followed by a resounding chorus of voices asking why the entity wasn’t prepared.


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