This quiz offered as a public service to the many fine service-oriented, working-level employees
in the Ankeny bureaucracy who are wondering why they aren't getting promoted. Here's why.


1. You are the Ankeny Police chief. A model citizen comes wanting to work with you in any way he can to minimize any problems that may arise with his Christmas display. What do you do?

A. Welcome him and offer helpful advice.
B. Accommodate visitors because they are tax-paying citizens.
C. Recognize that visitors benefit merchants and our local economy.
D. Tell him it sounds like extra work, then sic the lawyers on him.

2. You're an attorney with the City of Ankeny as a client. They ask you to find a law, any law, that they can go after the guy from Question #1 with. You should...

A. Explain that no city in America has ever done such a thing.
B. Tell them to pick up the phone and call the guy if there's an issue.
C. Point out that their job is to serve the citizens who may visit, not stop them.
D. Did somebody say billable hours? Call his display a public nuisance and send him a certified letter threatening legal action if taxpayers show up to see it.

3. The Ankeny City Council steps in and tells your office to work this out. What do you do?

A. Accept the citizen's incremental traffic plan.
B. Work on a better incremental traffic plan with the citizen.
C. He's on your side, so forge a relationship built on honesty and mutual trust.
D. Promise anything, but, in fact, initiate a plan that is even more hostile and unfair than the certified letter from Question #2.

4. You give Ankeny police officers standing orders regarding the display. What should they be?

A. It fits the image Ankeny is trying to project. Do what it takes to keep things running smoothly.
B. If there are any complaints do what you would normally do.
C. Use sound discretion and resolve any issues.
D. We told him this sounded like work -- SHUT HIM DOWN!

5. Surprisingly to everyone, it turns out this display is in the perfect location for a natural traffic pattern. And, because it's a short show, people wait in line along the curb to see it, leaving two lanes completely open for local traffic and emergency vehicles. Plus it's safer because visitors aren't driving -- with their lights off -- when they view it. How should you react?

A. Acknowledge that this was a great thing that works far better than expected.
B. Offer the citizen special recognition for supporting the City's branding effort.
C. Start encouraging all citizens to computerize their lights in order to increase public safety.
D. Claim that traffic "backs up," creating undefined "public safety" issues.

6. Three legislators, including the Chair of the House Local Government Committee, warn you that we do not consider Christmas lights to be a public nuisance in Iowa and that you should start being fair, get this ordinance fixed, and resolve the problem. What do you do?

A. Acknowledge that they have a point and resolve the issue.
B. Take that as a wake up call and consider that you may be out of line.
C. Change the ordinance and embrace Christmas lights as a deep-seated family tradition.
D. Let the Legislators know that nobody tells Ankeny what to do. Claim there are undefined "public safety" issues and complain that the display isn't on a main thoroughfare where visitors would clog intersections from all directions and create real traffic congestion.

7. You're an Ankeny city official (take your pick between mayor, public relations officer, or anonymous talk show caller). Write a sentence that demonstrates how you should talk to the citizen about this issue.

A. The City exists to serve as many citizens as possible as efficiently as possible.
B. Since so many citizens want to see this display, of course we'll help make that possible.
C. Thank you for doing this. Other cities pay thousands for this kind of thing.
D. You should be happy that the City LET you do your display at all.

8. You're on the Ankeny City Council and the citizen in question, on advice of the Mayor, asks the Council to help resolve the issue for the 2007 season. What do you do?

A. Ask questions, discuss it in open session, and figure out how to make it work.
B. Take advantage of this opportunity to make Ankeny the family-friendly town we claim to be.
C. Take advantage of the free publicity available and promote the local economy as "The City of Lights."
D. Nothing. Ankeny is actually a puppet government run by the City Manager.

9. You are the City Manager running Ankeny as a puppet government. What do you do in the above situation?

A. Ask questions and figure out how to make it work.
B. Take advantage of this opportunity to make Ankeny the family-friendly town we claim to be.
C. Take advantage of the free publicity available and promote the local economy as "The City of Lights."
D. Claim that making this work doesn't rise to the level of public merit. At the same time have the Council address an issue that you think does by changing the ordinance defining your employment status from "at will" so that you can be the only City Manager in the area locked into a very lucrative long-term contract.

10. The Mayor arrogantly documents an open meetings violation in a letter. How do you deal with that?

A. Find out what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again.
B. Admit the truth, deal with the consequences, and start being more upfront.
C. Call the complainant, admit the truth, and resolve the problem going forward.
D. Have the City Manager say the Mayor lied.

11. You are Ankeny's Public Relations Officer. How do you handle this issue?

A. Explain to the City Manager that what the City is doing simply won't stand up to public scrutiny.
B. Be honest, don't try to decieve with half-truths, don't talk about what you don't know, and hope the City changes its mind before December.
C. Wait for the network satellite trucks roaming Iowa to show up this December, then pitch yourself for a better job.
D. Support the City's position no matter what. Even if that really means "no matter what."

12. You are the Ankeny Mayor with hopes of getting reelected. What is your best strategy regarding this issue?

A. Admit that the City of Ankeny is completely out of line.
B. Address the interests of the three-thousand plus voters who saw and enjoyed the display last year.
C. Wrest enough power away from the City Manager and City Attorney to do the job you were elected to do.
D. Go on TV looking like a bureaucratic grinch, make claims that are easily discredited, then write a dishonest letter that makes the City Manager call you a liar.