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Complete a worksheet on the executive branch of government.

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Overview
Task: Complete a worksheet on the executive branch of government.
Purpose: To help you learn about the duties, mission, and function of a specific agency, as well as careers within the executive branch of the government.
Instructions
Part 1
Download and save the W10 Worksheet Download W10 Worksheet.
Select an agency or department that is part of the executive branch of the US Government. You may use the links below to help you select an agency or department.
The White House: The Executive Branch (Links to an external site.)
USA.gov (Links to an external site.)
Spend about twenty minutes conducting internet research on the background of your selected agency or department. Then answer the questions listed in “Part A” of the “Part 1: Report on an Executive Agency” section of your worksheet.
Next, spend another twenty minutes researching the organizational structure of your agency or department. Then answer the questions listed in “Part B” of the “Part 1: Report on an Executive Agency” section of your worksheet.
Spend time looking at the benefits of working for a federal bureaucracy. What are the benefits of working for the federal government, what are the problems or weaknesses of working for the federal government?
Part 2
Read the following information on Typitown:
Purpose of the City Planning Department: Planning the physical development of a community is a difficult process. The City Planning Department of Typitown must try to envision the type of community that Typitown wants to be in the future, and then use the tools of comprehensive planning, zoning, and building codes to achieve their objectives. This may sound simple, but the politics of the community often complicate the process. Local conflicts, the need for economy and efficiency, the desire for more jobs, and pressures from higher level government all work to make decision more difficult. In each case below, the City Planning Department must make a decision and give its reasoning for approving or denying the application.
Facts about Typitown: Typitown is a small community of about 15,000 people, located forty miles from a city of 150,000, called Bigtown. The town has been an agricultural trade center, but that is rapidly changing as several new manufacturing firms have located in nearby Bigtown, encouraging Typitown’s residents to take jobs in the factories. Per capita income has been below the state average, but it is beginning to increase because of improvements in employment opportunities. Typitown’s population, which had declined seven percent from 1980 to 1990, is now increasing, thus putting pressure on the schools, transportation systems, and housing supplies. Last year, Typitown adopted a comprehensive land-use plan, a zoning ordinance, and building codes.
Community Goals: The Typitown City Planning Department, working with the city council, has developed the following goals for the community:
To encourage growth as a central community by increasing the quality of its recreational, health, educational, and retail services, rather than simply being a bedroom community for Bigtown.
To prevent incompatible land uses.
To encourage high standards of development in all parts of Typitown to ensure a safe, attractive, and rewarding living and working environment for all economic levels.
To provide a land-use pattern that will foster economy in the delivery of utility services.
Read the following scenarios with your partner and discuss the proposed solutions. You must make a decision to either support or oppose the proposed solution. If you support it, you must be able to explain why. If you oppose it, you must present a counter-proposal that you think does a better job of reaching the community goals. Remember to consider the purpose and goals of the Typitown City Planning. Also, consider the size of the town and the demographics of the businesses and citizens.
Situation One: Michael Lams is the mayor’s brother-in-law and owner of the Chubby Cheese plant, which employs forty local citizens. The plant was built fifty years ago in an area that is now surrounded by middle-class housing. Three years ago, the cheese plant spent over $1 million upgrading its facilities in order to meet state requirements. Last year, when a new zoning ordinance was passed, the plant was considered to be nonconforming use and allowed to stay, but not to expand or upgrade. Mr. Lams wants a variance from the city to allow him to add to his existing plant in order to expand its production of low-fat cream cheese. This expansion will cost $2 million, which will increase his property taxes by $35,000 a year. It will also create fourteen new jobs. Mr. Lamb states that if he is not granted this variance, he will build a new plant in Bigtown and phase out all production at the Typitown plant over the next several years.
Proposed solution: Allow the variance to add to the cheese plant.
Situation Two: Linda Wilson is the director of the newly created Public Housing Authority (PHA), which wants to build twelve housing units for low-income seniors on two acres that the PHA plans to acquire just outside of town. However, because it is outside the city limits, the city needs to agree to extend utilities to the site. Last week, the owner of a thirty-room, downtown hotel announces that he was closing the hotel and putting the property up for sale. Some people believe that the hotel should be renovated by the PHA, rather than building new housing at greater expense. Others argue that the downtown area had deteriorated and is surrounded by substandard housing. Ms. Wilson is asking the city to approve the extension of utilities to the proposed location of the housing project.
Proposed solution: Do not extend the utilities and encourage the PHA to renovate the downtown hotel.
Situation Three: Howard Henderson is the superintendent of the local school system. Because of the expanding population, a new junior-senior high school has been built in Typitown. To create tennis courts and practice fields for athletics, the school board and the city have agreed to split the cost of development and to share ownership. This has required purchasing eight homes that are on the proposed site. Mr. and Mrs. Burnett, who are in their seventies and in poor health, have refused to sell their home to the city. Their home was appraised at $125,000; the city has offered them $128,000, but comparable housing will cost them at least $135,000. The Burnett’s claim that they cannot find anywhere to go, given their health and financial limitations. Mr. Henderson is requesting that the city use its power of eminent domain to force the purchase of the Burnett’s house.
Proposed solution: Use the power of eminent domain to purchase the Burnett’s house, for which the city will pay $130,000, so that construction on the new high school can begin immediately.
Situation Four: Michael Toronto, owner of Ridgeline Alternative Energies, is asking the Typitown City Council to approve a land-use permit that would facilitate the placement of 100 large wind turbines in the hills just outside Typitown. Mr. Toronto has already signed contingent contracts with 80 percent of the citizens holding the land where he hopes to locate his turbines. He projects that the assembly of the wind turbines would provide 100 new temporary jobs for up to a year and 50 permanent year-to-year maintenance and service delivery jobs. In addition, a study by the county assessor’s office projects tax revenue of five million dollars annually from the proposed RAE venture. Opponents of the project argue that 90 percent of the energy will be delivered to consumers outside of the region. Others claim that the enormous turbines would be an eyesore and could potentially be dangerous to local fowl.
Proposed solution: Do not approve the land-use permit unless 100 percent of the citizens holding the land sign contingent contracts.
After reading the scenarios and discussing the solutions, write a report in the “Part 2: Report on Making Decisions in Typitown” section of your worksheet in which you explain the votes of both you and your partner on each of the scenarios. You must state how both you and your partner would vote on the solutions. If you do not vote in favor of a proposed solution, then you must present a counter-proposal that you think would do a better job of meeting the community goals. If you agree with your partner on a proposed solution, explain why you think you were both able to come to agreement on the issues. If you do not agree with your partner, explain why you think your partner is voting differently than you.
Both you and your partner should write your reports of your own separate worksheets.
Part 3
View the IBM Center for The Business of Government (Links to an external site.). https://www.businessofgovernment.org/interviews
This site contains a database of online radio broadcasts for different executive branch employees. Scroll down and you will see the alphabetical list of employees and pictures of employees. Choose one that interests you and then click on complete interview under the audio segments. Listen to the broadcast. Each one is about an hour. When you are finished, write a one to two-page report (12-point font, double-spaced) in the “Part 3: Report on a Government Official” section of your worksheet, and answer the following question.
Your report should not include the questions.
Which broadcast did you choose and why?
What is the mission of the agency you chose?
What did you learn about the particular agency or department?
What challenges is the agency or department facing?
What specific challenges did this individual face in doing his or her job?
What did you learn about careers in the federal government?
What did he or she say about the political dynamics of the job?
How is the agency or department going about trying to improve its effectiveness, efficiency, quality, etc.?
Would you like to work for this agency, why or why not?

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