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GFOA Newsletter
January 5, 2017
EMPLOYMENT ADS  |  TRAINING  |  BEST PRACTICES
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Apply to Be a GFOA Instructor

Want to get more involved with GFOA? Consider being an instructor for our training sessions.

GFOA is seeking instructors to help develop content and serve as trainers for its 2017 training offerings. Instructors will help to develop content, exercises, case studies, etc. as well as lead instruction and discussion with participants.

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Association News
Apply Now for the 2017 Advanced Government Finance Institute

The Advanced Government Finance Institute (AGFI) is an intensive week-long program that gives GFOA members the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and focus on management, strategic planning, and professional and personal development issues. Faculty from the University of Wisconsin and private-sector specialists come together to promote an interactive learning environment. Extensive networking opportunities are embedded into the program.

GFOA members are encouraged to apply to the 2017 AGFI, which will be held on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus from July 30 to August 4. The fee for the course is $2,100, which includes tuition, meals, and classroom materials. Earn 30 CPE credits for the weeklong coursework. Fifty GFOA members will be selected through an application process.

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Register by January 26 to Save on GFOA’s Annual Conference

Take advantage of an early registration discount on GFOA’s 111th Annual Conference, May 21−24, 2017, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, when you sign up by January 26. Register today!

Apply for a First-Time Attendee Scholarship

If you are a first-time annual conference attendee who is a GFOA active (government) member, we encourage you to apply for an annual conference scholarship in the amount of the full-conference registration fee. Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state or province in the order the applications are received. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, e-mail First Annual Conference. Please note that no more scholarships are available for the State of Colorado.

If you have any questions about the annual conference, contact GFOA.

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New Year, New Action on Marketplace Fairness

On January 3, 2017, the City of Roanoke, Virginia, passed a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to act on legislation that will enable state and local governments to collect revenues due to local government. Congressional inaction over the past several years has resulted in an increase in the Virginia state sales tax to 5.3%, from 5%, and has placed significant limitations on the jurisdiction.

The resolution asks the new Congress to act on legislation this year that would collect and remit sales taxes structured on a system of collection based upon the purchaser’s location. Passing this legislation during the 115th Congress would “send the clear and unequivocal message to states and localities that the United States Congress supports small business women and men who create jobs, produce revenues to support essential infrastructure improvements, and create a stronger and more resilient economy for the benefit of all Americans,” as stated in the resolution, which the City of Roanoke’s City Council passed unanimously at its first meeting of 2017.

This resolution sends a clear message not only to Roanoke’s representative, Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, but also to the state legislature and its governor, Terry McAuliffe, who has recently proposed a collection on certain out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes.

GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center is working with our colleagues at the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and National Association of Counties to distribute a template of this resolution and work toward a solution that would give marketplace fairness the chance to be considered and passed this year. Stay tuned for more details on this grassroots movement. 

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Don’t Miss the Encore Presentation of GFOA’s First Annual Better Budgeting Web-Stream Training on January 12

Register for the encore presentation of GFOA’s First Annual Better Budgeting web-stream event on January 12, 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern). The program is designed to equip those on the front lines of local budgeting to do an even better job meeting the many practical challenges they must face from day to day and from year to year. Take advantage of group discounts. Earn 2 CPE credits with your participation. Click here for details and to register today.

If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

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There’s Still Time to Save on GFOA Training Next Month in New Orleans

Join GFOA for a series of training seminars at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 13 to 17, 2017. Save 10% on the registration fee when you sign up and pay in full by January 13!

Sign up for one or more of the following courses:

Group discounts. Register with three or more colleagues for the same seminar and receive 10% discount on each registration fee. (To receive the group discount, registrations must be received and paid together. The discount cannot be applied to online training registrations.

Submit a training registration form or sign up using GFOA’s e-store.

Hotel accommodations. A block of rooms has been reserved for GFOA attendees at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel. Click here for more information about the hotel and special GFOA group rates.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans! Click here for ideas on what to do while in New Orleans. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

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Connect with your Peers in Reno this March during GFOA’s Training Seminars

Plan now to participate in one or more of the following training seminars at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, March 20-24. Take advantage of an early registration discount when you sign up and pay in full by February 17, 2016:

Group discounts. If you register with three or more colleagues for the same seminar, you will receive 10% off of each registration fee. (To receive the group discount, registrations must be received and paid together. The discount cannot be applied to online training registrations.)

Submit a training registration form or sign up using GFOA’s e-store.

Hotel Accommodations: A block of rooms has been reserved for GFOA attendees at the Grand Sierra Resort. Click here for more information about the hotel and special GFOA group rates.

We look forward to seeing you in Reno! Click here for ideas on what to do while in Reno. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

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Jurisdictions Win Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award for First Time

Congratulations to the following jurisdictions for receiving GFOA’s Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) Award for the first time: City of Fort Collins, Colorado; City of Monticello, Minnesota; City of Anoka, Minnesota; City of Tallmadge, Ohio.

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News Links
Majority of Public Pension Plans Have Made Recent Reforms

Nearly a third of state plans and 57% of large local plans have cut benefits or raised employee contributions to curb rising costs, according to a new issue brief from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence. The brief, “State and Local Pension Reform Since the Financial Crisis,” examines how, why, and to what extent state and local governments have enacted pension reforms in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Other findings:

  • Plans with a larger pension cost burden and lower initial employee contributions were more likely to enact such changes.
  • States with the strongest legal protections for current workers were more likely to limit the cuts to new hires.
  • New employees most commonly experienced increases in the age and tenure required to claim benefits; reductions in the benefit multiplier; and increases in and number of years used to calculate final average salary.
  • Higher employee contributions were the most common benefit reduction for current employees followed by reductions to the COLA. 

The study’s author examined data from 2009 to 2014 for all 114 state plans and 46 local plans in the Public Plans Database, along with an additional 86 local plans.

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Elements that Make Open Government Work

State and local governments have many hopes for open government; improving public services, expanding public knowledge of governmental processes, saving public money, and making government more participatory and inclusive. A new report from Brookings assesses the evidence as to whether those hopes are being achieved and presents six features of open government programs with the highest likelihood of success.

Effective programs have clearly identified the principals they were trying to achieve and publicized information that was important and accessible to those principals. In addition, the principals could either respond meaningfully on their own, or they could do so with the support of government officials, or they could do so through a coordinated effort by the principals to change the behavior of their representatives in government.

The report also highlights the need for more rigorous evaluation and offer three primary recommendations for the next generation of research: to confront selection bias in open government research, to increase attention to the political mobilizations that make open government possible, and to ensure that research addresses both the initial implementation and the sustainability of open government successes.

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The Difference between Trying Not to Lose and Trying to Win

It’s never easy, but organizational change is necessary, and learning how to manage it makes all the difference in your ability to lead your organization. Many leaders “don’t seize opportunities prompted by change because they cannot see opportunities prompted by change,” according to the Great Leadership by Dan blog. “They are so busy making the most of yesterday’s opportunities, they cannot see today’s or create tomorrow’s. What worked in the past no longer guarantees success in the present, let alone the future.” The article addresses private-sector leaders, but the advice is useful for the public sector, too.

“Trying not to lose is far different than trying to win,” the article explains. Examples include holding on versus building, surviving versus thriving, divesting versus investing, pausing versus pouncing, scarcity versus abundance, waiting versus anticipating, reducing costs versus adding value, and delaying versus accelerating. 

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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Jeffrey Esser

The GFOA Newsletter (ISSN 1051-6964) is published weekly by
the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
Correspondence regarding editorial and/or business matters should be sent to
GFOA, 203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60601-1210. Phone - 312/977-9700 FAX - 312/977-4806.

 


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