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GFOA Newsletter
January 19, 2017
Register by Next Week to Save
Get an Early Registration Discount on GFOA’s Annual Conference

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

  • Don’t Miss this Opportunity ─ 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 in which 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.

  • Conference Program
    Initial session titles are posted here. Watch for speaker announcements and a finalized schedule.

  • Jim Collins to Highlight GFOA’s 111th Annual Conference in Denver
    Well known author Jim Collins—whose books include Good to Great, the No. 1 bestseller that examines why some companies and leaders make the leap to superior results and what makes great organizations tick—will address conference delegates during the opening general session on Monday, May 22, 8:30 to 10:10 am. Having invested a quarter century researching the topic of leadership, he has written or co-written six books that have sold in total more than 10 million copies worldwide, including Good to Great and the Social Sectors. Built to Last explores how some leaders build organizations that remain visionary for generations. How the Mighty Fall explores how once-great companies can self-destruct. Great by Choice is about thriving in chaos—why some do and others don’t—and the leadership behaviors needed in a world surrounded with uncertainty.

    Collins founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he conducts research and engages with CEOs and senior leadership teams. In addition to his work in the private sector, Collins has a passion for learning and teaching in the social sectors, including government, education, health care, social ventures, and cause-driven non-profits. Click here for more information.
  • Entertainment Announced for GFOA’s Annual Conference Closing Event
    What better way to top off your stay in Denver than an evening with good food, friends, and entertainment at GFOA’s Denver Rocks! closing event on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, from 7 to 10:30 pm at the Colorado Convention Center.

    After enjoying a buffet dinner in the center’s ballroom, attendees and guests will head over to the state-of-the art Bellco Theatre for an exclusive concert by the Barenaked Ladies. “Gotta see the show, ‘cause then you’ll know,” as Ed Robertson sings in the band’s chart-topping hit, “One Week.” Barenaked Ladies has been together after nearly three decades, producing 14 studio albums that have collectively sold more than 14 million copies, winning eight Juno Awards, earning multiple Grammy nominations, and doing the theme song to one of TV’s most popular shows, The Big Bang Theory. Some of the band’s biggest hits include “Pinch Me” and “If I Had $1,000,000.”

    The night is sure to be energetic and fun! Purchase your tickets here.
  • Airline Discount Update
    A travel discount on Southwest flights will become available on February 1. Discounts will not be available on Frontier. Click here to read about travel logistics.
If you have any questions about the annual conference, contact GFOA.
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Association News
Learn School Budgeting Best Practices this March in Chicago

Don’t miss GFOA’s in-person seminar on School Budgeting Best Practices, March 9 to 10, 2017, at GFOA’s offices in Chicago, Illinois. Participants will get hands-on, practical information about how to implement GFOA’s new best practices in school budgeting, including guidelines for developing a comprehensive budget process that fosters collaboration between academic and finance staff on creating strategic goals. The end goal is a focus on aligning scarce resources with optimal student achievement. Tools from GFOA’s Smarter School Spending website will also be highlighted; these examples will help participant understanding and offer lessons they can apply to their own budgets.

Read more and register today! (Registration Form / Online) Space is limited. Earn 16 CPE credits with your participation. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA
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First-Time Distinguished Budget Award Recipients Announced

The following jurisdictions are first-time winners of GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Direct, California; City of San Mateo, California; Town of Occoquan, Virginia; Bellingham Public Schools, Washington; and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

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News Links
Making a Case for Water as a Key Component in the Smart City

Water has yet to take a place in the roster of smart city regulars, but there’s much that technology could do to improve water infrastructure, according to Government Technology. The article notes that smart cities tend to have traffic sensors mounted on telephone poles, pollution meters, parking management systems, sophisticated energy distribution schemes, and broadband connectivity for all, but they’re missing something important—water. For example, utilities could address leakage or treated drinking water, which accounts for approximately $2.6 billion in losses nationwide. Another potential improvement: better water metering systems, which would show consumers how much water they use each day or send an alarm when water usage is extremely high, potentially triggering behavioral changes that would save water and money. And “because water is used across the civic spectra—by individuals and businesses, often in vast quantities—even incremental improvements in this arena could have a significant effect.”

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‘Hacktivists’ Increasingly Target Local and State Government Computers

“Hacktivism” is a blend of hacking and activism for a political or social cause, and state and local governments are increasingly finding themselves targets, according to Pew Charitable Trusts. In addition to the larger targets that have been in the national news, “police departments, hospitals, small towns, big cities, and states also have come under attack. Online activists have successfully frozen government servers, defaced websites, and hacked into data or e-mail and released it online.”

While hacktivists may see themselves as fighting social injustices, their work creates disruption, and “the number and severity of hacktivist attacks on state and local governments in the past five years” has grown significantly, according to the article. “For the public, it can mean being unable to log on to government websites to get information or conduct business. And for taxpayers, it can mean having to pick up the tab for staff time and additional technology needed to combat such attacks.”

Defending such attacks can be expensive.Tactics include working with Internet providers to install programs that help block illegitimate web traffic and hiring cybersecurity companies that offer services to combat massive assaults and scrub out “bad” traffic headed toward websites.
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e-Mail Strategy: Organize Your In-Box by Deadline

Strategies abound for handling e-mail more effectively. They all share a common requirement: discipline and commitment to changing one’s e-mail habits. Fast Company shares a fairly simple idea: Reduce your inbox folders to five by focusing on deadline instead of topics. The concept here is that the inbox is not a to-do list.

  1. Use your inbox as a “holding pen” where e-mails wait briefly for you to put them in another folder (unless you’re waiting for an immediate response).
  2. Create a “Today” folder for everything you need to respond to today.
  3. Create a “This Week” folder for everything you need to respond to by week’s end.
  4. Create a “This Month/Quarter” folder for everything that needs a longer-term response.
  5. Anything you may need to reference later can go into an “FYI” or “Informational” folder.

The article also offers tips for making the five-folder strategy work.

Read More.
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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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