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GFOA Newsletter
July 21, 2016
EMPLOYMENT ADS  |  TRAINING  |  BEST PRACTICES
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Colorado Counties Benefit from Shared Services

Faced with increasing software costs due to mandatory system upgrades, several Colorado counties began looking for other property assessment software options. Pueblo County, one of the larger counties in the area, found out about the challenge its peers faced and offered to help by providing access to Pueblo’s system. It was quickly determined, however, that just offering the software was insufficient because many of the neighboring counties lacked the capacity to manage such a system—they would also need support. From here, the counties started exploring a shared services model.

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Association News
DEADLINE EXTENDED
GFOA Seeking Finance Officers to Help Develop Best Practices—Share Your Expertise by Joining a Standing Committee

Applications to become a 2016 standing committee member will be accepted through July 29. Serving on a standing committee is an excellent opportunity for GFOA members to contribute their experience and knowledge to the entire membership. GFOA’s seven standing committees meet twice each year and develop best practices, advisories, and policy statements. GFOA associate members from the private sector may also apply to be committee advisors.

We invite you to submit your application to one of GFOA’s seven standing committees: Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting; Canadian Issues; Economic Development and Capital Planning; Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy; Governmental Debt Management; Retirement and Benefits Administration; and Treasury and Investment Management.

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Senate Introduces Bank-Qualified Loan Legislation

Last week, a group of Senate lawmakers introduced legislation (S 3257) that would permanently raise the issuer limit on bank-qualified bonds from $10 million to $30 million. The legislation, which breathes new life into the effort to restore the annual issuer limit to $30 million, is the culmination of work by GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center with the offices of Senator Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Menendez (D-NJ).

This legislation is identical to the legislation introduced in the House late last year (HR 2229), which is a significant step in the right direction—it not only sends a message to both the House and Senate about the importance of raising the bank-qualified loan limit, but it also sets the agenda for what may prove to be an exciting 115th Congress beginning in January 2017.

The Federal Liaison Center encourages GFOA members to reach out to your senators and encourage co-sponsorship on this important legislation. Our Bank-Qualified Loan Resource Center provides sample letters and other helpful information about the legislation and the history of bank-qualified bonds.

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Round Two Class Action Derivatives Settlement: Deadline Approaching

Jurisdictions that are potential class members in a municipal derivatives antitrust litigation receive claim forms this spring, and those forms are due July 28, 2016. This class action is about the sale of municipal derivatives from January 1, 1992, through August 18, 2011, in a lawsuit claiming bid-rigging in the sale of municipal derivative transactions by several companies, including UBS AG, Société Générale S.A., Natixis Funding Corp., Piper Jaffray & Co., National Westminster Bank Plc, George K. Baum & Co., the remaining six defendants in the case. The settlement was recently approved at a fairness hearing.

The first round of class action settlements, which have been settled, included Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo/Wachovia, JP Morgan, Bank of America, and GE Capital.

Some defendants are not settling and others have excluded themselves from the class and are pursuing independent claims. Those that have filed suggest that the most difficult step is identifying the transactions believed to meet the class definition. 

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Catch Up on GFOA Internet Training Courses

Catch up on GFOA Internet training courses you didn’t catch the first time around, or refresh your memory—GFOA offers CD recordings of its Internet training courses. These MP3 audio recordings are also ideal for in-house training. Click here for details and the order form or order online. Questions? E-mail GFOA Publications.

Missed Sessions at GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference?
Download the audio recordings, which are available for each session at GFOA’s May 22−25 Annual Conference in Toronto. Order form / Order online

CPE credits are not rewarded for listening to the recordings.

Save the Date

GFOA’s 111th Annual Conference will take place May 21−24, 2017, in Denver, Colorado. Registration will open in the fall. Take a moment to give us your suggestions for session topics and speakers at GFOA’s call for topics page.

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State and Local Legal Center Issues Supreme Court Review for Local Governments

As an associate member of the State and Local Legal Center, GFOA engages with other “Big Seven” members to write amicus briefs, ensuring that the court understands the impact of its findings on state and local governments. For a summary of the cases of special interest to state and local governments in 2016, take a look at the SLLC’s Supreme Court review summary

First-Time Distinguished Budget Award Recipients Announced

The following jurisdictions are first-time winners of GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award: Central Arizona Water Conservation District; Community Unit School District 38, Illinois; City of Ballwin, Missouri; and City of Parkville, Missouri.

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New CPFOs Announced

The following individuals earned the Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) designation in summer 2016: Kevin Beltz, Program Manager, Stockton, California; Lisa Hancock, Director of Finance and Records, Tolland, Connecticut; Daniel Jordan, Director of Finance, La Canada Flintridge, California; Nicole Larson, Finance Director, Vernon Hills, Illinois; Mette Richardson, Finance Director, Grass Valley, California; Kyle Slattery, Audit Supervisor, County of Santa Barbara, California; Christen Wilcox, Senior Accountant, Goodyear, Arizona; and Kendall Williams, Interim Director of Budget and Finance, Washington County, Virginia.

There are now 655 CPFOs.

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News Links
Rate of Pension Cost Growth Declined in 2014

The overall experience for fiscal 2014 reflects an improved effort among state and local governments to make their full actuarially determined pension contributions, as well as a decline in the rate of growth of pension costs.

Timely contributions are vital to the funding and sustainability of public pension plans, yielding investment earnings, over time, that account for the largest share of pension revenues. Failing to pay required contributions results in higher future costs, due to the foregone investment earnings that the contributions would have generated. Nationally, contributions made by state and local governments to pension trust funds in recent years account for approximately 4% of all spending. 

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Use of Participatory Budgeting Expanding in U.S. and Canada

From 2014 to 2015, more than 70,000 residents across the United States and Canada directly decided how their cities and districts should spend nearly $50 million in public funds through participatory budgeting, which has expanded to 46 communities in the United States and Canada in just 6 years. Overall, communities that use participatory budgeting have invested substantially in the process and have seen diverse participation—although cities and districts vary widely in how they implemented their processes, who participated, and what projects voters decided to fund, according to a recent report, “Public Spending, By the People.” Varying amounts of money are allocated to participatory budgeting, and some communities lag in their representation of lower-income and less educated residents.

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Generations Have the Same Workplace Priorities, Research Finds

For some time, leaders have struggled to understand the differences among generations in the workplace. “It’s unfortunate that in an attempt to simplify the landscape, the different age groups have been reduced to caricatures with incomplete generalizations,” according to a recent article at Smartbrief. The conclusion is based on research suggesting that “when it comes to workplace priorities and beliefs, our similarities among generations are much greater than the differences between them.”

The five highest-rated workplace priorities across all generations are:

  • Having a boss you respect and trust
  • Interesting work
  • Fair treatment and respect
  • Achievement and accomplishment
  • Learning and growth
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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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