Zoom Towns: The Impact of Remote Work on Our Communities
With the onset of COVID-19 some employees, now working remotely, opted to move out of large urban metros areas into smaller towns. This migration led to a financial impact in both areas. How did these small towns address a large and unplanned demand for service? What was the impact on tax revenues, property values, and the economy? Speakers will also explore what this means for those areas if the trend continues. Going forward, all finance officers can learn form these experiences and help you be better prepared for the next large change in your community.
Date and Time: July 13, 11 a.m. (Eastern)
Rethinking Police Budgeting: Practical Approaches for a Better Community
As with nearly all public services, police have been asked to do more with less and forced to assume roles and responsibilities outside of their core area of expertise. While these issues are not new, awareness and visibility of police misconduct is at an all-time high and has fueled public demand for change. How can finance officers work with their peers in public safety to implement reforms? All governments need to look at how police departments are funded and understand the role that line item budgeting, repeated budget cuts, and misalignment of funding and results has contributed to the current situation and the calls for change. In this session, speakers will address how to make improvements to how governments budget for police, build strong relationships in your organization, better engage the community, and work towards improving public trust.
Date and Time: July 14, 11 a.m. (Eastern)
Year in Washington: 2021 GFOA Federal Update
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt by communities throughout the country. The CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 both provided $500 billion in funding to state and local governments for rescue and recovery. In this session, we will discuss lessons learned from the already-appropriated funds and discuss the potential for an infrastructure plan on the horizon for state and local governments. Additionally, staff from GFOA's Federal Liaison Center will review where we have been in the 116th congress and where the 117th will likely take us.
Date and Time: July 15, 11 a.m. (Eastern)
Value Based Budgeting: Creating Alignment In Difficult Times
Balancing a budget most often means cutting services. Almost all governments have faced pressure to raise additional revenue or cut services when the community is most at need. Focusing on values during the budget process can align service provision to community needs. In this session, find out how other governments have been able to better align funding with community values, improve outcomes for the most in need, remain fiscally sustainable, and improve public trust.
Date and Time: July 15, 11 a.m. (Eastern)
More than a Buzzword: Understanding Equity in Budgeting
The term "equity" continues to be mentioned often involving discussions on a host of topics in our society, communities, and governments. But what does equity actually mean in terms of provision of governmental services and how does this impact the budget? Equity-driven initiatives are and will be very different from one community and organization to the next. However, common themes have emerged in both the definition of equity and how to overcome common challenges. This session will focus on the finance officer's role in making more equitable financial decisions related to both revenues and expenses.
Date and Time: July 20, 2 p.m. (Eastern)
Budgeting Basics: A Different Perspective on the Function Everyone Loves to Hate
Mention the word "budgeting" to anyone outside the finance office and listen to the groans and complaints. Whether dissatisfaction ensues from the length of the process, the level of effort, how decisions are actually made, or the fear of budget cuts, budgeting is one of the more maligned financial functions. But why? Obviously budgeting is more than a math exercise to get revenues to equal expenses. Budgeting drives funding, positions, projects, and more. Managing the budget process involves coordinating a diverse and often conflicting set of priorities, personalities, and politics. In this session, GFOA will invite speakers from different backgrounds to discuss budgeting from multiple perspectives and concentrate on the basics. Attend to learn how you can simplify the process, improve your technical budget skills, better involve your peers, and produce better outcomes.
Date and Time: July 21, 2 p.m. (Eastern)
Budgeting for the Unexpected: Leveraging Stress Tests to Promote Resiliency
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis is the latest in a revolving door of events that have had significant impacts for governments and their ability to budget and provide for the continuity of services. Too often governments have relied upon staid long-term financial plans with minor incremental adjustments for annual growth/retraction for revenues and expenditures. With these regular challenges, how can governments better prepare to help identify their budget vulnerabilities and plan for addressing these gaps in order to build financial resiliency? This session will focus on the importance of stress tests, where to get started, how to choose scenarios, strategies for refining your approach and better using information to make decisions. Making stress tests a regular part of long-term financial planning will have impacts throughout your organization's financial and operational plans.
Date and Time: July 22, 11 a.m. (Eastern)