NACo Financial Services Center Announces New Management Team

August 28, 2014

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the NACo Financial Services Center (FSC) are pleased to announce David F. Thompson as the new President and Managing Director and Bill Jasien as the new Executive Chairman.

Matthew D. Chase, NACo Executive Director, said, “After a national search and rigorous process spanning several months, David was among a very high-caliber slate of qualified candidates. He was chosen to lead the NACo FSC based on his impressive track record of success, strong reputation as a visionary leader and sterling credentials as a county manager and state association executive.”

Thompson currently serves as the Executive Director for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. He began his service to counties in 1982 in Mecklenburg County, N.C. During his career, he has served as county manager for the North Carolina counties of Hertford, Stanly, Henderson and Durham. In each of these assignments, he earned a reputation for accountability, strategic decision-making and financial integrity.

Thompson left government for a stint in the private sector to serve as a managing partner for FreemanWhite, Inc., the oldest and second largest architectural/engineering/consulting firm in the Carolinas at that time.

He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from North Carolina State University and has participated on boards and councils such as the Council of Southern County Associations (past president), University of North Carolina School of Government Foundation Board (member), and County Reinsurance, Limited National Board of Directors (member).

Thompson’s official start date will be November 5, 2014.

Chase continued, “We are also pleased to announce that Bill Jasien will serve as the Executive Chairman of the NACo FSC. In this role, Bill will provide strategic direction and oversight of the NACo FSC including outreach with our corporate partners and leadership.”

“For the past four months, Bill has graciously served as the interim Managing Director of the NACo FSC and led the national search for his replacement,” Chase said. “His dedication and support have been incredibly valuable and we are forever appreciative of his efforts. Bill will lead the organization from a strategic perspective and work closely with David as he manages the day-to-day operations of the FSC.”

Prior to forming his current company (StoneHedge), Jasien spent 20 years with ING including serving as President of the Government Business Division and Executive Vice President of the U.S. Retirement Services Business.

He served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Finance and Management and Assistant to President George H.W. Bush at the White House.

He currently serves on the boards of the Federal Retirement Thrift Savings Board, Virginia College Savings Plan, Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the American Red Cross.

“We are excited to have two highly professional executives, with such complementary skills, to lead the NACo FSC to new heights. In the coming weeks, Bill and David will provide further details on how the FSC will move forward to support our members and partners with value added programs. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating and welcoming David and Bill,” said Chase.

NACo Financial Services’ focus is to assist counties and partners with value-added, cost-effective services that provide solutions and savings. Its programs include cooperative purchasing, retirement savings programs for county employees, healthcare, infrastructure and financial programs that offer bond financing, investment management and short-term cash management.

Study Indicates Charles County Should Invest $600 Million in School Infrastructure

August 28, 2014

A consultant study recently released in Charles County indicates that the County should invest $600 million in its public school infrastructure over the next 10 years. As reported by the Southern Maryland News,

The county commissioners, on the prompting of state official David Lever, who specializes in public school construction matters and reports to the Board of Public Works, launched the study with an outside contractor, Baltimore-based GWWO Inc./Architects, in late fall 2013.

The $250,000 report, on the dime of the commissioners, would provide the board of education, school and county officials and the public with a look at the state of the county school buildings — a comprehensive roadmap at the successes and failings of the infrastructure of each building, as well as the optimal price tag for the improvements that would bring the schools up to the school system’s standards. The study serves only as a suggestion for school officials.

The article indicates that the reaction to the report varied.  Some lauded the detail, while others felt it was a wish list.

…in the past 10 years, the school system has funneled $60 million of its own funds into school improvements. For some, the disparity of the two numbers highlights what they say is the squishiness of a new study of the county’s public schools and the long road school and county officials have ahead to restore some of the school system’s more aged facilities.

Montgomery Officials Hopeful on School Construction Funding

August 27, 2014

As reported by the Gazette, Montgomery County state and local officials are hopeful that the General Assembly will pass legislation during the upcoming session to direct more school construction funding to the county.

After a Monday event at Wilson Wims Elementary School — built to relieve overcrowding in the Clarksburg area — Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said he feels “very confident” state lawmakers can “make some progress” in the upcoming session toward a funding method that would help the county accommodate its growing student body.

According to the article, Montgomery County’s increase in its student body this year was the largest since 2000.

Montgomery County legislators introduced legislation this past session to direct more school funding to the county.

Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Dist. 14) of Calverton put forward a bill that would have established a program to fund construction projects based on a county’s bond rating and a school system’s total number of students. Legislators from Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, who likely would have benefited from the program, pushed for the legislation’s passage.

State Sen. Nancy J. King submitted another bill that would have established a grant program and doled out money based on student enrollment growth.

Both legislators felt the bills did not have a strong chance of passage last session, but hope with a new Administration, the outcome will be positive next session.

However, County Council President Craig Rice commented that he is hearing a “different conversation coming from Annapolis.”

Rather than a focus on the state’s three bigger counties, he said, he thinks there will be a “statewide approach” this session concerning construction funding.

The Governor issued an Executive Order in May to conduct a study on school construction in Maryland.  The study will address the topics raised in Delegate Kaiser’s legislation, HB1323 Public School Construction – Creative Financing Study  and HB 349/SB 388 Study of Alternative Financing Methods for the Purpose of School Construction.  Additional information on the Public School Construction Financing Study can be found on Conduit Street.


Don’t Miss Out on the 2014 Governor’s Grants Conference November 13 – Register Now!

August 25, 2014

Stay on top of your game! Attend the preeminent grants conference of the year! This will be a whole day of intensive training and networking with top federal officials, state grants experts and StateStat analysts who look at your programs.

Thursday, November 13, 2014
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM EST

The Inn and Conference Center at UMUC
3501 University Blvd., East
Adelphi, MD 20783

You will be guided through the comprehensive Federal Grants Reform changes that you are expected to know and implement as they take effect on December 26, 2014. At lunch you’ll hear from Hudson Hollister, the nation’s ‘rock-star’ leader of the OPEN DATA movement.  Anyone who even “touches a federal grant” needs to be at this important conference.  Bring your team, bring your partners! Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits will be provided.

Take advantage of the early bird rate!  Early bird rate applies until October 10, 2014.  Register now!

Click here for the Governor’s Grants Conference agenda and to register.

Charles County Receives AAA Bond Rating From Standard and Poor’s

August 22, 2014

Standard and Poor’s Rating Services recently raised Charles County’s bond rating from AA+ to AAA. From the County’s press release,

“AAA” is the highest of Standard & Poor’s bond ratings.  According to the news release, the rating upgrade reflects Standard & Poor’s opinion of several factors, including Charles County’s very strong economy with strong income and wealth levels, strong budgetary flexibility, and a diverse revenue stream.

The higher bond rating will allow the county to borrow funds for capital projects at lower interest rates. As reported by Southern Maryland News,

The Standard & Poor’s upgrade to a ‘AAA’ rating is very rewarding. I compare it to receiving an ‘A+’ from your teacher on a school assignment,” Fiscal and Administrative Services Director Dave Eicholtz said in the release. “It is a very positive recognition from an expert evaluation of many factors, including our economy, debt structure, financial condition, demographics and management practices. The Standard & Poor’s upgrade accompanies our other ‘AAA’ rating from Fitch. The ratings continue to show the financial markets that our bonds are a good investment.

Carroll County Poised To Attract And Retain Businesses

August 22, 2014

Carroll County Commissioners met with the local Chamber of Commerce recently to discuss the county’s business climate and efforts to attract and retain businesses in the area.  As reported by the Carroll County Times,

Carroll County is poised to offer space and support for new businesses wanting to locate to the area, according to the county board of commissioners.

…The commissioners said Carroll is in a great position to bring in new businesses and nurture established ones.

A former limitation has been the amount of space available for businesses to locate and expand.  However, according to Carroll County Commissioner Doug Howard, this issue has been addressed.

For the first time since 2005, Howard said, the county’s opportunities to bring in new businesses are in line with the amount of space it has to support them. “Carroll’s opportunities and inventory never really lined up before, until right now,” Howard said.

In the past couple years, a number of businesses have moved or expanded their facilities in Carroll. Fuchs North America, a spice company, is building a new facility in Hampstead; Carlisle Etc. LLC, a women’s clothing company, purchased a building in Westminster; and the firm Black Oak Associates is redeveloping the former Carrolltown Center space in Eldersburg.

Innovative Approaches To Fund and Finance Projects and Programs

August 15, 2014

doubling dollarsThe economy and limited resources have forced counties to think creatively when identifying approaches and funding for projects and programs. MACo’s Summer Conference General Session titled “Doubling Your Dollars and Outcomes – Innovative Approaches for Funding and Financing Projects” highlights financing options and methods for identifying available resources to stretch your dollars and achieve greater outcomes. The session, moderated by Delegate Adrienne Jones, House Speaker Pro Tem and Chair of the Appropriations Capital Budget Subcommittee, discussed alternative infrastructure financing, Pay For Success Programs, and grant resources.

The panel’s first speaker was Teno West, Partner at Pannone, Lopes, Devereaux & West. Mr. West discussed alternative infrastructure financing and public-private partnership arrangements (P3s). Mr. West spoke favorably about using a design build approach for wastewater and solid waste projects.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz followed sharing how the county financed a single stream materials recovery facility program using $20 million in pension reserve funds. The new facility has enabled the county to reduce recycling costs and increase the average tonnage of recycling sold to increase revenues.

Liya Shuster with Third Sector Capital Partners discussed Pay For Success programs (social impact bonds) and provided examples of counties that have used this approach to address significant social problems.  Ms. Shuster shared the key characteristics of a Pay For Success program and emphasized that these programs focus on producing successful measurable outcomes.

Karl Kalbacher of the Ferguson Group offered expertise in the identification of both federal and nonprofit grant opportunities.  He provided a general overview of grants offered by the federal Departments of Justice, Commerce, and Agricultural, to name a few. He also encouraged counties to start early when identifying grant opportunities.



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