Academy Fellows Receive Advanced Public Finance Course

Academy Fellows listen to Al Martin present a Graduate lecture entitled, "Long-Range Financial Planning in a Time of Shrinking Resources."

On December 9, 2011, Academy Fellows joined in the first Academy Fellows Graduate program offered by the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. Twenty-six local government decision-makers gathered for the 2-day program concentrating on advanced public finance as it applies to human resources, infrastructure finance, and intergovernmental financial relations.

The Academy for Excellence in Local Governance (The Academy), voluntary certificate program, is a collaborative effort involving MACo, the Maryland Municipal League (MML), the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT), and the Institute for Governmental Service and Research (IGSR) of the University of Maryland, College Park, that also serves as the program administrator.

While Academy courses are offered throughout the year by MACo and MML for the regular certificate program, this course was the first one offered as a series of continuing education courses for graduates of the certificate program.

Part I of this class was held at the LGIT offices in Hanover, Maryland as a full day event. Students were welcomed to the course by representatives from LGIT, MACo, MML, and IGSR. A general session entitled “Long-Range Financial Planning in a Time of Shrinking Resources” was given by Academy instructor Al Martin. 

Following the general session, attendees were broken into groups of similar jurisdictions (based on size, geography, budget, etc.) to discuss financial benchmarking and how the jurisdictions can share information to help one another as they continue to examine their own financial processes. For the next section of the course, attendees were then assigned to their areas of interest (human resources, infrastructure finance, or intergovernmental financial relations) to hear presentations from other Academy instructors. Marge Wolf led the Human Resources presentation, Elaine Kramer and Ray Wacks conducted the Infrastructure Finance group, while Tony McCann and Bill Ratchford presented on the topic of Intergovernmental Financial Relations.

After discussing the presentations with their presenters, attendees were then asked to join their similar jurisdiction groups again to reflect on the day’s lessons and share what they had learned.

Part II of this course will be offered in July or August of 2012. During the interim between classes, the students will reflect on benchmarking questions sent out by the Academy facilitators and they will discuss these questions with their similar jurisdiction groups. This will enable the students to remain engaged and apply the lessons learned directly into their work.

If you are interested in learning more about the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance, please visit the Academy page on the MACo website.

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