NCLGBA 2016 Winter Conference Review by Adam Murr, NCLGBA Scholarship Recipient

TO: The NCLGBA Board
FROM: Adam Murr
DATE: December 15, 2016
SUBJECT: NCLGBA Winter Conference 2016 Review

Attending the NCLGBA Winter 2016 Conference in Charlotte as a scholarship recipient was a wonderful experience. The Conference was very well organized, the attendees were welcoming, and the sessions were both interactive and informative. Networking events such as the Charlotte Hornets basketball game were excellent opportunities to meet other conference attendees and experience downtown Charlotte. Most importantly, the conference aided in my professional growth and interest in the field of local government budgeting.

While I found all sessions attended at the Conference very educational and interactive, presentations hosted by Dr. Brian Williams and Dr. James Svara stand out as my favorite. Dr. Williams presented on police-community relations and representation issues in local government, while Dr. Svara presented on becoming an agent for innovation in your organization and what steps to take to achieve innovation goals. I found these presentations the most interesting because they addressed problems nearly all local governments currently face and encouraged new approaches to resolve issues and reduce conflict.

Local government is often viewed as a field plagued by a “muddling through” mentality. It was inspiring to have two presentations encouraging positive change and providing tools for Conference attendees to promote new innovation within their organizations. Budget professionals may not be at the front-lines of community service; however, they hold influential positions and are viewed as leaders capable of improving performance and helping to alter organizational culture. Positive intervention and innovation beginning with budget professionals is certainly a step in the right direction for local governments.

Upon my entrance to the local government profession I will certainly remember messages conveyed at the conference, acting as both an innovator and agent for positive community relations. I am grateful to be a scholarship winner and an attendee at the NCLGBA Winter 2016 Conference, I also look forward to entering the local government field following completion of my MPA program at Appalachian State University in May 2017. I believe my attendance at the Conference has added to my understanding of the impact made by budget professionals and has motivated me to become an agent of innovation.

Adam Murr was one of four recipients of NCLGBA conference scholarships for the 2016 Winter Conference.

Announcing the NCLGBA 2016 Winter Conference Scholarship Winners

The NCLGBA Board is pleased to announce four scholarship winners for the 2016 Winter Conference:

Lauren Brune
Budget Analyst, City of Asheville
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Meredith Bunnel
Economic Development Analyst, NCGrowth
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Tracy Martin Nash
Budget & Management Analyst, Guilford County
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Adam Murr
Master of Public Administration Student, Appalachian State University
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Please take some time to welcome them at the conference and to connect with them on social media!  They will also be contributing content for NCLBGA over the coming months as part of the scholarship, so watch for more to come.

2016 Winter Conference Registration & Hotel Deadlines EXTENDED!

Still deciding on whether you’ll be attending the upcoming 2016 NCLGBA Winter Conference in Charlotte? Consider this: we have a top notch slate of concurrent sessions for attendees to choose from. Topics include “Creating Compelling Budget Presentations,” “Using Data to Tell Your Story,” “Innovation Project Management,” and “Financial and Performance Benefits of Smart Metering.” Do you really want to miss out on these sessions, along with the amazing general sessions planned?

As a way to give thanks to all of our NCLGBA members and soon to be conference attendees, we have EXTENDED the registration deadline until next Wednesday, November 23, 2016. Registration information is attached and below:

Please click here for the online registration forms:

Credit Card:


Hotel Registration (ALSO EXTENDED):
You may now book your hotel room reservations at the conference rate of $179 per night. You can call the hotel directly at 800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) to make your reservation or use this link: The cut-off date is tomorrow, Wednesday, November 16th. The block is almost full so call or click today.

We look forward to seeing you in Charlotte in 3 weeks!

Conference Highlights – 2016 Winter Opening Sessions

Leading up to Budget Conferences there are always a couple sessions I circle with excitement. This year is no exception, with the first few sessions representing the middle of the Cubs batting order.

Charlotte’s very own, Hyong Yi will welcome us to the Queen City challenging us to love our community well. Professor Brian Williams, from UGA, will present and lead us through a timely workshop focused on his research related to local law enforcement, and public governance, looking at how the experiences and perceptions of individuals affect the formation and functioning of working partnerships between local law enforcement departments and community residents. Check out his research interests below:

  • Co-production of public safety and public order
  • Community policing efforts within racial and ethnic communities
  • Community-oriented governance
  • The impact of personal and professional life experiences on the actions and inaction of public administrators

See you in December

Josh Edwards,
NCLGBA President

Apply Now for the NCLGA 2016 Winter Conference Scholarship!

NCLGBA has a Conference Scholarship Program for current masters’ students and/or first-time conference attendees. The scholarship program provides registration fee and 2 nights hotel stay for 1 person to attend the upcoming winter conference at the Omni Hotel in Charlotte, December 7-9th (Conference Info).

Should You apply?
– Do you have an interest in a career in North Carolina local government budgeting?
– Are you an active Master’s level student in good standing OR someone who has never attended a NCLGBA conference?
– If you are a student, are you within two years of completing a Master’s degree as of Fall 2016?

If you answered yes to the above questions: The application is available here is due Friday, October 28, 2016. Submission details are included on the application.

Please help us get the word out out to any MPA student(s) and/or first time attendees you may know, and please apply yourself if you haven’t attended a conference before!

2016 Winter Conference Registration is Now Open

Registration for the NCLGBA’s 2016 Winter Conference in Charlotte, December 7th-9th is open. The following links will direct you to online conference registration forms that are similar to the online NCLGBA membership forms that we used this year.

Credit Card:


Please note that  every attendee needs to fill out a registration form individually.  After you complete the registration form, a copy should be emailed to you (check your spam filters).  If you are paying by check, please include a copy of the emailed form with your check.  This is a little different process than our old paper registration model, so please email Bo Gattis, NCLGBA Treasurer at or Stephen Hawryluk ( if you have any questions or concerns about the new process.

You may also book your hotel room reservations at the conference rate of $179 per night.  You can call the hotel directly at 800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) to make your reservation or use this link The cut-off date is Monday, November 14. However, rooms at the group rate will go quickly so please call or click today!

For any Conference questions that you may have, please contact Stephen Hawryluk at / (336) 747-7093 or Michelle Daniels at / (919) 996-2623.

For more conference information, check the “Conferences” page.

Tentative Agenda for 2016 Winter Conference

The tentative 2016 Winter Budget Conference agenda includes sessions that focus on discussions and techniques local budget practitioners can use to communicate effectively, improve their processes, achieve the goals of their governing bodies, uphold standards of fiscal responsibility and respect for citizens, and maintain credibility with taxpayers as well as opportunities for professional discussion and networking with other budget practitioners from across the state.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
The NCLGBA Winter Budget Conference will open with a fascinating session about loving your community from former NCLGBA Board Member Hyong Yi of the City of Charlotte. Also, Brian Williams from the University of Georgia will provide a timely session on representation and diversity in local government, followed by a workshop to dive deeper into the topic. Please join us for the NCLGBA Networking Reception later in the evening.

Thursday, December 8, 2016, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday will consist of additional general sessions including a session on innovation from Dr. James Svara. Also in the planning stages are general and concurrent session topics such as the future of the Local Government Commission (LGC), NC Finance Connect, cemeteries, and performance management. Legislative updates will provided by Chris Nida, Director, Research & Policy Analysis, North Carolina League of Municipalities and Linda Millsaps from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

Friday, December 9, 2016, 8:00am – 12:00pm
The conference will conclude with an economic update by Michael Brown, Economist with Wells Fargo.

The final conference agenda will be confirmed closer to the conference via the NCLGBA listserv and the NCLGBA website.

For more conference information, check the “Conferences” page.

Nominations for 2016 Jack Vogt Award – Due November 11, 2016

The NCLGBA Board is pleased to announce and encourage nominations for the 2016 A. John “Jack” Vogt Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Advancement of Local Government Budgeting and Evaluation.  This career award is the highest annual award presented by the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) to recognize individuals who have served during their careers as innovators and leaders who advancing budget and/or evaluation practices in North Carolina local government.  In 2006, Dr. Jack Vogt became the first recipient of the award to honor his thirty-four year legacy as an innovator, teacher, mentor, and consummate student of local government budgeting and evaluation.

Nominees must have a minimum of ten years of local government service in North Carolina.  “Government service” is defined broadly as any profession that works in or with municipal, county, or other local government jurisdictions.  Examples include budget/finance professionals, city/county managers, elected officials, academics, and local government financial consultants.

Nominations should be submitted on via email to Josh Edwards (josh.edwards@durhamnc.govby November 11, 2016.  A committee from the NCLGBA will review the submissions and present the award at NCLGBA’s 2016 Winter Budget Conference to be held at the Omni Hotel in Charlotte, from December 7-9.  If you have any questions about the nomination form or process, please feel free to contact Josh Edwards at or (919) 560-4111.

Accepting Applications for 2016 Winter Conference Scholarship

Apply now for NCLGBA’s conference scholarship for the 2016 Winter Conference!

The applicant:
– Must have an interest in a career in North Carolina local government.
– Must be an active Master’s level student in good standing OR someone who has never attended a NCLGBA conference.
– If you are a student, you are within two years of completing a Master’s degree as of Fall 2016.

The recipient will receive two nights hotel accommodation and covered registration fees for NCLGBA’s 2016 Winter Conference in Charlotte on December 7-9th.

The application is available here and is due October 28, 2016.  Submission details are included on the application. Award recipients will be notified by Friday, November 11, 2016.