2021 Winter Conference Scholarship Application is Live

Good Morning –

I am pleased to announce that the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) is now accepting scholarship applications for the hybrid 2021 Winter Conference in Pinehurst, NC and virtually December 15-17. Completed applications should be submitted via e-mail to scholarship@nclgba.org by 11:59PM EST on Friday, November 12, 2021. Scholarship recipient(s) will receive registration and lodging accommodations for the 2021 Winter Conference from December 15-17, 2021.

The 2021 Winter Conference Scholarship Application is available here.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending the NCLGBA 2021 Winter Conference as a scholarship winner, I encourage you to apply or pass along this announcement. Please check out the NCLGBA website for information and updates about the upcoming conference. For any questions, feel free to e-mail scholarship@nclgba.org.

Thank you,

Brian Pahle

2021-2022 1st Vice President, NCLGBA

Nominations Open for 2021 Vogt Award

Good Morning Local Government Budget Professionals!

It is my pleasure to announce and encourage nominations and applications for the 2021 A. John “Jack” Vogt Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Advancement of Local Government Budgeting and Evaluation.

The 2021 A. John “Jack” Vogt Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Advancement of Local Government Budgeting and Evaluation is the highest annual award presented by the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) to recognize individuals who have served as innovators and leaders advancing budget and/or evaluation practices in North Carolina local government during their careers.

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/evaluation professionals, city/county managers, elected officials, academics, and local government financial consultants. A list of previous award winners can be accessed on the NCLGBA website.

The nomination application can be found here. Completed nomination applications should be submitted via e-mail to vogtaward@nclgba.org by 11:59pm EST on Friday, November 12, 2021. A committee from the NCLGBA will review the submissions and present the award at the 2021 Winter Conference in Pinehurst held from December 15 – 17, 2021. The recipient will be notified of the specific date.

If you have any questions about the nomination form or process, please contact vogtaward@nclgba.org.

North Carolina has a strong, state and national reputation as a leader in local government budgeting and evaluation. I hope you will take this opportunity to recognize those who have helped us earn this reputation and charted new paths for all of us to participate, learn from and benefit. Please feel free to forward this to your colleagues who may know potential nominees.

Thank you,

Brian Pahle

2021-2022 1st Vice President, NCLGBA

2021 Winter Conference – Registration Open!

Registration for the 2021 Winter Conference, to be held in person December 15-17, 2021, is now open!

Our moderators and conference planners are working hard to plan great content and a safe experience for all our members. We will also have a virtual attendance option for both the general sessions and concurrent sessions selected by conference planners.

Head over to the Conferences page for all the details.

If you have any questions, please direct them to conference@nclgba.org.

Membership for FY22 is Open

Check out the Membership page for details on joining or renewing your membership with NCLGBA.

#NCLGBA21 Recap Series: Combining Creativity and Data in a Budgeting Career

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring reflections on the 2021 Summer Conference. If you would like to share your experience, please email admin@nclgba.org.

Our next #NCLGBA21 Conference Recap comes from Ashlee Anderson, one of the scholarship winners for the 2021 Summer Conference, and MPA Candidate at North Carolina Central University.

Hello fellow budgeting enthusiast! To all I did not have the opportunity to personally meet at the conference, my name is Ashlee Anderson, and I am currently in my second year of the Master of Public Administration program at North Carolina Central University. I am so honored to be selected as one of the Summer 2021 NCLGBA Conference scholarship recipients. I honestly did not have much experience with the public sector, particularly budgeting prior to this summer’s conference. However, my attendance at the NCLGBA Summer Conference in Wilmington opened my eyes to the many careers in budgeting offered state- and nationwide. Before attending the conference, I had other interests in the Public Administration field but frankly no desire to pursue careers in budgeting. I now admit that with the exposure experienced over the course of 3 days at this amazing conference, I have fallen in love with budgeting.

There were many insightful sessions opened my eyes to the fact that budgeting isn’t just about the numbers but about the impact we as public administrators are able to make through allocating funds. I particularly enjoyed the breakout sessions with Andrew Kleine and Alex Norman. Andrew’s session, “Turning Curves: How to get Better Results for Customers and Communities,” really drove home for me the integral role of budgeters in building an equitable community. Andrew shared the importance of being results-oriented and broke down how to use Results Based Accountability to ensure these results are achieved. In this mini session Andrew broke down how to use strategic planning and performance management to effectively use this tool.

I consider myself a creative and felt a sense of relief while attending Alex Norman’s session, “How I Learned to Stop Using Words and Love Design.” Prior to this session I feared that a career in the public sector meant trading creativity for policy, data, and reports. Seeing Alex present this same information in a creative way energized me and made me realize that in a budgeting career I will be able to marry my passion for creating and my love of data. After Alex’s session I felt I had gained new knowledge on how to present information to the public in a way that is Simple, Shareable, and Sexy and I now look forward to using these new skills in a future career.

I was most personally impacted by Thursday’s session: “Diversity is More than Just a (Buzz) Word”. Keyana Walston and Justin Amos did an amazing job facilitating what can sometimes be a difficult conversation and I am so thankful for the panelists who were so courageous in sharing their personal stories. After hearing their experiences, I felt even more empowered in my decision to pursue a career as a public administrator. As a black female I was especially taken by Patrice Toney’s experience, and later learning from her that there are currently only 3 black female budgeting directors, I understood why representation is so important.

Without this experience, and meeting and hearing the experiences of members of the public budgeting community, I would have never considered a career in public budgeting. I am so thankful to not only get out of the house for a beautiful weekend at the Wilmington Riverfront and put on actual clothes, but also to have been afforded the opportunity to be surrounded by such an amazing, diverse, and experienced group of public servants. I can’t wait to attend again in the future, perhaps as a member as the public budgeting community myself.

RSVP to the Winter 2021 Conference Planning Meeting

On behalf of the NCLGBA Board, we invite you to the NCLGBA 2021 Winter Conference Planning Meeting on Friday, August 27th, 2021!

The objectives are to:

  1. brainstorm conference session topics that are exciting and relevant to our members,
  2. secure volunteer commitments including moderators and registration help, and
  3. networking with state-wide colleagues!
The NCLGBA Board is continuing to monitor COVID and travel conditions as they relate to all our in-person meetings. In the interest of everyone’s safety (and hopefully getting things under control so we can have a successful, in-person event in December!) we are shifting the Planning Meeting on 8/27 to a virtual meeting. We hope this makes it easier for members with health concerns or new travel restrictions to attend the event.
As a result of this change, the RSVP form will remain open until Wednesday, August 25th. A link to the Zoom meeting will be provided to attendees that evening. Even if you can’t attend, please follow the link to share ideas for session topics, speakers, and/or volunteer to be a moderator or help with other conference opportunities. Please consider sharing this message with any colleagues (including interns!) who may be interested.


Frequently Asked Questions:

When and where is the 2021 Winter Conference?

The 2021 Winter Conference will be held December 15th – 17th and is currently being planned to take place in person at Pinehurst Resort.

Is the Planning Meeting only meant for Board Members?

No, all local government budget professionals are welcome! Even if you do finance, strategic planning, or data analytics you are welcome!

If you can’t make it, the best way to share with us your ideas is through the RSVP link and then Megan can follow up accordingly. She will be sure to include it as part of our presentation, so if someone wants to moderate such a session then she’d connect both of you.

As always, thank you all for coming together to create great experiences and professional development opportunities for our colleagues across the State.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Megan Powell or Heather Curry.

#NCLGBA21 Recap Series: A New Career Possibility

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring reflections on the 2021 Summer Conference. If you would like to share your experience, please email admin@nclgba.org.

Our next #NCLGBA21 Conference Recap comes from Tiffany Oliva, one of the scholarship winners for the 2021 Summer Conference, ARPA Coordinator for the City of Winston-Salem, and a student at UNC MPA.

This year, in 2021, I was so thankful to have taken the leap to apply and be selected as one of two scholarship recipients for the NCLGBA Summer Conference. As a young professional, I was excited to join an in-person conference focused on local government; it would be my first. To my dismay, I ended up not being able to join in person. So, to those of you I was not able to meet, *extends virtual handshake* Hello! I’m Tiffany Oliva, and I am a current student at UNC School of Government pursuing my Master of Public Administration with a concentration in local government. I also have the pleasure of working with the City of Winston-Salem. Even though I have only lived about a quarter of a century, working with the City has been one of the greatest honors of my life. It opened the door into a field that I had not even considered as one BIG way to make public service impact. I hope our paths will get to cross someday soon!

Now, back to what you came here for . . . my conference recap! With topics ranging from the American Rescue Plan Act funds to diversity to understanding the historical framework of budgeting and where we may be headed, I learned a great deal (to say the least!). I have experientially seen how important the budgeting process is. I also understand how it is, essentially, the living and breathing document of our local governments’ values and priorities. This conference solidified that for me, but it also made me realize that I should really considered budgeting as a potential career path. That is something I have always had tucked away in my mind, but it definitely brought it to the front of mind.

One of my favorite sessions was on day two: Turning Traditional Budgeting on Its Head. I really enjoyed hearing Andrew Kleine’s presentation. I found myself learning a great deal and also laughing quite a bit. His analogy of the traditional budgeting process to an iceberg with layers building up over time and becoming a slower, heavier mass really made a statement to me about the need for change. Government is increasingly being expected to do more for less, and to move more quickly. Andrew mentioned a theme from David Osborne and Peter Hutchinson’s book, “The Price of Government: Getting the Results We Need in an Age of Permanent Fiscal Crisis”, which was that budgeting should be outcome based. An outcomes-based budget means that you are purchasing results, rather than funding line-items. Three ways that Andrew suggests changing the budgeting process include:

  • Change the starting point for budgeting to what you want to accomplish next year and the years to come.
  • Put outcomes ahead of the org chart by replacing silos with pools (meaning that you allocate money to outcomes not agencies).
  • Shift the budget debate by talking more about how we can improve outcomes or performance, rather than how many dollars we should be budgeting.

But there were many more takeaways, and lucky for us, we have the opportunity to re-watch the presentations here.

In closing, I promise Andrew didn’t pay me for this plug, but I will also be picking up City On The Line (one of his books) soon! Needless to say, I certainly built a reading list through the conference that I am excited to dig in and through.

I hope that you enjoyed the presentations just as much as I did! A huge thank you to NCLGBA for allowing me to be a part of it!

Sponsor Spotlight: Summer 2021 Conference Sponsors

NCLGBA recently held our first in-person conference since December 2019! The event provided an exciting opportunity to network at a safe distance in-person and continue to bring high-quality content to our members. One of the factors that made the conference a success was the generosity of our sponsors. Check them out below. Thank you again for your support of NCLGBA!

Summer 2021 Conference Sponsor Information

Presenting/Title Sponsors

Civic Federal Credit Union (Brochure) (Video)

Governor’s Commission

Debt Book (Flyer) (Video)

Local Government Federal Credit Union (Brochure) (UNC SOG Scholarship Info) (Products & Services) (Video)

Gallagher (Handout) (NCHIP Info) (Video)

Mark III (Video)

First Tryon (Video)

Legislative Committee

ADW Architects (Handout) (Video)

Oracle (Brochure) (Self-Service Advice and Guidance) (Video)

Edifice General Contractors (Video)


MGT Consulting Group (Overview)

Davenport Public Finance


Public Input

ClearPoint Strategy

#NCLGBA21 Recap Series: A Joy to Come Back Together

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring reflections on the 2021 Summer Conference. If you would like to share your experience, please email admin@nclgba.org.

Our first #NCLGBA21 Conference Recap comes from Kimberly Leonard, Budget Manager at Pender County.

July 21st, I was excited to return to the first in person NCLGBA conference since December 2019. Although the NCLGBA conferences seem to always exhibit a lot of Board generated enthusiasm; this year, you could feel an elevated level of energy erupting from the 157 registered participants, who appeared delighted to have direct contact with fellow budgeteers.

Many of us returned knowing our revenue projections for the last two years had larger variances to actual than any time in our county’s recorded past because of unknown COVID impacts. Soon after the  conference began, these variances were put into perspective and our self-confidence began to return as one of the larger counties reported a 69% variance in their sales tax projections. This was followed by economist Dr. Adam Jones confessing his previous economic projections had been off target due to the unknowns accompanying our first large pandemic. Due to the continuing unknowns, Dr. Jones provided us with a lot of information to assist in developing our own economic projections, including reasons for the previous economic assumption variances.

The economic update session was followed by numerous educational opportunities, from technical sessions, such as recommendations for your ARP and CARES funding, performance culture, problem solving, data presentations and diversity; to sessions on professional relationships, including relationships with elected officials and careers in budgeting, and  even personal sessions, such as personal financial health impacts on personal health and desk yoga. A few of my biggest takeaways from these sessions were:

  • Employees’ personal financial issues may be costing my county an estimated $2,250,000 in lost productivity.
  • Measuring our County’s budget expenditure percentages by county objective versus by department would help merge our perception with reality. In addition, it would aid in creating a county wide perspective within departments.
  • You should establish a method for personal development for your employees before they are ever hired, to aid in employee retention.
  • When working with your County Commissioners always recognize their time limitations and give them bullet points. Provide information in small pieces over a period of time.

Although we learned a lot from the seminars, we also learned a significant amount from interacting with other participants. The reception Wednesday night not only provided a great social opportunity, but was accompanied with great food and drinks, such as a grits and shrimp bar, cupcakes, crab cakes, and fried pimento cheese. In addition to making great connections and obtaining productive suggestions for a few budgeting obstacles, I also obtained a list of great sightseeing ideas for my Asheville vacation in November. The comraderies and relationships that we developed will continue to grow in years to come.

As we return to work to implement and utilize a lot of the knowledge obtained from this conference, I hope everyone who worked to make this event such a great success realizes the impact of their efforts. Thank you to all who contributed to the success.