Virutal Conference is a Go!

Here’s the story
Of a lovely conference
That was originally planned at the beach

‘Til the one day when a virus made an entrance
And who knew it had such a crazy reach
That’s the way we have a virtual conference!

Registration for the 2020 Virtual Summer Conference is now open!

Head over to the Conferences page for all the details.

Virtual Conference Frequently Asked Questions

How many CPE can I receive by attending?

  • There will be up to 5.5 CPE from the one-day conference.

What if I already registered?

  • We have already reached out to all those that previously registered and will be issuing refunds (full or partial) based on whether they will be attending the virtual conference or not.

Will there be any opportunity to take the certification exams?

  • We are working on opportunities for you to take the exam at the School of Government in August and the planning meeting in September. This will keep people on track if they are expecting to pass all exams and get their certificate by the 2020 Winter Conference. We are still trying to figure out exact dates for these options. Registration for exams and payment for exams will happen after conference is complete.

Will certificates be sent directly to those that should be receiving them?

  • For those that might be close to the Triangle, Paarth may be able to get them to you in a safe and social distancing manner. Otherwise, we will ship the certificates at no cost to you.

If you have any questions, please direct them to

NCLGBA Announces Webinar, Surveys

In response to the feedback received on the 2020 Summer Conference Survey, the NCLGBA Board is providing a webinar prior to our 2020 Virtual Conference. In partnership with the UNC School of Government, we are hosting Budgeting in the Pandemic on May 13, 2020 from 1PM – 2:30PM. Please click on the link below to register for the free webinar. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Budgeting in the Pandemic (webinar 05-13-2020)

In addition, NCLGBA currently has one survey in rotation and the second survey will be available late May. The intent is to capture feedback from members to make informed decisions and better serve you all. Please see below.

  • Budget Impact Survey – partnership survey with NC League of Municipalities to receive input on revenues from each NC jurisdiction
  • CBEO Survey (coming soon) – gauging your perspective on our Certified Budget Evaluation Officer Program

If you all have any questions about the webinar, feel free to reach out to Christopher Williams or Whitney Afonso.

Stay safe and healthy!

2020 Summer Conference COVID Update

After much deliberation and careful study of the survey responses, the Board has determined to alter the format for the 2020 Summer Conference from in-person to a virtual one-day option instead. Planning for this virtual conference option is still in the early stages and more information will be coming your way.

For now, those that have:

  • already booked their rooms, please go ahead and cancel your reservations. There should be no penalty for your cancellation of those rooms.
  • registered for the conference previously, hang tight, and we will get back to you shortly. We still need to determine how best to re-deploy registration and cost.
  • been planning sessions, continue working with Brian per his e-mail messages
  • contributed to our organization as sponsors, continue working with Stephen per his e-mail messages

Thank you all so much for what you do. We know this is a difficult time for all your shops as you may be scrambling to revisit your budgets. We are sad that we will not be able to meet in Atlantic Beach this summer, but we will create an awesome opportunity for our members in July virtually, continuing our role as a premier local government association in North Carolina.

Please send any questions about the cancellation or virtual conference to Paarth. He will compile and send an FAQ by Wednesday, April 22.

We hope you, your friends, family, and colleagues continue washing hands, staying at home, and keeping in good spirits!

Virtual Event: Budgeting and Strategic Planning in the Time of Covid-19

NCLGBA is partnering with Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) to host a virtual hangout this Thursday, April 9 at 2:00 pm to discuss budgeting and strategic planning during the coronavirus crisis. Toy Beeninga and Mary Vigue from the City of Raleigh will be leading the discussion, but the event is designed to be interactive, with plenty of time to discuss challenges you may be facing and get feedback from other participants. The event is free, but registrations are requested.

Check out all the details here:

And register here:


Now Accepting Board Nominations

If you have longed for the opportunity to get more involved with the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA), we hope the timing is right! Please take a moment to consider joining the best Board around.

The NCLGBA needs your help growing and improving as an organization to stay true to our vision and mission. As we continue to provide the skill development, knowledge sharing, and networking our members need to succeed professionally; we are always looking for members who want to do more and carry on the torch. Helping advance the local government profession by serving on the NCLGBA Board is an excellent opportunity to contribute.  We have five great opportunities coming up in FY 20-21.

  • 3rd Vice President and Conference Co-Chair (1-year term/5-year commitment)
  • Secretary (3-year term)
  • Treasurer (3-year term)
  • Municipal At-Large (2-year term)
  • County At-Large (2-year term)

All members are expected to:

Work toward specific Strategic Plan goals
Commit to attending all conferences during their terms
Commit to attending all board meetings and conference planning sessions during their terms
Assist with conference planning
Assist with road shows

Nominations are due by March 27, 2020. Please e-mail Michelle Daniels, NCLGBA President, if you are interested, know someone who may be interested, and/or want to learn more.

Materials and further instructions will be e-mailed directly to you if you are accepting a nomination or self-nominating. To be considered for the Board, submissions will be due by April 10, 2020.

NCLGBA Visits UNC, App State

This past week, NCLGBA members visited the Master of Public Administration programs at UNC-Chapel Hill and Appalachian State University. Margaret Murphy, Senior Budget and Management Services Analyst, Wake County, provided a recap of the presentation at UNC-Chapel Hill:

The presentation focused on what it is like to work in the budget office, using a lot of real examples. We started with an overview of the purposes of a budget, the roles in the budget process, and the structure of budget offices. We described budget’s role as communicating between departments, the manager, and the board, and highlighted that curiosity and wanting to solve problems are attributes of a good budget analyst. We gave a brief overview of the North Carolina context, and services, revenue sources, and expenditures in municipalities and counties.

Aaron describes the budget cycle.

Most of the presentation was describing the budget cycle and the major activities we work on during each phase (using examples from Wake and City of Durham). For the planning phase, we shared examples of budget milestones and calendars and developing and communicating the base budget. For the development phase, we shared information about the requests Wake and Durham receive and the budget role in evaluating these requests. Aaron Brown, Budget and Management Analyst, Wake County, led an exercise where we shared examples of business cases departments submit with budget requests and walked through the initial steps/questions budget staff would ask. For the approval phase, we shared examples of budgeting messaging (recommended budget presentations) and highlighted how data used in business cases is then used in communicating the budget to the board. For the implementation phase, we talked about business plan and other status meetings.

Pat shares about other budget office duties, including budget’s role in strategic planning.

Then we shared examples of other things we do. Pat Madej, Senior Budget and Management Analyst, City of Durham, shared information on Durham’s DSAP meetings, I talked about Wake’s board initiatives and being the staff lead on the Pre-K initiative, Pat discussed Durham’s participatory budgeting and program evaluation approach to budget requests. We then looked at examples of Pat’s analysis on sales tax refunds and my work projecting Wake County’s hospitality tax revenue.

Then we talked about NCLGBA and how much we love it!

NCLGBA presenters Pat, Aaron and Margaret (front) with the UNC-Chapel Hill MPA class.

The following day, Brian Pahle, Assistant City Manager, City of Hendersonville, and Brian Barnett, Deputy County Manager, Pitt County, headed to the mountains to provide a similar budgeting overview to students at Appalachian State.

Every good road trip (and budget presentation) starts with a cup of coffee.


App MPA students engaged in the presentation.


Co-presenter Brian Barnett (right) with professor Dr. Bob Eskridge (left) and MPA student Brad Moody.


Familiar names on the scholarship plaque, including co-presenter Brian Pahle and other NCLGBA members.

Thank you to all of our volunteer presenters for sharing your time with the next generation of local government budget professionals!

NCLGBA campus visits support our Strategic Plan goal to “increase student interest and participation within NCLGBA in order to advocate for the budgeting profession and to help create and foster the next generation of local government leaders.” If you would like us to visit your program, class, or student group, please email us at

Summer 2020 Conference Registration and Room Block Now Open

Registration and room block for the 2020 Summer Conference is now open!

Registrations can be made by credit card or check. Every attendee must fill out their own registration form. More detailed directions for registration can be found on the Conference Information page.

Reservations for the conference hotel – the Double Tree by Hilton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront – can be made online or by phone at 252-240-1155 using group name NC Local Government Budget Association and code GBA. Cancellations must be received 72 hours prior to hotel stay. Additional information can be found on the Conference Information page.

The deadline for both conference registration and reserving at the group rate is Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Continue to watch the website and listserv for future 2020 Summer Conference news and updates!

#NCLGBA19 Recap Series: Checking the Boxes for a Successful Conference

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring reflections on the 2019 Winter Conference. If you would like to share your experience, please email

Our third #NCLGBA19 Conference Recap comes from Rusty Mau, Winter 2019 Conference Scholarship Recipient and Budget Analyst, Buncombe County

Consider the last conference you attended (other than the NCLGBA winter conference).  After the conference, you probably received a survey that asked, “Would you recommend this conference to a colleague?”  The answer is not always “strongly agree”.  When I think about the NCLGBA winter conference, I “strongly agree” that every budget professional in North Carolina should attend!

The conference started on a high note, with NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver sharing why planning is critical in the 21st Century.  He discussed the “clash of values” between the 20th and 21st centuries and encouraged us to consider the importance of density in our communities.  The family unit of yesterday is not the family unit of tomorrow, Silver shared, as an estimated 25 million single family homes will be on the market by 2030 with no buyer.  How will a public trend towards density align with the powerful forces of NIMBYism?  What are the tax implications of density?  These questions came to my mind as Silver helped us peek into the future.

Throughout the conference, I came back to the question of “why?”  In The Value Beyond Strategy and Data, Mary Vigue with the City of Raleigh said Raleigh’s goal with innovation and performance management is to empower people to ask why.  In Jeff Richardson’s session on High Performance Leadership, we learned you must understand why managers, boards, and colleagues are motivated and successful in order to be successful yourself.  In the screening of All the Queen’s Horses, we saw what can happen when we don’t ask “why” when something doesn’t add up.  For local government to continue to improve, all employees must be empowered to both ask why and understand why.  This mutual understanding of why transcends innovation, routine operations, and even ethical behavior.

Before I “strongly agree” to recommend a conference, I must be able to check two boxes: solid content and ample time for valuable networking (plus, of course, good food).  While I thoroughly enjoyed the content, the networking opportunities were the highlight of our time.  In Buncombe County, for example, we are drafting a new grants policy.  I was able to ask several jurisdictions about their practices and provide a firm foundation for our first draft.  The conference also included opportunities for speed coaching, budget-focused networking, and informal conversation.  I am no “master networker”, but I truly appreciated the opportunity to learn from other attendees.  The diversity of expertise among attendees made the conference impactful.

When I reflect on the NCLGBA winter conference, I think about my motivation to attend.  First, I wanted to learn more about budgeting in North Carolina.  Second, I wanted to gain valuable insights that I could use in my work.  Third, I wanted to build connections that will help us build an even better budget.  All of these have been accomplished and more.

So, when I ask “why” I attended the conference, I realize my conference experience was a success.  I strongly encourage other budget professionals to reflect on why you attended and consider attending a future NCLGBA conference.  As I mentioned above, I “strongly agree” all of my colleagues attend!

#NCLGBA19 Recap Series: Innovation and Change

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring reflections on the 2019 Winter Conference. If you would like to share your experience, please email

Our second #NCLGBA19 Conference Recap comes from Mimi Clemens, Winter 2019 Conference Scholarship Recipient and MPA Candidate, UNC Chapel Hill

This December, I was able to attend the 2019 NCLGBA Winter Conference in Asheville, North Carolina with a scholarship from NCLGBA. Overall, the conference was a wonderful experience! Each day of the conference there was a general session in the morning followed by concurrent sessions with usually three sessions to choose from. At the end of Wednesday and Thursday, there were networking opportunities with roundtables and a happy hour. The conference concluded with the Economic Update and a raffle. I had a wonderful time meeting local government employees in different stages in their careers, including Budget, Finance, Performance, and Budget and Management Analysts, Senior Analysts, and Directors as well as City, Town, and County Managers. It was great meeting Analysts at the beginning of their careers in local government. This was greatly beneficial to me as a soon-to-be graduate of UNC Chapel Hill’s MPA program this May. It was enlightening hearing from them their experiences and advice after graduating from MPA programs within the state and what ways MPA programs translate well with the local government profession and lessons learned.

Three of my favorite sessions of the Winter Conference were: The Value of Planning in the 21st Century: What’s Next? presented by Mitchell Silver, High Performance Leadership: Connecting to Your Manager, Supervisor, and Your Board presented by Jeff Richardson, and Public Engagement Tools to Reach a 21st Century Audience presented by Ming-Chun Lee and Scott Correll. I was drawn to all three of these sessions due to their innovative nature. In Mitchell Silver’s presentation, the changing demographics of America will create new norms, expectations, and needs from communities for local governments to address. Jeff Richardson’s presentation encouraged self-awareness as public leaders to be able to understand elected officials, residents, and staff’s viewpoints when addressing issues in the community. The test we took during Richardson’s session was eye-opening by showing how the viewpoint and expectations of the community, staff, and elected officials can shape organizational culture and performance of the organization when addressing issues in the community. Lastly, Ming-Chun Lee and Scott Correll’s presentation on public engagement in the 21st century was fascinating. Correll discussed how the City of Charlotte’s Urban Design Center created a board game as a new way to engage with the public. This started a conversation in the community on what city residents would like to see Charlotte become in the next 20 years. With the many different paths Charlotte residents could choose in the game, the city was able to gain insight into what priorities the community values and how the community would like the city to manage growth. And Lee used new geospatial technologies to create an app that would augment reality for users on their smart phone. This app allowed for residents to see what neighborhoods in Charlotte looked like in the past as well as changing demographic trends.

I am grateful to be given this opportunity to attend the 2019 NCLGBA Winter Conference. With the new year, 2020 will bring new challenges and solutions for local governments. It is my hope that I can take what I learned from these sessions and apply it towards future challenges that may arise.

RSVP to the Summer 2020 Conference Planning Meeting

On behalf of the NCLGBA Board, we invite you to the NCLGBA 2020 Summer Conference Planning Meeting on Friday, February 21st, 2020!

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. network with state-wide colleagues!

Click here to RSVP (yes or no) by Friday, January 31st, 2020. 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 at registration.

Join us in downtown Charlotte (free parking) between 12pm-3pm at the:

Charlotte Fire Department Headquarters
500 Dalton Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28206

Lunch (including VG, V, GF, etc.) options will be provided from 12pm-1pm. If you can join us, select your lunch option using the link above.


Where and when is the 2020 Summer Conference?

Doubletree by Hilton, Atlantic Beach between July 15-17 (hotel reopening soon!)

Is the Planning Meeting only meant for Board Members?

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

Is a teleconference line available to join the planning meeting?

No, the teleconference option hasn’t worked too well because of how loud and decentralized (group-work) the conversation is.

If you can’t make it, the best way to share with us your ideas is through the RSVP link and then we can follow up accordingly and include your ideas as part of the conversation.

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 our Conference Planners, Brian or Paarth.