What motivates you to be a local government budget professional?
NCLGBA events are a great opportunity to enhance professional skills and network with hundreds of your colleagues. Whatever motivates you to slog through budget requests and re-add numbers that don’t add up, twice a year we gather to share, compare notes and learn from each other. And — to welcome new budgeteers!
The NCLGBA board is excited to extend financial support, to go along with that offer of welcome, through the 2015 NCLGBA Conference Scholarship Program. First-time conference attendees — whether current Masters’ of Public Administration or Public Policy students, interns or otherwise new to our field — can apply for a scholarship to join us in education, networking and advocacy. The scholarship provides conference registration and two nights hotel stay to attend the upcoming summer conference July 8-10, 2015 at Shell Island Resort or our winter conference in December 2015.
We ask applicants about their motivation for becoming (or studying to become) a local government budget professional and about how we, as budget professionals, can each impact the community. Please pass along the attached application to the new person in your office, the interns, or MPA/MPP students who may be interested in this scholarship opportunity. Encourage them to participate in the NCLGBA, and to consider what motivates them as they enter our field and share what motivates you.
Winter Conference – December 11th to 13th – Grove Park Inn, Asheville (More information to come)
Charts, Charts & More Charts
Dr. Walden’s Leading Indicator Report shows Positive Signs
“The NCSU INDEX OF NORTH CAROLINA LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS (the “Index”), a forecast of the economy’s direction four to six months ahead, moved in July to its highest level since early 2008. The gain was driven by a substantial drop in initial jobless claims and a modest improvement in the national leading index. All other components of the Index backtracked slightly.”
Connaughton also sees growth in 2013 for US, NC
UNC-Charlotte economist, Dr. John Connaughton, presented his latest economic forecast on September 10th. Among his predictions:
2.1% growth in Gross State Product (GSP) for 2013, below the 2.7% pace in 2012, though growth will be seen across all 15 economic sectors (industries)
2014 GSP Growth projected to be 3.3%, returning to long-term economic average
Agriculture will grow 3.5% in 2013, then 16.5% in 2014
North Carolina will see net job growth of 53,100 in 2013, additional net 86,000 growth in 2014
Growth pace to accelerate through second half of this year due to increased consumer confidence and improvement in housing market
Hospitality and Leisure Services only expected to grow 1.5% in 2013, 1.0% in 2014
Despite job growth, unemployment will remain stagnant at 9.0% for 2013 and 2014, due in part to increased labor force participation and lack of substantial growth
Expansion to remain Steady, Slow
Wells Fargo’s latest outlooks for 2014 and 2015 remain consistent with their forecast for slow, steady growth, with pace similar to the prior four years of overall global economic expansion.
Gas Prices Remain Steady despite Oil Climb
Retail gasoline prices did pick up a little towards the summer, and oil prices have increased recently due to unrest in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. Overall, national and state retail averages remain more than 10% down compared to a year ago.
Form a longer time horizon, consumers and local governments have seen an annual rate of gasoline price inflation of ~15% or so over the past 7 years.
Each year, NCLGBA offers students of MPA programs in North Carolina with an interest in local budgeting an opportunity to apply for “scholarships” to one of our conferences. The deadline for applications is April 9th.
You are an active student and in good standing in one of the programs listed above.
You have an interest in working for local government in North Carolina or the region.
You are within two calendar years of completing a Master’s level program (at the time of application).
Up to four recipients will receive two nights’ hotel accommodations and covered registration fees for either the Summer (July) or Winter (December) NCLGBA Conference. Dates and locations vary year to year so please visit http://www.nclgba.org for the most current information.
Recipients must use the scholarship at one of the two conferences in the year awarded.
Recipients will be recognized at the Summer Conference.
Write a maximum one page essay on the following:
How will the current students of public administration impact North Carolina’s future?
Essay reviewers will rank submissions based on several factors including: clarity, grammar, and overall writing skills. References to budget innovation are encouraged. Written communication is critical to our profession and this exercise will reward excellent writing.
Click Here for a Scholarship Application. Applications may be submitted from March 9 through midnight April 9. Submit your application via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words NCLGBA Scholarship Program in the Subject line. There is a maximum of one (1) application and essay submission allowed per student.
From NCLGBA Board Member Matt Brinkley:
One of the many benefits to students that attend the conferences is the potential to network with local government officials. Students will also hear from an excellent slate of presenters about all kinds of issues and opportunities that North Carolina local governments are dealing with right now.
Please help us to get the word out & we look forward to seeing your students at one of our upcoming conferences!
During the Winter 2011 Conference, we will be live blogging from a couple of workshops, sharing some of the comments by presenters, as well as answers to attendee questions. We’re starting off with the first general session, “Funding Outside the Box.”
More than 120 NCLGBA members and guests are at Asheville’s Grove Park Inn this afternoon for the start of the association’s 2010 Winter Conference.
Among the opening festivities, Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy extended her appreciate for the conference being held in her City.
“There are more than 500 municipalities,” Mayor Bellamy said, “and you chose the best in North Carolina.”
Mayor Bellamy took the opportunity to highlight many of the unique facets to Asheville, including one or two most attendees were not aware of.
“We have the largest number of art deco buildings (in the U.S.) outside Miami,” she mentioned, among other things.
Mayor Bellamy also extended appreciation to the City of Asheville’s own budget professionals.
“Asheville has a wonderful budget staff. Tony (McDowell) has done a wonderful job. It’s always good to have key people who, when they give you information, you can believe them.”
“I apologize, on behalf of (fellow Council members) who may question or second guess you. Why do we do it? When things go wrong, it’s not often that you see budget and finance staff in the paper. It’s elected officials.”
Mayor Bellamy concluded by asking attendees to “spend (their) money inside the City Limits” while they were at the conference.
Attendees got started right away with a plenary discussion on North Carolina Politics led by Dr. Chris Cooper and Dr. Gibbs Knotts with the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University.
Cooper and Knotts offered a strong overview on the state’s historic and current political climate, focusing significantly on the 2008 and 2010 elections.
Cooper and Knotts are extensive writers and contributors in academic and nonacademic sources, including the News & Observer and Public Administration Review. Dr. Knotts also maintains an active blog on state politics and policy, available at http://wcuppi.blogspot.com.
Dr. Cooper discussed how North Carolina compared with respect to numerous political metrics. Generally, the Tar Heel State was found to be a competitive, two-party state, especially in recent years, with reasonable and reliable media coverage.
Dr. Knotts talked about the professionalism of North Carolina legislators and Governors. Research indicates that the General Assembly is the 28th most professional, with wide diversity across professionals, low pay, and reasonably-sized staff. They also found that the Governor of North Carolina, traditionally, is the 7th least professional of the 50 across the country.
Cooper also discussed the historic significance of the 2008 election in the South, especially the fact that President Barack Obama won three Southern states (including North Carolina) in the general election. His findings focused on the strength of voter turnout, especially in how stronger-than-average turnout helped the Obama campaign.
Cooper’s comments also included how President Obama’s campaign utilized “new media” outlets, a trend that initiated with the campaign of Howard Dean in 2004. Examples he gave included utilizing text messaging to build supporter databases and grow interest among constituencies and enable them to feel “part of the team.”
According to Cooper, Obama dominated social media exposure compared to his opponent, Republican John McCain.
Knotts followed-up with a discussion on the 2010 election, an analysis still in progress. The synopsis suggested that turnout was not a significant factor with election results in North Carolina, while both Democrats and Republicans have increased their use of attack ads on a regular basis since 2002.
Their analysis concluded with some interesting information on the impact of recent election results, including the continued decline of Democrats on county commissions within the state (now down to a little more than half).