2014 ABFM Conference Agenda Revised

Changes to the 2014 ABFM Annual Conference Agenda have been made and are now available by clicking here.

Don’t forget to register for the Conference online. The deadline to take advantage of the early registration rate is September 15th.

Click Here to Register Online

Click Here for Information on Sponsorship Opportunities

Call for Papers: 2015 WSSA Public Finance & Budgeting Section

57th Annual WSSA Conference April 8-11, 2015


A Section of the Western Social Science Association

Coordinators: Tima Moldogaziev and Thad Calabrese

14th Annual Meeting

Proposals Due: December 1, 2014

Public Finance and Budgeting (PFB) is a section of the Western Social Science Association (WSSA) created to provide a friendly and scholarly environment for sharing research in the areas of public finance, public budgeting, and public financial management as they are broadly defined. Paper and panel proposals are welcome on all topics in public finance, financial management, budgeting, and public economics. The association also offers sections in public administration, economics, political science, urban studies, and many other social science disciplines.

Continuing a sectional tradition of journal symposia, papers that are accepted and presented will be eligible to be included in a symposium in  Municipal Finance Journal. The symposium will be peer-reviewed and the usual standards and topical considerations for publication in Municipal Finance. The section also offers a Best Manuscript Award as well as a Runner-Up Award. Papers are self-nominated following the completion of the conference.

The 2014 winner was Professor Jonathan Mikesell for his paper “State Retail Sales Tax Productivity: Identifying Economic, Legal, and Administrative Influences on C-efficiency Ratios Across the American States.” Dr. Mikesell is Chancellor’s Professor at the School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University. The authors of the runner-up paper this year are Ping Zhang and Professor Yilin Hou for their manuscript titled “The Dynamics of Housing Price and Land Price in Different Contexts: Evidence from Georgia Counties.” Ping Zhang is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Public Administration & Policy in the School of Public & International Affairs, University of Georgia. Dr. Yilin Hou is Professor at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

The PFB section will recognize the winners at the WSSA’s Annual Meeting next year.

Please check the conference website regularly for registration and hotel reservation details:


For students: Students affiliated with WSSA can win $500, a free one-year subscription to the Social Science Journal, and free conference registration at the conference in Portland, OR. Each winning paper will also receive one room/2 nights free lodging.

Completed papers are generally due by mid-January. As soon as your proposal is accepted, please consider submitting your completed paper to this student paper competition.

To Submit a Proposal, Include the Following:

Indicate if you are proposing a Paper or organizing a Panel.

***(Indicate whether you wish to serve as a panel chair. In advance, many thanks!)

Name, Title, Affiliation, Address, Telephone Number, and E-mail Address for Author(s)

Abstract(s), Not to Exceed 200 Words Each

Proposals must be received by December 1, 2014.

Please send proposals and questions to Thad Calabrese at thad.calabrese@nyu.edu. Please include “WSSA PFB 2015” in the email subject line.

GASB Hosting Webinar Friday on OPEB Reporting

You are invited to participate in a free webinar on the GASB’s proposals regarding other postemployment benefits (OPEB) such as retiree health insurance. The webinar is designed specifically for users of governmental financial information, focusing on the types of information that governments would provide under the proposals. The webinar will be followed by a brief survey allowing you  to share your views of the proposals with the GASB.

Registration: To register for this event, please use this link.

Date: Friday, August 8, 2014

Time: 1:00-2:00 PM, Eastern Daylight Time

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is pleased to announce a webcast on its newly-issued Exposure Draft, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. The areas covered will include:

  1. Background of the project
  2. How the OPEB liability would be measured and reported in the financial statements
  3. What information about OPEB governments would present in the notes to the financial statements and required supplementary schedules
  4. A question and answer period

Speakers: Dean Mead, GASB research manager; Scott Reeser, GASB project manager; Emily Clark, GASB Project Research Associate.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this program, participants will have a general understanding of the proposals contained in the Exposure Drafts and be prepared to offer their views on the proposals in a brief survey.

Participants will have the opportunity to email questions to the speakers during the event.

Advanced Preparation Needed: Participants are encouraged to download and review a plain-language article, The GASB’s OPEB Proposals: What Financial Statement Users Need to Know.


Smith Elected Vice-Chair; New Committee Members Chosen

2015ABFMOfcDan Smith, Associate Professor of Public Budgeting and Financial Management in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University (NYU Wagner), will serve as ABFM Vice-Chair in 2015 after winning the vote of members during July elections.

With his election, Smith will serve as Chair-Elect and Conference Chair in 2016, ABFM Chair in 2017, and Immediate Past Chair in 2018.

Dan currently serves on the ABFM Executive Committee and is ABFM’s representative to the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC). He has presented at ABFM Annual Conferences since 2004.

Three members were also elected to serve on the ABFM Executive Committee for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2015:

Hai (David) Guo – Assistant Professor of Public Administration, Florida International University

Olga Smirnova – Assistant Professor, MPA Program, Department of Political Science, East Carolina University

Bryan Sullivan - Director of Management Efficiency, State of Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget. Bryan is a former ABFM Executive Committee member and Treasurer.

2014 Conference Draft Agenda Now Available!

Conference Chair, Dr. Robert Kravchuk, recently completed the draft agenda for the 2014 ABFM Annual Conference, to be held October 2nd-4th at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI.

Click Here to View the Draft Agenda

Conference participants should register and make their hotel reservations as soon as possible.

Click Here to Register Online for the 2014 ABFM Conference

Click Here to Reserve Your Hotel Room (or call 800-253-3590)

Deadline for early registration rates is September 15th. Rooms are available at the conference rate of $134/night.

Call for Papers: IU Public Finance Miniconference, May 2015


May 1-2, 2015
School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
1315 E 10th Street, Bloomington, Indiana

Click Here for a PDF of this Announcement

America’s public finance system is largely in uncharted territory. Congress has abandoned its own budgetary process, major cities have declared or considered bankruptcy, and public pension systems and the viability of other unfunded liabilities is becoming an increasing source of concern. Healthcare spending is occupying a significant share of both state and federal non-discretionary spending. The federal politics of taxation has seemingly shifted from collecting revenue to serving symbolic gestures, while subnational governments compete with each other for an increasingly mobile tax base.

This conference will aim to evaluate the state of the American fiscal system and discuss its future by inviting scholars to present research on topics relevant to this topic. Paul Posner (George Mason University) will provide the luncheon keynote speech, and paper proposals will be competitively selected. We encourage submissions from all disciplines, including economics, political science, public administration, and law.

Possible areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Public budgeting and principles of sound finance
  • Debt, credit, and unfunded liabilities
  • Revenue instruments
  • Fiscal federalism and polycentricity
  • Healthcare
  • Tax and/or expenditure limitations
  • Intergovernmental transfers
  • Fiscal illusion
  • Business cycle management in a federalist system
  • Regional public competition for economic development
  • Public sector debt default or bankruptcy

Proposals: The deadline for submitting proposals is December 1st, 2014.

Proposals should include title, abstract, authors, and indicate your willingness to serve as a discussant.

Questions and proposals should be directed to Justin Ross, justross@indiana.edu.

Registration: There is no fee to register for the conference, but we do ask for registrations to be completed by March 30th, 2015.

Location and Schedule: The conference will take place in the School of Public & Environmental Affairs, 1315 E 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47401. The conference will begin Thursday morning on May 1st, and break around noon on May 2.

Hotel Accommodations: A block of rooms has been reserved at the Biddle Hotel Indiana Memorial Union. Reserve online (http://imu.indiana.edu/hotel/) or call (800) 209-8145 and indicate that you are reserving for the “SPEA Public Finance Miniconference.” If reserving online, the block code is SPEAPFMC. Of the many hotels in Bloomington, the Biddle Hotel is the closest to the conference location with only a 5 minute walk.

About the IU Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs
SPEA was founded in 1972 and is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 “Best Graduate Schools” by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation’s highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs, including public budgeting and finance, are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA’s doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are also ranked by the National Research Council
as among the top two in the nation.

ABFM Executive Committee & Officer Elections Open Until July 31st! Vote Now!

Online elections opened July 1st for ABFM’s Executive Committee and Officer positions becoming available January 1, 2015. These elections will remain open until July 31st, and all registered members of ABFM are encouraged to participate.

Access to the election page was distributed to ABFM members earlier this month. If you did not receive access, please contact our Secretariat, Meagan Jordan (mmjordan@odu.edu or (757) 683-6527.

The following are brief introductions of each of the candidates running for Vice-Chair, as well as for three positions on the Executive Committee. The Vice-Chair for 2015 will serve as Chair-Elect in 2016, Chair in 2017 and Immediate Past Chair in 2018. Those elected to Executive Committee will serve 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2015, and ending December 31, 2017.

Candidates for Vice-Chair (Vote for 1)

Craig S. Maher. I am a Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I have been an active ABFM member for well over a decade, which includes presenting research, serving as panel chair and discussant, and serving on award committees.  The experiences I have had at these conferences over the years have been highly rewarding professionally and personally.  I am now in a position where I can give back to ABFM in a meaningful way.  I would like to help build on ABFM’s tradition of expanding the organization’s base by engaging with practitioners, academics, and leaders of complimentary professional associations.  I also want to ensure that the 2016 conference is relevant, meaning that the theme, keynote speakers, and topics discussed are valuable to the budgeting and finance field.

My research has spanned a broad spectrum in the budgeting and financial management field including: school finance, fiscal federalism, fiscal condition, budgeting priorities and institutional effects on fiscal decision.  I have served on committees for GASB, GFOA and ASPA.  I have also served as Research Director of a non-profit and held elective office.  I served five years on a City Council where I was appointed Chair of the Budgeting Committee.  My background should put me in a strong position to be an effective ABFM Chair.

As an ASPA member, I served on the committee that developed the winning proposal and managed the 66th ASPA National Conference in Milwaukee, WI (2005).  I also organized the Milwaukee Chapter of ASPA’s Second Annual Conference on State and Local Responses and Solutions to the Current Fiscal Crisis (March 2004).  These past experiences, coupled with the fact that I am at an institution where two of my colleagues are recent past chairs – John Bartle and Carol Ebdon – give me strong foundation and support for chairing the 2016 ABFM conference committee. ABFM Member since March 2001.

Dan Smith is an Associate Professor of Public Budgeting and Financial Management in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University (NYU Wagner), where he is Director of the finance specialization and teaches master’s and doctoral courses in government budgeting, public and nonprofit financial management, and econometrics. He has presented at ABFM’s conference annually since 2004, he is currently serving his final year on the ABFM Executive Committee, and he is ABFM’s representative to the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC).

In 2012, Dan led NYU Wagner’s effort to host the first-ever New York City meeting of ABFM’s annual conference, which registered the highest attendance and produced the highest registration revenues and donor sponsorships of the prior six meetings and generated a profit. Prior to his work on ABFM’s Executive Committee, he was program co-chair of the Public Finance and Budgeting section of the Western Social Science Association for two years, and for four years he was Treasurer and Chair of the Assets and Liabilities Management Committee of the Board of Directors of the New York University Federal Credit Union (NYUFCU). At NYUFCU, an independent and federally regulated financial institution, he was responsible for overseeing approximately $14 million in assets.

Dan welcomes questions about his ideas for the 2016 conference and ABFM more broadly at daniel.smith@nyu.edu. ABFM member since May 2002.

Candidates for Executive Committee (Vote for 3)

J. Edwin (Ed) Benton is a professor of political science and public administration at the University of South Florida.  He has written extensively about state, local, and intergovernmental fiscal behavior, urban and county government, state-local relations, and city-county consolidation.  His research has appeared in academic journals such as Public Administration Review, Social Science QuarterlyUrban Affairs ReviewJournal of Urban AffairsPublius: The Journal of FederalismPublic Opinion QuarterlyJournal of Public Administration Theory and PracticeState and Local Government Review, and American Review of Public Administration and in over a two dozen edited volumes.  He is the author of Intergovernmental Relations and Public PolicyCounties as Service Delivery AgentsGovernment and Politics in Florida, 4th edition, and Revenues Sources for Local Governments:  How Municipalities, Counties, and Townships Pay the Bills (forthcoming).  In addition, he is the author or co-author of over 50 technical and grant reports for state and local governments, local government associations, ICMA, and non-profit organizations.  He has served on the several editorial/advisory boards (State and Local Government ReviewAmerican Review of Public Administration, and Florida Political Chronicle, and National Center for the Study of Counties) and is currently the Managing Editor of the State and Local Government Review. ABFM member since March 1999.

Marlon I. Brown: My name is Marlon Brown and I desire to serve on the ABFM Executive Committee for the 2015-2017 term.  I currently work for the State of Michigan as a Budget and Policy Analyst in the State Budget Office.  I am also a councilman for the City of Mason, MI and an adjunct instructor at Davenport University.  My prior work experience includes serving as a management analyst for the Michigan Supreme Court and serving as the Associate Director of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy at Albion College.  My educational credentials consist of a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the American University, and a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in city management from the University of Delaware.  It is because of my diverse background that I am confident I could bring a unique perspective to the ABFM Executive Committee.  One of my goals would be to work with ABFM leaders to broaden our reach to younger professionals aspiring toward careers in public service or academia.  I also believe that my experiences as a practitioner, and as a local elected official, could be useful in enhancing the scope and work of ABFM. ABFM member since July 2009.

David Chapinski is a 3rd-year PhD student at Rutgers SPAA, Conference Committee Board Member, Course Developer for Doctoral Programs, Adjunct Faculty, Contributing Writer of local government and public administration issues as well as Academic Conference Referee.  In April 2013, David was appointed NEDSI Conference Session Chair for the Health Care Management Track, at the Northeast Decision Sciences Institute 2013 New York Conference, Brooklyn, NY.
David’s research focuses on urban policy and corporate relationships.  David is particularly interested in studies of public economies: Multi-organizational, Multi-level Institutional and Risk Analysis. What, for example, might the organization and governance of more complex protected areas have in common with complex metropolitan areas like New York City, Washington D.C. David has successfully maintained posts as an Adjunct Instructor at Felician College, Long Island University, Manhattan College, St. Francis College, Bergen Community College.  He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Public Administration Institute (PAI) and a BA in Political Science from Rutgers College, Rutgers University. ABFM member since April 2014?

Jacob Fowles is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas, a position that he has held since 2010.  He teaches graduate courses on public finance, policy analysis, program evaluation, and quantitative research methods.  Jacob’s research interests are in the areas of education finance, education policy, municipal finance, and nonprofit financial management.  His work has appeared or is in press in such journals as Public Budgeting and Finance, The American Review of Public Administration, Economics of Education Review, and Education Finance and Policy, among others.  He received his doctorate in public administration in 2010 from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky.

Personal Statement:
I consider ABFM to be my primary intellectual home and have participated in its annual conference since 2007, serving as a panel organizer, chair, discussant, and presenter.  The relationships that I have developed through my association with ABFM have been instrumental in shaping my ongoing development as a scholar of public budgeting and finance.  I value the organization’s collegiality, its emphasis on intellectual development and rigor, and its dedication to connecting academics and practitioners around the common objectives of sharing knowledge and improving policy and practice.  As such, I am excited at the opportunity to take the next step in my involvement with the organization by serving on the association’s executive committee.  ABFM member since September 2010.

Hai (David) Guo is an assistant professor of public administration at Florida International University. His research focuses on state and local public finance and budgeting. Dr. Guo holds his Ph.D. degree in Public Policy from the Joint Doctoral program of public policy of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Public Policy. He obtained his master degree in Economics from Georgia State University and a master degree of Public Administration from Iowa State University. As a public administration scholar, he has published in Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, American Review of Public AdministrationJournal of Public Budgeting Accounting & Financial Management, Municipal Finance Journal, and Public Procurement.

Prior to joining the department of Public Administration at FIU, Dr. Guo has been working with Dr. Willoughby on the Government Performance Project (funded by the Pew Trusts Center on the States). This Project is a 50 state survey that assesses how well state governments perform their management functions. The team at Georgia State conducted analyses for the Money section of the survey in 2004 and 2007 for publication in Governing magazine. (A complete explanation of this project and results in available at http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/). ABFM member since July 2007.

Professor Temirlan Moldogaziev’s primary research and teaching interests are in matters of financial inter-mediation, municipal securities pricing and liquidity, municipal debt market regulation, and market-building & access to capital for sub-national governments. He is a coauthor of State and Local Financial Instruments: Policy Changes and Management (2014). His most current work has been published in peer reviewed journals such as Public Budgeting & FinancePublic Administration ReviewMunicipal Finance Journaland Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. He served as a conference chair of the Public Finance & Budgeting (PFB) section at WSSA in 2014. ABFM Member since August 2010.

Michael Peddle serves as Associate Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public and Global Affairs at Northern Illinois University.  An economist and accountant by training, he earned his MPA at Drake University and his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University.  He has published and consulted extensively in the areas of public finance, local economic development, growth management and strategic planning over the past thirty years.  He has practitioner experience at the local, state, and national level, as well as in the not-for-profit sector.  He has been a regular attendee and presenter at ABFM over the past twenty years and considers it his professional home. ABFM member since January 2001.

Olga Smirnova is an assistant professor at the MPA program, the Department of Political Science, East Carolina University. Her research interests include transportation, green transportation innovations, institutional stability, economic development, social networks, performance measurement, and visualizations of complex systems. She has published in the Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Transportation, Southeastern Geographer, Municipal Finance Journal, North Carolina Geographer, and Administration and Society. She has been a member of ABFM since 2009.

Bryan Sullivan: I am the Director of Management Efficiency for the State of Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget, Budget Development, Planning and Administration section.  I earned my M.P.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware’s College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy.  My service to ABFM has been extensive: I served as Treasurer (2007 – 2012), member of the Executive Committee (2004 – 2006), and have participated as a member of the Howard Award Committee, the Curro Award Committee, the Membership Committee and the planning committees for several of the annual conferences.   I am seeking to continue my service to ABFM and focus on facilitating and supporting enhanced dialogue and interactions between budget practitioners and the academics who study them and their decisions and outcomes—especially in the areas of mutual interest regarding budgeting, performance and accountability, and training future budgeteers.  ABFM member since April 1989.

Multiple Early-Career Local Analyst Positions in the Carolinas

helpwantedThe North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) posted several updates to their Career Gateway site, including vacancy announcements for numerous analyst positions with local governments in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Many of these positions are intended for recent graduates of college and graduate school, as well as early-career professionals in the field of local budgeting. Click on the links below to check out the descriptions and application information for each position:

Fiscal & Policy Analyst – Wake County, NC (Closes July 6th)

Budget & Management Analyst – City of Greenville, SC (Closes July 11th)

Financial Analyst – City of Greenville, NC (Closes July 15th)

Budget Analyst – Cabarrus County, NC (Open Until Filled, Seeking Candidate with Some Accounting Background)

Budget Analyst II – Richland County, SC (Open Until Filled)

Richland County, SC, also has a vacancy for Budget Manager. Click here for more information on this vacancy.


PA Times Accepting Articles for “Expanding the Role of Public Administration”

PATimesFrom President Obama’s ‘Open Government Initiative’ to the increased promotion and use of technology to engage citizens, the traditional roles and expectations of public administration are expanding. While many believe this expansion helps everyone—from individuals to the experienced legislator—those that work in the public sector struggle to find the best methods to inform, engage and increase participation.

  • What barriers exist to increasing public participation?
  • How are public managers implementing open government policies in their agencies?
  • How have technologies—such as online forums, listervs and social media outlets like Twitter—influenced public participation?
  • How can governments, especially at the state and local levels, engage citizens to participation?
  • Do current laws and policies allow the public sector to fully embrace the concept of open government or citizen participation?

Public Service, Public Delivery – Alternatives to Delivering Public Goods

Using private entities to delivery public goods and services, like trash collection or road repairs, is nothing new. Local and state governments in particular, often dealing with cash-strapped budgets, turn to outsourcing as an option. While using private companies can save time and money, and build good will, doing so is not without some risk.

  • Should there be restrictions on which services are outsourced?
  • How do public managers determine which services are outsourced?
  • When it comes to the public, does it matter who provides services?
  • How do public administrators deal with issues of non-performance?
  • How does this issue impact the role and work of the public sector employee?
  • How do alternatives providers, such as nonprofits or citizen groups, fit into the discussion?

Articles must be received by July 18 to be considered. Here are few guidelines:

  • Articles must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document.
  • Articles should be between 800-1000 words.
  • Articles should not include end/foot notes or a bibliography. All citations should be done inside the article and include hyperlinks (where possible).
  • Articles should be written in AP style format. Click here to review the PA TIMES style guide.

Please review the submission guidelines prior to sending your piece. If you have any questions, please contact PA TIMES editor Melissa Williams atpatimes@aspanet.org

GFOA Announces First-Time Winner of Cash Basis Reporting Award

JunctionCity(NEWS RELEASE) The GFOA Award Program for Small Government Cash Basis Reports is happy to announce a first-time winner of the award: the City of Junction City, Oregon. Receiving this award demonstrates Junction City’s exceptional dedication to transparency, accountability, and financial reporting on a modified cash basis. All staff involved in attaining this distinction for the city should be commended for their accomplishment, and the GFOA offers its congratulations.

The Award Program for Small Government Cash Basis Reports aims to improve the quality and consistency of financial reporting for small governments. It is designed for the thousands of small governments for which financial reporting in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles is not a viable option. For some participants, the program may be a first step toward GAAP financial reporting.

Junction City, along with Cashion, Oklahoma, are the first two winners of the award for fiscal year 2013.

Go to the Award Program webpage to download an application. Checklists are also available for general-purpose governments, school districts, and stand-alone business-type entities, along with a sample small government annual financial report. Questions? E-mail cashbasis@gfoa.org. For information on volunteer opportunities, e-mail cashbasisreview@gfoa.org. We look forward to your participation.