CSMFO Magazine March 2016

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The premiere issue of CSMFO Magazine. Articles and features on finance in California by the professionals who make it happen and how.

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  • CSMFO MAGAZINE MARCH 2016CSMFO.ORG

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    CSMFO M A G A Z I N E

    C A L I F O R N I A S O C I E T Y O F M U N I C I P A L F I N A N C E O F F I C I A L S

    PREMIERE ISSUE

    MARCH 2016 #1

  • CSMFO.ORGCSMFO MAGAZINE MARCH 2016

    GOVERNMENT BANKING. FOR US, ITS PERSONAL.

    At Bank of the West, we offer responsive, insightful solutions customized to your specific needs by tapping into our deep knowledge of government banking and the latest industry-related trends all built on our rock-solid history of over 140 years.

    To speak with a Government Banking Relationship Manager, call (866) 588-1358.Member FDIC.

    Equal Housing Lender. 2016 Bank of the West.

  • CSMFO MAGAZINE MARCH 2016CSMFO.ORG

    3To learn more about building stronger bonds with insurance from National, visit www.nationalpfg.com

    Stronger Bonds.Insured by National.

    Kentucky Municipal Power

    Agency

    Power System Revenue

    Refunding Bonds, Series 2015-A

    Town of Clayton, New Mexico

    Jail Project Improvement

    and Refunding Revenue Bonds,

    Series 2015

    South Tahoe Joint Powers Financing

    Authority

    Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2015-A

    Rhode Island Infrastructure

    Bank

    City of Pawtucket, Refunding Water Revenue Bonds,

    Series 2015

    Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 433

    Unlimited Tax Bonds, Series2016

    $210,600,000 $57,535,000 $23,680,000 $24,265,000 $4,575,000

    Community Redevelopment

    Agency of City of Montebello

    Subordinate Tax Allocation Refunding

    Bonds, Series 2015-A & 2015-B

    City of Coffeyville, Kansas

    Electric System Revenue Bonds, Series 2015-B

    Dawson County Hospital District

    Limited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds,

    Series 2015

    Port of Redwood City

    Refunding Revenue Bonds,

    Series 2015

    Far Hills Utility District

    Unlimited Tax and Revenue

    Refunding Bonds, Series 2015

    $25,180,000 $48,900,000 $9,000,000 $6,940,000 $2,535,000

  • CSMFO.ORGCSMFO MAGAZINE MARCH 2016

    CSMFO M A G A Z I N E

    C A L I F O R N I A S O C I E T Y O F M U N I C I P A L F I N A N C E O F F I C I A L S

    MARCH 2016 #1

    2016 Board of DirectorsPresident John Adams, City of Thousand OaksPresident-Elect Drew Corbett, City of San MateoPast President Jesse Takahashi, City of CampbellBarbara Boswell, City of LancasterJimmy Forbis, City of MontereyBrent Mason, City of RiversideMarcus Pimentel, City of Santa CruzKaran Reid, City of ConcordChu Thai, City of Monterey Park

    Executive Director/Editor Melissa Dixon, MBA, CAE

    Editorial Designer David Blue Garrison

    For more information on CSMFO or this Magazine, please contact the CSMFO office at

    916.231.2137 or visit the website at www.csmfo.org

  • CSMFO MAGAZINE MARCH 2016CSMFO.ORG

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    CONTENTSMARCH 2016

    6 Presidents LetterJohn AdamsExecutive Directors LetterMelissa Dixon

    Avoiding the Headlines: Navigating the Challenges of an IT System ImplementationScott Johnson, CPA, CGMA

    Chapter Chair Q&ACarrie Corder and Steve Heide

    A Meeting to RememberStephen Parker

    Got Accounting?Will Fuentes

    Swimming Safely in Treacherous Waters: Paying Attention to Financial HealthMichael Coleman

    Savvy Nonprofits Create a Solid Funding StrategyFirst Nonprofit Group

    A Year with the Program CommitteeDrew Corbett

    Using Your Leadership Position to Improve Budget OutcomesMichael Newsome

    Understanding Retirement Plan Fees and Keeping Them LevelEdward Wagner

    The Pending StormDan Schaaf and Tim Seufert

    Connect with CSMFOs CoachesDon Maruska

    Has Auditing Become a Commodity Service?Kenneth Pun

    CSMFO STAFF Q&AStaff

    Job Opportunities

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    1618202324263032

    36384145

  • CSMFO.ORGCSMFO MAGAZINE MARCH 2016

    PRESIDENTS LETTERJOHN ADAMS

    incoming presidents mostly wrote about how wonderful their Annual Conference was. Makes sense, since their first article was shortly after the Conference ended and all of the highlights were fresh in their minds. Since my first article will appear in the new Magazine that will be on display in Anaheim, I thought I needed to wait until Aprils article to thank everyone for all their hard work making this years Conference a success. Dont get me wrong; for the seemingly very few of you who wont be in attendance at the Conference, there will be plenty of highlights next month!

    Instead, I decided to write about past CSMFO conference experiences that have made an impact on my career in municipal finance. I am not sure how many municipal finance professionals planned to go into the public sector while in collegeits not like going to school to be an urban planner or a civil engineer. Having a background in finance or accounting provides you the opportunity to go into any industry and, like most I believe, I just fell into it. I believe my involvement in CSMFO and experiences at past conferences have actually kept me in the field and helped me grow as a municipal finance professional.

    Burbank 1996 Lights, Camera, Finance

    In 1995, I had been working at the City of West Hollywood for less than two years before attending my first CSMFO meeting. It was not just any meeting, but a CSMFO Conference

    A CONFERENCE LIFE FOR ME

    Host Committee meeting to plan the 1996 Annual Conference in Burbank. So how did an accountant get included on a Host Committee? Well, it just happened I was wearing a coat and tie that day. My finance director, Paul Arevalo, was on the Committee with several other finance officers to assist the City of Burbank in hosting the Annual Conference. Back then, the host city had to have lots of volunteers to help make a conference successful. For instance, there was no online registration and everyone was registered manually. Paul needed to bring support, so he looked around the office and I guess I was the only one with a tie on and a coat ready to go. I remember him stopping by my cubicle and asking if I had plans for the afternoon. You can imagine my response: Nope, whatever you need, let me know. He said Lets go, and I soon figured out he was going to need support as he volunteered at the Committee meeting for several projects, including special events on Saturday and an opening video (which you can watch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUEQRJ84Nc8 on YouTube). I learned a lot and had loads of fun. The best part was that Paul introduced me to many wonderful CSMFO members, people like Joan Michaels Aguilar (past CSMFO Board Member, City of Dixon), Derek Hanway (Past President), Bob Elliot (City of Glendale) and Al Holliman.

    Al Holliman is in the introduction video and was the Conference Host & Finance Director in Burbank and, no surprise for those that know him, just a great person.

    Welcome to the New CSMFO Magazine and my first Presidents Message. For those that know me, it wont come as a surprise that it took a long time and a lot of thought to decide what to write about. (I did try to delegate the writing responsibilities, but everyone I approached is smarter than that, thank goodness.) As I spent all of Presidents Day weekend pondering the theme, I looked back at past articles of incoming presidents and noticed a pattern:

    JOHN ADAMS FACTSJohn has been a member of CSMFO since 1996 and he joined the board in 2010.

  • CSMFO MAGAZINE MARCH 2016CSMFO.ORG

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    To this day, I believe he gave me some of the best advice I have ever received. After a contentious meeting with the LA County Fire Chief (long story), he told me, John, there are three things you need to remember to be a successful Finance Director: 1) Dont Piss Off the Fire Chief, 2) Dont Piss Off the Police Chief, and 3) Never Trust an Engineers Estimate. We were close to breaking rule one (luckily it all worked out), but to this day I always remember those words, especially when my city engineer provides an estimate on a capital project.

    I mentioned Paul Arevalo earlier. He has not been actively involved in CSMFO since his appointment as city manager for West Hollywood in 2000, a post he continues in to this day. But that doesnt mean hes not involved in municipal finance, as he has been a member on the Leagues Revenue & Taxation Committee for 16 years. He continues to be supportive of CSMFO, and many of the West Hollywood finance employees are active CSMFO members. Paul was a CSMFO Board Member in the late 90s, but his real impact on CSMFO was as the first chair for the Technology Committee that was formed in 1996. With his vision and leadership, and the support of Kirk Biglione, CSMFO established the Committee and its web presence at www.csmfo.org, and created a great resource called the CSMFO ListServ. As the CSMFO President, I am recognizing his contributions to CSMFO in my message but, more importantly, thanking him for his mentoring and friendship the past 22 years.

    Pasadena 2000 Expanding Horizons in Government Finance

    In 1999, when Paul was on the Board, he volunteered to be on the 2000 Annual Conference Host Committee in Pasadena with Jay Goldstone. Of course, you know what that meant for me: I was also

    volunteered to participate. The Annual Conference in 2000

    was going to be a big deal, as it was one of the first conferences for CSMFO that was going to have an Exhibit Hall. The problem was that when Jay proposed

    to host the Conference, he did not know that he would

    need to have an Exhibit Hall. Soon after the Committee started its

    work to plan the Conference, Paul was appointed Interim City Manager, which meant I would have to take more of a lead role in assisting Jay and others on th