Planning, Budgeting and Finance

Learn how to interpret financial information to assess the short-term and long-term fiscal condition of the community.

ICMA is committed to providing workshops that are affordable, accessible, and designed to meet the specific needs of local government professionals. By partnering with localities, state associations, and universities in the delivery of these programs, we are able to reduce travel costs and provide high-quality workshops.

Half-day workshops: $3,960 for states with a signed affiliation agreement with ICMA for up to 50 participants. Non-affiliated states pay an additional fee.


Workshop: Leading Together- A New Model for Governing and Managing Your Community

Learn how an integrated strategic planning system, internationally recognized board governance model, the innovative Budget Based Option System (BOBs) and using the Baldrige Award organizational effectiveness survey can improve the focus of your elected body and manager. Participants will learn how to use these tools to jointly set result oriented management priorities and outcomes between the elected board and manager.  This is a “hands on” interactive session taught by a current elected official and former city manager who have successfully implemented the integrated strategic management system and the tools that support its effectiveness. Participants will learn how these tools work and have opportunities to discuss in small groups how they might be used in their communities.  (Practice Group 2 - Community Engagement;  7 - Strategic Planning, 14 - Communication and Information Sharing)

Workshop: Leading Your Organization (And Elected Officials) to "Fiscal Health and Wellness Through Priority Based Budgeting"

In 2012, ICMA established Fiscal Health and Wellness through Priority Based Budgeting as a leading practice for local governments. This session will provide you with the most in-depth assessment of what 40 organizations have achieved through this comprehensive body of work. From large organizations  (the cities of Cincinnati, Ohio, Sacramento, California and Edmonton, Alberta ) to small (the City of Victor, CO population 400 people)these processes and tools have proven effective scalable, and best of all, repeatable.

Local governments continue to face previously unknown financial and political pressures as they struggle to develop meaningful and fiscally prudent budgets.  Priority Based Budgeting is a unique and innovative approach being used across the Country to match available resources with community priorities, provide information to elected officials that lead to better informed decisions, meaningfully engage citizens in the budgeting process and, finally, escape the traditional routine of basing “new” budgets on revisions to the “old” budget.   This holistic approach helps to provide elected officials and other decision-makers with a “new lens” through which to frame better-informed financial and budgeting decisions and helps ensure that a community is able to identify and preserve those programs and services that are most highly valued.  The process also guides staff and elected officials to see their picture of “fiscal health” clearly and be able to achieve short-term fiscal relief and long-term sustainability.

Priority Based Budgeting provides a transparent path through which to guide elected officials, staff and the community as they address the unique challenges they face while striving to realize the results they wish to achieve.  Drawing on case studies from the 40 organizations that have implemented this process, this session will address new ways of:

  • Understanding and communicating your organization’s “picture of fiscal health”
  • Allocating resources through the budget process to those programs that are most highly valued by the community
  • Engaging elected officials in more meaningful discussions about finances and their vision of budget priorities
  • Demonstrating how the role of the elected official can be focused on policy rather than “line-items” – on strategic vision rather than day-to-day operations
  • Engaging citizens to help clarify what is important to them
  • Utilizing the tools and techniques of “Fiscal Health” and “Priority Based Budgeting”

 (Practice Groups 12 Financial Management and Budgeting)

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Related Resources

Research and Technical Assistance | Priority-Based Budgeting
ICMA University webinars | Budgeting and Finance
ICMA Bookstore | Finance & Budgeting
About ICMA's Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership


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