Monday, October 25, 2010

Assessing Fiscal Stress

Since May of this year, I have been busy working on the elements of fiscal stress in the State of Michigan.  Back then I met with Eric Scorsone of the Senate Fiscal Agency along with Tim Soave, Fiscal Services Director for Oakland County and the Executive Director of the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association (MGFOA), Colleen Coogan.  As a result of that meeting, we approached the Board of Directors of the MGFOA and asked them to appoint a committee to look at the issue of fiscal stress in Michigan communities.  They did so and I was appointed as the Chairperson.

This afternoon our committee will meet to review all of our work.  Actually, most of the data gathering and assembling in presentation form was done by Colleen, with help from Nicole Bateson.  And I couldn't thank either of them enough.  Tomorrow is the presentation to the Senate Fiscal Agency.  We have received some publicity on our work and I am sure more will follow when the report is made public.

What has proved very interesting to me during this is the number of local officials who seem a little clueless about simple questions.  Do I really need to explain what I mean about someone being a 'degreed accountant'?  The answer is 'yes'. 

Looking at today's newspapers, one cannot help but notice the number of people running for election.  What a thought if each and everyone one of them are eminently qualified for the jobs they are running for.  Not always the case.  And because of that, we sometimes elect folks not quite up to the task of keeping our communities financially strong.  Here's to making better choices on election day.

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