Sunday, August 15, 2010

Knowing When to Leave

Last Friday I attended my last meeting of the Legislative Committee for the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association where I presided as the Chairperson.  I know that all of us know when it is time to leave and last year I was pleased to have someone ask to take over the chairmanship this coming year. 

I have been on the committee since 1994.  One of my first accomplishments was the rewriting of the state investment act which became a new law in 1996.  From there it was writing new laws for investing money to prefund retiree health care, allowing electronic transactions, and participating in the re-write of the state Municipal Finance Act and the Uniform Accounting and Budgeting Act.  It has been a great experience.

After serving as Vice-chair for several years I took over the Chairmanship of the Committee in 2001.  But it turned out that most of our committee successes were behind us.  Say 'thank you' to term limits.  It became harder to build relationships with legislators who would sponsor bills.  It meant more days spent waiting for a hearing than actual action on a bill.

We spent a lot of time Friday discussing where we have been on our committee and where we hope to go in the coming year.  I will present an update at our September Conference and then retire to a seat as one of the 'old-timers' on the committee.  It has been a wonderful run, but now it is time to let someone else set the pace.  It's all about knowing when to leave.

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