Welcome to Line Item, the newsletter of the Association for Budgeting & Financial Management.
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ABFM 2012 Hotel Reservations Now Open!

The bright lights of Manhattan will be the setting for our 24th Annual Conference, October 11th-13th.

Attendees can now book rooms at our host hotel, the Marriott East Side, for $249/night. This rate is available from Wednesday, October 10th, to Saturday, October 14th.

The deadline for submitting proposals for papers, panels and presentations is TOMORROW, MAY1st! Please submit all proposals to Scott Pattison,

Updates on the conference will be posted on the ABFM website, as well as on our Facebook Page.

In Memoriam

ABFM lost two of its most esteemed members in the last couple months. Both of these men contributed immensely through scholarship to the study of public sector finance, continuing the legacy established before them and instilling it forward in future generations of researchers and practitioners.

Bruce Wallin (1948-2011) 
 Dr. Wallin passed away from cancer on December 29, 2011. Since 1990, he served as Associated Professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston, teaching courses in public finance, budgeting and American politics.

“Bruce always put stu­dents first,” said Chris Bosso, pro­fessor and asso­ciate dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. “He cared deeply about their suc­cess, and he poured immense energy and time into ensuring that his stu­dents learned what he felt they needed to know to thrive in their careers, and as people.” 

Dr. Wallin's career spanned more than 4 decades. Born in upstate New York and raised in Minnesota. Bruce attended Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley, where he was mentored by Aaron Wildavsky.

Following a brief tenure in federal service, Dr. Wallin served on faculty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and California State University at Fullerton, before solidifying his career at Northeastern.

"Bruce loved teaching," eulogized colleague and former student, Bart Hildreth. "He was helping to shape the future. It was truly his calling in life. Bruce touched the lives of so many students, not only when they were in his classroom, but well

Dr. Wallin's book on federal revenue sharing was recognized by the American Political Science Association. He was a Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic and a visiting professor at Universities in Tokyo and Bangkok.

Dr. Wallin's pursuits also extended to his adopted neighborhood in Boston. He co-founded the West Roxbury Courthouse Neighborhood Association, volunteered as a youth soccer coach, and provided political commentary to local media outlets. 

Bruce is survived by his wife, Vickie, and two daughters, Anne, and Eva, and sister, Barbara Lynch. 

A fund has been established in Dr. Wallin's honor at Northeastern to help graduate student, primarily MPA student, with their internship expenses. Contributions can be sent to: Political Science Gift Fund (noting in memory of Bruce Wallin), Northeastern University, University Advancement, 118 CU, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115.

An appropriate panel will be named in Dr. Wallin's honor at ABFM's 2012 Conference.

John E. Petersen (1940-2012) 
Dr. John E. Petersen passed away April 4, 2012. Since 2002, he served as Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University.

Dr. Petersen was recognized as one of the leading experts on municipal finance, spending more than four decades consulting local, state and federal governments and agencies, here and abroad, on a variety of financial issues. He spent 18 years as Director of the Fiscal Policy Research Center for the Government Finance Officers Association, then founded the Government Finance Group in 1992, where he advised municipal governments on bond issuance.

"There is no one I know who understood public finance or the municipal market as well as John Petersen," said GFOA Executive Director and CEO Jeff Esser. 

Born in Louisiana, John earned degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. His professional experience started with the Federal Reserve Board.

A long-time resident of Northern Virginia, Dr. Petersen served a term on the Fairfax City Council in the early-1970's. He also served on local boards for economic development and historic revitalization.

Dr. Petersen published several works, including the recent "Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance," co-edited with Rober Ebel. He received a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer Award in 2009, spending a semester teaching at Yonsei University in South Korea 

Last year, Dr. Petersen was recognized for his lifetime of achieve to public sector finance with the S. Kenneth Howard Award at the ABFM Conference in Washington, DC.

John is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Mary Stuyvesant Livingston, of Fairfax City;  three children, Elizabeth Schuyler Morgan of Alexandria, Asel of Falls Church, and his son, Virginia State Senator J. Chapman Petersen; one brother; and eight grandchildren.

Contributions in Dr. Petersen's memory made be made to George Mason University Foundation, 4400 University Drive, MS 1A3, Fairfax, VA 22030. Please note that your gift is in memory of John Petersen. 

Chair's Message

ABFM is now accepting nominations for the Aaron Wildavsky lifetime scholarly accomplishment award, S. Kenneth Howard lifetime practitioner award, and Michael Curro best student paper award.  Submit Wildavsky nominations to James Savage; Howard nominations to Carol Ebdon at; and Curro nominations to Stuart Kasdin at  All nominations are due by June 30th.

ABFM is also requesting that persons interested in forming a host committee for the 2014 Annual Conference submit proposals by July 30th to the Conference Selection Committee chaired by Charles Menifield at  The 2014 conference will be located outside of Washington, DC. 
ABFM is very excited to be holding its conference this year at the New York Marriott East Side (49th and Lex) Thursday-Saturday, October 11-13, 2012. The focus of the conference is on domestic and comparative budgeting and financial management at all levels of government.  Paper and panel proposals should be to Scott Pattison at by May 1st (tomorrow).  Proposals should include a brief description of the topic and all relevant details.  Students should provide their degree program, status (master’s level, Ph.D., ABD), and institutional affiliation.
Thank you,
Jim Savage
ABFM Chair

Call for Officer Nominations

Nominations due by May 25, 2012

ABFM is now seeking candidates to stand for election for Vice Chair (2013) and three openings on its Executive Committee (2013-2015).   The Vice Chair serves as the Conference Chair for 2014, (Chair-Elect in 2014), and Chair of ABFM in 2015.  The three Executive Committee members will serve for a period of three years.

The election will be conducted on-line.  The candidate receiving the highest vote for Vice-Chair will claim that position.  The three candidates who receive the highest number of votes for the Executive Committee will claim those positions.

ABFM is also seeking nominations for the appointed position of Vice Treasurer.   The Vice Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer, help manage ABFM's financial operations, and prepare to assume the position of Treasurer in 2013, when the Treasurer's term expires or that position is otherwise vacated.

Interested individuals are encouraged to examine the ABFM By-Laws to review the responsibilities of each position.  The By-Laws me be located at the
ABFM website,

Individuals interested in standing as candidates for Vice Chair or the Executive Committee, or being appointed as Vice Treasurer, should submit a short biographical statement to Carol Ebdon ( by May 25, 2012.  Please clearly indicate the office you are seeking.

Elections are expected to be completed by mid-July with terms beginning on January 1, 2013. 

ABFM Receives Grant for Online Improvements

Public Financial Publications, Inc. (PFP), publishers of ABFM's research journal, Public Budgeting & Finance, recently-awarded ABFM a $3,500 grant for a series of strategic improvements that will improve the organization's online presence and facilitate more effective management of membership and conferences.

The grant will cover the costs of several initiatives related to ABFM's use of online services, including redesign of its website, implementation of enhanced e-commerce capabilities, an online kiosk for use at ABFM Conferences and continuation of providing conference agendas in mobile app form for smartphones and tablets.

Projects associated with the grant, first starting with website design and e-commerce improvement implementation, are overseen by ABFM Treasurer Bryan Sullivan and Webmaster Kenneth Hunter.

PFP provided similar support to ABFM journal partner, the American Association for Budgeting and Program Analysis (AABPA) in 2011. PFP funds were used by ABFM as well last year to purchase video projectors for use during annual conferences.

ABFM thanks PFP for their generosity, and we look forward to unveiling improvements over the next couple months.

Calendar of Events

TOMORROW! May 1st!
Deadline for Proposals

2012 ABFM Conference
Click here for submission info

2012 SECoPA Conference
Click here for their CFP

GFOA Annual Conference
June 10th-13th
Click here for more info 

2012 SECoPA Conference
October 3rd-6th
Coral Gables, FL
Click here for more info

2012 ABFM Annual Conference
October 11th-13th
Marriott East Side
New York City
Click here for hotel info

Job Announcements

We're pleased to provide informatino on the following career opportunities. If you have a position with your institution or agency that you would like posted on our newsletter and website, please email

ABFM is a research section of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)

About ABFM

We aim to promote the professional development of budgeting and financial management in the public and non-profit sectors. Embracing both theorectical and operational concerns, ABFM addresses issues in budgeting processes and practice in financial management.

Click here for membership information.

2012 Executive Committee

James D. Savage
University of Virginia

Scott Pattison

Vice Chair
Charles Menifield
University of Memphis

Immediate Past Chair
Carol Ebdon
University of Nebraska-Omaha

Secretary & Archivist
Donijo Robbins
Grand Valley State University

Bryan Sullivan
State of Delaware

Newsletter Editor
Kenneth Hunter
City of Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Executive Committee
2010-2012 Term
Jonathan B. Justice, University of Delaware
Kenneth Hunter, City of Rocky Mount, NC
M. Peter van der Hoek, Erasmus University (Denmark)

2011-2013 Term
Carolyn Bourdeaux, Georgia State University
Meagan Jordan, University of Arkansas-Little Rock
Eric Scorsone, University of Michigan

2012-2014 Term
Thad Calbrese, City University of New York
Helisse Levine, Long Island University
Dan Smith, New York University
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