Welcome to Line Item, the newsletter of the Association for Budgeting & Financial Management.
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ABFM 2012 Approaching Fast! Plenary Sessions Announced!

It’s less than 50 days away. On October 11th-13th, public sector finance practitioners, academics and researchers will gather at the Marriott East Side in New York City for our 24th Annual ABFM Conference, hosted by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

Attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on three dozen concurrent and plenary sessions, with more than 100 presentations scheduled covering research involving every facet of public finance and budgeting. The conference will also provide an opportunity for networking between students, faculty, consultants, administrators and other professionals based across the country and around the world.

Conference Chairs Scott Pattison and Dan Smith have been working on developing a comprehensive agenda and finalizing logistics for the three-day event.  Two plenary sessions will focus on significant challenges facing our local, state and national governments: managing growing debt, and the challenges of health care costs and implementation.

“This will be an incredibly interesting conference agenda focusing on critical issues facing federal, state and local governments right now, In this time of financial uncertainty and limited resources,” said Pattison.

The state and local government debt situation will be discussed during the first plenary, Thursday afternoon, October 11th, at 3:15 p.m. Health care will be the focus during the second plenary on Friday morning, October 12th, at 10:15 a.m.

Along with these special events, attendees can expect the return of traditional events, including the annual awards luncheon following the health care plenary on Friday. Thursday lunch will feature two events, the return of the Graduate Poster Presentations and a special Career Guidance discussion featuring panelists that reflect a broad spectrum of background, experience and role in government finance.

Registered attendees will also get to enjoy breakfast and coffee breaks all three days of the conference, along with receptions on Thursday and Friday evening.

“We are looking forward to hosting the nation’s top scholars of public budgeting and financial management,” Smith said. “The attendees, agenda, facilities, and events will make the conference not only substantive and informative, but also lively and energetic.”

The draft conference program is available for download and review. If you have any questions or changes that need to be included in the program, please contact Scott by email ( or call him at 202-624-8804.

For the second straight year, attendees will have access  to a mobile app they can use to follow the conference agenda. Download information will be released on or by October 1st and will also be available at registration.

Hotel rooms at the Marriott East Side are still available at the conference rate of $249/night from Wednesday, October 10th, through Sunday, October 14th. Rooms must be reserved no later than September 19th. Reservations can be made online (click here) or by calling 212-755-4000.

Conference registration is available at the Early Bird rate of $195 for ABFM Members, $210 for Non-Members and $100 for Students until September 21st.

ABFM now has two convenient ways to register. We just launched a new eCommerce registration application you can access by clicking here. This new application will automatically take care of invoicing, receipting and confirming registrations. For those who have already begun the registration process, or are more comfortable with the current registration page, please continue to use this page at

Finally, sponsorship opportunities are still available. Organizations may sponsor the conference agenda booklet, the plenary sessions, the awards luncheon, or the social receptions. If your business, agency or institution would like to participate as a sponsor, contact Dan Smith by email to ( or call him at 212-998-7443.

Annual Award Recipients Announced
Chair's Message

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Wildavsky, Howard, Curro, and Burkhead awards!
Professor Philip Joyce of the University of Maryland is the recipient of the 2012 Aaron B. Wildavsky award. The award is presented annually to a distinguished scholar in the field of public budgeting and financial management for lifetime achievement.
Professor Roy W. Bahl, Jr. of Georgia State University is the recipient of the 2012 S. Kenneth Howard Award. The award is presented annually to a distinguished practitioner in the field of public budgeting and financial management for lifetime achievement.
Mr. Forrest Longman of the University of Washington is the recipient of the 2012 Michael Curro Award. The award is presented annually to a graduate student who has written an outstanding paper in the field as part of a course, independent study, or other faculty supervised projects in the field of public budgeting. Forrest’s paper is titled, “Small Town Bond Default and Financial Contagion: Did the Greater Wenatchee Public Facilities District Default Cause Financial Contagion?”
Professor James W. Douglas of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Professor Roger E. Hartley of Western Carolina University, are the recipients of the 2012 Jesse Burkhead award for the best article published in Public Budgeting & Finance in 2011, “The Fly Ball Effect: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Impacts of
Short-Term Seed Grants,” in volume 31, #4, pages 74-92.
Please join me in congratulating our award winners, and join us at our annual conference in New York City on October 11th-13th to recognize their accomplishments.
Thank you,
Jim Savage
ABFM Chair

New Vice-Chair, Executive Committee Members Elected

Earlier this month, ABFM Chair James Savage announced the winners of elections for positions on the ABFM Executive Committee with terms starting January 1, 2013.

Vice-Chair (2015 Chair)

Robert Kravchuk
Robert is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This January, he will be MPA Director at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Robert is a former member of the ABFM Executive Committee.

Executive Committee (2013-15 Term)

Benjamin Clark
Benjamin is an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at Cleveland State University. He earned his PhD from the University of Georgia in 2009. Benjamin earned a BA in Political Science from Indiana University, and MPA from Syracuse, and once served as Budget Analyst for the Athens-Clarke County Government (GA).

John Gilmour
John is the Paul R. Verkuil Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy at William & Mary. He has been on the faculty of Wiliam & Mary since 1995 and earned a PhD in Political Science from the Unviersity of California at Berkeley. He also serves as Associate Director of William & Mary's Thomas Jefferson Graduate Program in Public Policy.

Kenneth Hunter
Kenneth was elected to his second consecutive term on Executive Committee. He currently serves as editor of Line Item. Professionally, Kenneth is Budget & Evaluation Manager of the City of Rocky Mount, NC. He earned his MPA from the University of Georgia.

New Faculty Announcements

We are proud to share exciting information regarding three recent PhD graduates in public finance who are moving into full-time academic faculty this fall.

Whitney Afonso, 2010 recipient of the Michael Curro Student Paper Award, graduated this spring from the University of Georgia with a PhD in Public Administration and Policy. In July, she joined the faculty of the School of Government of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Government. Her areas of interest include public administration, local government finance, and public finance and budgeting.

Whitney's research has focused on the choices of revenue streams made by state and local governments. Prior to her PhD, Whitney earned a BA in Political Science from Vanderbilt University and an MA in Economics from the Unviersity at Georgia.

Chris Goodman, 2011 graduate poster compeitition runner-up, graduated this summer from the University of Georgia with a PhD in Public Administration and Policy. In August, he joined the faculty of Rutgers University at Camden as Assistant Professor of Public Policy. Chris' research focuses on public financial management, as well as state and local fiscal issues. Chris has been published in Public Budgeting & Finance and co-authored a chapter for Handbook of Local Government Fiscal Health.

Prior to his PhD, Chris earned a BS in Political Science from Kennesaw State University and an MPA from the University of Georgia. From 2006 to 2012, he worked for the University of Georgia's Survey Research Center.

In September, Olha Krupa will join the faculty of Seattle University as an Assistant Professor at their Institute of Public Service. She will teach classes in management analysis and government finance.

Olha earned her PhD this past spring from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. She is also the 2011 graduate poster winner and 2005 recipient of the Michael Curro Student Paper Award. A native of Ukraine, Olha worked for Citigroup in Kiev and The World Bank in Washington, DC, before starting work on a PhD.

Faculty Making Moves

Every academic year not only sees the arrival of new faculty and the retirements of some. We also see our colleagues move from one campus to another. Three current and soon-to-be returning members of the ABFM Executive Committee are making moves.

Current ABFM Executive Committee member Thad Calbrese, formerly on the faculty of School of Public Affairs at Baruch College of the City University of New York, moves over this fall to New York University and the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.  Thad earned his PhD from NYU Wagner in 2010 and will serve as Assistant Professor of Public and Nonprofit Financial Management.

Past ABFM Executive Committee member and 2013 Vice-Chair Robert Kravchuk will depart UNC-Charlotte later this year to become Professor Director of the MPA Program in January at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

Robert earned his PhD from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs and Management and was an Associated Professor at Indiana from 1998-2007. He also serves as Managing Editor of The Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management.

Current ABFM Vice-Chair Charles Menifield moves this fall from the University of Memphis, where he served as Professor and Interim Director of Public and Nonprofit Administration, to the position of Professor at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Menifield earned his PhD from Missouri-Columbia in 1996, and has since taught at the University of Memphis and Mississippi State University. Along with research and study of public sector finance, Charles also focuses on minority politics and public health and welfare. 

Charles' current research examines the prevalence of obesity, infant mortality and other health care factors on children. He will serve as Chair of ABFM in 2014.

Upcoming ASPA Webinars

Every year, ASPA conducts a series of professional development webinars led by industry experts. The webinars, which are 60 minutes in length, feature public management issues and topics relevant to public administration. Topics in the past have included finace, performance management, emergency response, diversity and leadership development. 

Click Here for More Information & Register for these Webinars

Telling the Stories of Public Service
September 19th, 1pm
Practitioners need to be given permission and taught how to tell their stories so that citizens understand what they contribute to making democracy and our society work well. In today's anti-government climate, it is vital that invisible, and frequently heroic, public servants be supported and encouraged to tell their stories.  Most of these people have been taught to stay in the background, not make waves, and do their jobs diligently but invisibly.

The presenters, Mary Hamilton and Rita Paskowitz, will:

  • Discuss what democracy is and the paradox of having a professional public service in a democracy
  • Introduce the concept of “Delivering Democracy” developed by Robert and Janet Denhardt, and discuss how it applies to public servants--how the routine and non-routine aspects of their work help to further or frustrate democratic principles and how they can act to be more effective in their respective positions.
  • Discuss how and why perceptions of government have shifted over the past century
  • Describe the importance of stories to changing the public perception of government and public servants
  • Provide a template for telling their stories based on the StoryCorps Do-It-Yourself Guide
  • Perform a role play example using the template
  • Conclude by emphasizing the importance of quality government to a healthy democracy and impress on the audience that public employees can help by sharing their stories so that the average citizen better understands what government workers do for them every day.

You have a vital role in making democracy work! Remember why you selected public service—to, in the words of John Kirlin, be “A central part of the grandest of human endeavors—shaping a better future for ourselves and those yet unborn.”.

Responses to Local & State Budget Crises (Two-Part Series)
More information coming soon!

Part I: Local budget response
November 7th, 1pm
Presented by Kenneth Hunter, Budget & Evaluation Manager, City of Rocky Mount, NC

Part II: State budget Response
November 21st, 1pm
Presented by Eric Scorsone, Greening Michigan Institute & Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics

More than 89,000 Local Governments in the United States
2010 Census of Governments Released

From the US Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau today released preliminary counts of local governments as the first component of the 2010 Census of Governments.

In 2012, 89,004 local governments existed in the United States, down from 89,476 in the lastcensus of governments conducted in 2007. Local governments included 3,031 counties (down from 3,033 in 2007), 19,522 municipalities (up from 19,492 in 2007), 16,364 townships (down from 16,519 in 2007), 37,203 special districts (down from 37,381 in 2007) and 12,884 independent school districts (down from 13,051 in 2007).

Conducted every five years (for years ending in “2” and “7”), the census of governments provides the only uniform source of statistics for all of the nation’s state and local governments. These statistics allow for in-depth trend analysis of all individual governments and provide a complete, comprehensive and authoritative benchmark of state and local government activity.

The census of governments measures three components: organization, employment and finance. These components provide statistics on the number of governments that exist, the services they provide, the number of their employees and their financial activity. In addition to the information provided for states, cities, counties and townships, the census of governments also provides information on special districts and school districts.

 Other Key Findings

Among the key findings in the 2012 Census of Governments preliminary counts:

  • Illinois leads the nation with 6,968 local governments — approximately 2,000 more than second-place Pennsylvania.
  • Hawaii has 21 local governments, the fewest of any state.
  • Texas remains first in the nation with the most independent school districts at 1,079. Closely behind is California, with 1,025 independent school districts.
  • Seventeen states had more special districts compared with 2007, and 29 had fewer. Five states (including the District of Columbia) had no change.
  • Ten states had fewer townships because of mergers and consolidations. Kansas decreased the most, moving from 1,353 in 2007 to 1,268 in 2012, a decrease of 85.  

History of Special Districts and School Districts in the United States

Every five years since 1952, the Census Bureau has completed a comprehensive count of all local governments in the country. The most dramatic changes have been the decline in independent school districts and the notable increase in special districts. An interactive history of the counts of special districts and school districts from 1952 to 2012 can be accessed at <>.

Special districts are organized local entities other than county, municipal, township or school district governments that are authorized by state law to provide only one or a limited number of designated functions. Fire districts, water districts, library districts and transit authorities are examples of special districts.

School districts are created to provide elementary, secondary and/or higher education services and have sufficient administrative and fiscal autonomy to qualify as independent governments. They exclude school systems that are “dependent” on a county, municipal, township or state government.    

Accessing the Information for the 2012 Census of Governments

The preliminary counts for the first component of the 2012 Census of Governments can be found on the Census Bureau’s Governments Division website at / Final counts will be issued in September 2013. For more information on the Government Units Survey, which produces these counts, go to /

The employment component of the 2012 Census of Governments, which began in March of 2012, collects information on the number of state and local government civilian employees and their payrolls. In October 2012, the finance component will collect information on revenues, expenditures, assets, debt and pensions. For more information on the 2012 Census of Governments and statistics about governments, go to

Calendar of Events

ASPA Midyear Meetings
September 7th-9th
Washington, DC
Click here for more info

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

2012 ICMA Conference
October 7th-10th
Phoenix, AZ
Click here for more info

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

2012 NECoPA Conference
November 2nd-3rd
Boston, MA
Click here for more info

NC Local Government
Budget Association
Winter Conference

December 5th-7th
Concord, NC

2013 ASPA Conference
March 15th-19th
New Orleans, LA
Click Here for Updates

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

Department Chair/Tenured Professor
School of Public Affairs

American University
Click Here for More Information
Application Review starts September 24, 2012

Assistant /Associate Professor
Public Finance

Rockefeller College-SUNY Albany
Click Here for More Information
Application Review starts October 15, 2012

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Tenured Professor
School of Public Affairs

American University
Click Here for More Information
Application Review starts October 29, 2012

Tenure-Track Faculty Position
Public Finance

Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley
Click Here for More Information
Application Deadline: November 15, 2012

Two Tenure-Track Faculty Positions
Public & Nonprofit Management
Public Policy & Program Evaluation

Department of Public Policy
University of Connecticuit
Click Here for More Information
Application Deadline: November 21, 2012

Tenure Track Position

Williamette University
Click Here for More Information
Open Until Filled

PA Times/ASPA Blog seek Budget articles, contributors

ASPA leadership has expressed a great interest in receiving stories about budgeting for PA TIMES and other ASPA publications/information sites, including blogs.
If you are interested, please contact Matt Rankin, ASPA Deputy Director, and Christine Jewett McCrehin, Editor of PA TIMES, for guidelines.

Matt Rankin

Christine Jewett McCrehin 

Boston Fed Offers Visiting Scholar Opportunity

The New England Public Policy Center, a group within the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s research department, seeks proposals for its 2013-2014 Visiting Scholar program. The Center is an applied policy research group within the Bank’s research department. its mission is to promote better public policy in New England by conducting and disseminating objective, high-quality research and analysis of strategically identified regional economic and policy issues. To promote this mission, we invite several researchers to join us as visiting scholars each year.   

More information about the Visiting Scholar program is available at:

During their tenure, scholars are expected to produce research of relevance to New England’s public policy leaders. Scholar’s research is published in the research department’s paper series. Interested candidates should submit a letter of intent, current CV, and a 1,000-1,500 word proposal by September 28, 2012. Please indicate dates available and salary requirements. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with those received by September 28 given priority. 

Priority will be given to research proposals that complement the Policy Center's research agenda and/or are within its two areas of expertise: state and local public finance and regional labor market and demographic issues. 

Submit materials to:
Darcy Saas, Deputy Director 
New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
(617) 973-3177  

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 Missouri-Columbia

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, New York University
Helisse Levine, Long Island University
Dan Smith, New York University
Copyright © 2012 ABFM Secretariat, All rights reserved.
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