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Management Policies in Local Government Finance, Sixth Edition is the latest edition in the classic ICMA Green Book series and is the 2012 comprehensive update to Managing Policies in Local Government Finance, Fifth Edition (2004). Published at a time when the slow pace of economic recovery and continuing reductions in state and federal assistance make it clear that local governments will need to fend for themselves for at least the next decade. As the status quo no longer works, innovation, creativity, and politically risky choices will be the only ways for local governments to maintain a balance between the fiscal challenges confronting them and responsiveness to their citizens’ demand for services. In light of this reality, once again, our need for strong leadership in financial management has never been greater.
Management Policies in Local Government Finance, Sixth Edition offers the up-and-coming chief financial officer a thorough grounding in all the principles of financial management, as well as a review of the financial policies and practices used by local governments in the United States today.
The sixth edition takes a broader, more comprehensive approach rooted firmly in an understanding that the principal challenges of contemporary financial management are:
- Executing, evaluating, and, when necessary, changing existing financial policies and procedures
- Anticipating and, where appropriate, ameliorating conflict over future decisions
- Presenting complex financial information to different stakeholders in intuitive, simple, and comprehensive ways
- Understand debt management and bond sales
- Deciding when and how to engage new stakeholders in the financial management process.
What’s new in Management Policies in Local Government Finance, Sixth Edition?
Management Policies in Local Government Finance, Sixth Edition is organized around four main topic areas:
- Part One: “The Local Government Environment” provides a broad context for the work of finance managers.
- Part Two: “Management Tools” provides a survey of the types of structures that local governments use to organize their finance and budget functions. This part also discusses the influence that these structures have on the role of the chief financial officer (CFO).
- Part Three: “Revenue Sources” makes apparent that without a sufficient and stable flow of revenue, policies and budgets are merely wish lists.
- Part Four: “Financial Management” explores different components of financial management common to most organizations—public, private, or nonprofit.
Lessons for the Future
Management Policies in Local Government Finance, Sixth Edition helps prepare the reader to understand the complex, but critical role of a local government CFO. The approach of this book rests on five tenets:
- A successful manager works to shape the decision-making agenda.
- Stability is one of financial management’s core professional values.
- Conflicts shape the CFO’s organizational environment.
- Timing is critical in managing conflict and political success.
- Context is essential to understanding and ultimately resolving a conflict.
John R. Bartle, PhD, is the David Scott Diamond Alumni Professor of public affairs and the interim dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His major research and teaching areas are public budgeting, taxation and financial management, and sustainable development. He has published articles in Public Budgeting & Finance, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, State and Local Government Review, Municipal Finance Journal, and Public Administration Review. He is the editor of the book, Evolving Theories of Public Budgeting (2001), and the coauthor of Sustainable Development for Public Administration (2009).
W. Bartley Hildreth, PhD, is professor of public management and policy in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Previously, he was the Regents Distinguished Professor of public finance at Wichita State University and director of its Kansas Public Finance Center with joint appointments in the public administration faculty of the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs and the finance faculty of the W. Frank Barton School of Business. Dr. Hildreth has served as interim dean of the Barton School of Business and as dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
Justin Marlowe, PhD, is associate professor and faculty director of the Executive Master of Public Administration program at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. He specializes in public financial management with an emphasis on public capital markets, financial accounting and reporting, public-private partnerships, local fiscal policy, and budget reform. Prior to entering academia, he worked in local government in Michigan.