By Josh Wright, Chair
Winter 2010 Conference Planning Committee
If you've been thinking about attending the ACMA 2010 Winter
Conference but haven't signed up yet, now is the time while
rooms at the beautiful Hilton Sedona are still available. The
conference will be held February 3-5, 2010, and is packed with
innovative sessions and dynamic speakers. This year's conference
theme, "Living in a New Economy: Building a Better Local
Government," speaks to local governments' renewed focus on
sustainability and operating more efficiently in a challenging
Attending conferences during tough financial times is always a
difficult decision. Now more than ever, local government managers'
time is in demand, and it's frequently troublesome to convince
elected officials and other employees that it's worthwhile to
get out of the office for a few days. However, the Conference
Planning Committee has worked hard in recent months to put
together a conference program focused on maximizing our members'
time away from the office and developing practical skills and
strategies that can bring value to Arizona's local governments.
The conference opens on Wednesday, February 3, with a keynote
address by former longtime California city manager Dr. Frank
Benest, currently ICMA Senior Advisor for Next Generation
Initiatives. Frank will speak on "Creating a Talent Strategy
for Your Local Government," addressing the need to develop
city and county talent pools while facing declining revenues
and a higher cost of doing business. Before his keynote address,
Frank will also host a roundtable discussion for members with a
special interest in ICMA's Next Generation initiatives. Make
plans to join us in the afternoon on the first day of the conference
to hear this highly sought-after author and speaker.
The conference's Thursday and Friday agenda is full of exciting
sessions on topics ranging from ethics to the economy. Come hear
from a broad range of speakers on what other local governments,
both in Arizona and across the country, are doing to creatively
solve budget problems and build more sustainable communities.
Conference highlights include a session on how to deal with
anti-government activities, including the "Tea Party" movement,
the "Liberty Charter" and Proposition 13, and a follow-up to the
summer conference's session on communicating effectively during
In addition to Dr. Benest, ACMA is also proud to host two other
outstanding speakers, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who will
provide a lunchtime address on budgeting at the state level, and
ICMA Executive Director Bob O'Neill, who will keynote the Thursday
evening awards banquet. ACMA is fortunate to have secured these
fantastic speakers, neither of whom is to be missed.
The Conference Planning Committee has done a tremendous job in
organizing a Winter 2010 conference that will be both informative
and enjoyable. I sincerely hope you are able to join us in Sedona