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ACMA 2010 Winter Conference
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 fiscal environment.

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 budget reductions.

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 in February.
Arizona City/County Management Association
1820 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007   •   Phone: (602) 258-5786   •   Fax: (602) 253-3874   •