John Kross, ACMA Past President, Town Manager, Town of Queen Creek
The Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA) has a long-standing tradition of involvement with existing and future
leaders in our profession. You may or may not be aware, but ACMA helps to fund several scholarships with the goal of continuing
to elevate the skills of our public managers in our state.
Each scholarship program is unique and attempts to not only provide professional development and career enrichment for existing
members but our future leaders. I wanted to take some time in this article to remind everyone of these programs but mainly to bring
to the membership's attention the need to strengthen our financial position as a partner with these important programs. The effects
of the Great Recession have had profound implications on all of our organizations. ACMA's ability to continue these important
professional development opportunities has also been significantly impacted. The ACMA Executive Board is making a concerted attempt
to raise awareness of a need to increase our financial contributions to our scholarship programs but your help is needed.
As you consider renewing your membership to ACMA this month, you will notice an opportunity on the renewal form to voluntarily
contribute to one or more of these important programs.
Marvin A. Andrews Scholarship/Internship
Initiated in 1990, this scholarship/internship began in honor of the dedicated years of service to local government in Arizona by former
Phoenix city manager Marvin Andrews. ACMA sponsors this program and provides financial assistance to the state's graduate students who
are enrolled at Arizona State University, University of Arizona or Northern Arizona University in the public administration program. A
scholarship is awarded to those students who have at least nine graduate hours completed (or one year). ACMA provides a $3,000 scholarship
plus an additional $3,000 towards an internship. The internship scholarship is intended to provide relevant professional development
experience in an Arizona city or town with a population less than 50,000 or a county less than 100,000 population. The city, town or
county matches the $3,000 provided by ACMA to further help students offset their costs.
Charles A. Esser Memorial Scholarship
ACMA's longest tenured scholarship program, the Esser Scholarship program, was initiated in 1973 in honor and memory of Charles A. Esser,
former city manager of Phoenix. The scholarship is designed to honor and financially assist the state's graduate students in public
administration who aspire to a career in local government management. The scholarship is awarded annually to a part-time MPA student
attending Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University or the University of Arizona who is currently working in local government
and who has exhibited strong academic achievement. ACMA was very fortunate many years ago to receive a grant from the Esser family to
create this scholarship program.
The program was designed to fund one scholarship annually from the interest proceeds from the initial corpus established years ago. As you
can imagine, with interest rates at historic lows over the past several years, ACMA is challenged with maintaining the initial program
provisions of providing scholarships with only the interest earned. To maintain this program, your financial participation is greatly
Marvin Andrews Fellows Program
This program is an affiliation with Arizona State University's Master of Public Administration Program. ASU's prestigious MPA program also
joins with the Alliance for Innovation to provide the graduate student in year one of their program a paid internship. In year two, students
are aligned with a local government for a one-year paid internship with ASU and the local government sharing those costs. In the past, ACMA
was able to assist in sending students to the annual ICMA conference but is unable to continue this level of involvement for the upcoming
year due to financial considerations. The Marvin Andrews Fellows Program faces its own financial challenges and ACMA this year was able
to participate with a $5,000 Challenge Grant to the program but will not be able to continue in the upcoming fiscal year. If you would like
to participate in this nationally renowned program in our state, please visit www.asufoundation.org/andrews
Harvard University's Senior Executive Program in State and Local Government
Since 1997, ACMA has had the opportunity to partner with Harvard University by providing full scholarships to the Senior Executive Program
in State and Local Government. ACMA's partnership with Harvard is unique in that we are the only state affiliate of ICMA that has two reserved
seats for our members to attend the program annually. ACMA has had tremendous partners in the private sector that fully understand the value
of professional public management in our state. The past three years, ACMA has held an annual luncheon on the program and invited members of
our private sector partners and past graduates to share the value of participating in this program. The cost for attending this intensive
three-week program is expensive, but due to the generosity of our sponsors, we have been able to send two Arizona local government professionals
to Harvard. You are encouraged to visit the ACMA website to see more information about the program and our sponsors at www.azmanagement.org.
ACMA wants to continue this program and is requesting your involvement as well. Tuition to the program is $11,800 per student.
ACMA's ability to continue our involvement with these programs is vital to our profession in the state. We are very pleased that we have been
able to continue in meaningful ways, advancing the interests of these opportunities to our members. Additionally, without your support and the
support of our private sector sponsors, many of these opportunities would not be available. I thank you for your contributions to the profession
and your willingness to consider financial assistance in any or all of these programs. Even a small contribution can go a long way in advancing
the value of professional public management in our state. For additional information on how to donate to these programs and scholarships, please
contact Amy Price at email@example.com or 602-258-5786.