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Letter from the President
Josh Wright
ACMA President
Wickenburg Town Manager

On April 23 and 24, the ACMA Board of Directors held its annual retreat in Wickenburg. I'd like to extend my personal appreciation to the entire board for spending two days planning ACMA's future and how we can continue to be an important and relevant part of every local government manager's career in Arizona.

One of the key aspects of the retreat was updating our ACMA Strategic Plan. Thankfully, much has been accomplished in recent years, meaning that we could check off a lot of boxes on the previous plan's "to do" list. Thanks to the leadership of Immediate Past President Kari Kent, Assistant City Manager of Mesa, those accomplishments include such exciting initiatives as restarting our mentorship program, something we're also planning to grow in the coming year.

Building on the success of years past, the board chose to target the new strategic plan on five key results areas (KRAs) around which we will focus our financial resources and time: public education, higher education partnerships, professional development and future leadership; member communication and involvement; and financial sustainability.

Of particular importance to me this year are those final two KRAs, both of which speak directly to our organization's membership. As in any professional association, members are our lifeblood and the primary reason we exist. This year, my goal is to enhance the quality and quantity of communication with our members, making transparent how decisions are made at the board level.

We're also rethinking how we address communication with our members across Arizona. Outreach assignments, a longtime requirement of board service wherein board members are assigned as an ACMA liaison to specific jurisdictions, have been reformatted to build a strong relationship with every Arizona community. Don't be surprised to get an occasional call or email from your board liaison, checking to make sure ACMA is supporting you and your organization.

The board has also set up several committees to help us stay on top of critical issues. At the retreat, the board authorized the formation of a small financial sustainability committee, which has been looking at ACMA's long-term fiscal health. The past several years have seen a steady decrease in our corporate sponsorships, while the costs to offer our annual conferences and many of the programs ACMA is known for have continued to increase. By taking a long view of our finances, I am confident that we will build fiscal strength and future capacity to keep these important programs successful far into the future.

Last year, an ethics committee was also convened and produced some outstanding insights into how ACMA can continue to make this aspect of our profession one of our hallmarks. That committee's recommendations have now been incorporated into our updated strategic plan as a first step toward implementation. Many thanks to Senior Advisor Mike Hutchinson for advocating for the creation of this committee and retired member Pat McDermott for serving as its chair.

ACMA is changing, along with our membership across the state. I am proud of the work we are doing and appreciate our members' continued support of their professional association.

I look forward to seeing everyone July 22-24 at Dove Mountain in Marana for our annual summer conference!
Arizona City/County Management Association
1820 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007   •   Phone: (602) 258-5786   •   Fax: (602) 253-3874   •