Local Government Education

Local Government Webinar Series

City and County officials, elected and appointed are entrusted with the task making decisions that impact how much revenue is generated and how the spending priorities are set. With changing demographics, state mandated laws, residents attitudes toward taxes, and periodic swings in the economic cycle, it is becoming increasingly complex and challenging to manage local government finances. Improving understanding of the financial situation and trends of cities and counties is critical to the decision-making process. In addition, topics tied to community and economic development continue to be at the core of major decisions that impact the present and future of communities across Iowa. Toward that Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Community and Economic Development and Iowa League of Cities will be conducting an annual webinar series focusing on issues and topics important to local governments in Iowa. The webinar series is designed as a continuing professional development opportunity The focus of the webinar series is threefold.  

Back to basics: Refresh and expand conceptual understanding on topics that are relevant to local governments. This is designed as a ‘back-to-basics’ to refresh concepts, principles, best practices, that are at the core of governmental functions and decision making, especially at the local level. Case studies will be included to provide a sense of the innovation and creativity as well as do’s and don’ts at the local government level.

Making sense of data: Utilize data-driven indicators (reports, interactive dashboard) to explain financial condition and trends. Using local financial data, ISU in collaboration with the League publishes customized fiscal condition reports. These resources are city and county specific that allow for peer comparison. New online tools are also available for comparing with peers on specific revenue and spending categories.

Learning from peers: Provide a platform to bring ‘peer-communities’ into one virtual room, bi-monthly, to talk about different aspects of governance, community and finance. We will initiate the session with a topic and allow peer-groups to engage with each other in the breakout rooms. Through a ‘community of communities’ approach, participants can bounce ideas as well as share about creative steps they might be undertaking, in that space. The goal is to facilitate greater and ongoing interaction among local government officials.

Information on previous webinars can be found here

Aging in Place: A community-driven collaborative Approach for Iowa’s Seniors

The demographic mix across Iowa communities continues to change. In addition to becoming more racially diverse, communities are becoming ‘older’ as the percentage of the population 65 and over continues to climb upwards. Forecasts are that by the year 2030, communities will have about a fifth of their population in this age group. This brings to the surface several key issues including aging in place that need to be addressed locally. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level." Further, research suggests that aging in place is a preference for many older households and is good for their overall health and well-being. It alsoprovides their communities with many other types of benefits. A team at ISU is working on a research-extension framework in partnership with key stakeholders to utilize ongoing research and build an educational outreach program targeted at Iowa communities.

The main objective of the webinar is to highlight the aging in place issue and discuss opportunities that exist for Iowa communities to respond.  

The webinar will include discussions on:

  • What is aging in place and why it is important for Iowa communities?
  • Partnerships critical to address this issue
  • Ongoing research and proposed community-level work in Iowa
  • Opportunities for communities to take proactive steps

There will be breakout sessions to allow ‘peer’ conversations and sharing of ideas.

Come join other communities from Iowa in this important conversation.

Date: August 15, 2023, Tuesday, 11 am - 12:30 pm.
Presenters: Biswa Das, Daejin Kim, Erin Mullenix and Julie Aberg-Robison                              
Registration fee: Free
Registration link: https://go.iastate.edu/KLNMUB