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

Fiscal Condition and Trends of Iowa Cities and Counties: Using available educational resources in Iowa.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa League of Cities, and Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) work to provide cities and counties in Iowa with educational resources. While the main emphasis is on local government finance, the Iowa Government Finance Initiative (IGFI), the public finance outreach initiative strives to provide resources and highlight topics that are not only educational but also assist in decision-making for local government officials, elected and appointed as well as other stakeholder groups. As communities across Iowa, in rural and urban places confront the economic and fiscal issues that impact local governments' ability to generate revenues, the level of fiscal stress experienced by cities and counties in Iowa continues to be a challenge. To assist in better understanding local financial situation and trends, we recently published the FYE 2022 Fiscal condition reports for all 940 cities and 99 counties in Iowa. 

The main objective of the webinar is to discuss what these resources provide and how best to utilize them. 

The webinar will include:

  • Introduction of the educational resources available through joint efforts of ISU Extension, the League of Cities and ISAC. 
  • Situation and trends in city and county revenues
  • Situation and trends in city and county spending 
  • Using the reports in decision making

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

Come join other communities from Iowa in this important conversation.

Date: December 14, Thursday, 11 am -12:30 pm.

Presenters: Biswa Das, Erin Mullenix and Julie Aberg-Robison                               

Registration fee: Free

Registration linkhttps://go.iastate.edu/9LOVJL

Website: Local Government Education | Iowa Government Finance Initiative (iastate.edu)