In this essential training, you will learn about the legal requirements and best practices for effectively managing municipal budgets, how you can address conflicts of interest, and find cost saving opportunities through state procurement contracts. Presenters will introduce updated model policies and guidance beneficial to both small and large municipalities. If you’re involved in municipal budgeting and financial planning, this training is for you. Selectboard members, town managers, town administrators, treasurers and finance directors will all benefit from reviewing fundamentals and discussing updated policies and programs. Come learn what your town can do to ensure a sufficient return on taxpayer dollars.
8:30 Registration Opens (light breakfast provided)
8:55 Welcome and Overview
Speaker: Abby Friedman, Director, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center
9:00 Budget Administration 101: Beyond the Line Item
This introductory session will address the budgeting and financial management challenges that municipalities face. Our speaker will explain legal requirements and offer you best practices for preparing, managing, and monitoring the budget. Topics will include creating and using reserve funds, how to handle surpluses and deficits, and utilizing financial policies.
Speaker: Mike Gilbar, Chief Financial Officer, VLCT
10:15 Managing Conflicts of Interest
Addressing real or perceived conflicts of interests is critical to municipalities’ financial integrity. Presenters will review legal requirements under Vermont law, best practices for purchasing policies, as well as the Government Finance Officers Association’s new code of ethics.
Speakers: Garrett Baxter, Senior Staff Attorney, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center; William Hall, Senior Financial Consultant, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center
11:30 Update on Municipal Grand List Software
The Tax Department’s Property Valuation and Review is in the process of updating its grand list software. Many municipalities also use additional accounting modules in the current New England Municipal Resource Center System. Our speaker will summarize the status of the upgrade and address key features such as GIS integration, property tax billing, web-based logons and more.
Speaker: Jill Remick, Director, Property Valuation and Review, Vt. Department of Taxes
1:00 Benefits of Using State Procurement Contracts and More
Municipalities can purchase a variety of products and services using contracts negotiated by the Office of Purchasing and Contracting (OPC). In this session, the OPC team will describe current state contracts available for municipalities to use as well as how the office is working with VLCT on opportunities.
Speaker: A Representative from the Office of Purchasing and Contracting, Vt. Department of Buildings and General Services
1:30 Five Policies to Help Reduce Fraud and Embezzlement
Build a strong foundation to protect municipal funds by employing five critical financial policies: Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting; Purchasing; Cash Receipts, Petty Cash, and Returned Checks; Credit Card Policy; and Fraud. Our speaker will thoroughly describe each policy and how it works in conjunction with internal controls to reduce the risk of fraud and embezzlement.
Speaker: William Hall, Senior Financial Consultant, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center
2:30 Complete Evaluations
Payment may be sent in advance. If payment is not received by the registration deadline an invoice will be mailed. Checks should be made payable to VLCT and sent to 89 Main St., Suite 4, Montpelier, VT 05602. Cancellations received after the registration deadline are not eligible for a refund.