• Willdan Financial Services
  • Harris.
  • Cutwater Asset Management
  • PFM Asset Management LLC

Download the pdf version
*Please note that updates are continually made to the Job Board section of the MiniNews (PDF format) after its original release. Check the Job Board regularly.

President’s Message

By: Pauline Marx, City and County of San Francisco

Annual Conference “California Finance…And All That Jazz”

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Last year President Laura Nomura described “coming down from a high” after the conference.  Now I completely understand what she was taking about–it was a peak experience for me! You can find an interesting explanation of the term “peak experience” at Wikipedia.

Our conference in Oakland was our largest ever in Northern California.  Thank you to those who attended and to those who helped to make the conference a success.

It “takes a village” to produce the Annual Conference.  I want to again acknowledge the effort of the Host Committee and the Program Committee, who worked to ensure that the conference met our organization’s expectations: education/training, networking, fun!  I also want to again acknowledge our commercial sponsors and exhibitors, whose support is so vital to us.

Many thanks to:

The Host Committee

Scott Johnson City of Oakland
David Brodsley KNN Public Finance
Jim Cervantes Stifel
Mary Dodge City of El Cerrito
Zane Johnston City of Tracy
Katano Kasaine City of Oakland
Joan Michaels Aguilar City of Dixon
Mark Moses City of San Rafael
Anne Pelej Willdan
Karan Reid City of Benecia
Lori Rose Dublin San Ramon Services District
Sandy Salerno Retired
Romi Selfaison Greater Vallejo Recreation District
Monique Spyke PFM
Anna Van Degna Stifel
Jennife Wakeman City of Walnut Creek
Elena Zaretsky Wedbush


The Program Committee

Viki Copeland City of Hermosa Beach
Ronnie Campbell City of Camarillo
Mary Bradley City of Fremont
Pamela Arends-King City of Tustin
Harriet Commons City of Fremont
Terrence Beaman City of Desert Hot Springs


Administrative/Conference Support

Melissa Dixon, Smith Moore & Associates
Teri Anticevich and Janet Salvetti, Meeting & Association Management Services, Inc.
Freeman – Audio Visual Solutions
Chu Thai, City of South Pasadena, Photographer Extraordinaire


Our Sponsors

Alamo Capital
AXA Equitable
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of the West
BLX Group
BNY Mellon
Brown Armstrong Accountancy
Chandler Asset Management
Christy White Associates
ClearSource Financial Consulting
ClientFirst Technology Consulting
Computron Software, LLC
CORE Business Technologies
CSDA Finance Corporation
Cutwater Asset Management
David Taussig & Associates, Inc.
Delphi Solutions
Don Maruska & Company, Inc.
Fidelity Investments
Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc.
Financial Credit Nework, Inc.
First Empire Securities
Fitch Ratings
FTN Financial Main Street Advisors
Global Water FATHOM
Great-West Financial
Harris & Associates
HdL Companies
Holman Capital
ICMA Retirement Corporation
J.P. Morgan
Jones Hall
Macias, Gini, & O’Connell, LLP
Multi-Bank Securities, Inc.
Mutual Securities
New World Systems
NexLevel Information Technology, Inc.
PFM Asset Management LLC
Piper Jaffray & Co.
Power Plan
Pun & McGeady LLP/Sulmeyer/Kupetz
Raymond James
Revenue & Cost Specialists, LLC.
SCI Consulting Group
Selectron Technologies, Inc.
Springbrook Software
Standard & Poor’s
SunGard Public Sector
Thales Consulting Inc.
Tyler Technologies, Inc.
U.S. Bank
Union Bank
Vavrinek Trine Day & Co.
Wedbush Securities
Wells Fargo Bank
Willdan Financial Services
Wilmington Trust
Zions Bank Corporate Trust


A big thank you also goes to the sponsors for golf, tennis, and the President’s Dinner, the presenters at the pre-conference educational tours, the speakers, moderators, room monitors and volunteers.  There are too many of you to name here, but please know how much we appreciated your contribution to the success of this conference!

What a great beginning to my term as President!  I look forward to working with the Board of Directors, Standing Committees and Chapter Chairs to meet the 2013 goals outlined in our Strategic Plan. I would love to hear from our membership this coming year, so please do not hesitate to contact me at 415.554.5260 or Pauline.Marx@sfgov.org if you have ideas, requests or comments regarding CSMFO.

Executive Director’s Message

By: Melissa Dixon, CAE

Happy March to you all!  What a fabulous conference we had in Oakland a couple weeks ago.  So fabulous, in fact, we’ve broken records all over the place.  Anaheim still holds the top spot for biggest conference (2012 is number 1; 2008 is number 2), but Oakland is now not only the largest Northern California conference, but the third largest conference ever, with 823 total registrants.  Congratulations to everyone that worked so very hard to make this a success!

We tried a few new things this year, and while I know you’ll be getting a survey soon and can share your thoughts there, I am always looking for direct thoughts, ideas, comments.  Email me at melissa.dixon@staff.csmfo.org if you have any comments on:

  1. New Member Orientation. An idea borne from the Membership Committee, this was a session designed to provide an overview on the conference and the Society in general to both new members and first-time conference attendees.  I was so pleased with the level of participation here!  You can see from the picture that the room was full (aside from the seats in the front; why don’t people like to sit there??).  I got to personally meet and speak with several of you, and hope you enjoyed the experience as much as I did.  Linda, April, Jim, Genevieve—it was a pleasure.  If any of you who attended have ideas on how to make next year’s session bigger and better, please let me know!
  2. Chapter Chairs Breakfast.  We reinstated the Chapter Chair Breakfast this year, and participation here was also more than I anticipated.  We had 60% of the Chapter Chairs represented, and had a wonderful roundtable discussion over scrambled eggs and honey dew.
  3. Exhibitor Hall Hours.  This year we shorted the Exhibit Hall hours in response to vendors telling us they wanted more time to walk amongst the attendees.  All exhibitors were also full conference registrants, so the intent in closing the hall early on Thursday was to allow exhibitors to then join general sessions, breakout sessions and meal functions.

Not new this year is how much we all rely on the support of our wonderful exhibitors and sponsors.  President Pauline Marx mentioned this in her message as well, along with a list of all our sponsors, but it bears iteration.  Without their support, your leadership would be faced with either drastically raising, if not doubling, prices for government attendees or significantly reducing the quality of the speakers.

I encourage you to take your next available opportunity to thank the sponsors and exhibitors for being and staying involved in CSMFO.

Once again, I look forward to your comments—and I can’t wait for Palm Springs in 2014!


CSMFO Annual Conference in Oakland Presents “Golden” Opportunity

By:  Joan Michaels Aguilar, Finance and Technology Director – City of Dixon

This year’s CSMFO conference in Oakland from February 20 – 22, 2013, not only presented a great chance to network, hear finance professionals share their knowledge on a variety of timely topics, check out the Exhibit Hall, and for a lucky group to get the scoop…on the Golden State Warriors from CFO Marty Glick.

One of the pre-conference opportunities involved meeting with the Warriors CFO, and as Jeff White (Oregon Municipal Finance Officers President) characterized it as a “once in a lifetime” kind of event for an avowed sports fan.  Did you know that the Warriors have a practice facility with three full-size basketball courts that was just an elevator ride up from the Oakland Marriott?  I had no idea, and marveled at the first part of our tour when we got to see their practice facility with three basketball courts and one wall highlighting Warriors stars throughout the years.

Mr. Glick, also a minority owner with the team, was very affable, and enhanced the experience by having both the Team President and General Manager (even with trade deadline looming) come by the conference room to share their thoughts about the NBA.  He noted how things have changed in recent years with new leaders both on the business and sports side of operations, particularly enhancing communications, budgeting and technological needs within the organization.

This pre-conference (one of three) presented a unique opportunity to those in attendance to hear the plans for a new arena in San Francisco that would cost approximately $900 million.

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Bay Bridge Seismic Retrofit Tour

Prior to the official kick-off of the annual conference, 24 attendees embarked on a tour of the new east span of the Bay Bridge. The staff at the project’s Public Information Office provided a very informative video presentation before the group boarded a boat to see the project up close. This tour was educational with respect to the roles that the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the public had in the development and design of the new east span. In addition, it provided an appreciation for this unique moment in time when the new and old spans co-exist side by side and for the incredible beauty and climate of Oakland.

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Pre-conference Cannabis Dispensary Visit

At one of the pre-conference field trips on Wednesday morning before the start of the 2013 Annual Conference, a small group of attendees had the opportunity to get an inside look of the business and operational sides of Blűm, Oakland’s newest cannabis dispensary. CSMFO members were given an overview of Oakland’s regulatory and taxation policies for dispensaries. In addition, they were educated on how Oakland has taken a collaborative approach with the dispensary owners, public officials and the community in order to create a sensible regulatory and tax structure for the industry. Attendees were advised that dispensaries through a consensus agreed to support paying a business tax of five percent based upon their gross receipts alongside a yearly regulatory fee of $60,000. As a result, Oakland receives approximately $1.8M in tax revenue per year from five dispensaries, which goes into the general fund. The annual regulatory fee is used to recover cost for audits, site inspections and permit approvals.

 While at the dispensary the operator walked the tour-goers through the entire dispensary process for a typical patient. They explained how first-time patients with doctor recommendations are verified with the prescribing physician, the patient’s ID is verified and a questionnaire is filled out–much like a typical doctor’s office visit. Only when the patient’s information and recommendation is verified can they be allowed into the dispensary area to purchase their medication.

CSMFO members were then able to see first-hand the selection of different strains of cannabis, alongside a vast array of cannabis-infused products like cookies, cannabutter, tinctures, body lotion and chapstick. Furthermore, they were educated on how every cannabis product is sent to a testing lab to check for purity and presence of any contaminants before being offered to patients.

The tour was also led through the cavernous area used for weighing and packaging cannabis and the staff went over the inventory and barcoding process that tracks the product from back door to front door in the dispensary process.

At the conclusion of the tour, CSMFO members had commented that they had developed a new professional perspective of the cannabis industry and how the City of Oakland has developed a model dispensary program.


CSMFO’s Accounting and Fiscal Policy Classes

CSMFO offers Introductory, Intermediate Governmental Accounting and Fiscal Policy Training classes throughout the year. Each class is taught separately by highly respected instructors.  We are thankful to our instructors for their time and commitment.  One of our long time instructor’s, Kathryn Beseau, for the Intermediate Governmental Course, retired and we want to thank her for her years of service to CSMFO.  In February the Board approved a new contract with Susan Mayer who will assume the role of instructor.  We are excited to have her on board to teach this important intermediate course, and will begin to schedule courses soon.  We have also been busy scheduling courses for the upcoming years but we are still looking for host agencies.  To date, we are excited to offer the following Accounting and Fiscal Policy Classes.  Please look to see where you or your staff can benefit from these courses.

Introduction to Government Accounting – Instructor Ahmed Badawi

City of Dinuba – March 6, 2013

City of Camarillo – May 1, 2013

City of Ceres – June 19, 2013

Power of Fiscal Policies / Long Term Financial Planning – Instructor Bill Statler

City of Agoura Hills – April 11, 2013

City of Riverside – May 9, 2013

Coachella Valley Water District – September 12, 2013

City of Lakeport – October 10, 2013

Interested in Hosting?  Here are the requirements:

The accounting classes are appropriate for individuals that have some accounting background, but may be new to the government sector or for employees who have recently assumed responsibility for financial and accounting reporting. The classes are also appropriate for anyone interested in brushing up on basic government accounting skills. Once a basic understanding of accounting concepts is reached, these concepts can easily be applied to the unique requirements of the governmental area.

Host site requirements for the accounting classes include:

  • A minimum of 20 registrants
  • Seating for 60 participants with tables and chairs
  • One rectangular table up front for speaker
  • Table and chair in back for registration
  • ***Room open and available at 8:00 a.m. for set-up (*** 7:30 a.m. for Intermediate classes)
  • Parking alternatives for up to 60 participants, preferably free parking
  • A computer with a remote to advance PowerPoint slides
  • A port to allow for a USB flash drive
  • A screen and projector

The host site will need to provide lunch (with beverages) and light morning/afternoon refreshments for the attendees. The host site will be reimbursed actual costs up to $15 per attendee, including the instructor, by CSMFO.

The Fiscal Policy Training classes are offered as half-day or one-day sessions. Good times come and go, but your values shouldn’t – which is what fiscal policies are all about. Setting clearly articulated fiscal policies builds a strong foundation for protecting your agency’s long-term fiscal health. As recent economic events have shown, no agency is immune to economic downturns. But agencies with clear fiscal policies in place with a tradition of following them have a significant strategic edge over those that don’t. Policies make tough decisions easier by providing guidance both when times are good by preventing problems to begin with, as well as when the inevitable tough times do arrive.

Host site requirements for the fiscal policy training classes include:

  • A minimum of 10 registrants
  • Seating for 60 participants with tables and chairs
  • One rectangular table up front for speaker
  • Table and chair in back for registration
  • ***Room open and available at 7:30 a.m. for set-up (*** 12:30 p.m. for afternoon sessions)
  • Parking alternatives for up to 60 participants, preferably free parking
  • A computer with a remote to advance PowerPoint slides
  • A port to allow for a USB flash drive
  • A screen and projector
  • Location convenient to lunch options for attendees (preferred)

The host site will NOT need to provide lunch or refreshments for the attendees. Attendees are on their own for lunch.

For all classes, the host site gets two free attendees. Unless otherwise provided by the hosting agency, one of the attendees will be designated to registering participants, checking room set-up, assisting the presenter, assisting with food and assisting with set-up as needed.

CSMFO will handle the online registrations and fees for the classes.

CSMFO and the host site will be responsible for marketing and promoting the courses. The host site is strongly encouraged to market and promote the courses to local agencies and chapters to maximize attendance.

If you are interested and able to host any of the classes in 2013, or for more information please contact Margaret Moggia, Board Liaison to Career Development Committee, at margaretm@westbasin.org.

Coaching Corner

Webinar – “Managing Employee Compensation – Issues and Options”
Co-sponsored with Cal-ICMA

March 20, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. PST

[registration details will be distributed by March 6 via the email list]

Key topics:

  1. What are major developments in compensation issues that affect local government? (CA and elsewhere)?
  2. What further developments are likely?
  3. What innovative employee compensation strategies have local governments pursued?
  4. What are best practices in forecasting and budgeting the financial implications of current employee compensation expenses and long-term liabilities?
  5. How are new wage and benefit terms affecting recruitment and retention in local government?


Welcome New CSMFO Members!

  • Debbie Pacheco, Sr. Management Analyst, Covina
  • Andre Aberdeen, Account Manager, Questica Inc
  • Randall Carlton, Chief Financial Officer, Contra Costa Transportation Authority
  • Christina Chen, Junior Financial Analyst, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Julie Nemes, Accounting Manager, Santa Barbara
  • Jeri Corgill, Management Analyst, Atascadero
  • Leo Levenson, Deputy Director of Finance & Admin., San Francisco (City and County)
  • Jennifer Erwin, Assistant Director of Finance, City of Perris
  • Sandra Featherson, Director of Administrative Services, Solvang
  • Katherine Bradshaw, Accounting Manager, Douglas County
  • Ralph Tyrell, Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Gretchen Lindelof, Acting Controller, Transportation Corridor Agencies
  • William Fox, Director of Finance, City of Vernon
  • Andrew Thompson, Revenue Supervisor, San Rafael
  • Jeff Swan, Managing Director – Trading/Sales, Mischler Financial Group, Inc.
  • Aaron Beanan, Senior Accountant, City of Carlsbad
  • William Clayton, Senior Accountant, Rogers, Anderson, Malody & Scott, LLP
  • Jason Garben, Economic Development Director, Suisun
  • Mari Jimenez, Financial Services Director, City of Coalinga
  • Mona Dmitrenko, Financial Advisor, California Municipal Finance Authority
  • Charles DeSimoni, Manager, Rogers Anderson Malody & Scott LLP
  • Jennifer Callaway, Finanace & Budget Manager, Los Gatos
  • Bradford Rockabrand, Student, Saint Louis University


Education Opportunities

Power of Fiscal Policies (Morning)
April 11, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Bill Statler

Power of Fiscal Policies / Long Term Financial Planning (All Day)
April 11, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Bill Statler

Power of Fiscal Policies (Afternoon)
April 11, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

  • Bill Statler

Introduction to Government Accounting
May 1, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Ahmed Badawi – Badawi & Associates

Power of Fiscal Policies (Morning)
May 9, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Bill Statler

Power of Fiscal Policies / Long Term Financial Planning (All Day)
May 9, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Bill Statler

Power of Fiscal Policies (Afternoon)
May 9, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

  • Bill Statler


Chapter Meetings

San Gabriel Valley Chapter Luncheon
March 20
ACA’s Employer Shared Responsibility: What Employers Need to Know about Health Care Reform

  • Daniel Kopti – Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA

Inland Empire & CMTA Div 8 Meeting
March 21
California’s Fiscal Condition

  • Honorable John Chiang, California State Controller

Channel Counties Chapter Meeting
March 21
New Pension Standards – GASB 68

  • Gary M. Caporicci – Pun & Mcgeady, LLP
  • Kenneth H. Pun – Pun & Mcgeady, LLP