News and Updates

MGFOA presents Certificate of Achievement to
City of Grand Blanc

Grand Blanc Award

Wendy Jean Buhrer, Grand Blanc City Finance Director (left), receives the 20th Consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from MGFOA Board Member, Tamar Lewis, Budget and Grants Administrator from the City of Flint. Congratulations Grand Blanc!

The GFOA's Awards for Excellence in Government Finance recognize innovative programs contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management. The awards stress practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance. The Award for Excellence consists of the following categories:

  • Accounting, auditing, and financial reporting
  • Budgeting and financial planning
  • Capital finance and debt administration
  • Economic development and capital planning
  • E-Government and technology
  • Management and service delivery
  • Pensions and benefits
  • Treasury and investment management

Photo by Paula K. Schmidt

MDOT is Holding Act 51 Training

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is again holding Act 51 training sessions around the state.  The training agenda and calendar are below.

These sessions will be in the same format as last year and are geared more toward cities and villages rather than counties. 

There will be one morning session from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and one afternoon session from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at each location (shown on the training calendar below).

Seating in each location is limited.  Please contact Lori Cole, Financial Specialist, MDOT Financial Operations Division at 517-335-2556 or colel@michigan.gov to reserve your spot.

City of Grosse Pointe Farms Receives ‘AAA’ Bond Rating

Congratulations to the City of Grosse Pointe Farms! The City has received a 'AAA' bond rating from Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P) for the City's series 2015 limited-tax general obligation capital improvement bonds for the $3.5 million in sewer and water main improvements.

Grosse Pointe Farms joins an elite group of municipalities with an AAA bond rating.  Bloomfield Hills and Rochester are the only other two communities in Michigan, with a population of less than 20,000, to achieve this distinction.  Grosse Pointe Farms is the only community in Wayne County rated 'AAA'.

City Manager Shane Reeside stated, “This is significant and would not have been possible without the strong leadership and fiscal management of the Grosse Pointe Farms City Council.  Credit also goes to City Controller John Lamerato who has helped position the City to reach this milestone.”

According to Robert Bendzinski, President of Bendzinski & Co. Municipal Finance Advisors, an upgrade from AA+ to AAA will likely result in an additional interest savings of 10 basis-points.  That amounts to a savings of more than $50,000 over the life of the bond.  Savings would have been even greater if not for the already excellent rating of the Farms and a continuing climate of low interest rates."

Grosse Pointe Farms Councilman and Chairman of the Budget and Audit Committee, Louis Theros said of the designation, “This is something the City Council and Administration has consciously worked towards for the past several years.  The City has maintained healthy cash reserves and has implemented policy to help insure the financial integrity of the City - now and for future generations."

MGFOA Opposition to Senate Bill 17
Profits to Former Property Owner Upon Foreclosure

MICHIGAN GOVERNMENT FINANCE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Resolution Number 1
February 13, 2015

RE: OPPOSITION TO SENATE BILL 17 (Profits to Former Property Owner Upon Foreclosure)

WHEREAS Senate Bill 17 has been introduced to amend the General Property Tax Act, 1893 PA 206, by amending section 78m (MCL 211.78m) which would require that profits of the sale of a house by auction for non-payment of real property taxes to be refunded to the homeowner; and

WHEREAS, this legislation would create a determination of “profit” that would ignore significant costs extinguished by the foreclosure process, including mortgage and other debt, creating a potential windfall for the property owner who neglected to pay the property taxes; and

WHEREAS, this legislation would place the burden of uncollectible taxes on the local units of government and the schools, while refunding profits to the property owner, who had three years to pay the taxes or sell the property themselves; and 

WHEREAS this legislation would be detrimental to the municipal and other lien holders (water and sewer charges, mowing and blight fees, other local charges) as the creditors and mortgage holders would have their interests extinguished placing the government in a position of eradicating private and public interests in a property while providing a windfall to the former owner; and

WHEREAS this legislation would disrupt the counties’ property foreclose process because counties cannot file lawsuits for a deficiency judgments for properties that did not sell for the amount of the taxes causing taxpayers to subsidize the foreclosure system; and

WHEREAS this legislation would impair the ability of a County to bond for funds to advance to the local taxing jurisdictions to settle the current taxes by pledging that all property auctioned for non-payment of taxes will be aggregated to provide funds to the delinquent tax revolving fund and pay off the bonds; and

WHEREAS this legislation may make it difficult for a County to meet its current debt service requirements or to bond in the future.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Michigan Government Finance Officers Association (MGFOA), by this resolution, opposes Senate Bill 17, the requirement that the profits of the sale of a house by auction for non-payment of real property taxes to be refunded to the homeowner.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be distributed to the Governor’s office and the leadership of the Michigan Legislature, as appropriate.

Moved by: Catherine McClary, supported by Steve Adair,
motion approved/denied­­­­­­­­ by a vote of 8 to 0.

Policies & Procedures for Key Financial Functions

The MGFOA Accounting Standards Committee has developed policies and recommended procedures for use in your community.  The policies cover key financial functions, including: 

Budgeting Fund Balance
Capital Assets Grants Management
Cash Management       Investments
Debt Management Payroll & Expense Reimbursement
Ethics Purchasing
Financial Reporting  

While each document was created and reviewed by members of the Committee, it is important to note that these documents are not a ‘one size fits all’ solution.  Finance officials seeking to use these documents should consult their respective government agency’s charter as well as their agency’s legal counsel.

Please visit the RESOURCES page of the site to view the documents.

If you would like to suggest any changes to these documents, please email the Standards Committee via Joe Heffernan.

MGFOA Committee Membership

The MGFOA Board is accepting application for members to volunteer to serve on various Committees

This is your opportunity to get involved and grow with the organization by serving and contributing your knowledge to a committee.

Click here to complete the Committee Membership Application.

Dashboard and Citizen Guide templates at Dept of Treasury

Follow this LINK.

Michigan Department of Treasury and EVIP Administration

Follow this LINK.

FREE: State of Michigan's Local Government Records Management training is now available online

Follow this link.

Membership Information

Membership Information

Board of Directors '14 - '15

Executive Director
Bob Hertel
President
Ed Sell
Finance Director
City of Monroe
734-384-9133
Edward.Sell@monroemi.gov
Board Assignment:
  • Policies, Bylaws, and Ethics
VP / Secretary
Christa McLellan
Deputy Treasurer - Financial Services
Wayne County Treasurers Office
313-224-0489
cmclella@co.wayne.mi.us
Board Assignment:
  • Mentoring/Membership
Treasurer
Catherine McClary
Washtenaw County Treasurer
Washtenaw County Treasurer
734-222-6600
mcclaryc@ewashtenaw.org
Board Assignment:
  • Legislative Committee
Immediate Past President
Tom Skrobola
Director of Management Services/CFO
City of Kalamazoo
269-207-9429
skrobolat@kalamazoocity.org
Board Assignment:
  • Nominations
  • Strategic Planning
Associate Director
Ben Stone
Vice President, Relationship Manager
Flagstar Bank
248-312-5979
benjamin.stone@flagstar.com
Board Assignment:
  • Spring Conference
  • Golf Outing
  • Professional Development
Associate Director
Beth Bialy
Partner
Plante & Moran, PLLC
248-223-3377
beth.bialy@plantemoran.com
Board Assignment:
  • Fall Conference
  • Michigan Brunch
  • Mentoring/Membership
Board Member
Ed Bradford
CFO
City of Manistee
231-398-2804
ebradford@manisteemi.gov
Board Assignment:
  • Spring Conference
  • Golf Outing
  • Technology
Board Member
Tom Darling
Director of Financial Services
City of Troy
248-524-3330
t.darling@troymi.gov
Board Assignment:
  • Spring Conference
  • Accounting Standards
Board Member
Tamar Lewis
Accounting Coordinator
City of Flint, Finance Department
810-766-7266
tlewis@cityofflint.com
Board Assignment:
  • Fall Conference
  • Professional Development
Board Member
Steve Adair
Finance Director & Treasurer
City of Center Line
586-757-6800
sadair@centerline.gov
Board Assignment:
  • Fall Conference
  • Legislative Committee

Executive Director
Bob Hertel
executive@MiGFOA.org

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