End of Summer, CSMFO Elections and Annual Conference Update

Steve Heide, Finance Director, Chino Valley Fire District, Chino Hills, California

Although the last day of summer in this part of the world is September 22, traditionally, many of us think of Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer. For those with school-aged children, it used to be that the end of summer was associated with the return to school, but these days schools in many areas start back as early as the beginning of August.

Regardless of when your summer ended, I hope you had an opportunity to get some time away from the office over these last few months. I had the chance to get away for a few days recently and enjoyed the change of scenery and the occasion to rest up a bit. I also enjoyed reading Carol Williams’ CSMFO News features on what some members of CSMFO leadership do to recharge.

As memories of summer begin to fade, most of us are moving into one of our busy seasons, gearing up to close our fiscal year-end books and prepare for annual audit. For CSMFO, September signifies the official opening of our 2020 Annual Conference registration, as well as the opening of voting for our annual board member elections. As President Joan Michaels Aguilar shared with us last month, we’ll be electing a president-elect from northern California who will preside over our 2021 San Jose Annual Conference, and we’ll also be electing two board members, one representing northern California and one from southern California. Those elected will serve three-year terms on our board of directors.

In a prior article, I acknowledged the hard work of our dedicated commercial members serving on this year’s Host Committee, which is responsible, along with our Program Committee, for planning our annual conferences. As we prepare to open conference registration on September 16, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our Program Committee members for their stalwart efforts in compiling another outstanding conference program for 2020. Led by committee chair and past president (2010) Ronnie Campbell of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, the Program Committee has been working tirelessly to bring our members and other conference attendees another outstanding educational program for our upcoming January conference.

Be sure to register early to take advantage of the early bird registration pricing and to secure significantly discounted conference hotel accommodations. Our conference room blocks will sell out quickly, and the early bird registration period will be limited, so don’t delay.

As for board elections, voting will open on September 30 and close on October 31. Every vote counts, so please be sure to submit your municipal member vote online when you receive the email notification link from CSMFO. Candidate statements will be available on the website after voting opens. The newly elected board members will be announced in early November and the new slate will be installed at the 2020 annual conference, as three current board members term out and roll off of the board at that time.

To quote Walt Disney, “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” Well said, Walt, and on a related note, please be sure to join us for CSMFO’s forwarded focused 60th Annual Conference – Yesterday, Tomorrow and Finance – taking place January 28-31, 2020 at the Disneyland Hotel.

Steve Heide is the Finance Director, Chino Valley Fire District, Chino Hills, California.

Over 30 years of professional finance experience, having worked in government and private industry in a variety of finance positions with progressive levels of responsibility. Previous positions in public accounting, healthcare and non-profit/government.