skip navigation

MRSC Insight Blog


Posts by Stan Finkelstein

Fiscal Feast or Famine: A Survival Guide

Fiscal Feast or Famine: A Survival Guide

June 27, 2017 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Council-Commission Advisor , Financial Management

What can local governments do to avoid the fiscal cliff? Advisor Stan Finkelstein argues that the best defense is to develop a multiyear forecast of anticipated resources and expenditures.

Read more


Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Next Economic Downturn

Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Next Economic Downturn

December 16, 2016 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Finance , Council-Commission Advisor

Are local governments destined to experience the problems they encountered between 2009 and 2012? How can elected officials respond in a fiscally prudent manner to an uncertain future? Advisor Stan Finkelstein suggests guidelines for local governments in order to avoid “falling over the cliff” during a rough economic cycle.

Read more


The Dynamics of Public Sector Budgeting - Who is the Constituency?

The Dynamics of Public Sector Budgeting - Who is the Constituency?

June 15, 2016 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Council-Commission Advisor

As local government officials begin the process of developing their 2017 budgets, they face an environment of increased uncertainty: an uncertain economy, uncertain levels of inflation and wage demands, changing consumer behavior and revenue yields, and uncertainty regarding the demand for services. These are ongoing uncertainties that elected officials encounter annually when reviewing budgets...

Read more


Budgeting During Periods of Economic Instability

Budgeting During Periods of Economic Instability

December 4, 2015 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

Having just experienced the most prolonged recession since the Great Depression, governmental leaders are well aware of the impact of the economic cycle on their jurisdiction’s fiscal well-being. As county and city legislative bodies approach the task of crafting a budget for the next fiscal year, they are compelled to address a number of critical issues: what will the economy look like i...

Read more


Charting Your Future Part 2: Conducting a Strategic Planning Retreat

Charting Your Future Part 2: Conducting a Strategic Planning Retreat

May 12, 2015 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Management , Council-Commission Advisor

Stan Finkelstein continues his series on strategic planning by describing the role of retreats along with key strategies for conducting them effectively.

Read more


Charting a Future Course for Your County or City

November 12, 2014 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Management , Council-Commission Advisor

The reality is that in this day and age the citizenry, for the most part, desires dynamic local governments. They abhor lethargy and they want to see positive change. They want their elected officials to position their jurisdictions to anticipate future needs. For the past 6 years most Washington counties and cities have been “treading water” ...

Read more


Strategic Fiscal Management - Avoiding the Next Fiscal Cliff: Do's and Don'ts

June 1, 2014 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Council-Commission Advisor

During the past five years, many counties and cities have struggled with shrinking resources, rising health care and energy costs and a citizenry clamoring for their governments to sustain and enhance services. The question often arises as to whether local officials could have initiated strategies prior to the start of the "great recession" that would have enabled them to better maintain revenues...

Read more


Leadership: An Inherent or an Acquired Skill?

March 1, 2014 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Leadership , Council-Commission Advisor

In the November 2013 issue of the Council/Commission Advisor, I acknowledged that the citizenry expects its elected officials to possess strong and effective leadership skills. I further described what I believe is leadership; its characteristics and the attributes of successful leaders. What I did not delve into is the age old issue...

Read more


The Keys to Becoming a "Leader"

November 1, 2013 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Leadership , Council-Commission Advisor

In this era of declining approval ratings for national, state and local leaders, strong and effective leadership is one of those qualities that the citizenry is seeking from its elected officials. This article will explore the questions of what is leadership; what are the characteristics and attributes of leadership; how can elected officials become leaders and re-instill confidence in...

Read more


Infrastructure Financing - Future Strategies to Meet Capital Needs

June 1, 2013 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Finance , Council-Commission Advisor

While in recent weeks much attention has been directed at the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge on Interstate-5, that event is symptomatic of far greater infrastructure deficiencies confronting state and local governments.

Read more


 more

Blog Archives

GO

Follow Our Blog