Viewpoints

November, 2014

Reliable Data Equals Efficiency and Partnership In Good Government

Michael McPherson, GMA Governmental Relations Associate

November 7, 2014

Some cannot hear the term “government administration” without immediately associating the thought with wastefulness and inefficiency.

Cities Can Win When We Show Up and Pay Attention

Keith Brady, GMA President

November 6, 2014

Our call as city officials is to make decisions for the good of our city. It’s often an inward, narrowly focused activity. To be effective leaders, however, we don’t have the luxury of only focusing inward. We must be willing to look up, pay attention to what is going on around us and do what we must do to engage with those that have influence on how we conduct our business at home.

October, 2014

It’s a Great Season to Reflect on Who and What Makes Our Cities Special

Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director

October 6, 2014

Fall is a favorite time of year for many of us. The leaves begin to change, the temperature gets cooler and cities across the state host festivals and other events that bring crowds of residents and tourists to their downtowns. Georgia’s cities have a lot to offer.

Arts and Tourism Fuel Georgia’s Economic Vitality

Karen L. Paty, Executive Director, Georgia Council for the Arts

October 6, 2014

touttttThe incredible opportunity that arises in marketing our state through the arts is the ability to unearth local history, celebrating what makes each community unique, and placing a magnifying glass on the story that is distinctly theirs to tell.

Cities Need Sound, Reliable Sales Tax Data

Michael McPherson, GMA Governmental Relations Associate

October 6, 2014

Fall is one of the busiest times of year for city fairs and festivals. Calculating the economic impact of an event that brings tourists to town, however, is hard to do because the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) does not provide cities with jurisdictional sales tax collections data.

September, 2014

GMA Property Committee Evaluating GMA's Future Needs

Keith Brady, GMA President

September 5, 2014

What we’ve become over the last 81 years is significantly different than what our early leaders could have predicted. As we look to the next 81 years, the challenge for us today is to create a framework that allows for continued growth while providing GMA’s future leadership and staff the flexibility to meet the needs of the membership.

Agriculture is Georgia’s Heritage and Future

Gary Black, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Agriculture

September 5, 2014

As a Georgian, even if agriculture is not in your immediate family lineage, it is still a part of your being. Our homeland was indeed named in honor of King George, but have you ever considered the root meaning? In the Greek, George or the feminine form “Georgia,” means “a farmer.” Agriculture is our heritage, our current $77 billion leading industry, and I believe our future as well.

August, 2014

How Our Cities Improve Education

Neil Shorthouse, Past President, Communities in Schools of Georgia

August 4, 2014

Schools are focused, as they should be, on what goes on inside their four walls—presenting challenging learning concepts, ideas and principles to students. Cities, however, can help set the vision for a community that focuses all the positive forces within it on the need to create an environment that enables and supports a healthy learning environment.

Georgia: The State of Education

Sis Henry, Executive Director, Georgia School Boards Association

August 4, 2014

Public education in Georgia is improving but it will take all of us, community by community, if we are to make the gains so necessary for our children.

Governance is a Team Sport

Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director

August 4, 2014

The Annual Convention is a great time to see city officials from across the state, renew acquaintances and discuss everyday issues that impact cities. We often say that GMA is like a family; well, the Annual Convention is our family reunion. It’s where we check in with each other, make new friendships and get a sense of “where we all are.”

June, 2014

Aligning our Actions with our Aspirations

Keith Brady, GMA President

June 23, 2014

The challenge for us today is digging ourselves out of the day-to-day distractions and routines to find a way to carve out the time to think, to imagine, to create and design the future for generations to come.

2014 Session Tax Recap: Measures Whittle Away Local Revenues

Wesley Tharpe, Tax & Economic Policy Analyst Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

June 9, 2014

A collection of tax measures passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Nathan Deal will drain up to $107 million from Georgia’s local governments over the next two years and up to $154 million over the next five years.

Most Public Pension Plans Are Economic, Effective and Sustainable

Hank Kim,Esq., Executive Director and Counsel, The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems

June 8, 2014

With their revenues hit hard by the Great Recession and the sluggish nature of the economy’s recovery, state and local government officials throughout the country are looking for ways to reduce expenditures and shore up their resources.

Success Comes When We All Work Together on the Little Things

Beth English, GMA President

June 8, 2014

In order to remain a strong and vibrant partner for Georgia’s cities, GMA will continue to evaluate how it relates to cities and city officials. But this work needs your continued participation; it is only by working together on all the “little things” that will lead to our future success and greatness.