On February 9 & 10, the City of Champaign hosted a two-day conference of the Downstate Chapter of the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association (IGFOA), at the new Home2 Suites hotel. Molly Talkington, the City’s Financial Services Manager/Budget Officer and the Vice-President of Downstate IGFOA, contributed to conference planning and introduced all presenters. Finance Director Richard Schnuer presented “Budget Tactics Matter.” He argued that while there’s much emphasis on budget policies, implementing policies requires good tactics. In addition to Richard and Molly, participants from the Finance Department included City Accountant Kay Nees, Staff Accountant Carrie Siems, and Financial Analyst Courtney Kouzmanoff.
Michael LeRoy, Professor of Industrial Relations and Professor of Law, University of Illinois, conducted the most engaging and enlightening session. Professor LeRoy, who frequently serves as an arbitrator, explained the law pertinent to arbitration in Illinois. He also followed up with a case study, followed by discussions of conference participants’ decisions if they were the arbitrator.