Riding a “New Wave” at CPBB Conference

Posted on June 2, 2014

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4-1-1 on CPBB “New Wave” Conference

ELGL has been invited to participate in the upcoming Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) conference from August 5 to 7 in Denver, Colorado. Not only will ELGL be presenting at the conference, we’re also sponsoring the conference in partnership with ELGL, International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Alliance for Innovation (AFI), and the National League of Cities (NLC).

Conference Details: CPBB 2014 Conference ProgramRegister, and Book Your Hotel


It’s appropriate that ELGL visits Denver. Our membership and presence in the Denver area continues to increase. Evan Fransted, University of Colorado at Denver, Heather Geyer, City of Wheat Ridge, Max Math, City of Thorton, Kyle Steitz, SafeBuilt, and Garrett Sabourin, City of Aspen are a few of our members from Colorado. The 50 Nifty Initiative has made two stops in Colorado: Tim Gagen, Breckenridge Town Manager and Robb Kolstad, Management and Budget Director, City of Thornton. During our stay in Denver, we’ll be meeting with a number of professionals in the local government arena that are interested in expanding ELGL’s presence in Colorado.

As for our presentation, here’s a description of what we will be talking about at the CPBB conference.

More than Succession Planning

August 6 – 1:15 to 2:00 p.m.


Ben McCready, Rock Island (IL) Assistant to the City Manager

Ben Kittelson, Metro Newsroom and ELGL Leader

Kent Wyatt, Tigard (OR) Senior Management Analyst

Kirsten Wyatt, West Linn (OR) Assistant City Manager

10393178_621363274615905_9153775923232318268_nWe are living in truly exceptional times. According to Peter Diamandis, founder of Singularity University and the X-Prize Foundation, and author of “Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think” human society has transformed from “Local & Linear” to one that is now “Global & Exponential,” and this change is accelerating disruptive stress or disruptive opportunity depending on an organization’s point of view. How is your organization tapping into the extraordinary opportunity to harvest the skill sets of the next generation of leaders, and preparing these leaders with the experience and wisdom and guidance they need?

The Emerging Local Government Leaders Network has carved a totally unique niche in enhancing communication between emerging and experienced government professionals, ushering in a new generation of leaders capable of engaging in and solving the modern challenges of today. Hear from the Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) group as they provide an eye-opening, enlightening and optimistic vision of the future of local government. Indeed, in the words of Diamandis, the Future is Better than You Think!

Q & A with Erik Fabian, Chief Creative Officer


Connect with CPBB: Twitter and World Wide Web

You want to attend the CPBB conference, and need to convince your boss that it is worth your time. ELGL thought we’d help you out by interviewing Erik Fabian, CPBB Chief Creative Officer. Erik gives you the “A to Z” on this year’s conference.

Let’s start with the most important question – how are you going to top last year’s t-shirt?

Untitled design-1Last year’s unveiling of our signature Center Priority Based Budgeting/PBR t-shirt was a smashing success. They have remained coveted by the local government community. In fact, we selectively distributed three more at the recent Alliance for Innovation conference and almost caused a riot.

We have a few surprises in store at our “New Wave” of Local Government Conference revolving around the Center for Priority Based Budgeting 2.0. Look for the next generation of CPBB shirts to support our exciting new initiatives. I say “shirts” as we may stray from t-shirt’s to, say, mesh tank tops. It gets pretty hot in Denver in August.

Three reasons we should convince our boss to let us attend.

The CPBB “New Wave” of Local Government Conference has been thoughtfully organized to impact all sectors of local government regardless of an individual’s experience or level of authority.

tumblr_inline_mo2ru9qoe41qddlmhThe skill-sets, tools and technologies needed to successfully fulfill the modern role of local government are evolving rapidly. This is the one conference dedicated to exploring the forefront of today’s leading practices in job creation and economic development, achieving safer communities through new models in public safety, generating new and undiscovered sources of revenue, prioritizing resource allocation and authentically engaging citizens in the budget process, and more.

It’s an unprecedented time to contribute to an immensely complex and exciting “breakthrough” field: Priority Based Budgeting. The very role of local government is changing, and the tools you’ll discover are facilitating this “New Wave.”

SONY DSCAs City of Salinas (CA) Councilman Steve McShane put it:

I think that in our lifetimes, certainly as elected officials, we’ll look back on this in the same way that our parents look back at the evolution of plumbing and electricity; I think that tools like this will be common day in decision-making for the best bang for the buck, and in the best interest of our citizens.”

*Note: We at the CPBB don’t recommend you use Colorado’s famously liberal marijuana laws as a reason to attend

What kind of professionals are attending conference? City managers? Finance officers?

2013-10-1216_02_17This event, like our past conferences, will attract local government professionals of all levels. Past conference attendees consisted of elected officials, mayors, city managers, finance managers, budget directors, county administrators, department heads and emerging leaders.

We expect more of the same this year, especially with ELGL involved (and your devoted legions of emerging leaders), and intentionally designed the program to support, educate and inspire local government professionals of all levels.

Talk about feedback from previous conference’s. What do people consider the highlights of the conference?

One of the things we’ve heard from previous conferences is that the broad, cross-section of leaders opens up so many new perspectives.

height.182.no_border.width.320Last year, a County Manager from Arizona told us he was blown away after listening to former National League of Cities President, Kathie Novak, describe the perspective of today’s elected officials when it comes to budgeting. He said, from a manager’s perspective, he had never seen how challenging the world is from their eyes, working not always with colleagues but with political opponents, having little time to debate thoughtfully, and always on television and in the public.

These “eye-opening” revelations are what we strive to achieve at the conference – new perspective leads to the dramatic breakthroughs we’re looking for!

Let’s assume that ELGL went to the conference last year, tell us why we should attend again this year. What will be different?

The CPBB conferences are much, much more than a showcase of our leading concepts of fiscal health and priority based budgeting. We intentionally design our programs to present a wide variety of the most innovative, exciting and replicable concepts in local government.

Fiscal New Year copyAlong these lines, we have corralled leading innovators who are redefining how to address economic development and local job growth through the use of incubators and partnerships; new models for achieving safer communities at lesser cost; revenue generation strategies attainable to every local government that have to date remained hidden; shared service models emerging to help local government redefine service levels in key public-public and public-private partnerships; understanding the complex role of local government in long-term sustainability; advancing past “performance measurement” to reveal a new component to priority based budgeting that includes “results measurement” strategies; explaining how credit rating agencies assess municipal credit ratings and how the transparent concepts of fiscal health and priority based budgeting can assist in stabilizing and improving bond and credit ratings, and more!

Also, this year we created the “Innovation Exchange” which is a completely new take on a “user group” experience – appealing both to the nation’s leading implementers, and sharing their knowledge with newcomers to the work.

giphyThink about it – there are now nearly 70 organizations who have implemented Priority Based Budgeting. That’s staggering! With this tipping point of communities having excelled in bringing Priority Based Budgeting to life, with many communities now several years into their evolving implementation, and the first academic research on the measureable outcomes of PBB, it’s time to share the lessons learned.

And not only the lessons learned through their implementation of PBB, but also how  communities have uniquely developed creative new service and economic development strategies from the PBB platform. This year’s conference will bring together the leading practitioners in PBB to share the keys to their success, what they accomplished, and most importantly where they are going next!

Talk about the informal networking opportunities. What’s planned for the evenings?

larrydavid-smalltalkInformal networking opportunities will be plentiful, but not necessarily organized. We don’t like to structure attendees evenings, but always encourage attendees to meet and get to know new local government professionals. We’ll have attendees from across the US and Canada (and potentially internationally… last year we had a contingent of Nigerian local government professionals!), so the opportunity to meet peers far from your home will be significant. And we’ll encourage these deeply informal (and unstructured) networking opportunities through social media and will be mingling ourselves of course.

*If all else fails, our back-up plan is to be the first organization to run a flash mob on a (medical) marijuana dispensary.

Give us your personal recommendations for Denver. Restaurants, activities, hotels, etc.

The CPBB headquarters are located in Denver. So we know the town well.

Top Denver recommendations include:

Colorado Rockies: vs. Chicago Cubs 8.5-8.7 at Coors Field


Denver Art Museum: World class art in two architecturally stunning buildings

US Mint Denver: Odds are you don’t have a mint in your home town!

16th Street Pedestrian Mall: The Sheraton CPBB conference hotel is located on this street! Lined with 200 trees and 50,000 flowers, this festive, mile-long 16th Street Mall has 28 outdoor cafes and offers Denver’s best people-watching.

Larimer Square: A trendy block of Victorian buildings is home to chic shopping, dance clubs, a comedy club, outdoor cafes and a dozen of Denver’s best restaurants.1.1277415510.the-mile-high-city

LoDo Historic District– A historic district is filled with turn-of-the-century warehouses, now home to 90 brewpubs, sports bars, restaurants and rooftop cafes. *Be sure to visit Breckenridge Brewery, where CPBB CCO Erik Fabian cut his creative teeth as a bar back (and bar patron)

El Chapultapec: Hippest jazz bar between San Francisco and NYC!

Wynkoop Brewing Company: Denver’s first brewpub opened by former Denver Mayor (now Colorado Governor), John Hickenlooper.

Eating Rocky Mountain Oysters: Need we say more?

Couple of suggestions from ELGL

Stapleton Airport:  Stapleton International Airport was Denver, Colorado’s primary airport from 1929 to 1995. In 1995, Stapleton was replaced by Denver International Airport. It has now been decommissioned and the airport property was redeveloped as a retail and residential neighborhood.




Red Rocks Amphitheater: Not only is Red Rocks a concert venue, it is also a park. The amphitheater is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver, Colorado and is located in Red Rocks Park, part of the Denver Mountain Parks system.

Beside the ELGL presentation, give us a brief rundown of what attendees should expect from the conference.

download (3)Expect to be inspired by a wide variety of progressive private and public sector leaders who are fundamentally redefining the modern role of local government. And expect not simply to be “spoken to”, but to actively participate in these sessions designed to identify the modern role of local government and define the roadmap for where we head next. So there is a mutual expectation between CPBB (host) and attendee. We call that conference accountability, which is yet another unique feature of the “New Wave” of local government conference.

Who would be your dream speaker(s) for future CPBB conference?

The tools we’ve built, and those we’re working on are designed to help facilitate what we see are the major breakthroughs needed for local government to embrace a modern and relevant role in today’s society.

Thus, our dream speakers are those who similarly have a vision for positive change on a massive scale!

Why do we tack on the term “New Wave” to what Jennifer Bradley and Bruce Katz have termed “The Metropolitan Revolution”? In our “New Wave” Espresso Blast, we explain the revolution that took place in 1959 when Jean Juc Godard led a revolution in cinema that changed the art form forevermore. Godard is one of our dream speakers, by the way!


In this same Espresso Blast, we point to other heroes of this nature:

Peter Diamandis, founder and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation and Singularity University, spurring revolutions in spacecraft, biotechnology,

Thomas Keller, creator of the French Laundry in Yountsville, California, creating a culinary revolution

Jean Luc Godard – he’s still making film!

Steve Jobs (a bit more challenging of a dream speaker)



What question(s) should we have asked?

Why did it take so long for CPBB to ask ELGL to partner on a conference?

Supplemental Reading


Budgeting Through a New Lens

Role Reversal: CPBB Puts ELGL Through the Lens

Knope of the Week: Center for Priority Based Budgeting

Heather Geyer, Wheat Ridge (CO)

New Sensation with Evan Fransted

Colorado: Tim Gagen, Breckenridge Town Manager

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