Municipal Finance Institute

December 7-8, 2022

Hyatt Regency Monterey

1 Old Golf Course Rd., Monterey, CA


Designed for city officials and staff involved in fiscal planning for municipalities, the Municipal Finance Institute connects finance directors and other municipal finance professionals with the essential information they need for their job.

Finance professionals who hold a license as a California Certified Public Accountant (CPA) through the California Board of Accountancy will be eligible to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits during the institute.

For questions about registration, please contact our registrar, Megan Dunn. For all other questions, please contact Associate Manager, Event Program Katie Pebler

Please see our event and meeting policies.

Become a sponsor

2022 Institute Information


Full Registration Includes:

  • admission to all educational sessions 
  • admission to the Wednesday lunch and reception, Thursday breakfast and lunch
  • access to all program materials

Register online by Wednesday, Nov. 30 (requires credit card): Register now

Register via mail-in form by Wednesday, Nov. 30 (pay by check): Contact Megan Dunn to request a registration form.

Special needs? Contact conference registrar Megan Dunn before Friday, Nov. 18.

Full Conference Registration Fees

Member City Official                                $450
Non-Member City Official $1,450
League Partner $720
All Others $720
Guest $50

*The guest/spouse fee is restricted to persons who are not city or public officials, are not related to any League Partner or sponsor, and would have no professional reason to attend the conference. It includes admission to Wednesday’s networking reception only. There is no refund for the cancellation of a guest/spouse registration. It is not advisable to use city funds to register a guest/spouse. 

Please view the Event and Meeting Policies for more information.

Refund Policy

Advance registrants unable to attend will receive a refund of rate paid, minus a $75 processing charge, only when a written request is submitted to Megan Dunn, and received on or before Wednesday, Nov. 30. Refunds will not be available after this date. If you are unable to attend, you may substitute a colleague for your entire registration.

Hotel and Travel

The MFI is held at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. A limited number of hotel rooms are available at reduced rates for registered attendees and sponsors. The deadline to reserve your discounted hotel room is Monday, November 7, 2022. A limited number of market-rate hotel rooms may be available after Nov. 7. Call the Hyatt Regency Monterey at (831) 372-1234 to learn more. 

STEP ONE: Register for the seminar.

After your registration for the conference is received and processed, a confirmation email will be sent containing a link to the discounted hotel reservations page.

STEP TWO: Book a hotel room.

Hotels are subject to sell out prior to the deadline – reserve early!  

MFI Location

Hyatt Regency Monterey
1 Old Golf Course Rd
Monterey, CA 93940

Group Hotel Rate (per night): $169– Single/Double Occupancy (plus tax and fees)

Hotel Changes or Cancellations 

Hotel reservation changes, including cancellations, must be done through the hotel directly. Please note that any requests received after Monday, November 7, 2022 will be booked on a space and rate available basis. Hotel is subject to sell out before deadline date.

PLEASE NOTE: The information you provide to Cal Cities when registering for a Cal Cities conference or meeting may be shared with the conference or meeting hotel(s). The hotel(s) will also share with Cal Cities the information you provide to the hotel(s) when you make your hotel reservation for the conference or meeting. The information shared between Cal Cities and the hotel(s) will be limited to your first name, last name, email, and dates/length of stay in the hotel.

CAUTION! You must be registered for the conference prior to booking a hotel room. Do not make a hotel reservation unless you are sure it is needed. Your city/company will be financially responsible for all cancellation/attrition fees. If you are making hotel reservations for others, please confirm with each individual, in advance, that they actually need hotel accommodations and intend to use them on the dates you are reserving.

Parking and Transportation

Hyatt Regency Monterey is centrally located on the Monterey Peninsula, five minutes away from the Monterey Regional Airport. Valet parking is offered (fee applies) as well as abundant complimentary self-parking.

Complimentary shuttle service is provided daily for those arriving from the Monterey Peninsula Airport. For arrivals, call (831) 372-1234 to request airport shuttle service. For departures, the shuttle departs from the hotel lobby hourly, quarter past the hour, and advanced reservations are required.

Nearby Airports

  • Monterey Regional Airport (MRY): 2 miles
  • Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC): 72.1 miles
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): 101 miles

*Schedule subject to change

Wednesday, December 7

Breakfast On Your Own

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Premium Sponsor Tables Open

8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Registration Open

8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Fiscal Officers President's Welcome

8:30-9:00 a.m.

2023 Playbook for Developments in Municipal Finance Law and Policy

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Leading experts will review the latest major developments for California city revenues. Learn about new laws, legal developments, risks, and opportunities that will affect your agency’s finances.

Tarik Rahmani, President, Cal Cities Fiscal Officers Department and Deputy City Manager, Carson

Michael Colantuono, Managing Shareholder, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC
Nick Romo, Legislative Representative, League of California Cities
Jessica Sankus, Legislative Representative, League of California Cities

Visit with Sponsors

10:15-10:45 a.m.

Visit with several vendors offering products and services to benefit you and your city. Coffee, tea, and water will be available.

Creative Budget Management Tips

10:45 a.m.-noon

For finance directors, having a smooth budget management strategy not only saves time and resources for your city, it saves you from the stress that can come with it. Hear from city finance directors and their creative strategies in managing a complex, multi-faceted city budget.

Roberta Raper, Department Director, Cal Cities Fiscal Officers Department, Finance Director, West Sacramento

Lauren Lai, Finance Director, Milpitas
Mike McCann, Principal, McCann Consulting

Networking Lunch

noon-1:15 p.m.

CalPERS Pension Update

1:15-2:30 p.m.

Hear from a panel of experts on the latest developments, decisions, and outlook regarding the state’s developments and the current pension climate.

Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO, League of California Cities

Marcie Frost, CEO, CalPERS
Lisa Middleton, Mayor, Palm Springs

Visit with Sponsors

2:30-2:45 p.m.

Visit with several vendors offering products and services to benefit you and your city. Coffee, tea, and water will be available.

Addressing Pension Liability Without POBs: City of Upland's BLAST Strategy

2:45-4:00 p.m.

Learn about the city of Upland and its innovative approach to addressing pension liability. First, receive an overview and background on pension liabilities, CalPERS policies, and Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs). Panelists will review why POBs were so compelling, what has changed, and what other options may be available now. Then, hear about a recent case in the city of Upland, where potential litigation derailed its plans to issue POBs. The team was required to pivot and determine new creative ways to address their Unfunded Accrued Liability (UAL). It’s a story of persistence, heartbreak, innovation, and success, culminating in Upland 'BLASTing' away their UAL.


Ward Komers, Assistant Director of Finance, Temecula

Kim Byrens, Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP
Julio Morales, Senior Managing Director, Kosmont Financial Services
Stephen Parker, Assistant City Manager, Upland

Visit with Sponsors

4:00-4:15 p.m.

Visit with several vendors offering products and services to benefit you and your city. Coffee, tea, and water will be available.

Vital Information When Considering a Transaction and Use Tax (TUT)

4:15-5:30 p.m.

Agencies wrestling with balancing annual budgets may find a reduction in expenditures to be temporary and one-sided, especially post-pandemic. There are now more than 400 TUT's in place statewide, some designated for specific purposes, while others are available for general use. This session will provide examples of the timelines, workflow, and approaches taken by successful agencies to pass and implement a TUT.

Karin Schnaider, Past President, Cal Cities Fiscal Officers Department and Assistant City Manager, Tracy

Susie Woodstock, Principal, HdL Companies
Bobby Young, Director of Client Services, HdL Companies

Cal Cities Sales Tax Working Group Update

5:15-5:30 p.m.

Receive an overview and update on the Cal Cities Sales Tax Working Group.

Roberta Raper, Department Director, Cal Cities Fiscal Officers Department, Finance Director, West Sacramento
Karin Schnaider, Past President, Cal Cities Fiscal Officers Department and Assistant City Manager, Tracy

Joint Networking Reception

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Make new friends and catch up with old ones while enjoying delicious appetizers and tasty beverages during the evening networking reception. This joint reception is open to attendees from all three Cal Cities conferences: the Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar, Municipal Finance Institute, and City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar. It's the perfect opportunity to form support networks inside and outside your profession.

Thursday December 8

Registration Open

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00-9:00 a.m.

California State and Local Economic Update

9:00-10:15 a.m.

The forces affecting our economy and finances are many: interest rates, inflation, home prices, war in Europe, state tax refunds, the American Recovery Plan Act, Inflation Reduction Act, remote work, climate change, and a travel industry in recovery. This panel of leading experts will analyze economic and financial trends as they discuss the year ahead for California cities. The group will identify important emerging trends in the economy and the linkages with municipal revenues, services, and costs.

Michael Coleman,

Ted Egan, Chief Economist, City and County of San Francisco
Somjita Mitra, Chief Economist, California Department of Finance
Tracy Vesely, Principal, HdL Companies


10:15-10:45 a.m.

Use this time to grab luggage and take a break before information packed sessions and closing lunch.

Case Study: Public-Private Cybersecurity Partnerships are the New Normal

10:45 a.m.-noon

The public sector is one of the top targets for cybercriminals. They know that encrypting one small system can easily disable an entire community. We have all heard tragic stories of confidential information being stolen and made public, money seized, and data compromised. Learn the steps from two cities who have taken action against cyberattacks, and how doing so made their communities safer, more secure, and stable. Finally, understand how you can overcome common roadblocks that can complicate the path to success with cybersecurity and technology, including funding and partnerships.

Scott Pettingell, Second Vice President, Cal Cities Fiscal Officers Department and Assistant Finance Director, Roseville

Marc Coopwood, Assistant Chief of Police (ret.), Vice President, Public Sector, Apex Technology Management
Manuel Orozco, Finance Director, Willits
Jay Varney, County Administrative Officer, County of Madera

Closing Luncheon and Peer Advice Panel: How to Thrive as a City Finance Director

noon-1:30 p.m.

A panel of California finance directors will share their thoughts, strategies, and recent experiences, the widespread challenges that surfaced, and what they learned. Find opportunities for collective learning during the session.

Dennis Kauffman, Past President, Cal Cities Fiscal Officers Department and ACM/CFO, Roseville

Julia Cooper, Director of Finance, San José
Brigitte Elke, Finance Director, San Luis Obispo
George Harris, Director of Finance/IT, Lancaster


1:30 p.m.


Explore Previous Institutes
2019 Session Materials

Thank You Sponsors

Speaker Center

In the Speaker Center, you can find resources for all speaker-related details including deadlines, audiovisual requests, presentation submission directions, panelist agreements, and key event contacts. 

Speaker Agreement

Below are key presenter deadlines and a link to the Speakers Agreement. Please read and complete the required fields to acknowledge your acceptance of the League of California Cities’ presenter guidelines. Providing your digital signature allows Cal Cities to move forward in planning and promoting your session, as well as publish your name and affiliation on our website and in marketing materials. Your contact information will remain strictly confidential.

Should you have any questions, please contact the education department.

Important deadlines 

Today: Complete the Speakers Agreement and note any specific audiovisual requests. On the day of their presentation, speakers are provided a one-day complimentary registration (not including meals or special events), which needs to be completed via the form. If you would like to register for additional conference days or activities, please contact Megan Dunn.

Speaker Agreements must be submitted as soon as possible .

August-October: To ensure each speaker is comfortable with their responsibilities during the presentation, please hold at least one conference call with all of the panelists in your session. The session planning chair, typically the person who submitted the proposal for the conference, is responsible for connecting with the other speakers to hold a session planning call.

November 28: PowerPoint presentations are due. Please upload via the submission link.

Presentation Guidelines and Submission

Our goal is to provide exceptional educational experiences, networking opportunities, and innovative tools that will make attendees and their cities more successful. Studies show that adults learn best when they are actively involved in the process rather than passively listening or watching. Most attendees are knowledgeable about the subject, and therefore are interested in hearing what others know and what their experiences have been. Accordingly, we urge you to plan your presentation with these suggestions in mind.

The most common complaints on session evaluations from prior seminars are:
  • "The presentation was a 'sales' pitch for a particular product or service."
  • "I couldn't read the slides."
  • "One speaker took so much time that the others were not able to give their full presentations."
  • "I'd like more practical knowledge."
Please consider the following as you prepare for your presentation:
  • Relevant content for experienced audiences that stretches thinking and provides new approaches.
  • Content that is delivered in an engaging way and draws on the experience of the attendees.
  • Examples and case studies of real success (and successful failures).
  • Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point. We all remember a good story, and thus more easily the lesson with it.
  • Provide tools and information that the audience can implement.
  • If there are other speakers in your session, coordinate with them in advance to decide your speaking order and ensure that all presentations fit into the assigned time allotment. If you do not have the contact information for your co-presenters, please contact us at
  • Selling from the podium creates conflict of interest problems. Cal Cities educational sessions should never be an advertisement. Therefore, presentations may not include any commercialism for specific products or consulting services.

Submitting Your Session Materials

Presentation materials are an important element of Cal Cities educational programs. Submitting your PowerPoint or other session materials via the submission link by November 28 guarantees your materials will be posted in time for the Municipal Finance Institute. Session materials are offered electronically only. 


Session Layout and Structure

The League of California Cities encourages our presenters to use the most engaging educational platform possible when speaking at the Municipal Finance Institute. We recognize that each session has a unique format and presentation style based on the preferences of the speaker(s) and content being presented, but the following three examples are provided as a general guideline in planning your session.

Panel Discussions: 75 minutes, with up to 3 speakers
Moderator (5 minutes)     
  • Welcome
  • Frame session
  • Introduce speakers
Speaker(s) #1, #2 and #3 (20 minutes)   
  • Summary of relevant experience
  • Learning objectives
  • Core session content
  • Summary of key points
Moderator (10 minutes)   
  • Facilitate Q&A
  • Final comments
Panel Discussions: 75 minutes, 1 speaker
Moderator (5 minutes)     
  • Welcome
  • Frame session
  • Introduce speaker
Speaker #1 (60 minutes)            
  • Summary of relevant experience
  • Learning objectives
  • Core session content
  • Summary of key points
Moderator (10 minutes)   
  • Facilitate Q&A
  • Final comments
As a reminder, sessions may not include any product/service demonstrations or commercial presentations for specific products or consulting services. Please contact the education department with any questions, concerns or assistance needs you may have.


Call for Proposals

Cal Cities is seeking thorough, thoughtful, and complete proposals that tell how your session can help elected city officials improve their communities, leadership abilities, and knowledge within their roles. Submissions from any individual, group, business, or organization on any topic are welcome. The call for proposals for the 2022 Municipal Finance Institute is closed and will reopen in early 2023.  

We encourage you to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to share your ideas, knowledge, and expertise with this important audience! For questions, please contact Katie Pebler.

General Information

Who Can Submit

Submissions, from any individual, group, business or organization, are welcome through June 23. Please remember that all sessions require a well-conceived presentation, good visuals, and a great deal of rehearsal!

How It Works

Only proposals submitted online through the proposal form will be considered. As there is a limit to the amount of words allowed within the title and description of each proposal, it may be helpful to draft the proposal in a word-processing program first, then paste the final version into the online form.

Target Audience

This educational event is designed to keep finance directors up-to-date on issues of importance to them and their cities.


All About Proposals
Securing a spot on the program is highly competitive, with approximately 25 percent of proposals being accepted. You can increase your chances by preparing a thorough, thoughtful, and complete proposal that tells how your session would help city leaders and those who work within city governments to improve their careers and communities. When preparing your proposal consider the following elements:

  • Is the topic new and/or critical for city government?
  • Will it draw a wide audience?
  • Will this issue stimulate action and further important discussion?
  • Does the panel reflect the diversity of California cities (north/south, large/small, urban/rural)?

Tips for Successful Proposals

  • Think big
  • Vary the viewpoint
  • Pare down the panel
  • Speaker skills matter
  • Plan for a crowd
  • Try something new
  • Interact with the audience
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Quality counts

Types of Proposals

More than 95 percent of each year's conference programming comes directly from the open call for proposals. Sessions may be scheduled as a general session or concurrent session at Cal Cities' discretion. Select one of the available formats listed below that best fits your topic and desired outcomes or propose an alternative session format.

  • Keynote Speaker 
    Keynote speakers are high-profile and designed to bring everyone together for a general session / and may set the tone of the event. This format permits approximately 45-60 minutes of an engaging presentation by a single speaker. Depending on time restrictions, the presentation may be followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers with the audience or a moderator. 
  • Panel Discussion
    Panels consist of a moderator and a maximum of three speakers who participate in a 60 minute engaging presentation and discussion followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers.
  • Speed Sessions
    Fifteen minute bursts of information on one topic by one speaker followed by five minutes of questions & answers. Typically, these engaging presentations are based on focused projects or personal experience.
  • Facilitated Group Discussion
    A 75 minute interactive conversation on a topic led by a single facilitator. You may include a maximum 15 minute presentation on which the issue/concern is framed and, then, guide a discussion among the attendees with prepared questions. At the conclusion of the discussion, the facilitator must spend time summarizing key findings, suggestions, and points. 
  • Alternative Format
    Be creative! If your session does not fit one of the above formats, this is your opportunity to propose something different. Please be sure to provide the time, room setup, and other important details. Alternative formats will be accommodated based on interest level, space, and set-up availability.


Requirements, Review, and Policies

Submission Requirements and Review

Submissions will be reviewed by a program planning committee.
Cal Cities reserves the right to modify accepted proposal session titles, descriptions, presenters or other elements as necessary to insure balance, quality and enhance marketability. If an originally accepted speaker cancels, the session may be disqualified. Additional speakers not included in the original proposal are not permitted to be added without review and approval.

Successful Proposal Considerations

The following criteria may be considered during the review of submissions:

  • Relevance - What are the practical applications of your ideas? Have you included reasoning and documentation to support your conclusions, recommendations and outcomes? Conference attendees prefer presentations focused on outcomes or results. Make the definition and background portions of your presentation brief. Highlight problems encountered, options available, choices made, documented pre- and post-change effects and lessons learned.
  • Content expands attendees' knowledge - Will your presentation expand knowledge beyond entry-level basics? Most conference participants are elected officials, appointed officials, and seasoned professionals. In general, direct your presentation to an intermediate or advanced audience.
  • Originality - Does your presentation advance existing ideas or present new ideas? Has this material been presented elsewhere? You might apply proven techniques to new problems or identify and apply new approaches, techniques or philosophies. Assess the degree to which an application is a new tool. Avoid highlighting a named product or service…focus instead on the general attributes, benefits and drawbacks of a given application, process or tool.
  • Examples - Do you have an appropriate number of examples? Documenting comparative results convinces participants that your ideas have been tested in the real world.
  • Timeliness - Will your presentation still be up-to-date and cutting-edge in six to nine months when the conference occurs? Will your topic have implications in the future? How relevant is your topic in the context of pending legislation, regulations and technology?
  • Inclusion of good, solid insights - What attendees want to learn is the reality versus the hype, the positive and negative attributes, problems encountered but not often discussed, realistic expectations for the operational use and adaptability to a changing environment. They are searching for guidelines and models to simplify or manage their own application or installation.
  • Logical conclusions - Are your conclusions supported by data? Attendees place a high value on supporting data in assessing the value and applicability of presentations. Include adequate and convincing details.
  • Identification of outside resources - Have you included sources of information, benchmark data or other examples?
  • Avoidance of product/vendor commercial - No commercials and/or proprietary information for particular products, services or vendors are permitted.
  • Completeness of proposal - The quality, completeness and accuracy of the proposal will be considered during the session selection process.
  • Preferred Speaker Qualifications - Panelists should reflect the diversity of California with a north/south, large/small, urban/rural representation when possible.
    • Five or more (5+) years of public presentation experience.
    • Two or more (2+) years of experience related to working in or presenting on the topic or idea.
    • More than two (2) successful speaking engagements to large audiences at a regional or state level in the past two years.
    • Must not pose a conflict of interest with subject/business area or must disclose such information in each speaker bio submitted.
    • No commercialism.

To ensure a variety of perspectives, Cal Cities policy limits the number of times an individual, group, business or organization can speak at a single conference. In addition, each panel should have no more than one panelist per city/county, firm, company or organization (exceptions may apply).

  • Overall - In the end, you must make your case for the importance of this topic and its relevance to participants.

Registration and Speaker Policy

The League of California Cities is unable to provide complimentary registration or any reimbursement of expenses, travel, or other compensation. We recognize and deeply appreciate your interest and commitment. The success of our program depends on the efforts of practicing professionals willing to volunteer their time for professional education.

Privacy Policy

We value your privacy and will never share any of your personal information nor sell your e-mail address to an outside party.