The Division of Local Services is launching a series of virtual training modules covering key concepts important to new local officials as well as those seeking a better understanding of municipal finance.

Foundations in Municipal Finance for the New Official” guides participants through a full year in municipal finance, interspersing functions and tasks that impact past, present and future fiscal years.

The training outlines the budget process in both practical and policy terms, highlights best practices for sound financial management, and explains how each municipal official’s role contributes to the overall financial health of a community.

Interactive slides display helpful information and resources, while four narrative voices, representing multiple fiscal years, provide important context and seasonality to the subject matter. The DLS recommends starting with the introduction and continuing with the summer, fall, winter and spring modules following the fiscal year calendar.

In 2020, the DLS suspended its “New Officials Finance Forum” seminar, an annual spring gathering for newly elected and appointed officials that covered the basics of municipal finance. Since that time, the DLS has reexamined the training and decided to overhaul its approach.

The DLS remains committed to supporting its colleagues in local government and offering relevant, accessible trainings, guidance and resources to those interested in municipal finance. During a “Meet DLS” webinar on Oct. 24, DLS bureau chiefs shared the agency’s mission and covered the information and resources DLS offers to cities and towns. The presentation slides are available online and the webinar recording is available on the DLS YouTube channel.

On Nov. 16, the DLS will host a webinar about the new, faster way city and town clerks can notify the DLS about any Proposition 2½ votes for the current fiscal year by entering them directly into DLS Gateway. Registration is available online. Local officials can also review the DLS’s online self-help guide.

Local officials are encouraged to visit the DLS Municipal Finance Training and Resource Center and subscribe to its YouTube channel to stay updated on new items.