This election week has illustrated many themes, but one that sticks out given the current state of affairs is that validating election results should be more streamlined than it is today. The sheer nature of human error causes doubts in many people’s minds whether validated or not. This holds true as well with data validation when it comes to benchmarking, surveying or any type of data collection your association is involved in.
State and National Municipal Leagues and Associations are providing much needed help and support to their members during the COVID pandemic. So many of the traditional resources that municipalities have relied on historically are not applicable today, leaving our municipalities even more reliant on collective thinking and idea sharing, that only hubs like associations can provide.
According to July 30, 2020 data from the National Governors Association, 70% of funds provided to states through the CARES Act have already been obligated for expenditures. At the same time, the National League of Cities states that only 10% of funds are available for local governments. The latest estimates show that there will be an excess of $360 Billion shortfall for local governments across the country over the next 3 years.
We asked Eric Conrad, Director of Communication and Education for Maine Municipal Association and a Dynamic Benchmarking client, to weigh in on a few questions. According to Eric, the biggest need that all of his municipalities have immediately is help with funding. The budget shortfalls are pervasive throughout his membership. Funding sources are shrinking while the need for services remains high, and in situations more services are needed. He also stated, “His members are requesting new resources primarily in the areas of budget training, education on navigating the new “Keep Me Healthy” state website, and diversity training.” Eric also said that, “Having a long-standing annual salary benchmarking study has proven valuable to his members in allowing them to highlight the impact COVID-19’s had on their 2020 numbers.”
2020 has certainly been one for the records, and the fallout will go on for several years to come. The importance of leagues and associations will continue to increase as our members navigate a post COVID world.
Let’s start the discussion with a question. It is a fact that no company or organization will ever achieve greatness until all barriers for everyone to participate and contribute are broken down. So why is it so hard to get it right, and why are organizations hesitant to tackle the issue? I submit that the reason is that they don’t know where to start, and they fear what they may find.