Incremental Steps to Move Away from Incremental Budgeting

Incremental budgeting is easy, convenient, and readily accepted as a standard process in government.  But is it the best approach?   Incremental budgeting also makes it difficult to reallocate funding based on current priorities, compare funding to service levels or performance, or facilitate strategic long-term decision making. Unfortunately, many governments never test what is best because changing a  key organizational process is difficult. This session will provide a plan forward using smaller (achievable) steps to build a better budget process.  Speakers will discuss how they were able to initiate efforts to reform the budget process and how they overcame common challenges along the way.

Patti Hetrick

Budget Director, Anoka County

Patti Hetrick is Anoka County’s Budget Director.  Currently, she is filling the Interim Library Director position for Anoka County. She is a graduate of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa with a major in Accounting and International Business.  She also obtained her Certified Internal Audit designation. Her career began at Cargill, Inc. in the International Audit Division.  After Cargill, she worked at G&K Services, helping the company to grow from a $70 M to $700 M Fortune 500 company.  She developed and directed the Internal Audit Department, the project management function, and the business manager training.  She also was part of the acquisition team, as well as overseeing the streamlining of 70 individual plants to 4 major warehouses across the US and Canada.  As she grew her family, she chose to work as a consultant, working with companies to streamline and improve purchasing of specialized operating expenses.  Since 2005, Patti has worked in County Government as the Budget Director, first at Sherburne County and now in Anoka.  Patti also is certified in Lean Process Facilitation and actively participates in the Continuous Improvement effort at Anoka County.

Brad Harris

Finance and Accounting Consultant, University of Tennessee - MTAS

Brad Harris is a finance and accounting consultant with the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS).  He has served as a member of the GFOA Budget and Fiscal Policy Committee as well as on the board of several not-for profit entities. Brad is a CPA and a Certified Municipal Finance Officer, and prior to working for MTAS he served as the finance director for the City of Athens, TN and Rhea County, TN. Brad’s passion is to help others grow in the field of government accounting. He teaches frequently through the United States on a variety of accounting topics, and had been designated as a Distinguished Fellow in Professional Practice by the University of Tennessee Masters in Public Policy and Administration Program.  He is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University and lives in Dayton with his lovely wife Beth and daughter Katie. His older daughter Hannah resides in Columbia, TN.

Walter C. Rossmann

Director of Finance, City of Milpitas

Walter currently serves as the Finance Director responsible for the budget, finance, and risk management function for the City of Milpitas. He is also a member of the GFOA Economic Development and Capital Planning Policy Committee and regularly speaks at state-wide and national conferences.  Prior to Milpitas, Walter served as the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Santa Clara and Assistant City Manager for the City of Sunnyvale.  He also held various positions in the field of budget and finance with the cities of Palo Alto, San Jose, and San Diego.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics and a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Administration.  


05/27/2020 at 11:00 AM (EDT)   |  75 minutes
05/27/2020 at 11:00 AM (EDT)   |  75 minutes
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No credits available  |  Certificate available
No credits available  |  Certificate available