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Dues and Conference Fees Increases

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
by W. Clarke Whitfield Jr.

The LGA’s operational year begins September 1, and with a new year comes a new budget. This year, there are several operational changes that have affected our budget on both the revenue and expense side; those adjustments will cause a change for members as well, in both member benefits and costs.

              In an ongoing effort to provide you better service, the LGA Board of Directors recently relaunched LGA’s website. Among other improvements, the website now offers access to the Handbook on Local Government Law. As an online resource, the Handbook can easily be accessed by all the attorneys, paralegals, and staff in a local government office or law firm. We believe that the Handbook is one of the most valuable resources we offer our members and we are excited to be able to provide it in an easier, more technologically advanced format. As of now, the Handbook is only accessible online to members who purchased the CD in 2016; however, the LGA Board has decided to include online access to the Handbook as an included benefit to all members, beginning with the 2017 edition.

              In the past, Handbook sales provided revenue of more than $25,000. To partially recoup that revenue, LGA’s dues will increase beginning with fiscal year 2018. Based on a sliding scale, smaller localities and firms will pay a lower percentage increase and no member dues increase more than the cost of the Handbook. Thus, if a member locality or firm already purchases a Handbook, they will not be paying any more than currently owed for dues and Handbook combined and most localities and firms will be paying a lower total.  For localities that have not purchased the Handbook in the past, there is an increased cost, but they will be receiving a valuable legal resource at less than its current cost.        

              The LGA Board also voted to change the active VML/VACo category to “Other Active” and include the public school members with counsel independent from the locality, which are currently required to pay the highest amount of dues because of the size of the locality in which they are located.

As the dues increase is not effective until 2018, members will have no-cost access to the Handbook in 2017 and member localities will have a chance to include the dues increase in their budgets before the increase is effective. Dues invoices reflecting the new membership rates will be sent in September 2017. 

Sliding scale $ increase

Current Dues

$ Increase

New Dues

Active Under 5K

$240

$10

$250

Active Under 15k

$300

$25

$325

Active Under 50k

$350

$75

$425

Active Under 100k

$520

$130

$650

Active Under 200k

$790

$150

$940

Active Over 200k

$960

$150

$1,110

Other Active (VML/VACo/School Boards)

$410

$100

$510

Associate 1-5

$300

$50

$350

Associate 6-10

$350

$75

$425

Associate 11-20

$410

$100

$510

Associate 21-40

$520

$130

$650

Associate 41+

$630

$120

$750

Other Associate

$410

$100

$510

 

The LGA’s budget also reflects some changes in operational costs. Our new contract for administrative support and conference services with UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service reflects a significant increase. The Cooper Center, under a new financial policy adopted by UVA, had to increase its charges to all of its clients, including the LGA. The LGA Board was notified of a cost increase in February so it had the opportunity to investigate other avenues for obtaining these services as well as negotiate the proposed price with the Cooper Center. After productive negotiation and consideration of two proposals, the Board voted to continue our relationship with the Cooper Center.  Another significant change in the LGA budget has been the expense of developing the LGA’s website. We have spent $20,000 thus far and anticipate additional expenses of $20,000 as we move into a second phase of increased functionality for the site.

              Based on these increased operational costs, together with an upward push in costs for conference venues, the LGA Board voted to increase conference registration fees. Full conference registration fees will increase by $50; partial registration costs will remain the same.  The increase will not be implemented until next year, beginning with the Spring 2017 conference. The last increase in the cost of conference registrations occurred in 2013. With this increase, the LGA Board anticipates being able to hold conference registration fees stable for the next five years. 

               I believe that the wealth of knowledge, the excellent social events, and the priceless collegiality available to members at LGA conferences makes our conferences invaluable to members.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, October 4, 2016