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President's Message
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President's Message

Dear Members of the GFOA of New Jersey: 


As incoming President of the GFOA of New Jersey, i would like to thank all of your for your vote of confidence.  Throughout my 32 years of service in New Jersey government finance, I always looked at those who held this position with the highest level of respect and am now humbled by the opportunity to serve this organization in this capacity. I particularly want to thank Jon Reinhart for setting the bar very high. His direction has led to the GFOA having a meaningful seat at the table regarding policy issues. The Division of Local Government Service is interested in vetting directives and regulations with the GFOA. While there certainly has been similar communication in the past, the GFOA is now taking a much more active role.

As your President, I intend to continue down that path. RESPECT is very important to our profession. We stressed for many years the value of professional education and certifications, which has produced significant positive results. It is time we move on to the next level, RESPECT. When a governing body questions financial options their first statement should be, “what does our CFO think?” When the public wants answers, the CFO should provide them. When it comes to what is best for your community, you have access to the data, you have the expertise to analyze that data, YOU are the subject matter expert.

For example, the sun setting of the 2% cap on interest arbitration awards is currently of major concern. The CFO can provide full and accurate disclosure so that financial decisions (good or bad) are clear and understood. A seat at the negotiation table for each CFO is critical to ensure a positive outcome. It cannot be done without us.

it is the role of any professional association to further the interests of the individuals engaged in that profession. So, how can we, the GFOA, further your interests? We will continue to proactively engage with the State’s regulatory agencies and the Legislature. We will also support the efforts of the NJ League of Municipalities and the NJ Association of Counties to work collaboratively on resolving issues and providing training opportunities.

I am well aware of your concerns regarding FAST implementation, and believe me I share your frustration. The GFOA has been working very hard with the DLGS to achieve a common goal, SUCCESS. Sharing knowledge by way of support and assistance will lead to great benefits over the long term. Together, we can make this work!

I have seen many challenges that have been met by the GFOA over the last 32 years. I am looking forward to continued improvements for the advancement of our members and for the betterment of the financial community as a whole.

This conference has many great sessions intended to enhance our skills and abilities, as is necessary to give us confidence when responding with our opinions on financial options. I want to thank the Conference Committee for doing a wonderful job at putting together another GREAT conference agenda. I am sure you will all agree.


Gerry Seneski

President, Government Finance Officers Association of New Jersey