Fiscal leadership and the modern city
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At the heart of a thriving city is a healthy balance sheet — critically important, yet rarely a headline-maker. To prosper, cities must continually invest, carefully balancing current needs with past promises and future obligations. The present-day tenuousness of city fiscal health is the result of expanded burdens, from aging infrastructure to employee obligations, and diminished resources from external sources, both state and federal. On April 27–28, 2015, the Initiative on Cities at Boston University hosted Fiscal Leadership and the Modern City — a two-day summit that brought together mayors, chief financial officials, city and town managers, and financial and economic professionals to discuss how cities are tackling contemporary fiscal constraints with 21st century financial tools. This report summarizes the conference’s discussions, highlighting the success stories of several public leaders who have steered their cities clear of financial crises and the new tools available to cities seeking long-term fiscal stability. Disclaimer: This report reflects the contents of Fiscal Leadership and the Modern City, a City Leadership Summit hosted by the Boston University Initiative on Cities on April 27–28, 2015 in Boston, MA. The facts and supporting data contained in this report were stated by the panelists during the Summit.
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