This morning was the first day that I could sleep in and I took advantage of the time!! Claire and I slept in and then went out to a great breakfast. It was a wonderful Conference and hard to believe that it is over. Claire and I had a great time being roommates. She is a dear friend and our ASPA experience was made better by sharing things this year in San Jose. We serve on BIT together and now I will have even more insight to her knowledge as we move forward with BIT plans for the 2010-2011 year.
We packed up. When I finally got it all together, it took one entire cart to get all the things I had out of the room. It is amazing how many things I collected while here. I will be shipping most of them later in the week. Claire and I closed out our bills and then headed off our separate ways.
I ran into Paul Posner and sat with him as he ate breakfast. He was telling me about his plans to go on a mini-vacation after the conference. He reminisced about the years in leadership and I reminded him that he will still be called on even after his presidency. We walked to the closing plenary where we listened to the Mayors have a conversation.
The Closing Plenary was another great closing for the conference. Last year, we ended the conference with an in depth conversation on Immigration and this year ASPA is again at the forefront of the conversation. Chris Hoene, Director of the National League of Cities’ Center for Research and Innovation, was the moderator for the session titled Fiscal Challenges Confronting Cities. Mayors Mike Rotkin – Santa Cruz, CA, Ronald O. Loveridge – Riverside, CA and former Mayor Kay Barnes – Kansas City, MO all discussed the trials of being in this position of leadership during such harsh economic times. The CA stories were extraordinary and difficult to listen too. No matter what you read or hear from the media it is NEVER as good as hearing it from the mouth of the people living it. The situation is serious in CA and they will need some great leadership such as that in ASPA to guide them through these difficult times, but also to set the stage for the future of these towns and this country.
Mayor Barnes gave her perspective as a former leader and she was great as usual. Her insight was right on point as she assisted Kansas City when they were in the middle of their critical economic situation decades ago. Kay has been another mentor as she was one of the SIG # 3 National Council representatives.
The session ended with the changing of the ASPA leadership. Paul Posner gave an emotional goodbye speech and we all reminded him that he will not go far as he has leadership duties for the next three years. Past President Harvey White presented the oath of leadership to the officers: Tom Liou, Vice President; Erik Bergrud, President Elect and Meredith Newman, President. WOW!! I remember working on Meredith’s campaign in fall 2007!!! I am so happy for her!! Now onto the 2010 – 2011 Newman term.
Until my final entry …. Dara