History of CMTA

History of CMTA

In the beginning there was Tim Shugrue, Treasurer of Glendale, California. Because he felt it was important that City Treasurers get together for lunch on a regular basis, to discuss common problems, he invited several local treasurers to participate in monthly meetings. By 1959, this group had grown to 20 and they chartered the California Municipal Treasurers Association with Tim as its first President.

Letters were mailed to treasurers of all cities over 5,000 in population, explaining the purpose of the organization and inviting them to the first seminar that was held in San Mateo in April 1960. Annual dues were established at $5 for city members and $20 for associate members. At the Sacramento seminar in 1961, the state was divided into seven divisions to facilitate holding luncheon meetings within reasonable driving distance in each division.

With the help of the State Treasurer, Bert Betts, and the use of the well-written brochure, Let's Climb on the Band Wagon, membership and attendance at the annual seminars in Monterey in 1962, San Diego in 1963, and Santa Rosa in 1964 grew by leaps and bounds. In 1964, The City Treasurer and the Law was published by the League of California Cities. At the 1965 seminar in Bakersfield, board members were asked to come up with the logo or emblem. The logo chosen, and still used by CMTA, was designed by Leona (Paine) Gealta, San Fernando. The first roster was printed as a booklet. Also it was decided to send invitations nationwide to cities of over 10,000 in population for the 1966 seminar in Palo Alto, and 20 out-of-state treasurers attended.

In 1967, at the seminar in Anaheim, more out-of-state treasurers attended which led to the first meeting of the National Municipal Treasurers Association in Washington, D.C. in 1968. CMTA met in Sacramento that year, proud that their leadership was instrumental in starting the National Association. For the next year, both organizations shared the newsletter, Treasury Digest, after which it became the communication medium for MTA. In 1967, CMTA began its support of proposed legislation by authorizing Walter Reed, Pasadena, to travel to Sacramento to speak on CMTA's behalf. This was just the beginning of CMTA's active legislative roll.

In April 1968, the Constitution was amended to provide for membership of retired treasurers as "sustaining members." After the seminar in Santa Barbara in 1969, the first Treasurers Newsletter was published to keep everyone informed on CMTA announcements, treasury-related issues, and a handbook was authorized for printing and sale.

The seminars held in Pasadena in 1970, San Jose in 1971, and San Diego in 1972, reflected continued strong leadership that refined CMTA's goals and objectives. After the 1973 seminar in Fresno the roster was expanded by Gloria Curry, Del Mar, to include individual and organization names.

Additional membership growth was reported at the seminars held in Monterey in 1974 and Palm Springs in 1975. After the Santa Cruz seminar in 1976, Jesse Unruh, State Treasurer, established the Local Agency Investment Fund, which has been very helpful to small cities. At the seminar held in Newport Beach in 1977, George Ramos, Imperial Beach, volunteered to head a committee to develop what became The City Treasurers Handbook. In San Jose in 1978, Dewey Evans, Mountain View, proposed what has become CMTA's Certification Program to advance the professional level of Municipal Treasurers. It became the model for the certification program instituted by the Municipal Treasurers Association of the United States and Canada.

In 1978, a team of Treasurers made up of Mary Turner, Fullerton; Yvonne Calmes, West Covina; Richard McCoy, San Jose; Tom Rupert, Torrance; George Ramos, Imperial Beach; Dewey Evans, Mountain View; and Marcus Woodard, Sierra Madre, realized the need to further educate Treasurers and their staff. As a result of recognizing this need they organized and facilitated the first educational workshops.

At the 1979 annual seminar in San Diego, the membership approved a budget, which included two educational workshops a year, one in the North, the second in the South. The committee conducting these workshops has continued to receive its inspiration and dedication from the example set by the late Marcus Woodward, Sierra Madre, which led to the establishment of the Marcus Woodward Memorial Fund in recognition of his efforts.

Marcus Woodward was a soft spoken, gentle and easygoing person. His life was dedicated to helping others. After working for the County of Los Angeles for 40 years, he "retired" and became Treasurer of Sierra Madre. In his spare time he was on the Boy Scout Board of Directors, edited and produced a 12-page monthly newspaper for the Masonic Order, taught communication at a nearby college and was on the board of directors for CMTA. Although he was in his 70s, he completed a salary survey, initiated a statewide membership drive and helped get our education program off the ground. He died while serving as president-elect in 1980.

The seminars held in Sacramento in 1980 and Indian Wells in 1981 had important sessions on the increasing complexity of investments. After the 1982 seminar in San Mateo, mini-workshops were held in each of the seven divisions, pre-conference workshops also began this same year. In 1988, the Board added an advanced two-day workshop, which was held in Arcadia, and in 1989, it was held in Yountville. Our Association celebrated its 25th Silver Anniversary in 1984. At this anniversary seminar, the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct was approved by the membership.

In 1984-85, President Tom Friery, Sacramento, appointed a joint Professional Standards Committee to work with the California County Treasurers Association and the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers on issues relative to all three organizations. Mary Turner, Anaheim, chaired a committee, which developed a document of Investment Policy and Guidelines.

In 1988-89, Zenda James, Union City, chaired a committee to review and update this document. In 1989-90, Patricia Elliott, Pomona, chaired the committee, which completed and distributed the revision of the Statement of Investment Policy. The revision is a new document, which offers generic policy suggestions and considerations when creating a policy for your agency.

Pat Elliott also came up with the idea of a "Past-President's Pin" and the first pins were presented to all the past-presidents in Bakersfield in 1986. This same year, our first Past-President's raffle was held. Chaired by Mary Turner, Anaheim, members and associates donated the gifts, which were raffled off to the tune of $1,200 with the proceeds pledged to the CMTA Education Fund.

In 1988, the Board approved a Certificate of Compliance for Governmental Associates, which states they have completed all the requirements for Certification. President Pat Elliott, Pomona, appointed a General Plan Committee to review such items as divisional boundaries, divisional activities, term of office and other matters relating to how CMTA does business.

In 1989, the newsletter received a new look and purpose. CMTA contracted with a graphic designer to redesign the newsletter and give it a new name, Dollars & $ense. As the newsletter is the most important communication tool that we have, educational articles were introduced making it a professional publication.

During 1990-91, President Gordon Ford, Palo Alto, stressed improving the image of municipal treasurers and building better relations with other organizations. Mary Turner, City of Anaheim, developed a manual called Understanding Your Treasury and Finance Departments.

In 1991-92, the CMTA Board of Directors placed high priority on actively working for state legislation, which would improve Treasury operations. With the assistance of many Treasurers throughout the state, CMTA succeeded in introducing AB 2274 (Alpert), which will allow full cost recovery for processing NSF checks. During this year, as a result of Suzanne Salter's efforts, a much-needed new brochure was produced for the CMTA Certification Program and the new Certificate of Compliance for Government Associates.

During 1992-93, the Board of Directors made a concerted effort to review our organization's policies and procedures. Steps were taken to improve our internal control system of accounting for receipts and disbursements between our committees and the league office; discussions began to review the membership status of our government associate members; general guidelines were established to help determine which items of proposed legislation we should support, oppose, or take no position; and, division chairs were asked to review their boundaries to determine if changes were necessary to make divisions more efficient. The 1993-94 board was then left with the task of completing each of these projects.

1993-94 proved to be a "clean-up" year. Committee work that had started some four years earlier was concluded with the addition of four new divisions, one in the southern half of the state and three in the northern. Another committee researched negative input from Government Associate members and recommended that the Board of Directors equalize the dues structure and the educational workshop registration fees for both active and Government Associate members. This was accepted by the Board and the new dues/registration fee structure went into effect for the 1994-95 fiscal year.

In 1994-95 Orange County filed bankruptcy due to enormous losses in the County Pool. This action by Orange County affected the confidence in local government's investment and borrowing programs in California. The losses and lack of confidence created quite a flurry in Sacramento with twenty-four plus proposed senate bills before the various committees in Sacramento to vote on. President Mirabelli appointed three additional members to CMTA's Legislative committee to assist the Legislative Chair with review and reporting on the status of this proposed legislation. In addition, CMTA worked very closely with our sister organizations, CSMFO, CACTIC, and the League of California Cities in developing joint responses on the proposed legislation.

1995-96 was a very active year both externally and internally for CMTA. As a follow up to 1994-95, SB866 and SB564 became laws mandating reporting and investment related requirements.

In addition to the beginning and advanced education workshops, the Education Committee also held five Governing Board Workshops throughout the State of California. The workshop purpose was to assist local governing boards for both cities and special districts, in understanding their role and responsibility as it relates to investments. The response to the workshops was extremely positive.

CMTA also worked on a join project with CDAC, the League, Special Districts Associations, the California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors and CSMFO to develop an information video on investments.

Internally, the Board of Directors held a workshop devoted entirely to reviewing and updating CMTA Bylaws. Along with the revisions to the Bylaws, policy and procedure manuals were developed for all of the Standing Committees and Chairs.

1996-97 was a year of polishing and refining. Our CMTA Treasurer's Handbook was completely revised from front to back, including the Appendixes, to reflect to current law. The Handbook also, for the first time, became available on disk. The final printed Board Manual was presented to the Board by Past President Adair Most who was the catalyst for its creation. The information video on investments was mailed to all Mayors in the State of California. The Local Agency Investment Guidelines, a joint effort of CMTA, CDAC, CSMFO and others, were mailed to City Treasurers and are available nationally through the League. We became a member of the World Wide Web with the help of Eric Frost and the City of Watsonville. We can be reached at www.cmta.org.

Our education committee, under the leadership of Jean Ruth, revised our workshop format by adding a highly successful Intermediate Workshop. Jean submitted our workshops programs to MTA US & C and for the first time, CMTA received pre-approved MTA certification points. The committee also presented a Governing Boards session at both the League of California Cities Annual Conference and their Leadership Academy.

During 1998-99, President Gierhart added a position of Special District Liaison to the Board of Directors. The Board voted unanimously to recommend a change in the by-laws to allow special district and other local government treasurers full active membership. This change was voted on at the annual meeting on April 21, 1999 and was approved by the general membership. An effort was led by Commercial Liaison, Les Wells to form a consortium of commercial associate members. At the 1999 annual conference, the consortium became a reality and was a huge success.

During 1999-2000, Commercial Liaison Les Wells recruited Camee Lewis to lead a committee of Commercial Associates who developed and successfully implemented the first CMTA Education Golf Tournament for the benefit of the education programs.

During 2000-01, the Board decided to develop a Conference Committee to help coordinate and organize the Annual CMTA Conference. The purpose is to work along with the Host City, distribute work assignments and responsibilities among Committee Members. The goal is to relieve the overall burden of a Host City to be fully responsible for the coordination of the Annual Conference from year to year. It is a process of forming a partnership between the Host City and CMTA. And making this a positive experience for City's interested in hosting an Annual Conference.

During 2003/04 there was a significant permanent change in the annual conference as the membership voted to officially have the Conference Chair and Conference Committee brought back in-house and to not rely on cities to host an annual conference. This came after a two-year successful pilot program. In addition, the President-Elect's duties were changed to no longer be the Conference Program Chair and to focus on membership recruitment and retention. In conjunction with the above, a complete update of the standing rules including updates of all board positions was started. A commercial resource directory by type of services performed was completed by the Commercial Associate liaison in time for the next year's CMTA roster and should be useful tool for new and existing Treasurers looking for services and whom might provide them.

California Municipal Treasurers Association
700 R Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA. 95811
P: 916-231-2144
F: 916-231-2141