Michael Bryant, who is management and budget director for Mecklenburg County (North Carolina) Government and GFOA Executive Board member, was awarded the 2017 A. John “Jack” Vogt Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Advancement of Local Government Budgeting and Evaluation. The award is presented by the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association and recognizes innovators in advancing budget and evaluation practices. Recipients are nominated by past Vogt Award winners and must have a minimum of 10 years of local government service in North Carolina.
“I have always enjoyed working with budgets over the course of my career. Each budget cycle presents a different set of challenges and requires a team effort to develop a spend plan that meets the needs of the community,” said Bryant. “What excites me beyond the number crunching, is peeling back the layers to discuss the policies and array of services that are supported by the budget.”
Bryant has been with Mecklenburg County since 2003 and has nearly 20 years of experience in city, county, and state government. His career in government includes employment with the City of Durham, North Carolina; the North Carolina Governor’s Office; and Granville County, North Carolina.
Phil Bertolini, who is chief information officer for Oakland County, Michigan, and frequent contributor to GFOA conferences and training sessions, is a 2017 Governing Public Official of the Year. For every year since 1994, Governing has honored individual state and local government officials for outstanding accomplishment by naming them Public Officials of the Year. Phil Bertolini has spent the better part of his career dealing with tech issues for the second-largest county in Michigan, but what he’s best known for these days is his commitment to helping smaller communities around the state get access to better technology.
Oakland County has been providing shared services to other localities for decades, but Bertolini has taken that process a huge step further. In 2011, he brought the intergovernmental process online to let smaller governments with limited investment capacity take advantage of the work that bigger ones like Oakland County had already done. Soon after, the county followed up with the G2G Marketplace, an online store where governments can find lists of approved vendors and ready-to-go contracts that they can use to research and buy technology and services.
The reason for sharing is because it’s the right thing to do, Bertolini said. “Philosophically, I believe bigger governments should be helping smaller governments.”