Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Press Club hosts seminar on city, school budgets

With the ongoing economic downturn, Bay Area public agencies are facing a fiscal crisis. Layoffs, service cuts and new taxes or fees are being considered.

To help journalists explain complex budget stories to readers or viewers, the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club is hosting a seminar on Monday, Nov. 9, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on how to read and understand school and city budgets.

The seminar will begin with an in-depth examination of school funding sources, basic aid vs. revenue limit districts, budget terms and how to find key information that readers or viewers need to know. Jim Lianides, an assistant superintendent of the Sequoia Union High School District with more than 30 years of experience in public education, will provide the expertise.

Next, Brian Moura, the assistant city manager of San Carlos, will help untangle the complexity of municipal finance. For example, the printed budget for San Carlos, a suburban city of fewer than 30,000 residents, is nearly 300 pages. Moura has worked for San Carlos since 1986 and has an extensive background in budgeting.

Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. Food and drinks are permitted in the conference room. Please RSVP to
    Who: The seminar is free and open to all working journalists and journalism students. 
    What: Untangling School and City Budgets 
    Where: Sequoia Union High School District Offices, Birch Room, 480 James Ave., Redwood City 94062, Parking is available at the district office or on the street 
    When: Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, 1 to 3:30 p.m. 
    Why: The best journalists need to understand financing to tell better stories and help readers or viewers understand their public institutions and how tax money is spent.
About Dr. Lianides — In 30 years in public education, Dr. Lianides has served as a teacher, principal, chief business official and superintendent prior to joining the Sequoia district in Fall 2008. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California – Berkeley and a master's degrees from San Jose State University. In 2006, he completed his doctorate in educational leadership through a joint program between U.C. Berkeley and the three Bay Area campuses of California State University.

In his current role with the Sequoia district, Dr. Lianides serves as the chief business official and oversees the administrative services areas, including accounting, purchasing, technology, construction, facilities, transportation and food services.

About Brian Moura — Brian Moura served as both the Assistant City Manager and Finance Director for his first 11 years at the City of San Carlos as well as filling the positions of Assistant Executive Director of the San Carlos Redevelopment Agency, Human Resources Director, Interim Parks and Recreation Director and Interim Economic Development Director during his tenure.  He also managed the Capital Improvement Budget for the City of Hayward over a 7 year period while working at that City.

About the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club — The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club is a professional journalism organization serving the greater Bay Area. The Peninsula Press Club was founded in 1974 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions among professionals in various news and public relations organizations. Other goals include promoting professional competence and knowledge, encouraging students to enter journalism by awarding scholarships and providing an organization in which to share fellowship. Directors changed the club’s name in 2007 to the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.

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