By Lynn Tipton, FCCMA Executive Director
We often say in the association world that members are the lifeblood. Can’t really have an association without them! Your association is celebrating 70 years this year, having been founded in 1946. (Interesting note: we found minutes from some type of meeting in 1942, but it appears to have been more exploratory than formal – and as it was during World War II and other matters were far more pressing we figured we’d stick with the official charter of 1946.) As an association that prides itself on professional development of local public managers across the Sunshine State, this is nearly four generations of existence—spanning decades of exponential growth statewide.
FCCMA is relatively quiet compared to some associations, and certainly has never had a reputation for wild excesses, out-of-control boards of directors or other negative aspects that plague some associations. How wonderful! In fact, to most members I would argue that out of sight is a bit of out of mind: if you don’t see something in your mailbox or inbox from FCCMA does it cross your mind regularly? My opinion is that both ICMA and FCCMA come to mind when you meet colleagues within the profession, when ethical questions arise (and you are grateful to have the Code to rely upon!), and when you need to expand your mind beyond the day-to-day and reconnect to the principles, theories and practices that first attracted you to the field. This association has been blessed with quiet, dedicated officers and board members who took care of, and continue to take charge of: charters, by-laws, membership drives, audits, financial statements, staffing arrangements, contracts, committees, and an annual budget. We aren’t as old as ICMA, but we aren’t too far behind, either – and we are one of the largest of the state affiliates with ICMA.
We’ll be celebrating this anniversary and also years of service awards for milestone memberships at the annual conference, and some members have been with us nearly as long as the association has existed – which is also tremendous in this transient nation of ours. I just wanted to take a few minutes to express my sincere appreciation for the officers and board members who cared enough to form the association as World War II came to a close, and to the countless men and women who served each year since to make sure Florida had a professional association for city, county and even special district managers. You know who you are – thank you! You are appreciated more than you know, and more than we have expressed over the years. Seventy years is a great foundation; here’s to the next 70 years!