Monday, October 13, 2014

Independent Registered Municipal Advisors - IRMA

Cender & Company are IRMA - Independent Registered Municipal Advisors with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Municipal Securities Regulatory Board (MSRB) and work primarily with municipal issuers and obligors in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.

We look forward to connecting to discuss your bond or short term financing needs.

This blog is somewhat dated, so head over to our website and blog at

Cender & Company - Municipal Advisors

Monday, November 5, 2012

To blog or to Facebook

Most of our regular posts and links are put on our more active Facebook page for Cender and Company, which of course would always welcome your likes.  

Since many of our clients are municipalities, we feature a series of links to articles that affect governing, using EGov and Gov 2.0 technologies, and financial matters pertaining to governance.   Some recent posts worth checking out:

Tax Exempt Parcels on the rise and creating long term budget planning difficulties

Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder, a client and friend, eliminates the appeals backlog he acquired when elected two years ago

Can innovation and governance co-exist?  We say yes definitely. 

More posts from our staff coming soon, as well as a weekly e-newsletter.  If you want to be added to our list please leave a comment below. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

East Chicago and Cline Avenue bridge

The East Chicago Indiana city council gave approval to the Mayor to begin the process of a public-private partnership to build a toll bridge for Cline Avenue.

Times Article

The agreement allows Copeland to proceed with a transfer of the state-owned 1.25-mile span over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal to a development group that will build, own and operate the new road.

In return for an estimated investment of between $150 million and $250 million to rebuild the bridge, United Bridge Partners stands to gain 10 years of tax abatement and 25 years of financial leverage through creation of a tax increment financing district beneath the overpass.

Though the toll has yet to determined, the city will collect 10 cents for every vehicle crossing between Hammond and Gary.

As a state highway, Cline Avenue currently generates no property taxes, said Karl Cender of Cender and Company, the council's financial adviser.

"After a private company rebuilds it, it will be assessed — but with a tax abatement for the first 10 years," Cender said.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Budgeting from a different perspective

One trend is that of "outcome budgeting" for public sector entities, from Governing Magazine.

We are tasked regularly with working alongside professional financial officials with Indiana Cities, Towns, Townships, Schools, and Counties. We would be pleased to review the options for your next budget cycle.

Another twist in outcome budgeting is that one agency can make a case that it can achieve another agency's results better, faster and cheaper, and propose to take it over. In Baltimore, Housing and Community Development saw a better way to handle burglar alarm registration, then housed in the police department. Housing's proposal integrated redesigns of the property and burglar alarm registration processes, which will improve service, increase revenue and save the 30 percent that had gone to a private contractor to collect false alarm fees. This combined redesign will net an additional $2.6 million. It will also free up police for more important work.

In some cases, the fiscal year 2011 budget cycle was used to put gears in motion for more significant change in the next cycle. For example, special recreation facilities, like ice rinks, driving ranges and others have been put on a path to self-sufficiency. Before, they received appropriations for their costs and their revenues went into the general fund. They had no incentive to ensure that revenues exceeded costs. Now their revenues will go into a special fund from which they can cover their costs. This year, they will still receive some, but less, general fund money and have been put on notice that general fund support is time-limited.

Another benefit of outcome budgeting is more accurately reflecting the true and full cost of activities, which facilitates the value comparisons that support better budget choices. For example, this year, the Balimtore stopped "free" collection of trash at public housing units; public housing will now have to bear that cost.

These results did not come easily. There were rough edges and the process required extraordinary effort. Kleine emphasizes that, "Outcome budgeting is not for the faint-of-heart. You need to have full commitment from the top and be prepared to stick with it for the long term."

Outcome budgeting (or its variants) is a growing trend, and has been used in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Savannah, Ga., as well as California and Colorado, as tough fiscal times are spurring reexamination of priorities.

After the fiscal year 2011 budget was adopted, Kleine and his staff held focus groups, listened carefully, and improved the process for the next cycle. New Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has endorsed outcome budgeting and personally kicked off Baltimore's fiscal year 2012 cycle. Everyone looks forward to even better results the second time around. Value-based decisions are becoming the norm in Baltimore's budgeting.

To learn more about outcome budgeting in Baltimore, please contact Budget chief Andrew Kleine at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ideas for public sector management today

Thought we'd post some of the articles we're reading on public sector (municipal finance) management today:

Could technology be the single best place for big budget savings for Indiana cities and towns?

We'd love to hear some best uses and benchmarks, who's using technology right now to save money in the delivery of government services?

The first wave of social and new media is rippling onto government shores, are you using social media in your municipal public sector organization? What are the results and best practices?

The 2010 data, released in September, shows that technology used by state governments is more consolidated than ever. In 2004, 46 percent of states said their technology systems were highly decentralized, with individual agencies operating their own -- sometimes duplicative -- systems. Only about 20 percent considered themselves highly consolidated. This year, those figures are reversed, with 42 percent viewing themselves as mostly consolidated and 21 percent predominantly decentralized.

How are you consolidating and providing more efficiency in IT in your organization?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cender Company in the news

We were able to make a bid/proposal to work with the Town of Burns Harbor on the establishment of a redevelopment allocation area and a possible bond refinancing.

Article in Chesterton Tribune on bids from Cender and Company and Umbaugh Associates

Cender and Company was awarded the work and will work with the Town of Burns Harbor on both projects. We are pleased to be working with yet another municipal organization in Northwest Indiana.