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MRB Group plans to hold ‘SmarterLocalGov’ budget crisis roundtable sessions for community leaders

MRB Group President Ryan T. Colvin, PE, recently announced that members of his SmarterLocalGov planning and economic development team will be hosting a leadership roundtable for municipal officials on June 25th.

Titled “Local Government Strategies for the COVID-19 Budget Crisis,” the meeting for municipal leaders and finance officers will focus on a broader look at options, resources and perhaps some already-implemented creative responses, all of which leaders can consider to address anticipated budget shortfalls. Economic development and municipal finance experts Michael N’dolo and Matt Horn will facilitate the virtual roundtable event.

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“We work with a lot of communities who are rethinking everything,” said Colvin. He noted that MRB Group’s operations-minded approach usually involves guidance to municipal leaders regarding their day-to-day operations and long-term financial stability.

“No one could have predicted that a virus would turn local governments and municipal budgets upside down in 2020,” Colvin stated, “but we do understand the realities of financial hardships and stressors. That’s why we have added economic development, public finance and municipal operations experts in recent years to the MRB Group team, specifically to help our community leaders prepare for and address the extreme challenges of public leadership,” he continued.

“COVID-19 is a disaster with ongoing effects that are both obvious and insidious. There’s no sufficient preparation for something this enormous,” Colvin stated. “However, we’re in a pivotal moment. I believe it’s our response that matters most. The choices being made today, and the implementation of strategic planning during this critical time, will determine a community’s sustainability.”

“I’ve asked my team to prepare a roundtable that will put several innovative ideas and options on the table for discussion. Several communities we work with will be participating and sharing the approaches that they are currently using. Our team will facilitate the information-sharing. This will be a no-holds-barred thought-leadership exercise. Usually participants contribute to the discussions just as much as they take back to their communities,” Colvin said.

The roundtable event is scheduled for June 25 at noon. Interested community leaders should contact [email protected] to request an invitation and participation information. Prior to the roundtable, municipal officials, budget directors and finance officers can participate in a brief survey concerning current responses to COVID-19 and its impacts, which can be found at

“We have been hosting leadership roundtables for a number of years on various topics,” Colvin said, “and the format is usually a luncheon. Of course, we can’t gather together physically under the current social distancing measures, but will instead host a virtual gathering of leaders,” he stated.

“We encourage municipal officials to bring their own lunch to the computer, and share in a learning and sharing experience in the true roundtable tradition,” he concluded.

MRB Group is a municipal services, engineering, and architecture firm that has assisted communities throughout New York in providing essential services, such as water, wastewater treatment, and public facilities to residents since 1927. The SmarterLocalGov division was created in 2011, when community leaders needed access to expanded resources for community and economic development, along with guidance in the implementation of best practices and creating operational efficiency. For more information, visit