John J. Bilafer died after a brief illness on July 10, 2018, in Burlington, Massachusetts, at age 86. His extensive work with GFOA included serving on GFOAs Executive Board (1992-1995), Nominating Committee, Committee on Retirement and Benefits Administration, and Committee on Cash Management; John was also GFOAs Parliamentarian. He was a reviewer for GFOAs Awards for Excellence, wrote articles for Government Finance Review, and developed training on cash management topics. In 1992, John testified before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance on behalf of GFOA and five other organizations about the reauthorization of the Government Securities Act, helping Congress recognize the need for sales practice rules in the government securities market.
While serving on the Executive Board, one of John's initiatives was to establish a "national model certification program recognized by public employers as the attainment of a prescribed level of accomplishment within the entire public finance profession." He served on the Strategic Training Taskforce, which led to the development of the Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFO) Program and its governing body, the Certification Council. John was the long-time chair of the council. He was an outstanding and respected leader.
John was from Arlington, Massachusetts. After achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy, he practiced law in Arlington while also serving as Board Selectman. In 1972, he was elected treasurer/controller of Arlington, where he implemented other post-employment benefits for town employees and co-chaired the first successful override. John remained in that post until he retired in 2005. At the same time he became treasurer, he was also elected to serve on the Arlington Contributory Retirement Board, which oversees the retirement fund for employees and retirees of the town. He served as chair of the board from 2001 until his passing.
In 1983, John petitioned the state legislature to allow...