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David Eichenthal


David Eichenthal is executive director of the Strong Cities Strong Communities National Resource Network and a managing director with the PFM Group's management and budget-consulting practice. Prior to joining PFM, Eichenthal served as president and CEO of the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies.

As city finance officer and director of performance review for Chattanooga, Tenn., Eichenthal oversaw implementation of one of the nation's first 311 systems and creation of a citywide performance-management initiative. In New York City, he was chief of staff to the public advocate, the city's second-highest elected official. He also served as the assistant inspector general of the New York City School Construction Authority and assistant deputy comptroller and counsel for special projects in the Office of the New York City Comptroller.

Eichenthal is the co-author of The Art of the Watchdog: Fighting Fraud, Waste, Abuse and Corruption in Government. He received his law degree from New York University and his B.A. degree in public-policy studies from the University of Chicago.

We need to do a better job of collecting what's owed, but we need to keep the focus on public safety, not revenue.
For distressed localities seeking a comeback, governance reform and corruption prevention are key.