SEATTLE - The National Federation of Municipal Analysts gave Robert W. Chamberlain, a senior vice president at Dean Witter Reynolds Inc., the 1993 Analyst of the Year Award during the federation's annual conference last week.
In other honors, the federation gave its 1993 Industry Contribution Award to Robert W. Doty, president of American Government Financial Services Co. Victoria R. Westall, director of municipal research at Edward D. Jones & Co., received the organization's 1993 Meritorious Service Award.
The federation gave the 1993 Career Achievement Award to James L. Gammon, a senior vice president and senior portfolio manager at Loews/CNA Holdings, a Loews Corp. unit.
Analysts gave last week's 10th annual conference high marks for covering a broad range of topics. The focus included various Pacific Northwest Issues, which were explored during the regular meeting and at a pre-conference session cosponsored by Seattle-Northwest Securities Corp. The conference attracted about 200 analysts, a record.
Economic trends in Washington State drew attention because of announced cutbacks at Everett-based Boeing Co., which is eliminating 19,000 jobs.
That is "a tremendous hit on the economy," said Dick Conway, who heads an economic research and consulting firm in Seattle. The Puget Sound region could lose another 31,000 jobs because of the ripple effect of the Boeing layoffs, Conway said.
But Conway said it is unlikely the region will slip into a recession. "Apart from Boeing, there is a lot of life in the economy," Conway said, which will help offset the job losses.
Conway said he is forecasting a "flat outlook" for the economy in the Puget Sound area over the next 18 months, adding that business activity should "show a little more life" by 1995.
Analysts also focused on Oregon in the aftermath of Measure 5. a 9M law that requires a gradual lowering of property taxes from 1991 two 1996.
Many cities have not felt the measure's full impact because it allows local governments to set value at real market value for tax purposes, said William Simonsen, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon and a former Moody's Investors Service analyst.
Nevertheless, about a quarter of the cities in the state were forced to make levy reductions in fiscal 1993 because of limitations imposed by Measure 5, Simonsen said. Those cities' tax rates were reduced on average by about 4.5%.
Measure 5 also requires the state to make up lost property tax revenue for local schools and community colleges. But analysts learned that some school districts are still encountering financial stress, despite the state backup.
Leonard Vulysteke, the controller of Portland Public Schools, noted that the state must replace lost funding on an aggregate basis. But he observed that changes in the state's distribution formula can mean static funding for some districts and large increases for others. He also noted the state is imposing cuts in its basic school support program, which is separate from the Measure 5 mandate.
As a result, per-pupil spending in some school districts is actually declining, Vuylsteke said.
Analysts also heard panels on diverse topics such as the changing public power environment in the Pacific Northwest, the future of information technology, and the Clinton administration's plans for housing and local government finance.
In a disclosure committee report Friday, William Oliver, a vice president at Alliance Capital Management, said it is crucial that the trend toward improved voluntary disclosure in the market continue, especially in light of recent publicity about certain industry practices that are attracting the attention of federal regulators.