I will be the first one to say that municipal finances are not always clear and logical. Local, state and federal law impose certain rules on us designed to make sure that we are transparent in our operations and to provide checks and balances to make sure that the public’s money is spent on proper purposes. That was one reason I implemented the contract with Opengov.com this year to more clearly put our finances out on the web page so the public could see what we are doing. We have signed the contract for that service and it should be up and running in the next couple months.
You may or may not approve of how your tax dollars are being spent each year. Hopefully, you are supportive of most of the objectives I’ve set for the City. What I hope to provide to the public is a trust that we are spending money ethically and legally, even if you disagree with a particular project that funds are being spent on. We are independently audited each year as part of our financial reporting to make sure that we are following the rules. We additionally have extensive processes with our annual budget and our year end reporting that voluntarily go beyond the minimum requirements provided by law.
The Government Finance Officers Association established the Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program (Budget Awards Program) in 1984 to encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare budget documents of the very highest quality that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA’s best practices on budgeting and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.
To receive this award the City must comply with specific goals set by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). In addition to providing anticipated revenues and expenses, the City must also set goals and develop long range financial plans. The City received the Distinguished Budget Award for the 2014 budget. This is the 19th year the City has received this award.
The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.
In July 2014, the City was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ended December 31, 2013. This is the 27th year the City has received this award.
As we get our finances posted online, I encourage you to explore how we spend your tax dollars and to ask questions if you want to know why or how we do what we do.
Have a great day!