The new budget preparation season is here! Department Heads were sent instructions for preparing their anticipated budget needs for the next fiscal year. Their completed budget will be a primary source for the preparation of our entire City budget.
The Auditor is working with the City Treasurer to update revenue receipts so we can forecast our anticipated budget parameters and have a clear understanding of our limits based on available revenue sources. Once we know what that figure is, we will work collaboratively to be sure our city budget stays within the limits. For now, we expect each department to work on a preliminary budget based on anticipated needs. In our budget instructions memo, we encouraged departments to look at areas where budgets can be decreased OR level funded; OR if costs are expected to increase from the level funded amount other than personal services contractual obligations, to please be prepared to explain in detail the reasons why.
Last budget season, we made strides to reach our goal of helping departments ‘build-up’. Nevertheless, I recognize we still have more to do. Therefore, it was requested that departments be thoughtful on ideas that help with ongoing capacity building efforts that will improve municipal services. The requested information will assist me, our City Auditor, as well as the City Council Finance Committee and the rest of the City Council body in understanding each department’s essential needs, preferences, and priorities in order to balance all funding requests. It will also help us identify any potential duplicate requests, or omissions.
After we have compiled the information provided, I look forward to meeting with departments to go over their requests. We will also prepare to meet with the City Council Finance Committee for any follow-up discussion for clarification purposes, and adjustments.
As part of this process, I have been meeting with City Councilors one-on-one to understand what some of their objectives and priorities might be. The Councilors have further reach and are much closer to the people. Their feedback is critical in this process so we can be sure that we are meeting expectations of the public the best we can.
To review our budget task/timeline, visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UORNI920lvfAw9Fn0WVcw8mgZdqhF_e2/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=116914758029716249319&rtpof=true&sd=true.
Joshua A. Garcia, Mayor