Sunday, September 21, 2014

Final Budget Hearing This Monday

This Monday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m., our City Council will be convening a special meeting to review and approve the final budget for the upcoming fiscal year. You can find a copy of the proposed 2014-2015 City Budget linked below.

This proposed budget raises a number of questions, many of which were detailed by Commissioner Nielsen in a recent letter to City Manager Keith Severns (linked below). Public discussion about our City's proposed budget has been extremely limited to date, primarily due to Mr. Severns' request that Commissioners' concerns about the budget be brought directly to him outside of any scheduled public meeting.

Many of these questions should ideally be answered by the budget document itself. Section 5.04 of the Belle Isle City Charter details exactly what is required in a proposed budget. For example, one such requirement is that the budget "show comparative figures for actual and estimated income and expenditures of the preceding fiscal year."

A review of the current proposed budget reveals that such actual income and expense figures are not provided for comparison. While the prior year's estimated income and expenditures are provided (in the form of 2013-2014 approved and revised budget figures), the actual income and expenses are conspicuously absent.

Hopefully, the important questions raised in Commissioner Nielsen's letter will be addressed publicly at the budget hearing tomorrow. To date, residents have not been given access to our City's process of developing the 2014-2015 proposed budget, which was developed through a series of communications and individual meetings outside of the public view. Therefore, publicly answering these questions would go a long way towards creating the transparency envisioned by the Sunshine Law and City Charter as our City completes this vital annual process.

Even more importantly, providing these answers will allow our residents and Commissioners to become better informed about our City's finances - helping everyone understand how our City's funds are being raised and spent.

Hope to see you at the final budget hearing on Monday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m.!

2014-2015 Belle Isle Proposed Budget

Letter from Commissioner Nielsen to City Manager Severns re: Budget Questions

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.