The Finance Department is responsible for the administration and recording of all financial activities of the city, including revenue collection, cash management, accounts payable, payroll, utility billing, sales tax collection, as well as general accounting and reporting. The department oversees both the procurement and risk management functions of the city and is responsible for the production of the Annual Operating and Capital Improvement Budget and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
The city’s fiscal year begins Jan. 1 and ends on Dec. 31 of each year. Although the city legally appropriates its budget on an annual basis, the budgeting process includes discussions regarding multi-year financial planning, specifically as it relates to the city’s five-year Capital Improvement Program.
The individual departments prepare budgets using a line-item method, providing detailed documentation for revenues and expenditures. Service levels, as approved by the City Council during the annual retreat, assist the departments in determining projected expenditures. In order to present a balanced budget, the City Manager works closely with departments to coordinate funding levels.
Article VIII, Section 4e of the City Charter defines a balanced budget as, “The total of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated revenues.”
Per the City Charter, the proposed budget must be presented to City Council at a study session on or before Sept. 20, followed by a public hearing that must be held on or before Nov. 30. During the public hearing, City Council may adopt the budget with or without amendment. If City Council fails to adopt the budget by Dec. 31, the amounts appropriated for the current operation for the current fiscal year shall be deemed adopted for the ensuing fiscal year on a month-to-month basis. Adoption of the budget by City Council shall constitute appropriations of the amounts specified at the fund and department level.
The city encourages citizen participation by publishing notices of the hearing in the local newspaper. Copies of the budget document are also available for citizen review.
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
Various ordinances and statutes require that the city issue an annual report on its financial position and activity, and that an independent firm of certified public accountants audit the report. As such, the city prepares a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Responsibility for the completeness and fairness of the presentation, including all disclosures, rests with the city.
All disclosures necessary to enable the reader to gain an understanding of the city's financial activities are included in the CAFR. To provide a reasonable basis for making such representations, management of the city has established a comprehensive internal control framework that is designed both to protect the government’s assets from loss, theft, or misuse and to compile sufficient reliable information for the preparation of the city’s financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principals (GAAP).