Reader's Guide to the Budget

FY 2021-2022 Annual Budget

This budget document has been prepared and presented in an effort to comply with the guidelines and recommendations of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program. Many people believe a City Budget is only a financial plan. In order to be considered for the budget award, the following four areas must be included in the budget presentation:

The budget as a policy document.

This involves including a statement (or statements) of budgetary policies, goals, objectives, and strategies for the year and also an explanation of the budgeting process to the reader. Goals, objectives, and strategies are an integral part of this document, which we believe statisfy this requirement.

The budget as a financial plan.

This criterion involves including an explanation of the financial structure and operations of the City. The City's major revenue sources and fund structures are defined and amplified. The budget contains an all-inclusive financial plan for all funds and resources of the City, and also includes a multi-year financial forecast. Included are projections of financial condition at the end of the fiscal year, projections of financial activity, and historical comparisons. The budget also presents a consolidated picture of all operations and financing activities in a condensed format. An explanation of the budgetary accounting basis used in the development of the budget. The budget summary section, as well as the various fund and department summaries, satisfies this requirement.

The budget as an operations guide.

This criterion involves explaining the relationship between organizational units (departments) and programs. An organizational chart, description of the departmental organizational structure, services, and and staffing levels, with historical comparisons, are also included. Explanations of how-capital spending decisions will affect operations are offered. These issues are addressed throughout the document.

The budget as a communications device.

The budget document is available to the public at the City Secretary's office in City Hall as well as on the City's website. As much as possible, we have avoided the use of complex technical language and terminology, and included charts, graphs, and glossary for understandability and usability. Efforts are made to explain the basic units of the budget, including funds, departments or activities, and disclosing sources of revenues and explanations of revenue estimates and assumptions. This information throughout the document.

In summary, each of the above four criteria is recognized by the GFOA as an integral part of any budget document in order to convey to the reader the goals and objectives the City will address during the year and how these goals and objectives will be met and measured. We have attempted to present these goals and objectivesw to the reader in such a manner that any reader, regardless of the reader's financial background or knowledge, will be able to gain a basic understanding of them.