Decisions concerning municipal finance are the clearest indicators of how community goals, values and priorities guide the City’s future. Municipal finance includes:
Annual Budgeting Process. The municipal finance system centers around the preparation, adoption, and implementation of the annual budget and Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP). The LTFP establishes policy, allocates funds, guides operations, anticipates future financial circumstances and clearly communicates fiscal choices to residents, businesses and investors.
Capital Improvement Program. To address community needs for public facilities and infrastructure, the City annually prepares and adopts a Capital Improvement Program, a six-year schedule setting priorities and timing of engineering and design, land acquisition, and construction for public works projects.
Cash Management. This is a set of Council-approved strategies that guide how the City invests short-term cash flow and longer-term reserves. The City also maintains an Investment Policy to comprehensively guide the responsible management of City funds available for investment. These may include, but are not limited to, temporarily idle cash, reserve funds, trust, agency, and capital funds.
Fund Balance and Reserves. The City seeks to maintain certain levels of funds in reserve, including “emergency” and “sustainability” reserves for unforeseen cash flow disruptions and for specific purposes, such as post-retirement health care expenses. All reserves are established by a set of Council adopted Fiscal Policies and updated each year during LTFP.
Revenue and Expenditure Forecasting. The City conservatively forecasts future revenues and expenditure needs and constantly tracks those assumptions. These steps are critical to our fiscal health.
Risk Management. The risk management program includes reserves to cover potential losses, risk control programs and activities, and self-insurance pools.