Sunday, January 24, 2010

Budget "boot camp" for new Alders

Jan. 14th, Ina Silverman hosted a meeting for new Alders focused on finance and budgeting.  Budget Director Larry Rusconi, Comptroller Mark Pietrosimone, Chief Financial Administrator Sal DeCola, and Rebecca Bombero explained the budgeting process including outlining the time-line for the annual process and highlighted key pages in the budget, monthly financial reports, and audit documents. 

The City's Charter requires the Mayor to submit a Budget to the Board of Alderman by March 1st.  Public hearings, Finance Committee workshops, addition public hearing(s), and deliberations will culminate in the BOA adopting a Budget for 2010/2011 to go into effect July 1, 2010, by the end of May (currently scheduled for 5/24/10).  This calendar will be in the first section of the Mayor's proposed Budget document.

The Audit of the year ending June 30, 2009 has been presented to the BOA and will be analyzed at the next Finance Committee meeting.  The Finance Committee also scrutinizes the Charter required Monthly Report which is presented to all BOA members.  The review of the Report for Nov 30, 2009 will also be on the Finance Committee's agenda for their next meeting.  These monthly reports keep Alders up-to-date and provide monthly summaries of "concerns" and a Charter required Action Plan to address any concerns.

Another key component for the revenue side of the equation, the Grand List (tax base), will be set by Jan. 31, 2010. 

The BOA Committee assignments will be set in the next few days.  BOA President Carl Goldfield (Ward 29) makes these assignments.  While freshmen Alders are not usually assigned a spot on the Finance Committee, all Alders are encouraged to attend meetings, will be included in discussion and debate, and may even be called upon to vote if their participation is required to fill a quorum.  I plan to attend these important meetings schedule permitting.

If anyone ever wants to chat more about budget and/or finance issues, please call me.  I will also share any documentation that may interest you.  Financial oversight is an extremely important role of the Board of Alderman, and I will indeed participate.