SPRINGFIELD – City officials of Springfield were rewarded for their efforts made towards the fiscal year 2014 budget with a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).
The award is given to state and local governments for their achievements with budget planning. The GFOA has given Springfield this award for six consecutive years.
Chief Administrative and Financial Officer Timothy J. Plante proudly said, “This is the first year in the last four or five fiscal years that we did not have to layoff employees or cut services.”
The process of creating the budget starts by municipal officials hosting budget hearings with city council and the public.
“We satisfied nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation as designed by the GFOA,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said. The guidelines include a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communication device, allowing for the city to adhere to local financial ordinances and policies.
Despite the glory, the budget still has problems, according to Plante. He explained there is no way for officials to increase property taxes, and state aid hasn’t increased or decreased, prompting the need for cutbacks.
Changes to the budget include a detailed line-item budget by departments, performance measures, city-wide financial policies, a consolidated financial schedule, and multi-year financial planning.
According to Plante, the officials are hoping to move into a more programmatic budget. It would break down each department by their services that they provide to tax payers in the FY15 budget.
Right now, Plante reports that the budget is fully funded and “on track.”
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