Thursday, June 27, 2013

Council to Tackle Budgets, Invite Dialogue

Last week the Council approved a tentative budget for the FY 2014. However Council Chair Gary Winterton indicated a readiness to begin discussions and dialogue with the community regarding budgeting priorities for FY 2015.

“We would like to begin a dialogue with the community on how the Council should approach budgets,” Winterton said. “That includes such ideas as budget prioritizing and planning for the tough issues.”

The Council has adopted the following policy guiding documents to aid in the formation of policy: 
  • Council Intent Statements,
  • Vision 2030, 
  • The General and Master Plans. 

For the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, the Council has also utilized the following broad guiding principle to analyze budgets:

It is the legislative intent, policy, and priority of the Municipal Council, to work with the Mayor, to develop a structurally balanced, long-term, fiscal plan for the City of Provo, that is evaluated in frequent and regular intervals to maximize its continued relativity.

How can the Council balance difficult questions arising from how to formulate policy and determine whether the budget furthers those policy goals?

Here are some steps that the Council staff will be taking to help provide the Council context for evaluating and implementing policy that shapes the structure of the budget:

  • Focus fiscal and policy analysis efforts on the city’s general fund (only the first $42 million of a $168 million budget).
  • Conduct a benchmarking analysis on each division of the general fund.
  • Articulate to the Council findings of how the budget moves the city closer to realizing policy goals or not.  

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