gmhTODAY 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 71

City Beat Next Biennial Budget Process is Underway By: Maureen Tobin, Communications & Engagement Manager T he City of Morgan Hill’s biennial budget process for fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20 is now in full swing. The budget process begins in January each year when the City Council conducts a two-day workshop (January 26 and 27 for the current budget process) to set its priorities, goals, and strate- gies for the organization and community. The goal setting workshop is a public meet- ing and open to all. Once the workshop is completed, City teammates then begin the work to prepare the recom- mended budget to advance the agreed upon priorities. This priority based budget strategy ensures that the Council’s and community’s priorities are the guiding principles for developing the biennial operating budget and capital improvement program. In February, the Finance Team and each City department conduct an extensive review of revenues and expenses for the current fiscal year and make year - end projections. Additionally, each department makes revenue projections for the following two years of the new biennial budget. Beginning in March, with the Council’s and community’s priorities in mind, each operating department proposes enhance- ments -otherwise known as “decision packages”- which they believe will advance the Council’s priorities. The decision pack- ages are categorized as ongoing (e.g., personnel) or one-time investments and evaluated to determine which would best meet the community’s needs within the City’s financial resources. The City’s biennial budget is prepared much like a household spending plan. While a family might plan for such expenses as housing, food, clothing, transportation, or medical bills, the City’s focus is for police and fire protection, parks, recreation, water and sewer systems, housing, economic development, roads, building maintenance, and much more. City employees GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN work hard to recommend a budget that aligns resourc- es and proposes service level enhancements that are consistent with the City Council’s and community’s priorities, while maintaining fiscal responsibility. In May and June, the City Council will review the recommended budget dur- ing an all-day workshop and a formal public hear- ing. Public requests and con- cerns are addressed at this time and any Council initi- ated recommendations may be incorporated into the fin