The Board of Apportionment & Taxation has recommended a balanced budget which addresses the needs of our city while maintaining our fiscal responsibility during these challenging economic times. The Board of A&T reviewed the budget line-by-line and welcomed each department to come before the board so that we could discuss their budgets.
We made ourselves available to every city department, commission and agency requesting funding in meetings that were open to the public. Meeting with various departments, learning about the work they are doing, and what they hope to achieve during the coming fiscal year was a very valuable exercise. Often our discussions revolved around performance measurements, effective budgeting practices and the need to continue to utilize technology to stream-line processes.
The one idea frequently brought up was the idea of a Reserve Account. This idea had been recommended by the Board of A&T in the past, but never was put into practice. This year - with bi-partisan support - we were able to secure funds and allocate them to the city’s Contingency/Reserve Account, which is under the control of the Board of Alderman.
It was our intention to build the Reserve Account which is a common practice in government and business so that when an unforeseen event occurs, we can respond quickly without having to transfer money line-to-line. Simply put, the Reserve Account would help mitigate risk. For example, if there is a disaster that requires resources, funding from the state is reduced or city revenues are not what we expected, we have the means to respond without directly impacting department budgets.
Just this year, the City of Shelton saw a decrease in the funds it receives from the state. The existence of a Reserve Account would have alleviated this loss while not impacting the important day-to-day operations of our city.
The proposed Reserve Account will consolidate department surpluses into one visible Reserve Account. Instead of having several departments turn back a surplus year after year, we will consolidate those surpluses into one account. This would bring department budgets more in-line with actual spending, and the surpluses they return would become a part of the Reserve Account. The Reserve Account would not increase the budget or spending, it would actually facilitate fiscal responsibility.
I support the Reserve Account, which is a common and good budgeting idea. As Vice Chair of the Board of A&T, I am pleased that we had unanimous bi-partisan support to make the Reserve Account a reality.
The Board of A&T unanimously recommended a budget that aims to improve the quality of life for Shelton citizens:
- investing in our safety and security;
- improving development and infrastructure;
- seizing economic opportunities;
- offering meaningful community programs;
- and supporting our students so they receive a first-rate education.
The Board of A&T, having completed its budgetary duties, now sends the budget to the Board of Alderman for their consideration and final approval.