The City Charter requires the City Council to adopt an annual budget by the fourth regular meeting in March. The City’s fiscal year spans from May 1 to April 30. The City’s year-round budget and planning process includes several phases: citywide business planning, budget development and review, budget adoption, and budget amendments. The FY 2019-20 budget will be submitted to Mayor and City Council on February 14, 2019.
Budget Development and Review
By November 1 of each year, the Mayor and Council adopt a five-year financial plan. The annual budget is prepared in consideration of the five-year financial plan and priorities established by the Council by ordinance.
The Finance Department issues budget instructions to City departments, boards, and commissions. Departments use the instructions to estimate revenues and to request the appropriations necessary to meet program needs in the next fiscal year. Departments prepare their budget requests based on estimates of work to be performed and their costs. Departments also submit their performance plans to the City Manager. The performance plans contain outcomes and key performance indicators by department and division.
Next, the City Manager meets with department directors to review budget requests. During this phase, the Finance Department, along with the City Manager’s Office, performs a policy review of departmental budget requests. The City Manager reviews each department’s budget with the department director in order to reach a balanced budget to present to the Mayor and Council.
The Finance and Governance Committee may convene City Council Budget Priority Session(s) before the City Manager submits the budget to the Mayor for review and comment. The Finance Department prepares copies of the budget for public distribution when the budget is submitted to the City Council.