Strategic Initiative: Rolling-Five Year Plan
Last year I introduced a new budget process, one that will focus on our needs and operate much like a zero-based budget. We are well on our way to making that a reality as we move forward with adopting our fist budget using this new more transparent process. I encourage you to join us and keep yourself informed. You will be proud of your community’s lean spending and our ability to account for every dollar we budget.
This year’s exercise began with a review of our specific needs for next year and our staff and directors actively working together to plan how to spend tax dollars to provide the best services at the best value for our residents. This new process will help guarantee something we have been committed to for a long time in our town, and that is no unnecessary spending, no automatic increases, just specific targeted plans to provide priority services. In other words, this is a strengthening of our commitment to responsible government. I encourage you to stay involved and informed.
Diversity a value: Last Saturday, thousands gathered once again to celebrate diversity in Gilbert and the region at the Gilbert Global Village Festival. We are proud to be home to a festival that celebrates how our differences are strengths and allows us to learn, understand and value different cultures. Thank you to everyone who took part, especially to the parents who are ensuring that our future generations continue to appreciate and seek understanding when they come upon differences. You can learn more and see photo slides here.
May Food Drive Challenge: I often like to end on a note describing our commitment as employees to our community. May is a month that we dedicate to a food drive challenge that we invite you to join us in. The challenge is to collect the food needed by our Gilbert families for food banks that distribute to our area. Starting Tuesday, May 1, and for the entire month of May, we will have donation boxes at every town facility, including recreation centers, libraries, municipal buildings, fire stations, and many businesses who will be joining us in this effort. Thank you for helping us to support our neighbors. You can see a full list of locations and suggested donation items at www.gilbertaz.gov/fooddrivechallenge.
Highlights of new Budget Process:
- In-depth review of numbers via historical analysis & trend analysis with departments/analysts- no guesswork.
- Staff worked on evaluating service levels (what are we do) and then prioritized those services.
- Built a strong foundation for the future and a more accurate financial forecast
- Zero-based “cleans up” the numbers – prevents any re-enactment of prior funding without a analysis of those true needs.
- While this was a one-year exercise, it supports our future planning as well.
- In Fiscal Year 2013, we will focus on performance management and additional analysis to build us towards the long-term future.
The listed Town Council meetings all take place in Council Chambers at 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, and are televised live and replayed on local Cox Channel 11 and at Gilbert Live on http://www.gilbertaz.gov.
May 1 – FY 2012-13 Budget Recommendations
May 17 – Preliminary Budget Adoption, Capital Improvement Plan adoption, Public Hearing for Adoption of Utility Rate
June 14 – Public Hearing and Adoption of Final Budget, Public Hearing of Property Tax Levy.
June 28 – Adoption of Property Tax Levy
~ Patrick Banger, Town Manager