Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Budget sets course for improving times

No one enjoyed the recent recession that shook our nation to its core. Here in Marana, we used it as an opportunity to plan for better days ahead.

The result was a series of Town budgets that required the most careful of considerations. Town management and staff carefully analyzed every expense and our finance department was more conservative than usual in its revenue projections. Fortunately, we weathered the storm as well as could be expected and didn’t allow the financial slowdown to impact our core services.

All the while, management was laying the groundwork for better days by creating the Marana Economic Recovery Plan, which focuses on current employees, strategic positions and resources and tools. The recession wasn’t going to last forever and we needed a roadmap in place for when times turned around.

That day could finally be here. Using the economic recovery plan as a guide, our Town Council last week approved a more optimistic budget for FY2013. The general fund budget, which pays most of our expenses, is $31,131,272, up 3.7 percent from this fiscal year.

One important component of this budget is the fact that we are able to reward our hard-working employees. Most regular full- and part-time employees are receiving a 2 percent cost of living adjustment. In addition, anyone hired before last July 1 will get a one-time payment in December. The amount is based on a sliding scale depending on salary and length of service.

This budget is structurally balanced, with one-time revenues covering one-time expenses and ongoing revenues dedicated to ongoing expenses. That’s an important key to ensuring that we meet all our obligations in the coming year.

We are formally adopting the budget during a Council meeting June 19. TheTown Council and I are proud of the work performed by staff in crafting this fiscally sound budget. The Town is set up for a bright future for all who live and do business in Marana. It’s a great time to be here.

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