The Annual Budget & Budget Book
One major responsibility of the Finance Director / City Clerk / Treasurer is to assist the City Manager
with developing an annual budget for the City and creating a budget document that is more than just an endless series of numbers. For many, the term budget invokes a bitter taste in the back of their throat and a certain pain in the back of the neck, not unlike the April 15 income tax deadline. In reality, budgeting is a logical and prudent way for an individual, business, or government to plan and manage what they do and how they do it, with available resources. The City staff invests much time and effort in the budgeting process to better assure that quality, critical services can be provided to residents in a dependable and affordable manner.
For more information, please contact the City Clerk / Finance Department at (580) 767-0304.
The City’s budget year officially begins on July 1, although many components of the budgeting process are dynamic and occur throughout the year. The City Commission
is brought into the process in December each year, when goals for the coming year are discussed and preliminary financial information is reviewed. Departments begin identifying goals for the coming year and the necessary budget in January. A series of budget meetings ultimately results in a city manager-proposed budget, in balanced form, that is brought to the City Commission for discussion. The City Commission then spends several full days meeting with each city department to discuss their service levels, goals, and budget for the coming year.
A series of statutorily required events such as publication of the proposed budget and a public hearing then occur. Finally, the City Commission considers the final budget for approval in June of each year. At that time the budget is published in book format, so that the public and city staff as well as the Commission can get a good idea of what the budget entails and what is to be accomplished in the coming year.
The Final Product
The budget book is approximately 200 pages in length and contains information that each user may find interesting and helpful. In addition to traditional spreadsheets with thousands of numbers detailing budget histories and the current year budget, the budget book includes narrative communication from the City Manager, an organizational chart, a community profile section, a detailed overview of the budget process, a long-term capital plan, and staffing histories. Also included in each department’s section are mission statements, accomplishments from the prior year, and goals for the coming year. Simply put the budget book is a communications device to the community as well as a financial plan for city departments.
The City’s budget books have won the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for the past several years. Ponca City is one of only five cities in Oklahoma to have achieved this award. Anyone interested in learning more about city budgeting and your local government may review recent city budget books that can be found in the reference section of your Ponca City Library