Sunday, May 4, 2014

How does this work, again?

We are about to launch into the public aspects of city budgeting this week. So: how does this all work again?
  • Under the Plan E form of government, the City Manager presents a proposed budget to the City Council. This happens on Tuesday at 7 pm.
  • The City Council then has a series of meetings in which they are meeting as the Finance subcommittee (the only subcommittee on which all 11 of them sit) to review the proposed budget, account by account. These meetings will begin on May 20 (and once I have the schedule for what is happening when, I'll post it).
  • As each account comes up, the City Council can ask questions about the account; they can hold the account; they can pass the account; or they can send the account back to administration for changes.
  • What the City Council cannot do is take money from one account and put it into another account (local government point of interest: the School Committee can do this with the WPS budget).
  • Once the Council has heard and passed each account, they will recess from Finance Committee to full Council, and pass the bottom line of the budget. Then, and only then, does Worcester have an FY15 budget.
For those wondering how School Committee works: we get our proposed budget a month in advance of our first budget hearing (which is June 5). The review process is the same, with our meeting in Budget Committee, though we can move money from one account to another (or even cut an account, with funds held aside to be reallocated as the debate goes along). We also will, once all accounts are passed, and all grants (as known) are allocated, recess from Budget to the full Committee to pass the bottom line for FY15.
And h/t to the parents who asked!

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