Published on: Thursday, September 17, 2020 News Alert

Adopted FY21 City of Takoma Park Budget Document Now Available

 

You can view or download the Adopted Fiscal 2021 budget document here We recognize the collective effort of Director Susan Cheung, Human Resources Director Tracy Smith, and Budget & Accounting Manager Ronnel Kawaley to finalize the Fiscal 2021 Adopted Budget during this unusual budget year.

What sets this Budget Book apart from previous books, you might ask? First, it highlights how the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shaped the City’s budget decisions. City Council’s budget consideration process occurred during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic amidst the nationwide shutdown. Many adjustments were made to the City Manager’s Proposed Budget to estimate the potential impacts of the pandemic and to adapt City services to the new public health landscape. You will notice blue boxes throughout the Budget Book Department summaries that identify major COVID-19 related impacts on Departments or services.  For instance, hiring for many vacant positions was put on hold to increase funds in the City’s unassigned reserves.  COVID-19 related budget actions are explained in each section.

Second, City staff added new features to provide greater transparency and to make the Budget Book more user-friendly and easier to understand.  To start, if you flip to page 30, there is a new Reader’s Guide to the Budget Book that explains what the various sections of the budget document include, defines the budget table column headings, outlines spending categories, and summarizes changes to the budget book from previous years.  The Reader’s Guide will help you navigate the rest of the book.

In addition, the Fiscal 2021 Adopted Budget Book contains more detail on personnel costs and historical financial information than ever before.  Each department now has an organizational chart and expanded personnel schedules showing full-time salaries by pay grade and position.  There are new data visuals in the introductory sections showing personnel diversity and the types of personnel expenditures Citywide. In each budget chart, we added a change column showing the numerical difference between the previous year amount and the Adopted Fiscal 2021 Budget amount.  In addition, we added ten-year tracking information for many revenue categories and other explanatory information, such as new program descriptions in the Non-Departmental section.

Thanks to these new features, we hope you find this year’s Budget Book to be an improved document that more clearly communicates financial information for residents and for City Council.

Comments on what works well and any additional improvements that may be considered for future budget documents are welcome. Please submit your comments to Deputy City Manager Jessica Clarke at JessicaC@takomaparkmd.gov.