Camp Verde Budget Time: Juggling the needs, wants of a community
Most people would agree that a balanced budget is a good thing. But balance is not the only thing that Town staff considers when creating a budget.
Municipality leaders are expected to generate enough revenue to provide services for their communities and to satisfy the needs and wants of their communities. Those same leaders also must know the difference between needs and wants and how to meet them accordingly. They are expected to do these things whether or not incoming revenues exceed the costs of operating a town.
These are some of the challenges that Camp Verde faces with its budget, says Finance Director Mike Showers.
“Creating parks, activities, opportunities to enjoy your town, community events, access to arts, music, educational opportunities, things that sometimes go on the back burner maybe ought to be on the front burner,” Showers says. “But we’ve got a lot of stuff going on. Department heads want the best for their departments.”
Town Manager Russ Martin says there is “always a counterbalance to what you do. That’s what makes balancing a budget difficult. It’s nice when staff understands the difficulties of revenue generation.”
At Wednesday’s 4 p.m. budget work session, Town Council and staff will review past and present economic figures, as well as manager recommendations for the Town’s 2014-2015 proposed general fund budget.
Showers says that when considering the town’s economic outlook, “you take a look at what’s necessary, what’s happening and what needs to change. The Town Manager’s job is to get to the heart of the needs and to filter out the wants. [He] has to look at what’s the most important component.”
Though Showers admits a desire for increased wages within the Town’s departments, he calls the proposed budget “a good budget.”
“We really have good revenues,” Showers says. “But the resources are not there [to offer pay raises]. You go with what’s needed. I think we’re doing a good job of getting what we need, without leveraging future budgets to do it.”
Wednesday’s budget work session will be held in council chambers, 473 S Main St. #106. A copy of the agenda, as well as a draft of the Town’s 2014-2015 proposed general fund budget, is available at: http://www.campverde.az.gov/government/town-clerk/agendas-minutes-actions/town-council/2014-2/.
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