Plans and recommendations

By: Michele Hutchinson Special to The News Messenger
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On March 2011, the fiscal sustainability committee was appointed by the City Council with five members of the community volunteering to serve our city by working on this critical project. The mission and work plan adopted by the core committee follows: Mission: Review and analyze the current financial condition of the city and determine both the near-term (one to three years) and intermediate term (four to 10 years) fiscal implications of all city funds’ revenues and expenses; make recommendations leading to long-term fiscal stability; and develop appropriate financial policies, procedures and accountability standards. The work plan: • Review the past to better understand the present • Review the present to better understand the future • Model the future to provide a path to fiscal sustainability and provide fiscal strategy recommendations based on the committee’s findings and conclusions, including recommendations for future policies, procedures and standards to assure the city has continued financial viability. On July 2011, the committee expanded to nine core members, assisted by an additional group of volunteers studying and analyzing various fiscal issues within our city. Core committee members were assigned chair responsibilities for various study groups. All core committee meetings were to be open in accordance with the Brown Act requirements. Agendas were posted and a public website was created. Progress of the committee was reported weekly in columns submitted to The Lincoln News Messenger, beginning in September, 2011. As we enter February 2012, the project is nearing completion, which includes members voting on recommendations by the various study groups in open meeting under the Brown Act. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. (meeting place to be announced). Come and be heard as we deliberate recommendations to be submitted to the City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 21. This is our city and it depends on all of us to make it all it can be so please continue to give us your ideas and and suggestions on how you might help. For more information, visit the committee’s website at Michele Hutchinson is a fiscal sustainability committee member. This column may or may not necessarily express the opinions of The Lincoln News Messenger.