Courage at City Hall – a CalPERS Reflection

“The Courage to Work at City Hall: A CalPERS Reflection” Click to View PDF Version It can take courage to work at City Hall, especially when a sensitive matter or high stakes initiative is on the table. To be clear, this CitySpeak article is about “prudent financial management,” NOT “whistleblower” issues. Any discussion about whistleblower… Read More »

City Budget Work Is All Year Long!

“City Budget is Everybody’s Business…All Year Long!” Click to View PDF Are you happy the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 Budget is done for your municipality? Of course you are! You labored for hundreds of hours, all the way back to mid-January with the Budget Kickoff meeting. Months later, on June 30th, when your City Council… Read More »

GIVE CITY MANAGER A+ CUSTOMER SERVICE

“Give City Manager A+ Customer Service” PDF Version You may not think about the City Manager as your customer, but he (or she!) is. And for Department Heads, the City Manager is the MOST important customer at City Hall. SERVICE WITH A SMILE If you know me, you know very well that I am NOT… Read More »

Don’t Stress About Staff Reports!

“Staff Reports Due – Don’t Stress” Have you made a “new year’s resolution” for the new fiscal year that begins July 1? During my almost three decades preparing City staff reports, I would often find myself making new fiscal year’s resolutions.  First and foremost, I would promise myself I would not ever be late again… Read More »

City Manager’s Budget Needs Your Input!

“We’re All Stakeholders in the Budget” View PDF   We all have a stake in the City budget that is likely being presented as we speak.   CITY MANAGER’S BUDGET Although the budget that will be adopted by the City Council is technically called “the City Manager’s Budget,” the City Manager relies on a team… Read More »

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE – WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAYS?

Accounts Payable – Whose Job Is It Anyway?  Newsletter 06-13-18 (Accounts Payable – Whose Job Is It Anyway) v3  Accounts Payable (A/P) is the responsibility of the Finance Department.  With the exception of construction and certain consulting contracts (e.g. legal services, planning, etc.) that require special handling, ALL A/P invoices (with a few exceptions) should… Read More »

Stuck in a City Partnership?

Get Your City Partnership Unstuck.   Are you currently feeling stuck in a partnership?  Don’t panic.  Nothing good comes out of actions based on fear or panic.  Just because you feel like you’re “stuck,” you think you’ve got to get OUT immediately. That panic or anxiety you’re feeling about being stuck in a relationship or… Read More »

Careful NOT to Pierce Your City’s Corporate Veil

Careful NOT to Pierce Your City’s Corporate Veil In corporate governance, “piercing the corporate veil” results in “personal liability” for Directors and management of the commercial corporation when these ignore the formalities of corporate governance and the state laws that are in place to limit their liability. Basically, the shareholders in the corporation are held… Read More »

PREPARE CITY BUDGET WITH PUBLIC SERVICE IN MIND

PREPARE CITY BUDGET WITH PUBLIC SERVICE IN MIND Some 23 years ago when I landed my first job as City Finance Director, an older City Manager (may he rest in peace) taught me some simple, strong lessons about preparing a Budget for acceptance by the community and adoption by the City Council.  I held a… Read More »

Balance Sheet – Review During City Budget Adoption

Balance Sheet – Review During City Budget Adoption Most people at City Hall realize the importance of the Budget that must be adopted by June 30 (or FY end), but ask them about the City’s Balance Sheet and you will likely get a blank stare. During the presentation of the City Budget, the Balance Sheet… Read More »