The city of Maryville received an award for its fiscal year 2019 budget, distinguishing its presentation as a document meeting national standards and guidelines worthy of recognition.
The Government Finance Officers Association announced the city of Maryville as one of 1,600 recipients of its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Maryville received this award for a seventh consecutive year, each year since fiscal year 2013, scoring proficient or above in all 14 required categories.
In order to achieve the award, entities have to meet standards set by the GFOA, describing the budget as a document which includes financial planning, policy matters, an operations guide and a communications device providing transparency to the citizens of that governing body.
Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel made note the award is based on the presentation and accessibility of the budget and is not a content driven award.
“After we adopt a budget, we will then start the process of developing that budget document, which we have 90 days to do according to the GFOA,” McDanel said. “It makes us go through every single line item, every single initiative, and do a lot of analysis on the budget and make it in an easy to read format so that its transparent to the community and citizens.”
The award-winning 2019 budget is 241 pages, accessible to the public on the city website, where McDanel said the document is thorough and goal setting, per GFOA requirements.
Once the city finalizes each budget, it is available on the website for public accessibility. The 2020 budget is expected to be on the website by Oct. 1, the beginning of that fiscal year.
The budget itself includes an array of information on how the city operates for a whole fiscal year including detailed mission statements, project overviews and summaries, fund balances, department summaries, detailed financial aspects and more.
McDanel said the city has aligned each budget that won an award to the Comprehensive Plan officials drafted from community input in 2012. Citizens shared opinions on what they wanted the future of Maryville to look like, and the city drafted plans based on some of those requests.
“We center our budget around the Comprehensive Plan, which is an adopted 20-year plan for the city,” McDanel said. “The process to develop that plan in 2012 was a significant community input process. We continue to push those initiatives,and we’ve had a lot of success over the last seven to eight years.”
Projects derived from the Comprehensive Plan include the South Main Improvement Project, the new Maryville Public Safety Building and revitalization and rebranding of the downtown area.
Committees were formed through city department heads, where members formed focus groups for smaller projects and collaborated with others on larger ones. An example of one of these committees is the Maryville Tourism Committee, which approved the projected 2020 budget at the Sept. 11 city council meeting.
According to the GFOA, which serves nearly 19,000 government finance professionals throughout North America, the city of Maryville received the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.
Maryville City Councillor Tye Parsons said he feels confident the 2019 budget reflected what the community wants to see from the city. He said the council has made the best use of the taxpayer’s dollar, through the focus of the comprehensive plan.
“There are always small changes, such as redirecting funds to repair city streets damaged during the harsh winter last year, but those types of changes are expected and routine,” Parsons said.
Maryville Mayor Rachael Martin said the council and city staff work well together to determine top priorities.
“We do the best we can to prioritize and provide a good mix of planning items, which are less costly, and execution items, where the funding ends up going,” Martin said. “The Comprehensive Plan is a great guide to help an ever-changing group of council members continue working towards common goals.”