Important Study Session Tomorrow
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31st, the Costa Mesa City Council will hold a VERY important study session in the council chambers beginning at 4:30 p.m. Public comments are much more limited in Study Sessions - a maximum of 15 minutes is provided for ALL speakers and no comments will be permitted following the discussion of the issues.
POLICIES AND FORECASTS
Finance and Information Technology Director Bobby Young will guide the discussion tomorrow. The issues to be discussed are 1) Review of Financial and Budget Policies and 2) 5-Year Financial Forecast and Capital Reinvestment Strategy. I expect the discussion to be lively because City finances have been the cornerstone of much of the unpleasantness created by this City Council over the past nearly a year.
The staff report for the Review of Financial and Budget Policies may be read HERE. This is very important because it presents a way to codify certain mandatory requirements, including a Minimum Fund Balance Reserve; a Minimum Cash Balance and an Emergency Fund Balance Reserve.
In addition, the discussion will also cover General Revenue Management, including how to maintain a diversified and stable revenue base; forecasting general revenue; how to manage one-time revenues and annual user fees and charges.
APPROPRIATIONS, CAPITAL BUDGETS AND DEBT
They will also cover the adoption of appropriation limits; budgetary control, Capital Budget policies including a minimum percent of the General Fund budget for capital expenditures. And there will be a discussion of Debt Issuance and - the elephant in the room - Unfunded Liability.
FORECASTS AND STRATEGIES
The second segment will cover the Five Year Financial Forecast and Capital Reinvestment Strategy, the staff report for which can be found HERE.
A WINDOW INTO THE CITY COUNCIL MINDS
This is also a VERY important issue and the staff will look to the City Council to provide suggestions about future priorities. The staff has provided a comprehensive look at the past decade to help the council focus on the future.
MIGHT AS WELL BE GREEK!
I am among those who have no small degree of difficulty understanding the complexity of municipal finance management, regardless how patient the finance staff has been with me over the years. However, these issues are so important - and the responses the council will give to this data are so important to measure their true intentions for our city - that I'm going to pop a few No-Doze, splash some water on my face and try to follow the discussion. And, I'll try to present this information to you later.
WILL BE TELEVISED AND STREAMED LIVE
However, since this meeting will be held in Council Chambers, CMTV will televise it live on Channel 24 (Time Warner Cable) and Channel 99 (ATT U-Verse) and will also be streamed live on the city web site.