CITY OF DESOTO SOARING FOR EXCELLENCE
OFFICE OF THE CITY MANAGER
conversations has led to a stabilized tax rate (FY2012 to FY2015), property tax rate reduction (FY2016), Stabilization Fund for future planned projects ($1.5M), retirement percentage increase (1.5:1 back to 2:1), Compensation Study with salary adjustments (FY2016), reinstatement of annual raises (FY2012 to present), transition of historical General Fund (GF)/Fund Balance (FB) expenditures to the GF (2013), refunding of existing debt issues ($17M in savings) and two (2) bond rating upgrades (FY2012 and FY2014). Additionally, the General (60-days) and Enterprise Funds (45-days) have both doubled their City Council mandated reserve requirements. Since FY2013 , the City Council has graciously recognized the aforementioned achievements by saluting staff with an annual monetary service award.
Strategic Planning: FY2012 to FY2016
Over the past six (6) fiscal years, the City has experienced a complete transformation in terms of its leadership and financial priorities. These changes throughout the organization were desperately needed to prevent a succession of property tax increases. In an effort to obviate this economic debacle, the administration implemented a five (5) year financial plan. This aggressive endeavor was developed to generate revenues, decrease expenditures, reduce property taxes, upgrade bond ratings and increase fund balances. Throughout the organization, there were various modifications made to the Executive Leadership Team. These reforms were necessary in several departments due to their unsatisfactory performance in the areas of personnel management, budgeting, financial planning, public relations and colleague engagement. By removing these impediments, the Executive Leadership Team was able to successfully work in collaboration on common goals and initiatives. This led to the joint understanding of how departmental funding would be equally appropriated on an annual basis. Historically, departmental funding was distributed based upon a defined percentage of the projected property tax value for any given FY. In theory, this method of allocating monetary resources has the appearance of being reasonably fair. However, in practice, larger departments received a greater proportion of funds than smaller agencies. As the valuation of properties began to decline in 2009, the distribution percentages for smaller agencies dwindled. Over the years, smaller agencies eliminated positions and reduced services to balance their budgets. In FY2012, departmental funds were allocated based upon a process called "Zero-based budgeting" (ZBB). By using this approach, City departments had to justify their proposed expenditures from a zero base. Once this was established, the Administration would further evaluate these requests to determine if they were either essential or non-essential for funding. This method of budgeting created an immediate fiscal equilibrium amongst all departments
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