Mallory Herrmann

The city council’s budget committee is considering changes to the annual budget process that would promote transparency with the public. At their regular Sept. 10 meeting, Councilmember Bob Johnson, the committee chair, suggested that budget documentation should contain more detail about individual department budgets.

Currently, the standard information provided is just a snapshot of primary line items, including public works, law enforcement, fire and EMS services, finance and development services.

Johnson admitted he wasn’t sure how many residents would be especially interested in having additional data but maintained that it should be available to the public. He specifically requested that compensation costs for full-time equivalencies, including salary and all benefits, should be detailed for each department.

“If you want to see what the component parts of development administration are, that would be there for you too,” Johnson said.

Johnson later specified that he would like to be able to see individual line items showing the costs of benefits compensation, such as short-term and long-term disability, life insurance and other programs.

City staff anticipates having the proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 prepared for the budget committee’s consideration in April 2019. The full city council can then expect to review the budget in June 2019. In the meantime, staff is preparing a draft budget calendar with these and other key milestones.

Councilmember Phyllis Edson was absent from the meeting. Councilmembers Trish Carlyle and Beto Lopez were present. The committee will hold their next meeting on Monday, Oct. 1.