Finance Top 10 Wins
- Living Within Our Means
The Finance team led the efforts to adjust spending when it was recognized early in the year that sales tax revenue growth was beginning to slow. The Finance team worked in collaboration with all City departments to identify and capture opportunities to reduce spending in areas that would not negatively impact the level or quality of services provided to the public. The team went about this work in a very measured fashion to prudently reduce General Fund spending in response to lower than expected revenues. By recognizing the revenue trend early and responding quickly, the City ultimately was able to achieve the twin goals of meeting the year-end General Fund reserve target and maintaining service levels to the community.
- City Administration Building
For the first time since 1936, the City will move forward with a new building to provide administrative office space with room to strategically grow for decades to come. The Finance team played a key role in identifying the long-term need, developing the plan to meet that need, and then communicating the plan to gain the necessary support for this important project. The icing on this project’s “cake” in 2016 that will result in this project becoming a reality was the successful bond sale to raise the needed $21.9 million at an outstanding 3.09 percent interest rate.
- Business and Customer Service Improvement
Teaming up with Planning and Building Services and Information Technology, Finance helped lead a business change initiative to improve employee productivity and customer service. The initiative included the roll-out of handheld technology for completing inspections, simplifying the inspection workflow, and centralizing customer service to the ground floor service counter. The changes included co-locating Finance personnel into the Planning and Building Services workspace. The end result has been a resounding success in improving how the City provides business services by using teamwork and technology.
- Procurement of Public Safety Software
Finance led the joint effort of the City, Minnehaha County, Metro Communications, and City of Brandon to procure new public safety software. The highly collaborative effort resulted in receiving competitive bids and successfully negotiating a contract with Zuercher Technologies, a local company providing leading edge technology to public service agencies. Engagement from all parties has been extraordinary and implementation is well under way.
- Implementation of New Fleet Software
Finance played a leading role in the citywide team effort to successfully launch new Fleet Management software. The implementation of the new software is a leading component to the City’s effort to modernize and centralize fleet operations in order to capture efficiencies, control costs, and improve service. The software will provide key decision-making information in effectively managing the City’s fleet of vehicles and equipment.
- Pension Ordinance Revisions
The Finance team played a critical role in completing the remaining steps of the pension reforms that began in 2013. The 2016 pension ordinance revisions will ensure the City’s obligation for retiree health care benefits is fully funded going forward. In addition, these ordinance changes ensure that assets previously set aside by the City to fund retiree benefits are preserved within the pension trust funds and are protected from being diverted to other uses—now or in the future. Further strengthening the pension trust funds will continue to stabilize future City pension contributions.
- Budget and Capital Plan
Against the backdrop of slower sales tax revenue growth, the Finance team led the financial planning that culminated in adoption of the 2017 budget and the 2017–2021 capital plan. These two documents reflect the City’s ongoing commitment to remain focused on priorities by making key infrastructure investments and funding competitive wages and benefits for our employees in an employment market that is increasingly competitive—all while maintaining the City’s solid financial condition. It is no accident that the City’s finances remain solid; it takes strong leadership by a talented Finance team willing to ask the tough questions and make the difficult decisions that keeps the City on solid ground.
- Cooperative and Citywide Procurement Contracts
The City made substantial improvements to an already strong procurement process by expanding the use of cooperative and citywide procurement contracts. By leveraging the power of cooperative arrangements with other governmental entities and expanding the use of citywide contracts, the City continues to improve the pricing, timing, and quality of products, services, and equipment. The City’s bottom line has been well-rewarded for having a highly skilled, top-of-the-line procurement team.
- 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
For the 36th consecutive year, Finance received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. This award is the highest form of recognition possible for the City’s financial reporting and demonstrates the Finance team’s commitment to provide timely and comprehensive information to the public on the City’s financial condition and activities that goes far above and beyond the requirements of generally accepted accounting principles.
- Midco® Aquatic Center
The Finance team played a key supporting role in completing this important project on time and within budget. In addition to effectively procuring a multitude of furniture, fixtures, and equipment needed to operate and maintain the facility, the Finance team also collaborated with Parks and Recreation in developing and refining the financial and operational plan resulting in a very successful opening of the Midco® Aquatic Center.