City’s Year End Position Reflects Sound Financial Policies

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On April 14, City Manager John Caulfield presented the City’s 2010 year-end financial report and performance measures to the City Council. In summary, the City Manager reported that 2010 was another successful year from both an operational and financial perspective, reflecting the city’s sound financial and management policies. He stated that overall, most financial projections were on track and consistent with the 2010 budget and the six-year financial forecast.

Mr. Caulfield noted that although some reports contend the economic recovery is underway, the effects of the “Great Recession” on local and state governments continue to create an unstable environment of constant change and uncertainty. He said this continues to strain all segments of the economy. Caulfield estimated that a return to the vibrant form of financial stability once enjoyed by local government in the mid-2000’s may still be 5-10 years away.

The City Manager provided an executive summary that the City of Mountlake Terrace has endured 36 months (December 2007-December 2010) of the most difficult financial times in generations. He said the economic recession continues to affect city revenues, particularly General Fund revenues, which fund key municipal services such as police, jail, court, fire, EMS, streets, parks, and community and economic development. The summary showed that the city’s 2008 financial forecast compared to the current financial forecast shows a loss in general government revenue totaling $12.6 million for the years 2008 through 2016.

Caulfield said, “The City of Mountlake Terrace is in an enviable position of being able to maintain basic municipal services. We can maintain this position by continuing to follow the prudent financial discipline the City Council has implemented, such as maintaining a balanced budget, continuing with our six-year financial forecast, utilizing an aggressive and proactive capital improvement plan, maintaining strong reserves, adhering to our financial policies, and continuing to live within our means.” He added, “These steps will continue to ensure that services to our residents will not have to be reduced.”

The City Manager emphasized that it is imperative the city continue its proactive approach on controlling costs since revenue collections are not expected to increase or recover anytime in the near future.

The 2010 reports on finances and performance measures can be found on the city’s website at www.cityofmlt.com. Go to City Services, Finance/Budget, Reports and Presentations.

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