RESIDENTS HEAR ABOUT MAKING ‘CENTS’ OF MUNICIPAL FINANCING
(Livingston, NJ) – Michele Meade and Chief Financial Officer William Nadolny presented an informative program on April 5, 2012 on the municipal financing process from the annual budget process to long-range financial planning. The program was offered under the auspices of the Livingston Citizens’ Institute and was open to all residents.
Meade explained that the presentation was a response to residents’ requests to better understand the complex process of municipal financing. “I’m often asked how budget decisions are made, how the ‘price of government’ is set for the coming year, how much debt is too much, and how debt management figures into the annual budget. I hope that everyone who attended the program left with a better understanding of the township’s budget process and long range financial planning.”
Meade stressed that the program was not a presentation of the proposed 2012 Township budget, but was intended to help residents understand municipal budgeting. “The municipal budget comes down to the services offered, some of which are mandated and some of which are discretionary,” said Meade, “and this presentation was designed to help people understand how the cost of services is funded through the annual budget.”
In addition to clarifying the annual budget process, the program explained the budgets for self-supporting enterprises such as Water, Sewer and Swimming Pool utilities, and also discussed the process of capital planning, debt management, and how long-range planning is used to anticipate and manage financial challenges for the township. Audience members were given a taste of how to manage a municipal budget with an activity that, hypothetically, required participants to decide the fate of particular services or programs that the Township provides, with justifications for funding, and against funding.
The next Citizen’s Institute Elective which is open to the community is “Building a Sustainable Community: How is Livingston Doing?” and is scheduled for May 3 at the Senior Community Center (204 Hillside Ave) at 7:30 pm. This elective will feature a presentation of Livingston’s environmental action plan and a discussion of environmental priorities.
Residents are invited to participate in the next elective session. To register for the May 3 program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send your request to Lorri Patino, Livingston Municipal Building, 357 S. Livingston Avenue. If you have any questions about the Livingston Citizen’s Institute, please contact Arlene Johnson 973-994-2314, or Walter Joyce 973-992-8317, or visit the website at www.livingstoncitizensinstitute.org.