What is the Budget Procedure?
Preparation of the City of Cambridge Annual Budget is governed by Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 44. The Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) budget cycle commenced in
November, 2011. At that time Budget staff met with the City Manager and Finance Director to update the City's 5-year financial projections and establish general budgetary guidelines and limitations for the upcoming year. On December 7, 2011 the City Manager convened the annual budget meeting attended by all department heads and finance personnel. At this meeting the City Manager gave a general overview of the state of the economy, discussed the budget format and outlined specific guidelines for the preparation of departmental budgets.
The following guidelines for budget preparation were issued: Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA), pensions and health insurance can increase as required; the citywide goal is to submit a budget that supports City Council Priorities without increasing the number of city employees; all non-personnel operating items known to be increasing due to contractual terms, must be absorbed within the budget and not knowingly under-budgeted; budgets are to be level funded with no increases in other ordinary maintenance or travel accounts; major contracts for services must be reviewed to ensure that departments have sufficient funds to meet contractual needs; and extraordinary expenditures must be revised and
one-time items from the current fiscal year eliminated.
Departments should expect that reductions can be made during the review process, either at the administrative or Council levels. Requests for new or expanded services should be submitted separately, outside the base budget, through a supplemental request memorandum. The Budget and City Manager's staff subsequently met with each department head to review the budget format and assist with the development and refinement of goals and performance measures. The current budget format contains narratives, goals and performance measures for each city department enabling the City Manager, city council, and citizens to better understand city services. Goals and performance measures are
quantifiable and concise with calculations of selected unit costs of services where applicable. During the budget process goals and measures may be eliminated, changed, or expanded as necessary making them more comprehensive, significant or illustrative of the services and programs provided by city departments.
By January 09, 2012 operating budgets, expenditure and revenue estimates, significant departmental accomplishments, and projections for the current fiscal year were submitted to the City Manager. From late-January to late March, each department made a presentation to the City Manager justifying proposed budget increases, decreases and program changes. The City Manager also reviewed goals and performance measures. Specific requests were negotiated during these sessions and appropriate revisions were made to the submitted budgets. It is important to note that at this stage of the process, the City Manager may increase or decrease budgets based on the priorities of the city council and the
During March and early April, Budget and City Manager staff finalized the annual budget document for submission to the city council. State law mandates Budget submission to the city council within 170 days of the council convening in early January. The City Manager submitted the FY13 budget to the city council on April 23, 2012. From May 1 – May 17, the city council held a series of public hearings to solicit citizen participation regarding departmental budget requests. The council has the jurisdiction to make reductions, but cannot increase the proposed budget without the consent of the City Manager. Following submission of the Budget, the city council has 45 days in which to act (June 7). The adoption
date for the FY13 budget was May 21, 2012. The FY13 Annual Budget for the City of Cambridge becomes effective July 1, 2012.
What is the City's bond rating?
The major financial rating agencies in the country (Moody's, Standard and Poor's and Fitch Ratings) have concluded that the city's finances are in the top tier of communities throughout the United States. This AAA rating from all three agencies is a significant accomplishment for the City and it reflects a great deal of hard work and discipline on the part of the Administration, the City Council and our Finance Department. In their latest rating, Standard and Poor’s affirmed its Financial management Assessment (FMA) of the City of “strong.” An FMA of “strong” indicates that practices are strong, well embedded and likely sustainable.
What is the total city operating budget for fiscal year 2013?
The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013.
The total City Budget for FY13: $488,228,565.
What is the number of full-time city employees?
Total number of full-time employees (excludes school department): 1,434
What are the operating budgets by department for FY13?
||Budgeted Amount |
|Cambridge Health Alliance
|Cherry Sheet Assessments
| Information Technology
|Human Rights Commission
|Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
|Office of the Mayor
|Police Review & Advisory Board
| Cambridge Arts Council
| Holiday Celebrations
| Multicultural Arts Center
| Community Events
|Traffic,Parking & Transportation
|Weights & Measures
What are the major funding sources for the FY13 operating budget?
Licenses & Permits $7,515,500
Fines & Forfeits $9,422,205
Charges for Services $69,593,055
What is the total Public Investment budget for FY13?
The total City Public Investment budget for FY13: $38,719,735
What is the Public Investment Budget by project for FY13?
Appropriations/Projects Budgeted Amount
Acquisition of Personal Computers $70,000
Technology Upgrades/Enhancements $145,000
Fire Vehicles/Equipment $1,245,000
Fire Station Renovations $25,000
Police Station Building Systems $75,000
Replacement of Street Lights/Poles $35,000
Public Building Renovations $2,278,000
Energy/Transportation Improvements $425,000
Street/Sidewalk Reconstruction $4,214,730
Parking Improvements $500,000
Water System Improvements $3,400,000
Sewer Reconstruction $17,037,645
Traffic Calming $300,000
Waverly St Path Construction $332,000
Design/North Massachusetts Avenue $250,000
Facade improvement Program $100,000
Employment Program Fund $355,000
Housing Rehab & Development $807,030
Neighborhood Business Development $81,000
Parks and Recreation $1,673,000
Accessibility Improvements $50,000
Park and Cemetery Tree Pruning $100,000
Public Art Conservation $30,000
Bike Rack Program $50,000
Kendall Square Surface Improvements $5,000,000
Cable Equipment $141,330
What are the major funding sources for the FY13 Public Investment Budget?
Property Taxes $1,225,000
Parking Fund $850,000
Parking Fund Balance $1,000,000
Sewer Service Charge $750,000
Water Service Charge $3,400,000
Block Grant $1,243,030
Chapter 90 $2,571,730
MWRA Grant $8,100,000
Resident Stickers $425,000
Roadway Reimbursement $475,000
Street Preservation Offset Fund $418,000
Bond Proceeds $17,442,670
War Memorial Recreation Center Fees $28,000
Golf Course Fees $20,000
Sewer Reimbursement $629,975
Cable License Fees $141,330