To ensure that the city council and public are well informed regarding proposed debt decisions, the city should provide summary information that clearly explains the costs, risks, and benefits related to the proposed decisions in its agenda packets, and should provide these in advance on its Web site.
On February 4, 2014, the City Council adopted the Budget Policies and Procedures Manual, which provides for the method of communication of budget and financial information to the City Council and the public. Required communication includes website postings and written agenda materials. (See pages 12-13 of Budget Policies and Procedures Manual.)
On May 7, 2013, as part of the first of three public City Council study session meetings for the proposed 2013-2014 fiscal year budget, the Finance Director provided an up-to-date analysis of the City's debt structure. The update included recent activities on his ongoing exploration of potential refunding opportunities. If any viable opportunities present themselves, detailed summary information that clearly explains the costs, risks, and benefits related to any proposed actions will be included in the respective agenda packet. The full agenda packets for all public City meetings, including City Council meetings, from January 2012 forward, are posted on the City's website.
The city indicates in its update that if any viable opportunities present themselves, it will include in its agenda packet detailed summary information that clearly explains the costs, risks, and benefits related to any proposed actions. Because the city has not yet had any of these instances we cannot conclude on whether it has fully complied with this recommendation.
The city indicates that the finance department will continue to provide the city council and the public in advance of making all future debt decisions as part of any respective agenda packet and that information will be posted on the city's Web site and open for public comment.
The city did not provide any documentation to demonstrate that its finance department has provided such information to the city council for debt decisions or how it will ensure this information is more useful than what was previously provided to the city council.
The city did not address this recommendation in its August 2012 response. (See 2013-406, p. 197)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.