Council sets rules for public quarterly budget presentations

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Serving as the fiscal body for the City of Westfield, the Westfield City Council was quick to adopt rules regarding fiscal stewardship at its first meeting of the year.

At its Jan. 13 meeting, the council unanimously approved a resolution that will require city administration to present “actuals” to the council each quarter. The presentations will serve as a comparison of the estimated and projected budget versus the actual results at that point in time.

Patton

In the past, the council hasn’t passed such a resolution, but with four new members on the council whose campaigns focused on transparency, there was little discussion and no disagreement about the need for the presentations.

“I think it’s great that we, as a city, have a working budget, just like in the business world, where we have budgets and actuals on a quarterly basis presented to the people of the City of Westfield,” councilor Troy Patton said. “After all, it’s our city, it’s your city, and it’s a good thing. It will be a good exercise so we know what’s going on in the city at all times, as opposed to it being the end of the year, where something is maybe under or over budget.

“This also is a plus for the council in terms of us knowing what is going on.”

Another ordinance, which also passed unanimously, established new bidding requirements for purchases of $150,000 or more. The ordinance states that at least three bids must be obtained to complete the work or fulfill an order before a purchase at or exceeding $150,000.

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