Glendale Arizona has a population of over (Full) "284,000" people in 1912 and covers a (USA.com) "60" square mile area. The city employs a strong city manager government style. The document I am reviewing is Glendale, AZ - FY 2013 Annual Budget Book. It is the full budget for the City of Glendale Arizona. It states the future budget in 2012-2013 fiscal year is $579 million. Glendale won the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award 2011-2012 fiscal year, therefore I expect to see a budget that follows the GFOA best Practices in Public Budgeting for fiscal year 2012-2013.
The major stakeholders are first the residents of Glendale Arizona, because they pay for everything. The mayor and city council are second tier stakeholders because they are elected and serve the people in a democratic republic. Finally, the city employees and city manager are stakeholders because their jobs are on the line. As long as government representatives remember their place, a budget process has a good chance of working for the betterment of society.
According to GFOA the four principles are Principle 1 -Establish Broad Goals to Guide Government Decision Making. Principle II – Develop Approaches to Achieve Goals. Principle III – Develop a Budget Consistent with Approaches to Achieve Goals. Finally, Principle IV – Evaluate Performance and Make Adjustments. Following these principles will help to ensure a responsible city budget.
I find it interesting the enormous difference between the 2011 budget and the 2012 budget formats. After looking through the 2011 budget it follows exactly the GFOA guidelines and was very impressive. For the 2012 budget, politics got into the picture. The city manager and the council were receiving a lot of heat for their decision to back the Coyotes hockey team. In general, the city residents do not want to throw more good money after bad while the surrounding population does want Glendale residents to pay more and keep their ticket prices lower. In addition, the Tohono O'odham Nation wants to build a casino in Glendale. Many people want the casino and many do not.
The Glendale 2012 budget begins with the city organizational chart but not with broad goals from the mayor as was done in the 2011 budget. Goals and the mayor's message do not appear until page 110. Budget massage from the city Manager appears as early as page 19. The financial guidelines do not appear until page 77. Policies do not appear until page 104. The operating budget appears next then finally the mayor's message. It appears the city manager is performing some self-aggrandizement, since his office produced the budget. The 2012 budget does not follow the GFOA guidelines.
In March 2012, Mayor Elaine Scruggs was honored as one of Arizona’s 48 most intriguing women throughout the state’s 100-year history. (CBS5) "Earlier this year, Scruggs solidified herself in Arizona history as she was named one of the state's most intriguing women of all time." When talking to other mayors in the area who worked with mayor Scruggs, the word "intriguing" was never used. The word bully was used frequently.
The budget document serves the constituents of Glendale Arizona. It could have been prepared better than it was, to serve the city residents better. The goals of the city could have been stated in the beginning as it was in the 2011 budget. Politics did raise its ugly head during the preparation of the 2012 budget. The Coyotes owners wanted more money from the city taxpayers to keep the team in Glendale. Glendale raised sales taxes on the residents to such an extent that an auto dealership could not compete with a dealership in next-door Peoria, simply from the extra taxes. The change in the budget appearance looks as though the city manager was trying to make himself look good at the cities expense, by showing how tough his job is and how wonderful he was. The new mayor and city council fired him, after they took office.
Full Profile. 1990 - 2000 Census, 2009 Estimates with 2014 projections. Applied Geographic Solutions (2009) Tiger Geography. http://www.glendaleaz.com/EconomicDevelopment/documents/MainDemographics.pdf