||David St. Hilaire
Assistant Finance Director
||155 Deer Hill Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
||155 Deer Hill Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
The Director of Finance directly oversees the City’s financial functions which consist of the following departments: Finance, Tax Assessor, Information Technology, Purchasing, Tax Collector, and Risk Management.
Each of these interdependent departments plays a vital role in the operations and business infrastructure within the city government in the process of the delivery of essential services to residents and businesses residing in the City of Danbury. Activities within the Finance Division include: determining the City’s taxable grand list, establishing the “mill rate,” collection of taxes and other revenues, making all purchases for the City departments, provide support for information technology needs for all City departments, risk management, budget and accounting management, payroll/pension/benefits administration and debt/project financing.
The overall mission for Finance Division is to ensure that the City continues to meet its budgetary and operational goals and objectives in the most cost efficient and effective manner. We strive to illustrate to the City Taxpayers that only the necessary resources to provide essential services will be utilized while keeping tax rates as low and affordable as possible. Accordingly, the Director of Finance has been spearheading multiyear project to upgrade the technical infrastructure throughout City government and to implement a new Constituent Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning System.
“A lack of money often arouses creativity” is a quote from the Life’s Little Instruction Calendar Vol. XIII best illustrates the philosophical approach within the Department of Finance as we are confronted with the most challenging economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Department of Finance recognizes that this is an opportunity to review everything about the way business is done for a city government and refuses to sit idly by to wait for the “great economic recovery.” Instead, we choose to move forward and create our own recovery as we “grow smaller” and redefine the way a City government operates.
Tight spending restrictions and hiring freezes continue as precautionary measures against the negative impacts on revenues resulting from the severe economic recession. The Financial Review Task Force remains dedicated to review processes and procedures while conducting on-going account, departmental and operational reviews to analyze opportunities for savings, cost avoidance and revenue enhancements. Such strategies have lead to positive financial impacts to the City’s bottom line including savings from: employee benefits -$950,000; elimination/reduction of underutilized equipment/ services -$1,000,000; savings from favorable prices on supplies/equipment -$100,000; and the refunding of bonds -$800,000. We continue to aggressively pursue delinquent receivable accounts such as property taxes to help offset the negative effects of commercial tax appeals.
The City’s most recent ratings of “Aa1”, “AA+” and “AAA” from Moody’s Investors Service Inc., Standard & Poor’s Corporation and Fitch Ratings respectively, illustrates the their high opinion of the City’s strong financial position. As a result of its strong rating, the City is able to issue bonds and bond anticipation notes at extremely favorable rates which results in lower net interest costs for future debt issuances resulting in significant savings in future tax dollars.
• Strong and diverse economy located in Fairfield County,
featuring extremely strong per capita market value and high per capita retail sales;
• Income levels above national averages;
• Sound financial operations and conservative management practices; and
• Moderate debt burden, coupled with a manageable capital improvement plan (CIP)
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30th, 2011 as audited by our external auditors, McGladrey & Pullen, LLP showed that the City continues to have a strong unreserved/undesignated general fund balance of approximately 10% thus strengthened its financial position for the uncertainties that lie ahead. We are pleased to report that for the fiscal year ended June 30th, 2011 the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has presented the City Finance Department the Certificate of Achievement Award for Financial Reporting, marking the 25th consecutive year for such accomplishment. Additionally, for the eighth straight year, the GFOA presented the City Finance Department with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 11/12 fiscal year.