The Director of Finance directly oversees the City’s financial functions consisting of the following departments: Finance, Tax Assessor, Information Technology, Purchasing, Tax Collector, and Risk Management.
Each of these interdependent departments play a vital role in the overall operations and business infrastructure within the city government during 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, procurement of goods/services for City departments;
- Providing support for information technology needs for all City departments;
- Risk management, promoting the safety and health of City employees;
- Budget and accounting management, payroll/pension/ benefits administration and debt/project financing.
The Department of Finance also has subunits such as budgeting, accounting, payroll, pension, accounts payable, accounts receivable, etc. which processes the daily transactions of managing 25 individual governmental funds, four enterprise funds, several fiduciary funds and capital projects, and 53 grant programs totaling $623 million in assets. The Department of Finance administers and manages the seven pension plans amounting to about $250 million and the $50 million deferred compensation plan for over 1,700 active and retiree members. The administration of healthcare benefits, workers compensation, liability and property insurances are through the Risk Management unit of the Department of Finance.
The overall mission for the Finance Division is to ensure that the City continues to meet its budgetary and operational goals/objectives in the most cost efficient and effective manner. Our goal is to keep tax rates as low and affordable as possible so we strive for continuous improvement and seek out efficiencies wherever possible. Accordingly, the Director of Finance has been spearheading several multi-year projects to upgrade the technical infrastructure and software systems throughout City government and to implement new work-flow improvement processes. Even though there is still much to be done, I am pleased to report that we have already realized savings from the efficiencies created from the new processes implemented with the new systems.
The Department of Finance recognizes that to move forward we must create our own economic recovery as we “grow smaller” and strive to redefine the way a City government operates more efficiently in the delivery of services. Tight spending restrictions and hiring freezes continue as precautionary measures against the negative impacts on revenues resulting from the severe economic recession and lackluster recovery. Consequently, the City considers the cost/benefits of outsourcing before hiring an employee.
- Payroll processed 19,100 bi-weekly checks/ACH deposits for over 700 full-time and part-time employees
- Accounts payable processed over 17,000 invoices from 2,500 vendors.
- The City issued $64,000,000 of General Obligation Bond Anticipation Notes and $16,000,000 of General Obligation Bonds. The notes have a net interest cost of .62% and the bond’s true interest cost is 2.07%.
- Pension Administration was successfully outsourced and will significantly enhance employee and retiree post-retirement benefit services and reduce current administrative costs.
- The City’s most recent Bond Ratings are as follows: “Aa1”, “AA+” and “AAA” from Moody’s Investors Service Inc., Standard & Poor’s Corporation and Fitch Ratings respectively illustrating their high opinion of the City’s strong financial position
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30th, 2016 as audited by our external auditors, RSM US, LLP showed that the City continues to have a strong unreserved/undesignated general fund balance of approximately 10%, thus strengthened its financial position for any uncertainties which may lie ahead. We are pleased to report that for the fiscal year ended June 30th, 2016 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 29th consecutive year for such an accomplishment. This recognition is for the highest conformance standards for preparation of state and local government financial reports. Additionally, for the twelfth straight year, the GFOA presented the City Finance Department with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 16/17 fiscal year.