Finance Department Awarded Distinguished Budget Presentation

On May 22, 2023, the City of Maryland Heights was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the City's 2023 budget. This award, given by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), recognizes the commitment that government agencies give to providing proficient budget presentation. This includes producing an effective policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications device - in other words, creating documents that best explain government budgeting to the public in the most clear and engaging a way as possible!

The City begins the budget process in the late summer of each year, working across multiple-months and between all City departments to collaborate on budget needs. This includes participation in budget workshops with each of the City’s Departmental Committees to ensure all departmental needs are heard and evaluated, before holding the Draft Budget Workshop with the City Council, where the final budgetary decisions are made. The final budget is passed in a regular Council meeting in December of each year. "The budget process is a long and detailed process. However, in order to ensure our budget document meets the standards for the award, we are required to provide additional information that goes beyond the normal scope of the budget process," said Director of Finance, Danielle Oettle "It keeps the City responsible and ensures we serve our community in the best way possible."

Once the initial budget draft is finalized, a version is made available both in-person at the Maryland Heights Government Center, and online on the Maryland Heights website. This way, both the public and the City leadership has ample time to review the document and provide feedback before the final vote by the City Council. After the budget is finalized, the Communications Division and Finance Department collaborate to produce the annual Budget in Brief document, which runs in the February-March issue of MH Life, as a way to help explain budgeting to the Maryland Heights community. These efforts are what the GFOA considers when awarding recipients of the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, which Maryland Heights strives to excel at each and every year!

"A lot of additional work goes into the application process for the award, as well," Oettle noted. "Once the application is submitted along with the final budget document, reviewers from peer cities across the nation are assigned to determine if the budget meets the criteria guidelines determined for a 'Distinguished Budget.'"

Maryland Heights has won the award for numerous years and maintains its standard of quality with this year's recognition. “The Finance team and city staff work hard year round to ensure the budget document is used to navigate the fiscal year ahead. Staff do their best to go above the ‘Status Quo’,” said City Administrator, Tracey Anderson. “Being recognized for this hard work continues to show the dedicated team that we have in place.”

Our team is far from resting on their laurels, and already have the 2024 Budget in mind, "We're excited to continually meet the requirements to receive this award!" exclaimed Oettle.

Four staff members pose with the 2023 budget document