Agnes Saenz, Executive Director of Community Ministries of Rockville, presents testimony at the 2013 budget hearings in Rockville City Hall.
This is the first of a series of articles by former Rockville Councilmember Mark Pierzchala on how the budget process in Rockville works and how you can be involved in that process. Mark Pierzchala was a Rockville Councilmember from 2009 to 2013 and was known for his budgetary knowledge. During that time he was also on Rockville's Retirement Board and the board of Rockville Economic Development, Inc. He owns a small business and is a member of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce.
[Photo: Agnes Saenz, Executive Director of Community Ministries of Rockville, presents testimony at the 2013 budget hearings in Rockville City Hall.]
Rockville’s Mayor and Council and City Staff work every year to produce the City’s budget. Formal activities for the FY 2015 (FY15) budget started December 9 and will continue until budget adoption on May 12. FY15 runs July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.
The City’s budget is in two parts; the Operating Budget and the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Budget. City Manager Barbara Matthews proposed an operating budget of $116.8 million to cover the General Fund and 6 Enterprise Funds, an increase of 2.5%. The General Fund supports core services and administration. Its budget of $69.1 million represents an increase of 0.1% over FY2014. The proposed FY15 CIP budget would support a total of 47 CIP projects. Proposed budgets are based on input from City Staff and the elected officials.
You can find much information about the FY15 and prior year budgets by visiting the City’s website budget page
. There are links to the budget calendar, the two proposed budget books in PDF format, and City Staff presentations.
Four public hearings are scheduled March 31, April 7, April 21, and April 28
. Each is followed by a budget work session. Final decisions will be made a week or two before adoption.
Historically, few citizens participate in the budget process. Groups such as caregiver agencies usually make requests at the hearings. To be an effective advocate, make your opinions known sooner rather than later. The best requests are those that are plainly stated and clearly justified. You only have 3 minutes to speak at a public hearing, but you can speak at any or all of the hearings. Written statements can support verbal testimony. You can also email your Mayor and Councilmembers or talk to them.
I will write more articles during the budget season. Budgets are fascinating because they reflect the values of a community, they balance revenue and expenditure, and they bridge the past, the present, and the future.
In this series:
Posted April 24, 2014: Rockville's Budget: Something Has To Give
Posted April 10, 2014: Rockville's Looming Budget Challenges
Posted April 3, 2014: Understanding Rockville's Budget Books
Posted March 27, 2014: Rockville's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget