Rocky Fork Enterprise

City receives award for governmental budgeting

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Gahanna has been honored with an award that recognizes the highest achievement in governmental budgeting.

The city has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Governmental Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the current fiscal period beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

During the July 7 Gahanna City Council meeting, Mayor Becky Stinchcomb made a formal presentation to recognize a budget committee and finance director Jennifer Teal, who all contributed to the development of the 2014 budget.

To receive the award, she said, a governmental unit must publish a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as an operations guide, as a financial plan and as a communications device.

In addition to Teal, Stinchcomb said, the budget committee included deputy finance director Joann Bury, human-resources coordinator Abby Cochran, deputy parks director Troy Euton, public-services director Dottie Franey, development director Anthony Jones, public-information manager Niel Jurist, council clerk Kim McWilliams, parks and recreation supervisor Mike Musser, clerk of courts Amanda Parker, administrative assistant Sharon Patterson, recreation superintendent Shannon Sorrell, police Lt. Jeff Spence and emergency-management director James Williams.

"It's a significant achievement by our organization," Stinchcomb said. "Thank you to the entire team."

A panel of independent reviewers examined Gahanna's budget document and voted to give the city the award.

Teal said this marks the first time the city has received the recognition.

"I am immensely proud of the hard work that city staff, our budget committee and the finance department have done to improve the city's annual budget document," she said. "Meeting GFOA's criteria for this award reaffirms that our budget document is an effective tool for developing sustainable operating policies and increasing transparency and accountability for Gahanna's citizens and stakeholders."

Teal said Gahanna had to meet 25 criteria to receive the honor, including 13 pages of requirements.

"We applied last year and didn't receive it, but we were close," she said. "This year, one-third of the items were rated outstanding."

Last year, 25 entities in Ohio earned the award. Among the honorees were Dublin, Powell, Upper Arlington and the Worthington City School District.

Councilman Ryan Jolley congratulated the committee.

"It's very impressive," he said. "Thank you for all your work."

Stinchcomb said Gahanna had another successful July 4 parade, thanks to the Gahanna Lions Club.

"I was privileged to ride with Veterans of Foreign Wars," she said. "Many residents stood up and applauded our vets."

Council member Karen Angelou thanked the Lions for all the years the club has organized the parade.

"They do a heck of a good job and should be applauded," she said.

City attorney Shane Ewald thanked those who helped with Boomfest at the Golf Depot. Although it wasn't city-sponsored, he said, many people in council chambers volunteered at the event.

"Overall, it was a positive response," he said.

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