The following item ran in the July 31 edition of Our Town, an e-newsletter from the City of Novato. To receive Our Town in your e-mail inbox, sign up here.
On July 24, the Novato City Council and the community received a presentation from staff outlining a fiscal and organizational sustainability process. The City is committed to developing a plan that ensures Novato's long-term sustainability. To develop this plan, the City Council will receive input and suggestions from the community and employees.
Over the last two months, City staff has been working to develop a process to have discussions in an open format. The process sets aside the remainder of 2012 (August thru December) for education, questions, outreach and the development of options. The beginning months of 2013 would be set aside for outreach, discussion, decisions and direction.
To facilitate these discussions, the Council will hold a series of work sessions to consider specific topics. For instance, the August work session will look at some of the City's unfunded liabilities. Future sessions will address service levels, compensation, revenues (Measure F and economic development) and infrastructure and technology. Staff will develop a fiscal sustainability options "tool" for both Council and the public to review possible revenue and expenditure scenarios. This tool will serve as basis for the final fiscal and organizational sustainability plan.
In conjunction with the Council process, City staff will reach out to community members and employees through direct meetings, suggestion boxes and a city satisfaction survey to ascertain the interests of these stakeholders.
The Council was receptive to the staff-proposed process and it will serve as the framework for future fiscal and organizational sustainability discussions. However, the process is dynamic and can be changed if necessary. Staff will monitor the process and make changes as appropriate.
Additional information, including the presentation from the July 24 Council meeting, is available on the City's fiscal sustainability webpage.