Budget Roles & Responsibilities

Budget preparation and administration is a shared responsibility between the Town Council, Town Manager, Finance Department, department manager, division manager, and supervisor. Each plays an important role in the fiscal management system and the quality of and satisfaction derived from the fiscal management system is a direct result of the efforts of the several participants.

Town Council

Budget preparation and administration begins and ends with the Town Council. The Town Council has the following responsibilities:

  • Establish Town goals and major performance objectives.
  • Approve guidelines for preparing the annual operating budget.
  • Establish through adoption of an annual budget what services and the level of services to be provided and how they will be financed.
  • Establish rules for the conduct of the Town's fiscal operations.
  • Monitor progress toward achievement of objectives.
  • Require independent audit of fiscal records and transactions.

Town Manager

The Town Manager is responsible to the Town Council for the day-to-day operation and administration of the Town government. In terms of fiscal management, the Town Manager has the following responsibilities:

  • Develop policy guidelines for Town Council review and adoption.
  • Prepare and submit an annual operating budget and a five-year Capital Improvement Budget premised upon Council guidelines and goals and major performance objectives.
  • Ensure the adopted budget is properly administered.
  • Supervise the performance of all contracts for work to be done by the Town.
  • Authorize and direct the purchase of all supplies and materials used by the Town.
  • Keep Council fully advised on financial conditions of the Town.
  • Make financial reports available to Town Council by the 10th of the month following the close of the preceding month.
  • Establish rules for conduct of fiscal operations for which he is responsible.

Finance Department

The Finance Department becomes an extension of the Town Manager's Office for purposes of performing the delegated responsibilities. The responsibilities of the Finance Department include the following:

  • Administer the approved budget on a day-to-day basis to see that funds are being expended for the purposes approved and that all claims are supported by proper documentation.
  • Supervise sale of bond issues.
  • Administer centralized payroll system.
  • Administer decentralized purchase order system.
  • Assist the Town Manager's Office in preparing the budget.

Department Managers, Division Managers, and Supervisors

The critical role in the fiscal management system is performed by department managers and their division managers and supervisors. The fiscal management system will be only as good as they make it. Their role includes:

  • Responsibility for the efficient and effective operation of the activities and tasks under their direction. Line supervisors are expected to control costs and achieve results.
  • Responsibility for preparation of budget requests, which emphasize objectives and service levels as well as traditional line item explanations and justifications for various funding levels and development of measures for evaluating progress toward objectives. What is the level of accomplishment, which can be expected from various funding levels, and how do we measure it? It is absolutely essential in our approach to budget preparation that accomplishments, objectives, and estimated costs be established by those in the organization who know the most about it and can be held accountable. Those are the department managers and their division managers and supervisors.
  • Responsibility for recommending and explaining needs and opportunities for service changes; reductions as well as expansions.
  • Responsibility for providing the planned and approved service level within budget limitations.
  • Responsibility for day-to-day department and activity budget administration.