For two years I’ve represented your interests as a conservative member of your City Council, and in that time, I’ve never lost sight of the fact that government doesn’t have any of its own money; it only has other people’s money. And, with that comes the responsibility of being good stewards – not only of your tax dollars, but also the trust and integrity on how it’s spent. The June 5th Council meeting will not only be an exciting event with the swearing in of our Council’s newly elected members, it’ll also signify the adoption of yet another balanced budget by the existing Council.
I personally, am proud of this accomplishment; however, there is much recognition to be given. Let me start by thanking my fellow members of Council, and in particular Mayor Anthony Smith and Councilman Carl Diedrich,
for their input and several hours spent with me in the council’s Budget, Finance, and Operations Subcommittee meetings. It was in these meetings we reviewed individual line-items of each department budget for presentation to the full council at our annual budget retreat. Thank you to City Manager Brenda Fischer for effectively administering council’s balanced budget philosophy, and incorporating a “zero-based” budgeting approach for the second year in a row. I’d also like to thank our dedicated City Staff for turning over every stone, and Maricopa’s many community partners, for playing their part in helping the City to be good stewards of your tax dollars.
Maricopa isn’t only one of the youngest cities in Arizona, but also one of the most financially sound. Our balance sheet is looks good, and in the coming years, it’ll look even better. Maricopa finds itself in the unique position of being able to look at more established communities, and learn from their successes, and their missteps; to put in place policy that would prevent us from heading down the wrong path.
In the coming months, your Council will be considering new policy that will help to protect the City’s ability to remain financially sound for many years to come. Some examples would be to limit the percentage of the operating budget that can be dedicated towards debt maintenance, what to do with unspent “one-time” monies that are left over from a previous fiscal year, and how we would dedicate interest monies earned from the City’s investments. The intent is to assist Maricopa in financially insulating itself from another recession, paying down bond debt in advance, and ending the secondary property tax levy sooner then expected. Although the Council can’t bind a future Council with policy – what we can do is force future councils to have a discussion on the matter; to make them pause and consider the fiscal philosophy on why we enacted the policy in the first place.
Thank you again, Maricopa, for allowing me to serve your interests. Our City is headed in the right direction, and the face of our city will change greatly in the coming eighteen months. It’s my hope other cities will look to Maricopa to see what we’re doing, and view us as leading the way on how to get it right. By balancing our budget today, we set the stage for a balanced future for Maricopa.
Councilman, City of Maricopa