Responsible Financial Planning 

City needs as the major consideration. 

Maintain financial health. 

Keep the city budget lean and healthy
(not fat or starved). 

In the annual city budgeting process, the basic needs of the city should be the major consideration.  Needs should be the starting point.  The budget size and property tax rate should follow from that.  We should not start with a target tax rate that may not provide enough funds or might provide more funds than needed. 

Financial health should be another important consideration.  Attention to this allows us to maintain low taxes in the long run.  Poor short term decisions can jeopardize our future.  For example, if we have to borrow more money (through issuing bonds) for street repairs because we reduced current revenue through dramatically reducing the tax rate, we will later pay more for those street repairs because we have added a cost of borrowing.  Those future extra costs may have to be covered by increasing future tax rates.  Also, if we borrow more, our bond ratings may go down, increasing our interest costs and thus further increasing our future tax rates.  Alternatively, future councils may elect to postpone street repairs, leading to a lower quality of life in our city. 

David Smith will again apply his financial expertise and his fiscal conservatism to ensure the city budget adequately serves its basic needs – at the City of Excellence level – and no more than its basic needs, all while maintaining top-notch financial health.  David accomplished this through serving on the city’s Finance Committee through all three of his prior terms.  He initially helped rein in some spending that was then going beyond the basic needs and helped get the city on track towards its recent high level of financial health, including the highest possible bond rating (AAA).  This level of expertise and experience is unmatched by anyone who will be or may be on council starting this May.