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Article VI

Financial Procedures

Section 6.01. Fiscal Year; Treasurer

A. The fiscal year of the City shall begin on the first day of July and end on the last day of June.

B. The Director of the Department of Finance shall function as the city treasurer unless another person is designated by resolution.

Section 6.02 Recommended Budget and Message; Recommended Capital Program

The city administrator shall prepare a recommended budget for the ensuing fiscal year, an accompanying recommended budget message, and a recommended capital program, according to the time schedule provided herein.

Section 6.03 Contents

A.The recommended budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all City funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year and, except as required by law or this Charter, shall be in such form as the city administrator deems desirable or the Governing Body may require.

B. The city administrator's recommended budget message shall explain the recommended budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of the work programs. It shall outline the proposed financial policies of the City for the ensuing fiscal year, describe the important features of the budget, indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures, and revenues, together with the reasons for such changes, summarize the City's debt position and include such other material as the city administrator deems desirable.

C. The recommended capital program shall include:

  • A clear general summary of its contents;
  • A list of all capital improvements and other capital expenditures which are proposed to be undertaken during the five fiscal years next ensuing, with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for each;
  • Cost estimates and recommended time schedules for each improvement or other capital expenditure;
  • Method of financing upon which each capital expenditure is to be based; and
  • The estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired.

D. Yearly Revision. The requirements set forth in Subsection C shall be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending, or in the process of construction or acquisition.

Section 6.04 Review by chief moderator; Submission to Governing Body

A. Submission to the chief moderator. Not later than the fifteenth day of April, the city administrator shall submit a draft of the recommended budget, budget message, and capital program to the chief moderator.

B. Comments by the chief moderator. Between the fifteenth day of April and the twenty-fifth day of April, the chief moderator shall review the city administrator's draft of the recommended budget, budget message, and capital program, and not later than the twenty-fifth day of April, shall submit to the city administrator any written comments regarding the city administrator's draft recommended budget, budget message, and capital program.

C. The city administrator shall either:

  • Incorporate one or more of the comments and recommendations of the chief moderator into the recommended budget, budget message, or capital program; or
  • State in writing and in detail, regarding each and every comment and recommendation of the chief moderator which the city administrator does not incorporate into the recommended budget, budget message, or capital program, specific reasons for the city administrator's decision not to so incorporate such comments and recommendations.

D. The recommended budget, budget message, and capital program shall be submitted to the Governing Body by the city administrator not later than the first regularly scheduled meeting in May. The recommended budget, budget message, and capital program shall be accompanied by all of the comments and recommendations submitted to the city administrator by the chief moderator, and shall set forth the action of the city administrator in response to each comment or recommendation of the chief moderator, as required in Subsection B of this section.

Section 6.05 Governing Body Action on Budget and Capital Program

A. Notice and Hearing. The Governing Body shall cause to be published a notice stating:

  • The times and places where copies of the budget, budget message, and capital program are available for inspection by the public; and
  • The time and place, not less than two weeks after such publication, for a public hearing on the budget and the capital program.

B. Amendment before Adoption. After the public hearing, the Governing Body may adopt the budget and capital program with or without amendment. In amending the budget or capital program it may add or increase programs or amounts; it may delete or decrease any programs or amounts, except expenditures required by law for debt service or for an estimated cash deficit; provided that no amendment shall increase the total authorized expenditures to an amount greater than total estimated income.

C. Adoption. The Governing Body shall adopt the budget and capital program by separate resolutions as provided by the laws of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

D. If the budget is not adopted by the beginning of the fiscal year, then the amounts appropriated for current operations for the current fiscal year shall be deemed adopted for the ensuing fiscal year on a month-to-month basis, with all items prorated accordingly until the Governing Body adopts a budget. Nothing herein shall preclude the City from meeting all bond payments and debt service when due.

Section 6.06 Appropriation and Revenue Resolutions; Limitation on Taxing Power

A. To implement the adopted budget, the Governing Body shall adopt, prior to the beginning of the ensuing fiscal year:

  • An appropriation resolution making appropriations by department or major organizational unit;
  • A tax levy resolution authorizing the property tax levy or levies, subject to limits on such taxing authority as is imposed by the laws of the Republic and Canton of Geneva; and
  • Any other resolutions or ordinances, as appropriate, required to authorize new revenues, or to amend the rates or other features of existing taxes or other revenue sources.

B. Nothing herein shall be interpreted as granting any additional taxing authority to the City beyond that which is authorized by law.

Section 6.07 Amendments After Adoption

A. Supplemental Appropriations. If, during the fiscal year, the city administrator certifies that there are available for appropriation, revenues in excess of those estimated in the budget, the Governing Body, by resolution, may make supplemental appropriations for the year up to the amount of such excess, in accordance with the laws of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

B. Emergency Appropriations. To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the Governing Body may make emergency appropriations. Such appropriations shall be made by resolution. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues or a sufficient fund balance to meet such appropriations, the Governing Body may, by an emergency ordinance, authorize the issuance of emergency notes which may be renewed from time to time; but the emergency notes and any renewals thereof in any fiscal year shall be paid not later than the last day of the fiscal year next succeeding that in which the emergency appropriation was made.

C. Reduction of Appropriations. If, at any time during the fiscal year, it appears probable to the city administrator that the revenues or fund balances available will be insufficient to finance the expenditures for which appropriations have been authorized, the administrator shall report to the Governing Body without delay, indicating the estimated amount of the deficit, any remedial action taken by the administrator and recommendations as to any other steps to be taken. The Governing Body shall then take such further action as it deems necessary to prevent or reduce any deficit, and for that purpose it may, by resolution, reduce one or more appropriations.

D. Transfer of Appropriations. At any time during the fiscal year, the Governing Body may, by resolution, transfer part or all of the unencumbered appropriation balance from one department or major organizational unit to the appropriation for other departments or major organizational units. The city administrator may transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balances among programs within a department or organizational unit, and shall report such transfers to the Governing Body in writing in a timely manner.

E. Limitation; Effective Date. No appropriation for debt service may be reduced or transferred, and no appropriation may be reduced below any amount required by law to be appropriated, or by more than the amount of the unencumbered balance thereof. The supplemental and emergency appropriations and reductions, or transfer of appropriations authorized by this section, may be made effective immediately upon adoption.

Section 6.08 Lapse of Appropriations

Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year, to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until expended, revised or repealed; the purpose of any such appropriation shall be deemed abandoned if three years pass without any disbursement from or encumbrance of the appropriation.

Section 6.09 Administration of the Budget

The Governing Body shall provide, by ordinance, the procedures for administering the budget.

Section 6.10 Prohibition of Overspending of Appropriations

A. No payment shall be made or obligation incurred against any allotment or appropriation, except in accordance with appropriations duly made, and unless the city administrator or the administrator's designee first certifies that there is a sufficient unencumbered balance in such allotment or appropriation, and that sufficient funds therefrom are or will be available to cover the claim or meet the obligation when it becomes due and payable.

B. Any authorization of payment or incurring of an obligation in violation of the provisions of this Charter shall be void, and any payment so made shall be illegal.

C. A violation of this provision shall be cause for removal of any officer who knowingly authorized or made such payment, or incurred such obligation. Such officer may also be liable to the City for any amount so paid.

D. Except where prohibited by law, however, nothing in this Charter shall be construed to prevent the making or authorizing of payments, or making of contracts for capital improvements to be financed wholly or partly by the issuance of bonds, or the making of any contract or lease providing for payments beyond the end of the fiscal year, but only if such action is made or approved by ordinance.

Section 6.11 Independent Audit

A. The Governing Body shall provide for an independent annual audit of all City accounts and may provide for more frequent audits as it deems necessary. Such audits shall be made by a certified public accountant or firm of such accountants who have no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the City government or any of its officers.

B. The Governing Body may, subject to the requirements of the Republic and Canton of Geneva Procurement Code, designate such accountant or firm, annually or for a period not exceeding three years, but the designation for any particular fiscal year shall be made no later than thirty days after the beginning of such fiscal year, unless otherwise required by the laws of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

Section 6.12. Investment of Funds

The Governing Body shall adopt by ordinance a policy and procedure regarding the deposit and investment of City funds which protects such funds and earns as high a rate of interest as is practical, reasonable and prudent. The City may deposit its funds with eligible institutions located within or without the City.