Posted: September 22nd, 2022
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1. Choose one of the approved city councils or school boards listed in the Community Meeting Review guidelines. (It would make sense to complete a Brief on the particular council/city or board/school district that you intend write about in your Community Meeting Review.
You should be able to complete most, if not all, of the assignment from a single website. Find the “official website” of the city or school district for which you are researching. A Google search will do that. If you still come up short on some required info, either use www.usa.com and/or Google for that specific info.
2. Research the city/city council or school district/board and complete the question list below. Please list your details in the order, numbering, and structure given.
3. Save your information in a Microsoft Word, PDF, or Rich Text Format (.rtf) document.
(Canvas submission instructions will be posted later). Questions to Answer in the Local Government Info Brief:
1. Name of city or school district:
2. Website URL of city or school district (do a Google search to find the official website):
3. City or school district office’s physical address/location and phone number:
-City: List the members of the council, mayor, and city manager
-School District: List the members of the school board, board president,
and school superintendent/president
5. City population or number of students in the district:
6. Budget Information— What was the total yearly spending by the city or school district in the most recent complete year available?
7. Does the city council or school board provide videos or video links of past meetings on their website?
Background for question #6–here are some budgeting terms that should be helpful in your search and understanding:
-Fiscal Years–Governments’ fiscal years are not the same as calendar years. When VVC has a 2021-22 fiscal year, it is not really two years combined. It represent the fiscal year that runs between July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
-For this assignment, find a document that is a recent “approved budget”
-Usually, you can find the “total yearly spending” in one of the summary pages at the beginning of the document
-You could just find the total yearly spending for the city/school district “general fund,” or you can look at the overall spending (normally called “operating budget”), which can include things like “capital outlays” (big construction projects), or a water district that is under city control, for example. Either total would be just fine for this assignment.
-Some of the different wording in the budget that can be used besides total yearly “spending,” might be total “expenses” or total “expenditures”
-Make sure you are including the total of “restricted funds” and “unrestricted funds”—not just one or the other
-Make sure you are not looking at a certain “category” of spending/expenses, such as just “salaries,” for example
-Make sure you are not looking at “fund balances” or “reserves” (those items do not represent total spending)
-Finally, your total yearly spending needs to be in this ballpark—somewhere between $1 mil. and $1 bil.—if you have a figure lower than $1 mil., or higher than $1 bil., you are looking at the wrong figure. Hope this helps. And who knows, this might inspire you to be the Finance Director in some government organization!!
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