Scott Huth | Del Mar City Manager
General Fun Revenues, Expenditures, and Fund Balance
Courtesy Scott Huth, City of Del Mar
After being in Del Mar for two months, my initial thoughts of the City’s finances are that we are in a good financial position, but that we must act with care and prudence to provide the level of service that our residents, businesses, and visitors are accustomed to, while also meeting the demands of investment in our community, and the repair and maintenance of our aging infrastructure.
Our City functions as a very lean government service provider. This conservative financial management style is what has helped our City weather the economic downturn. While other cities have expanded staff and borrowed during the good times, the City has maintained its existing staffing, has continued to fund its maintenance and capital projects out of existing resources, and has always maintained a balanced budget. I have been pleased to find that I have inherited an excellent and capable staff in all departments, and that the City’s internal finance team, with the assistance of Council, the Finance Committee, and volunteer experts from the community, have given us the effective talent pool of a much larger agency.
The City was recently awarded a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and an Excellence in Budgeting Award by the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) for its Fiscal Years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 Operating and Capital Budget. This is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and represents a significant achievement by the City. The City also received the prestigious GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award program, as it has for the last 15 consecutive years. The City recently received an unqualified, or “clean” audit from the City’s independent auditor for its Fiscal Year 2010-2011 financial statements, and the auditor noted the City’s strong financial position achieved by its increased Property Tax, Sales and Use Tax, and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenues, and decreased expenditures. This resulted in a $629,000 increase to the General Fund balance. Combined with the City’s recently upgraded credit rating to AAA (the highest level) the City is well positioned to make needed investments in repairing and upgrading its infrastructure, and in its Village Specific Plan.
Preserving the unique seaside community atmosphere and charming character of Del Mar is the first priority of the Village Specific Plan. Success will also be measured by providing parking, improving traffic flow, a more pedestrian friendly environment, and to the extent to which businesses invest in their properties, as facilitated by incentives and more favorable development standards.
One thing that I believe is completely unique to our City is the degree to which the residents, community groups and businesses help fund raise and volunteer their efforts to make Del Mar a better community. Notable past fundraising and volunteer successes include the Beach Safety Center, the Shores Property purchase, the Wayside Horn, and beautification of City landscape areas by the City’s Garden Club.
I am very happy to be here and look forward to being a part of the community’s success. I welcome any suggestions on how to further enhance our community and the services that we provide.