Article 6 — Financial Administration

Section 6.05 Biennial Budgets

The county council may budget either annually or biennially in accordance with state law. The procedure and steps for adopting a biennial budget shall conform with the procedure and steps for adopting an annual budget. References in this charter to the fiscal year or to specific dates shall apply to the corresponding annual or biennial period or date. Reference to "quarterly" shall mean three months.

(Added during General Election, Nov. 7, 2006, Eff date Jan. 1, 2007).

Section 6.10 Budget Information

At least one hundred thirty-five days prior to the end of the fiscal year, all agencies of county government including elected department officers shall submit to the county executive information which the county executive deems necessary to prepare the proposed budget.

Section 6.20 Presentation of Proposed Budget

At least seventy-five days prior to the end of each fiscal year preceding the preparation of an annual budget, or one hundred days prior to the end of each fiscal year preceding the preparation of a biennial budget, the county executive shall present to the county council a complete proposed budget and budget message, including a budget ordinance which identifies proposed operating and capital appropriations and estimated revenues and reserves necessary to balance the budget. The county executive shall present to the county council proposed tax and revenue ordinances which may be necessary to generate additional resources not being collected in the current year. The county executive also shall present to the county council a proposed capital improvement program for the next six fiscal years. Copies of the proposed budget, budget message, ordinances and capital improvement program shall be delivered to each council member. Copies of the proposed budget, budget message and ordinances shall be furnished by the county executive to any interested person for a reasonable fee as established by ordinance and shall be available for public inspection at the office of the county executive.

(Amended during General Election, Nov. 7, 2006, Eff date Jan. 1, 2007).

Section 6.30 Contents of Budget

The proposed budget shall be presented in a form as specified by ordinance and shall include all funds, revenues and reserves, shall be divided into categories, projects, and objects of expense and shall include supporting data deemed advisable by the county executive or required by ordinance or motion. The proposed budget shall indicate as to each category, project or object of expense the actual expenditures of the preceding fiscal year, the current year adjusted appropriations reflecting all budget modifications subsequent to original adoption, and requested appropriations for the next fiscal year. The appropriations included in the budget for the ensuing fiscal year shall not exceed the estimated revenues and reserves.

Section 6.40 Budget Message

The budget message shall explain the budget in fiscal terms and in terms of the goals to be accomplished and shall relate the requested appropriations to the four year financial plan of the county.

Section 6.50 Consideration and Adoption of the Budget

At least thirty days prior to the end of the fiscal year, the county council shall adopt budget, tax and revenue ordinances for the next fiscal year. Prior to the adoption of any budget ordinance for the next fiscal year, the county council shall hold a public hearing to consider the proposed budget presented by the county executive and shall hold any other public hearings on the budget or any part thereof that it deems advisable. The county council in considering the budget ordinance proposed by the county executive, may delete or add items, may reduce or increase the proposed appropriations and may add provisions restricting the expenditure of certain appropriations, provided that the county council shall adopt a six (6) year capital improvement program as an adjunct to the budget, including a balance of proposed expenses and potential revenue sources.

The appropriations included in the budget ordinance adopted by the county council shall not exceed the estimated revenues of the county for the next fiscal year for each fund including surpluses and reserves. However the county council may increase the amount of the estimated revenues contained in the budget proposed by the county executive by reestimating the amount by motion passed by a minimum of four affirmative votes, by utilizing reserves in a manner not proposed by the county executive or by creating additional sources of revenue which were not included in the proposed tax and revenue ordinances presented by the county executive.

(Amended during General Election, Nov. 5, 1996, Eff date Nov. 30, 1996; Amended during General Election, Nov. 7, 2006, Eff date Jan. 1, 2007).

Section 6.60 Budget Control

Every three months, and more often if required, the county executive shall submit to the county council a written report showing the relation between the estimated income and expenses and actual income and expenses to date. If it shall appear that the income is less than anticipated, the county council may reduce appropriations, except amounts required to meet contractual obligations and for debt, interest and other fixed charges, to such a degree as may be necessary to keep expenditures within the cash income.

(Added during General Election, Nov. 7, 2006, Eff date Jan. 1, 2007).

Section 6.70 Contingency Appropriations

The budget ordinance may include contingency appropriations within various funds which shall not be expended unless the county executive certifies in writing that sufficient funds are available and the county council approves a budget transfer.

(Added during General Election, Nov. 7, 2006, Eff date Jan. 1, 2007).

Section 6.75 Budget Revision Ordinances

The county council may adopt budget revision ordinances to reduce spending authority or to increase spending authority beyond that included in the original adopted budget. Budget revisions that increase spending authority shall be funded from the unreserved undesignated fund balance to the extent deemed advisable by the county executive who shall certify in writing that such funds are available for appropriation.

Section 6.80 Supplemental Appropriations

The county council may adopt supplemental appropriation ordinances which may appropriate unanticipated funds available to the county.

Section 6.85 Emergency Appropriations

When a public emergency which could not reasonably have been foreseen at the time of making the budget, or upon the happening of any emergency caused by fire, flood, explosion, storm, earthquake, epidemic, riot, or insurrection, or for the immediate preservation of order or of public health or for the restoration to a condition of usefulness of any public property the usefulness of which has been destroyed by accident, or for the relief of a stricken community overtaken by a calamity, or in settlement of approved claims for personal injuries or property damages, exclusive of claims arising from the operation of any public utility owned by the county, or to meet mandatory expenditures required by law, the county council may adopt emergency appropriation ordinances which may appropriate contingency funds, revenues received in excess of the revenues estimated in the budget and funds from any other source available to the county in an emergency.

Section 6.90 Additional Capital Budget Appropriations

The county council shall not adopt an additional or amended capital budget appropriation ordinance during the fiscal year without a written recommendation by the county executive.

Section 6.95 Transfers of Appropriations

The county council may establish by ordinance procedures for the transfer of appropriations between general classifications of expenditures.

Section 6.100 Lapses of Appropriations

Unless otherwise provided by the budget ordinance, all unexpended and unencumbered appropriations in the budget ordinance shall lapse at the end of the fiscal year. An appropriation in the capital budget appropriation ordinance shall lapse when the project has been completed or abandoned or when no expenditure or encumbrance has been made for three years.

Section 6.110 Illegal Contracts

Except as otherwise provided by ordinance, any contract in excess of an appropriation shall be null and void; and any officer, agent or employee of the county knowingly responsible shall be personally liable to anyone damaged by that person’s action. The county council when requested to do so by the county executive may adopt an ordinance permitting the county to enter into contracts requiring the payment of funds from appropriations of subsequent fiscal years, but real property shall not be leased to the county for more than one year, unless it is included in a capital budget appropriation ordinance.

(Amended during General Election, Nov. 8, 2016, Eff date Dec. 9, 2016).

Section 6.120 Salaries of Elected Officials

The county council shall establish by ordinance and in accordance with law an independent "salary commission," which shall fix the salaries for the county council, executive, assessor, auditor, clerk, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and treasurer. Salary commission members shall serve two year terms ending December 31, 2009 and every two years thereafter. Members of the salary commission shall serve without compensation, but may receive reimbursement for mileage to and from meetings and for such other expenses directly related to their service as provided by ordinance.

The salary commission shall meet biennially and shall file the salary schedule with the county council and county auditor not later than May 1. The salary schedule shall become effective January 1 of the following calendar year and incorporated into the county budget without further action of the county council, county executive or salary commission. Salary changes fixed by the salary commission shall be subject to referendum petition in the manner as prescribed by law for county commissioner and councilmember salary commissions.

The salaries for the county council, executive, assessor, auditor, clerk, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and treasurer in effect on January 1, 2007 shall remain in effect until changed as provided herein.