Article 6 Financial Administration

Section 6.05 Budget Cycle.

The County Council may adopt an ordinance providing for a biennial budget cycle with a mid-biennium review and modification for the second year of the biennium. The County Council may repeal such an ordinance and revert to adopting annual budgets for a period commencing after the end of the biennial budget cycle. The County Council may adopt supplemental and emergency budgets in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as if the County had an annual budget cycle. In lieu of adopting an annual budget, or a biennial budget with a mid-biennium review for all funds, the County Council may adopt an ordinance or a resolution providing for a biennial budget or budgets for any one or more funds for the County, with mid-biennium review and modifications for the second year of the biennium with the other funds remaining on an annual budget. The County Council may repeal such an ordinance or resolution and revert to adopting annual budgets for a period commencing after the end of the biennial budget or biennial budgets for the specific agency fund or funds. The County Council with a biennial budget cycle may adopt supplemental and emergency budgets in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the County Council adopting an annual budget cycle. (Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]).

Section 6.10 Presentation and Adoption of Budgets.

At least seventy-five (75) days prior to the end of each budget cycle, the County Executive shall present to the County Council a complete budget and budget message, proposed current expense and capital budget appropriation ordinances, and proposed tax and revenue ordinances necessary to raise sufficient revenues to balance the budget; and at least thirty (30) days prior to the end of the budget cycle, the Council shall adopt appropriation, tax and revenue ordinances for the next budget cycle. (Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]).

Section 6.20 Budget Information.

At least one hundred thirty-five (135) days prior to the end of the budget cycle, all agencies of County government shall submit to the County Executive information necessary to prepare the budget. (Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]; Amended by Ord. 2005-075 Exh. A).

Section 6.30 Contents of Budget.

The budget 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; shall indicate as to each category, project or object of expense the actual expenditures of the preceding budget cycle, the estimated expenditures for the current budget cycle and requested appropriations for the next budget cycle; and shall include the proposed capital improvement program for the next six budget cycles. The expenditures included in the budget for the ensuing budget cycle shall not exceed the estimated revenues. (Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]).

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 comprehensive plans of the County. (Amended by Ord. 2005-075 Exh. A).

Section 6.41 Budget Control.

Within six weeks following the end of each quarterly period during the budget cycle, 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; and if it shall appear that the income is less than anticipated, the 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. (Amended by referendum 1995; Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]).

Section 6.50 Copies of the Budget.

Copies of the budget and budget message shall be delivered to the County Auditor and each councilmember. The budget message and supporting tables shall be furnished to any interested person upon request for a reasonable fee as established by ordinance and shall be available for public inspection from the time the budget message is delivered. (Amended by Ord. 2005-075 Exh. A).

Section 6.60 Consideration and Adoption of the Budget.

Prior to the adoption of any appropriation ordinances for the next budget cycle, the County Council shall hold a public hearing to consider the 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 Council in considering the appropriation ordinances by the Executive, may delete or add items, may reduce or increase the proposed appropriations and may add provisions restricting the expenditure of certain appropriations; but it shall not change the form of the proposed appropriation ordinances submitted by the Executive. The appropriation ordinances adopted by the County Council shall not exceed the estimated revenues of the County for the next budget cycle for each fund including surpluses and reserves, but the Council may increase the amount of the estimated revenues contained in the budget presented by the Executive by reestimating the amount by motion passed by a minimum of five (5) affirmative votes or by creating additional sources of revenue which were not included in the proposed tax and revenue ordinances presented by the Executive. (Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]; Amended by Ord. 2005-075 Exh. A).

Section 6.70 Additional Appropriations.

Additional funds may be appropriated by contingency or emergency appropriations.

Section 6.71 Contingency Appropriations.

The annual budget ordinance shall include contingency funds which shall not be expended unless the County Executive certifies in writing that sufficient funds are available and the County Council adopts an additional appropriation ordinance after being requested to do so by the Executive.

Section 6.72 Emergency Appropriations.

The County Council may adopt an emergency appropriation ordinance 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 6.73 Additional Capital Budget Appropriations.

The County Council shall not adopt an additional or amended capital budget appropriation ordinance during the budget cycle unless requested to do so by the County Executive. (Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]).

Section 6.80 Lapses of Appropriations.

Unless otherwise provided by the appropriation ordinances, all unexpended and unencumbered appropriations in the current expense appropriation ordinances shall lapse at the end of the budget cycle. An appropriation in the capital budget appropriation ordinances shall lapse when the project has been completed or abandoned or when no expenditure or encumbrance has been made for three (3) years. (Amended by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]).

Section 6.90 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 his 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 budget cycles, 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 by ballot measure 1997 [refer to Ord. 97-042]; Amended by Ord. 2005-075 Exh. A).

Section 6.100 Salaries of Elected Officials.

The county council shall establish by ordinance and in accordance with law an independent “citizens’ commission on salaries for elected officials” which shall fix the salaries for the county council, executive, assessor, auditor, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and treasurer. Salary commission members shall serve two-year terms ending December 31, 2014 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 other such 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.

The salaries for the county council, executive, assessor, auditor, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and treasurer in effect on January 1, 2012 shall remain in effect until changed as provided herein. (Added by ballot measure 2011 [refer to Ord. 2011-026]).