Annual Financial Report - 2011
This Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is issued for the City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. Its purpose is to provide financial information of importance to the decision-making process of the Mayor and City Council, the citizens of Gaithersburg, oversight bodies, and creditors. This report is also a vehicle for City officials to gauge the extent to which sound financial management and reporting practices are being applied to protect the public interest.
A high priority of the City is to maintain a sound financial condition. We believe that our financial results for the year ending June 30, 2011 reflect our commitment to this objective:
- The City continues to provide quality facilities and services to its citizens while preserving a pay-as-you-go philosophy.
- Through conservative and prudent financial practices we are committed to a rolling five year plan that is allowing the City to maintain reserves adequate to support unexpected emergencies, while ensuring that we can provide the highest quality services to our constituency, even in these most challenging of economic times.
During Fiscal Year 2011, the City made progress in the areas that make up our Strategic Plan.
- Public Safety was enhanced through several initiatives, including an online child sexual predator sting operation that resulted in 11 arrests, a pedestrian safety enforcement effort along the City’s busiest roadway, the addition of a second canine unit, the launch of a new web-based system that allows citizens to report traffic offenses, and the deployment of license plate reader units in patrol cars.
- Severe summer storms during this fiscal year tested our Emergency Response. With extensive power outages, downed trees and power lines, we were challenged by even the most basic of operations, yet we returned the City to normal operations in record time and kept our staff and residents informed of our efforts and our status throughout.
- Many previously-stalled Developments are now moving forward, with significant progress being made on the Crown Farm, Archstone at Olde Towne, the Residences at Hidden Creek, Spectrum at Watkins Mill, and Parklands, to name a few. Together these new communities will account for 4,500 new residential units in the City in the coming years.
- Funds within the Economic Development Toolbox were leveraged to bring 200 high technology jobs to Gaithersburg. Fiscal Year 2011 saw the completion of an extensive economic development analysis report, the findings of which will be explored by the City’s new Economic Development Director, who came on board in the fall of 2011.
- As we develop our community with desirable jobs and amenities, it is important that workers, residents and shoppers can move about with ease. The opening of the long awaited InterCounty Connector improves accessibility to Gaithersburg between the I-95 and I-270 corridors, and a newly established Transportation Committee is reviewing and making recommendations on policy matters relating to local and regional traffic and pedestrian initiatives.
- Gaithersburg remains committed to being a leader in the field of Sustainability. Recent environmental initiatives include the resumed use of biodiesel fuel, energy audits and efficiency upgrades at City facilities, the installation of LED street lighting in the new Spectrum and Parklands developments, and a unique public/private partnership that used grazing goats to eradicate non-native plant species.
- In the face of decreased operating budgets, it is vital that we use Technology to enhance our human resources. Recent initiatives include the automation of our recruitment processes, the streamlining and integration of timekeeping and payroll operations, and the deployment of a system that allows for online permitting.
- Recreational and Cultural Amenities add to a sense of community. Our robust programming in recreation and culture was enhanced in Fiscal Year 2011 with the redesign and rededication of the Gaithersburg Community Museum, and the grand opening of Observatory Park, celebrating Gaithersburg’s global role in 20th century navigation.
- Communicating with our residents remains a priority. Efforts have been made to stay connected through increased use of Facebook and YouTube. Our Cable TV station is now integrated with our emergency alert system, allowing for the automatic posting of important messages, and we continue to reach out to our communities through the use of the electronic distribution lists maintained by our homeowners associations, Neighborhood Watch groups and other ListServs.
We are proud to receive regional and national recognition for our efforts, including:
- A 33rd Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and a 9th Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2010.
- An award for Excellence in Claims Handling and Reporting from the Local Government Insurance Trust.
- Two awards for achievement in sustainable building for our LEED Platinum Certified Olde Towne Youth Center, one from the American Council of Engineering Companies and one from the U.S. Green Building Council - Maryland Chapter.
- "Banner City/Town" designation from the Maryland Municipal League (MML) for the fourth consecutive year. The program recognizes communities that educate their residents about the importance of municipal government, and that demonstrate a commitment to MML programs and activities through the involvement of their elected and appointed officials.
- A First Place Government Programming Award from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for "Gaithersburg: The Facts," a production made by our Cable TV staff that premiered at the annual State of the City Dinner.
- Tree City USA for the 22nd consecutive year, awarded by the National Arbor Day Foundation, recognizing our commitment to the environment and our aggressive approach to preserving and enhancing the City’s urban forest.
Because of conservative, prudent fiscal policies, the City of Gaithersburg is in a position to weather the current economic crisis with a minimum of sacrifice. By ensuring that we focus our efforts on those items identified in our strategic plan, by building consensus within the community through the engagement of all stakeholders, and by continuing to making smart decisions now and in the months to come, we are laying the groundwork for sound, municipal governance that continues to meet the needs of its citizenry.
Angel L. Jones