Annual Financial Report - 2008
This Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is issued for the City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, with respect to the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008. The purpose of this report 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, which ended June 30, 2008, reflect our commitment to this objective:
- The City continues to provide facilities and services to its citizens while maintaining its pay-as-you-go philosophy and imposing no property tax rate increase for 44 years.
- The City’s reserves continue to be adequate to support unexpected emergencies in order to provide the highest quality of City services.
During Fiscal Year 2008, the City made progress in all of the goal areas of the Strategic Plan. The City’s tradition of award-winning programs was extended in a variety of ways:
- The City was awarded its 30th Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007.
- A sixth Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) was received for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007.
- CNN/Money Magazine ranked Gaithersburg 29th on a national list of “Best Small Cities in America.” The rankings took in to consideration such criteria as family purchasing power, property taxes, job growth, student test scores, access to higher education, commute times, personal and property crime statistics, access to cultural amenities such as museums and libraries, weather, air quality, and health issues.
- Gaithersburg was one of only 14 municipalities in Maryland to earn “Banner City/Town” designation from the Maryland Municipal League (MML) in the inaugural year of this award. The program recognizes those communities that demonstrate a commitment to MML programs and activities through the involvement of their elected and appointed officials.
- Prevention Magazine and the American Podiatric Medicine Association ranked Gaithersburg 63rd on a list of “Best Walking Cities in America.” Criteria included the percentage of adults who walk to work, the number of parks per square mile, safety, use of mass transit, and the percentage of adults who walk for fitness.
- Five members of the Gaithersburg Police Department received Public Safety Awards from the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce for distinguished service and meritorious conduct.
- In Fiscal Year 2008, The City’s Cable TV staff received two national awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, one for a presentation made at the State of the City Dinner and one for cable TV feature on Gaithersburg’s first municipal green building.
- Four City employees received APEX Awards for Communication Excellence, two for a cable TV feature celebrating the life of Rachel Carson as told by the student of Rachel Carson Elementary School, one for a promotional poster for amenities at Bohrer Park, and one for magazine and journal writing for the annual Gaithersburg City Guide.
- Gaithersburg received a Tree City USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the 19th consecutive year.
The City continues to strive for excellence in the community:
- The City created a homeownership assistance fund to help those residents being displaced by development and redevelopment efforts, and also created a housing stipend for City employees to encourage staff members to live close to where they work.
- The City’s conducted a comprehensive Citizen Survey for the first time in decades. 75% of respondents gave the overall quality of life in Gaithersburg a rating of “good” or “excellent,” while services provided by City government were rated as “good” or “excellent” by 76% of respondents.
- A commitment to the environment was reinforced with strict new “green” building ordinances for both residential and commercial development. The City also modified its recycling contract to allow residents to “single stream” their recycling, eliminating the need for sorting.
- Public safety continues to be a focus. FY 2008 saw the addition of the Safe Speed speed camera program, the installation of in-car cameras in police vehicles, the implementation of a beat plan for better use of resources, the addition of Max, a new service dog, and the attainment of reaccreditation by the Gaithersburg Police Department. An ordinance was also passed in FY 2008 to create a Fire Protection Systems Operations permit, helping to protect the lives of those working and living in Gaithersburg.
- The City received $1.28 million in grants to support community and economic development activities, homeless programs, police salaries and equipment, nutrition programs for seniors, and other important human service initiatives.
The City of Gaithersburg continues to provide important services to its citizens, while maintaining a strong, fiscally conservative approach to financial management. It is my belief that the City’s Strategic Plan, effective budget process and sound management principles will ensure that the City remains in strong financial condition.
James D. Arnoult
Acting City Manager at the time the report was issued