The City of Alameda is considering breaking from the mold in the Bay Area and switching to a true, two-year budget cycle. Currently, only a fraction of the 91 cities in the area use a two-year model.
Currently, Alameda budgets annually, but each budget includes a second-year outlook. By switching to a two-year model, the City will be able to budget for longer-term expenses and give its employees a sense of confidence that funding for programs and positions will continue. The hope is that will boost morale.
But more importantly would be the ability for the city to truly begin long-term fiscal planning, making modest mid-year adjustments to revenues or expenses, based upon changing local, state, and national market conditions.
The option would then exist that unused funds could roll into the second year, and be allocated to one-off capital improvements. The City could also save some money by not allocating staff time each year to preparing a complete budget.
Read the full story at the San Jose Mercury News.