The first picture shows our Unassigned General Fund Balances. This is our “reserve fund”. Rating agencies expect cities to have roughly 15% of their overall revenues in this fund (“rainy day”). As you can see, in 2010 (which was my first budget as mayor), we had $16,981 in this fund, which was 0.1%. This fund was eaten up the previous yearsbefore I was mayor to get to that point. As you can see in my 2017 budget, that fund will be around $3,200,000, or 15.8% of revenues and finally within our 15% threshold. A very positive step in responsible budgeting since I was first elected Mayor.
The next picture shows our overall city debt. In the 2017 Budget I presented a plan to borrow almost $25,000,000 over the next 5 years. Sounds like a lot of money, right? But just look at this picture. As you can see, I was given $76,641, 839 in debt when I took over in 2009. As you can also see, my first budget in 2010 was the first year we paid off more debt than we incurred, and as the graph shows, that trend has continued my entire time in office, and will continue to even while borrowing $25,000,000 over the next 5 years (in major road projects, downtown parking, parks and trails, river and lakefront, etc). The overall debt in my plan would be under $40,000,000 by 2022, almost half of what it was in 2009. In fact, the overall city debt will be lower than it was in 2005 when I was first elected to the Common Council (almost $20,000,000 less!).
These two pictures show how fiscally responsible the city has become since I was first elected mayor in 2009. It also shows how we will be able to invest large sums of money back into this community in areas where we desperately need to attract businesses and people to our community, without going further into debt and without asking the taxpayers to increase their taxes to do so.