This is the first time Medford has received the prestigious national GFOA Award for its municipal budget.
The award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.
The City of Medford has received the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the Fiscal Year 2021 municipal budget, Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn announced today. Medford submitted the FY21 budget for consideration in September 2020, and GFOA awards were announced in March 2021. This marks the first time the City of Medford has received the award, the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting. According to the GFOA, the award “represents a significant achievement” by a municipality that “reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting.”
In order to receive the award, the City must publish a budget document that meets the stringent GFOA program criteria as a policy document, as a financial plan, as an operations guide, and as a communications device.
“Meeting the stringent criteria set forth by GFOA for the FY21 Budget was among the first goals I had when coming into office last year,” said Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn. “We will look to improve on the work already begun and continue to present a budget that is balanced, clear, transparent, and easy to navigate. I am incredibly proud of the hard work put in by the City’s budget team in meeting the high expectations for this award and delivering in one of the most challenging budget cycles in history.”
The award was presented to the City of Medford following the submission of the FY21 budget, during which Mayor Lungo-Koehn’s administration completely overhauled the budget layout to include in-depth analysis of each department, its year-over-year expenditures, and accounting. In August 2020, the City’s bond rating agency also affirmed the City’s long-term bond rating of AA+ with a “stable outlook” for the City’s credit, citing strong financial practices and policies, and more robust budgeting and planning framework contributing to a stable financial profile.
“When building the FY21 budget we had a clear mission – deliver a responsible, on-time budget that met the Mayor’s goals of transparency and clarity. This would be a challenge in a normal budget year, but was made all the more complicated by the pandemic, and the economic and fiscal issues that came with it,” said Aleesha Nunley-Benjamin, Finance Director/Auditor for the City of Medford. “We are excited to be recognized by GFOA for meeting that challenge and are looking forward to building on last year’s work in the upcoming budget cycle.”
Mayor Lungo-Koehn and City staff are currently preparing for Fiscal Year 2022 and have made further improvements to bolster the City’s budget process and enhance transparency for the Medford community. Early in 2021, the City hired an Assistant Finance Director/Budget Manager who will spearhead the budgeting process, and the City is expanding its contract with ClearGov – used to provide the City’s fiscal transparency platform – to modernize Medford’s budget development and presentation process to a cloud based, interactive system for use across the City administration.
The FY21 budget is available for public review here.
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