Brenda Hasler

The city of Maricopa was recognized by an international organization earlier this month for presenting an effective budget for fiscal year 2016-17, the ninth of its kind since the city was incorporated in 2003.

Not long after the city council voted to approve its 2017-18 budget on March 16, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GOFA) bestowed the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the city for “meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting,” according to the city press release.

City Financial Services Director Brenda Hasler, who was promoted to her present position a year ago, is a key player in the budgeting process. After being part of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 award-winning budgets, she could very well be one of the common denominators of success.

However, she said, budgeting is more of a team sport.

“The award reflects the commitment of the mayor and Council, City Manager, and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting,” Hasler said.

To be considered for the award, Maricopa had to meet certain criteria for presenting the budget, including demonstrating its proficiency in four basic roles as (1) a policy document, (2) a financial plan, (3) an operations guide, and (4) a communication device.

Fourteen subcategories of criteria were then further considered.

City Manager Gregory Rose is proud of his colleagues’ abilities to produce such a distinguished budget. Further, he said, he believes those same efforts will carry over into this year’s budget.

“The City of Maricopa Finance team has done a tremendous job putting together the budget and has received this prestigious award for nine years in a row,” he said. “We are in the process of putting together a budget for the 2017/2018 fiscal year with the same high standards.”

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), was created in 1906 and “represents public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada,” according to their website. “The association’s more than 19,000 members are federal, state/provincial, and local finance officials deeply involved in planning, financing, and implementing thousands of governmental operations in each of their jurisdictions.”