Section 5-1. Submission of Budget; Budget Message.
Within the period prescribed by state statute, the Mayor shall submit to the City Council a proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year which shall provide a complete financial plan of all City funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year, and accompanying budget message, and supporting documents, including the estimated effect of the proposed budget on the tax rate. The proposed budget, including departmental requests, shall be in the same format as prescribed by the Mayor.
The message of the Mayor shall explain the budget for all City agencies both in fiscal terms and in terms of work programs.
It shall outline the proposed financial policies of the City for the ensuing fiscal year, describe the important features of the budget,
indicate any major changes from the current fiscal year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues,
together with the reasons for such changes; summarize the City's debt position and include such other material as
the Mayor deems desirable or the City Council may reasonably require.
Section 5-2. Action on the Budget.
(a) Public Hearing - The City Council shall publish in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City the general summary of the proposed budget as submitted by the Mayor by a notice stating: (1) the times and places where copies of the proposed budget are available for inspection by the public, and (2) the date, time and place, not less than two weeks after such publication, when a public hearing on said proposed budget will be held by the City Council.
(b) Adoption of the Budget - The City Council shall adopt the budget, with or without amendments, within forty-five days following the date the budget is filed with the Clerk of the Council. In amending the budget, it may delete or decrease any programs or amounts except expenditures required by law or for debt service, but except on the recommendation of the Mayor, it shall not increase any item in or the total of the proposed budget.
If the City Council fails to take action with respect to any item in the budget within forty-five days after receipt of the budget,
such amount shall, without any action by the City Council, become a part of the appropriations for the year, and be available
for the purposes specified.
Section 5-3. Capital Improvement Program.
(a) Submission - The Mayor shall prepare and submit annually to the City Council a five-year capital improvement program at least thirty days prior to the final date for submission of the operating budget.
(b) Contents - The capital improvement program shall include: (1) a clear summary of its contents; (2) a list of all capital improvements proposed to be undertaken during the next five fiscal years with supporting data; (3) cost estimates, method of financing, and recommended time schedules; and (4) the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities included. The above information shall be revised and extended each year.
(c) Public Hearing - The City Council shall publish in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City the general summary of the capital improvement program and a notice stating:
(1) the times and places where copies of the capital improvement program are available for inspection by the public; and,
(2) the date, time and place not less than two weeks after such publication, when a public hearing on said program will be held by the City Council.
(d) Adoption - After the public hearing and on or before the twentieth day of the last month of the current fiscal year,
the City Council shall, by resolution, adopt the capital improve-ment program, with or without amendment, provided that each amendment
must be voted separately and that any increase in the capital improvement program as submitted must clearly identify
the method of financing proposed to accomplish this increase.
Section 5-4. Provision for Outside Audit.
At least once in every three years an outside audit of the books and accounts shall be made.
In the event that the Commonwealth shall fail in any such period to provide for an audit to be conducted,
within ninety days following the date a written request for them to do so is made by the City Council,
the City Council shall provide for such an audit to be made by a certified public accountant, or firm of such accountants,
who have no personal interests, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the City government or of any of its affairs or employees.
Section 5-5. Annual Audit of Department Heads.
There will be a financial audit done by a private public accountant or firm of all department heads who are responsible for any negotiating or any individual who awards any contracts or investments in the interest of the City.
This audit shall be done annually and if this audit finds that there is no wrongdoing as far as the residents of the City are concerned,
a report stating such shall be placed on file with the City Clerk. If any wrongdoing is found, then the private accountant shall forward
to the District Attorney's office of Essex County, any such evidence of wrongdoing for his necessary action.
Section 5-6. Chief Financial Officer Obtaining Five (5) Quotes from Banks.
The Treasurer shall obtain not less than five (5) quotes on interest rates from separate corporate financial institutions when
borrowing or investing City funds and shall file such records of transaction with the City Council.
This section does not pertain to bond issues.