About the Budget Process

The City of Cotati prepares a "line item budget." The intent of this format is to provide the City Council with summarized yet detailed budget information by department. At the same time, the overall focus of the budget is on policy direction and departmental activities, with emphasis on the level and cost of each City service, what services are being proposed, and the effect of these activities on general public welfare.

The annual budget process begins with the budget calendar, which provides a time frame for planning and preparing the City budget. In April, a "kickoff" meeting is held where departments are given information to draft their proposed budgets. Based on policy direction provided by Council through the City Manager, departments prepare their budget requests for the City Manager's review.

The City Manager carries out a thorough review and analysis of the departmental budgets. Recommendations are presented and discussed with each department in one or more meetings. The Finance Department compiles the results of the reviews and prepares final recommendations for the City Manager's approval.

In May or early June, the City Manager presents the final recommendations to the City Council as the Proposed Budget. The City Council's review includes citizen's input at public hearings and budget workshops.

Upon completion of the review and all budget modifications, the budget is adopted by resolution of the City Council. The Council also adopts the City's appropriations limit in conformance with the California Constitution, Article XIIIb.

During the year, the City may need additional funds for a specific items or projects that were unforeseen at the time the budget was adopted. Accordingly, recommendations for additional appropriations are considered during the year for approval by the City Council.

Generally, the budget is formally amended at mid-year and at year end. Additional appropriations, which were approved during the year, are added to the Adopted Budget and presented to the City Council as the Amended Budget. After Council's review, the Amended Budget is adopted by resolution.

If you are interested in reviewing the full copy of the City Budget, please come by City Hall during regular office hours.