DEPOE BAY — In the midst of sorting out the financial scandal that shook Depoe Bay City Hall in late 2018, the Depoe Bay Budget Committee has voted to submit a budget to the council, which they plan to supplement later on.
The city staff is currently working with an audit firm to clear up the books for the last two fiscal years and provide the city with accurate numbers for their beginning balances going forward. However, without those numbers in hand, its difficult to plan a budget down to the finest detail — something that was brought up repeatedly at Tuesday night’s budget meeting. But those numbers may not come in with enough time for the committee to plan the budget and submit it before June 30, as Budget Officer Sue Forty pointed out.
“The numbers may come in the 24th, the numbers may come in the 26th, the numbers may come in next week,” said Forty, finance director for the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments. “So, really, (there) is no way of knowing for sure when the audit firm is going to get those clean beginning balance numbers.”
Instead, Forty proposed that the committee use a budget that she and committee member Pery Murray, a former city recorder, pulled together — a proposed budget using numbers that balanced all the accounts so there was no deficit, which she described as a zero-based budget or a balanced budget.
“Once the numbers are coming back, you’re going to end up doing a supplemental budget anyway,” said Forty. “So ... in the month of July, you’re not going to have spent all of the dollars, you can’t spend the money until you’ve appropriated it ... you’re not going to do all those projects in the first month. So, my recommendation would be, going ahead and moving forward the budget the way it stands right now ... knowing that you will be doing a supplemental budget once the clean numbers come in.”
This plan would allow the city to comply with state law in submitting the budget by June 30, without rushing through it once the numbers come in — if they come in with time to do any planning at all. The committee voted to pass the proposed budget with edits to the personnel section to adjust for cost of living increases and indicate vacancies. The motion passed 10-0 with two members absent.