Berkley recently received a national award from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2012 budget.
The city received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for completing its first Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, a more in-depth accounting of the city's finances than has been delivered in past years.
“The award represents the City of Berkley’s commitment to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting,” said Stephen Gauthier, a spokesman for the GFOA, a nonprofit association serving more than 17,500 government finance professionals throughout North America.
"It really ... puts you in a different league when you prepare a CAFR," Plante & Moran partner Beth Bialy said . "There's a lot more information in the financial statement. It goes above and beyond."
City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa said the CAFR was not required by the state of Michigan but "truly represents a document that assures complete transparency to our residents with regards to our financial statements."
The document includes the city's financial highlights for the year, as well as detailed statistical information, Bialy explained.
"There's a whole separate section in the very back of the report; it has all sorts of information, 10 years of trends in a lot of detail regarding all your revenue sources, your expenditures, your debt activity, your capital assets," she said. "It has statistics in there about about debt per capita and it even has things like number of street lights."
City Council member Steve Baker said the report will allow Berkley to make "fact-based decisions" about its financial future.
"They always say, 'If you want to know about the values of a community, just look at their budget', " he said.
David Sabuda, the city's normally low-key finance director, was effusive in his praise for those who worked on the CAFR, including city accountant Rebecca Baaki, who also received a GFOA award.
"I just want to say thank you to the entire staff, the council, the mayor, Mrs. DiSessa, the auditors," he said. "This was a true team effort. We couldn't have pulled this off without everyone coming to the plate and giving their best effort. it was just tremendous and I'm thrilled for the community and I'm glad we were able to do it."