City of Sarasota Finance Department honored with prestigious budget award for 27th year

Honor accorded by the Government Finance Officers Association

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“[F]or an impressive 27th consecutive year,” the City of Sarasota Finance Department has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association, the city has announced.

The honor “is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting,” a city news release says; it was bestowed for the city’s financial plan for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is given to governmental entities that “help make complex government budgets more user-friendly for taxpayers,” the release points out. Criteria in four categories must be met or exceeded: policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device, the release notes.

While the Finance Department members work on the budget as a team throughout the year, the release continues, Budget Manager Michelle Valentich, Chief Financial Management Analyst Marjorie Holman, and Susan Dodd, assistant to the finance director, “were instrumental” in producing the award-winning document, the release adds.

“We’re fortunate to have an impressive group of talented professionals working on this budget each year,” said Finance Director Kelly Strickland in the release. “Two or three consecutive years of distinguished recognition for budget reporting is very impressive. But 27 years is extraordinary and speaks volumes to the level of professionalism, consistency and institutional knowledge in the Finance Department,” she added in the release.

The Government Finance Officers Association serves nearly 19,000 government finance professionals in the United States and Canada, the release notes. Approximately 1,500 received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award this year, the release says.