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Budget Review
Complexity of Budgets Demands Careful, Professional Review
The City of Brea is diligent in providing timely and complete budget documents as a responsibility to the public trust. It is appreciated when information is derived at its source and clarification questions are directed to qualified, professional municipal administrators.

Misleading statements are sometimes made about the City of Brea’s financial health. Media reports can circulate with distorted facts or inaccurate conclusions based on the partial understanding, or preconceived views, of certain writers. Confusion often results and this demonstrates the importance of fact-checking, especially when using third party information.

As an example, there was a suggestion in one report that cities be evaluated according to their Unrestricted Net Assets Per Capita, a factor sometimes used in private sector businesses. However, this is not an appropriate measure to determine a city’s financial health. For one, it includes the debt associated with operating a redevelopment* agency. And, unlike private businesses, cities cannot sell assets, which consist of streets, parks, and so on. A city’s balance sheet is a much better, more accurate way to measure fiscal health. Government finance officials use balance sheets because these show all available funds; what the city has in cash, investments, and reserves.

Brea's Fiscal Health
The City of Brea has an extremely strong balance sheet. Its general fund is positive and reserves grew to $26 million, up by $4 million in fiscal year 2011-2012. Throughout the recession Brea was financially proactive, making fiscally conservative decisions. In the past five fiscal years, the general fund was trimmed by $7 million. Brea achieved that through expenditure reductions, employee concessions, voluntary pension reforms, and an internal reorganization. Simultaneously, the city maintained a solid bond rating and balanced every budget without touching reserves. Brea is rightly proud of its fiscal accomplishments and unafraid of current scrutiny. Administrators welcome opportunities to further educate the public about the realities of government finance, which is indeed a complex subject that should always be fact-checked.

Leadership Team
Brea's leadership team dealing with municipal finance, consists of the administrative services director, accounting manager, and revenue and budget manager. These individuals have over 72 years of combined experience. These practitioners also have advanced professional certifications in municipal finance and treasury management, and are also active in professional government associations. For the past 21 years, the City of Brea has consistently been awarded the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada.

For questions about the City of Brea budget, send us an email.

*Currently there is much confusion and ongoing litigation related to the state's dissolution of such agencies.

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