Finance Department

Financial Management Task Force

 

Mission

 

Financial Management Task Force (FMTF) will mark out the facts and describe options for addressing Houston's General Fund long-term (30 year) financial obligations. FMTF will not audit and investigate the decisions that led to the present situation. FMTF will not recommend, endorse, or champion any single option but rather provide analysis of all available options.

 

Goals

 

Learn about the City's revenues, expenditures, and long-term obligations, including revenue and expenditure limitations in the City of Houston's Charter. Understand the services provided by the City to its citizens and assess the cost and necessity of those services. Establish a probable range of revenues and expenditures over the next thirty years and identify a baseline projection. Identify the structural deficit (if any) facing the City over the next thirty years by category. Create revenue and expenditure options for addressing long-term financial issues; identify benefits and drawbacks of each option. Define who controls the ability to implement each option. Identify a preferred and minimum reserve requirement that would allow the City to weather short-term cyclical changes in the economy and keep long-term financial plans intact.

 

History

 

On June 21, 2011, the Houston City Council adopted the FY2012 Adopted Budget. An amendment to the budget ordinance was adopted that created a financial task force to "review the City's long-term financial situation and develop recommendations for a long-term plan of action for Council discussion and adoption." The full language of the amendment as adopted read:

 

 City Council requires adequate input and information to address both the short term and long term financial needs of the City. Within 60 days, the administration shall appoint, with Council approval, a Long-Range Financial Management Task Force consisting of at least two Council Members, a representative of the Administration, a representative from each of the City's three Labor Unions, a representative from each of the City's three Pension Systems, and five members of the community representing businesses and residents comprised of financial and actuarial experts, business interests and community leaders. The Controller shall also be represented on the Task Force; however his representative shall neither be appointed by the Mayor nor confirmed by City Council.

 

 The Task Force will review the City's long-term financial situation and develop recommendations for a long-term plan of action for Council discussion and adoption.The Task Force will address long-range plans to include the City's unfunded liabilities, pension plans, benefit management, long-term indebtedness, and all other City financial obligations. The task force shall present its final report to the Mayor followed by a meeting of a Committee of the Whole no later than January 31, 2012. The final report will include a recommendation on whether continued existence of the group, in its current or altered form, would be beneficial. The Task Force shall maintain as privileged and confidential any work product or draft document used to compose its final report. The task force shall be advisory only.

 

On August 16, 2011, City Council approved the administration's appointees to the Financial Management Task Force.

 

Task Force Committee Members

  • Michael C. Nichols, Chair, Community Representative
  • Fletcher Thorne-Thomsen, Jr., Community Representative
  • Barbara J. Paige, Community Representative
  • Ana Lee Sanchez Jacobs, Community Representative
  • Gene Dewhurst, Community Representative
  • Anne Clutterbuck, City Council Representative
  • C.O. "Brad" Bradford, City Council Representative
  • Stephen C. Costello, City Council Representative
  • Melvin Hughes, Houston Organization of Public Employees Representative
  • Terry A. Bratton, Houston Police Officers' Union Representative
  • Celeste Fatheree, Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Representative
  • Barbara Chelette, Houston Municipal Employees Pension System Representative
  • Ralph D. Marsh, Houston Police Officer's Pension System Representative
  • Todd Clark, Houston Firefighters' Relief & Retirement Fund Representative
  • Carolyn Lacye, Mayoral Representative
  • Chris Brown, City Controller's Representative

 

Presentations and Upcoming Meetings

Questions and Suggestions

Please send your questions and/ suggestions to LongRange@houstontx.gov