Just because you win the Distinguished Budget Award one year, it doesn't mean you can sit on your laurels, fill in the dots and easily nab it the next, explained Town Administrator John Coderre.
For the second consecutive year, Northborough won the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States' Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its FY2012 budget.
"The award represents a significant achievement by the town," said the GFOA's release. "It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting."
In order to achieve the award, Northborough had to satisfy a rigid list of nationally recognized guidelines.
"It's the highest award you can receive in public budgeting," said Town Administrator John Coderre. "They send [the budget] to three reviewers and they rip our budget apart. There are 27 criteria we need to meet, 14 of which are mandatory. If you miss one of those things, you are disqualified. They won't even review it. You see a number of towns get this once, but you can't rest. You have to expand and improve. The communities that can get this year after year are dedicated."
Primarily designed and compiled by Assistant Town Administrator Kimberly Hood, Town Accountant Jason Little and Finance Director June Hubbard-Ward, Coderre said the final product (a glossy calendar that includes pages of the town's budget breakdown), is a policy document, a financial plan and a communication device.
"As a budget nerd myself, this is the Holy Grail," said Coderre.