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New city council person for the City of Scottsdale, Arizona

You are a new city council person for the City of Scottsdale, Arizona. You are aware that several cities have been in the news recently for financial crises for which the council or board is being held accountable. The governing bodies have been criticized for not being aware of the negative signals and trends that obviously led to the cities in challenging financial situations. Although you were assured at the first few council meetings that the city was overall in good financial shape, you want to be sure you "do your homework" and assess the financial condition of the city for yourself. You know that the City of Scottsdale, Arizona, prepares a Financial Trends report each year based on the ICMA's Financial Trends Monitoring System and that it posts this on its Web site at

a. Go to the city's Web site and print a copy of the Financial Trends report. Hint: Look in the Finance, Demographics, Economics areas of the Web site under Budget and Finance. Examine the five-year trend information and make a list of any indicators that are negative.
b. Prepare a list of questions for the next city council meeting that you can ask of the finance manager that will help you understand whether you and the council should be concerned about these negative trends.
c. Describe in your own words whether this city is in good or bad shape based on the indicators. Do the ratios point to areas to which the city should pay particular attention in the future?
d. What other information would you find useful in analyzing the financial performance of this city for the year? 500+ words

I'm just looking for someone's opinion or what they are thinking anything will work.

Solution Preview

Please see below for the study guide and the attached files for the City of Scottsdale annual report and CAFR for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011

Question A
I suggest that you go to yourself to look at the financial documents uploaded in the City of Scottsdale of Arizona's Web site and made available to the public. You actually need to click on the FY 2010/11 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report ink on this page which will then direct you to

When you open the link to Scottsdale's CAFR for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, you will see that the information is provided only for the last two years though a five-year comparison was presented for citizen survey ratings and selected service ratings; hence a new city council person will NOT have a five-year financial information to examine a five-year trend of the city's financial performance.

Nevertheless, the following indicators showed a downward or negative trend from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 to the most recent fiscal year.
1. Drinking water supplied - a reduction of half a million gallons per day
2. Scottsdale Airport takeoffs & landings - ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines New city council person for the City of Scottsdale, Arizona.