WARRENTON - Many members of the City Commission say City Manager Scott Derickson brings positive experience in organizing fiscal game plans. He showed his skills on Wednesday.

Derickson was the featured presenter at a joint workshop between commissioners and citizen members of Warrenton's Budget Committee. Officials began to set the foundation for organized and defined fiscal and budgetary policies.

Draft blueprints were introduced, designed to set measuring marks and a direction for future budget processes.

Derickson and the commission have long cautioned that lean years await Warrenton - the result being a city up to state water and sewer standards, meeting the needs of any influx of residents moving to the area during the next two decades.

A city staff synopsis of the proposed summaries includes:

• A fiscal policy that will establish a number of guiding principles and practices, ranging from user rates and system development charges to how the city will conduct the sale of general obligation bonds.

• Budget development policies that identify direction to Derickson and city department heads to be used when preparing a budget for the Budget Committee and commissioners. Issues range from full-cost recovery efforts, indirect and overhead expenses to seeking cost efficiencies, Derickson said.

• A Budget Strategic Plan that describes the appropriate type of match with types of services. In addition, the strategy seeks to prioritize the city's services and outlines the steps that will be taken in the event spending on services must be reduced.

Mayor Jeff Hazen and fellow budget colleagues noted this was just a first step in setting an official blueprint to the books, adding that as always, the city encourages public input.

Speaking on the importance of public involvement, Commissioner Bill Harris, who lost in Tuesday's elections, said, "I would like to thank everyone who participates, who voted in this last election, and who have supported me. Warrenton is a special place."

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