City Controller Ronald C. Green presented his department’s $7,589,052 budget proposal today at 3pm to City Council. As an independent office that does not report to the Mayor, the Office of the City Controller is responsible for audit reports, annual reports, monthly financial reports and acts as the vendor liaison. If you would like to see an organizational chart for the City of Houston in order to better understand its structure, click here. The office is key to ensuring that the City of Houston is operating as financially efficient as possible. In tightening their budget for the coming year, the Controller office did not cut any personnel and had the largest budgetary increase go toward paying for outside auditing firms, which they believe are an important part of the city auditing process. Council member Bradford called the Office of the Controller, “the independent arm of the city process,” and said that it is important to maintain this independence.
Director of Libraries, Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, presented the proposed $37,121,861 budget for the Houston Public Library. The budget for FY2011 is similar to that of FY2010, with a slight increase going toward personnel due to pension contracts. For FY2011, HPL has four strategic service focuses, the first being school support, comprised of programs such as after school zones, live homework help, and partnerships with local schools and school districts. The second is literary advancement, with programs such as a reading summer program, children’s book celebration, book clubs, financial literacy programs, adult literacy, and GED classes. Thirdly, the HPL system focuses on Technology Access and Instruction, which serves over 4,000 computer users per day with available classes. Fourthly, workforce development is a focus, helping people search and apply for jobs online with a one stop business center, resume writing classes and help with interviewing and weCAN works, a digital literacy and workforce readiness program.
Many council members noted the importance of the HPL system, connecting after school programs with crime prevention and providing important educational resources not immediately available to many citizens of Houston.
(Photo Credit: eschipul)