New Biennial Report Highlights Good Work, Sets Stage for More

Published: 01/18/18



Jan. 18, 2018



Phil Pitchford

Communications Officer





New Biennial Report Highlights Good Work, Sets Stage for More

Topics includes recent accomplishments, City Hall reorganization and upcoming budget meetings

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – City Manager John Russo has issued Riverside’s first biennial report, chronicling accomplishments from the past two years and setting the stage for the City’s next two-year budget, which will map out Riverside’s financial priorities through June 30, 2020.

The report which can be found online at www.bit.ly/Biennial-Report also details a recent reorganization at City Hall that aligns city departments under Russo’s leadership and that of three assistant city managers to most effectively carry out the priorities of Mayor Rusty Bailey and the Riverside City Council.

“City government has achieved a great deal during the past two years in terms of handling our finances, and the Biennial Report is a great way to show where we have been, what we have done and where we are going,” Russo said. “I encourage all residents and business owners to take a few minutes to look it over.”

The report sets the stage for the next five months of budget deliberations that are scheduled to culminate on June 12 with the adoption of a new 2018-20 budget. The City has scheduled an extensive public outreach campaign, with meetings of the City Council and Budget Engagement Commission, as well as community meetings in various council wards around the city.

Key themes in the budget preparation process include striving for financial accuracy; maintaining financial responsibility and discipline; taking care of essential services and infrastructure, with the help of the Measure Z local sales tax; and implementing a transparent and participatory budget deliberation process. Each of those themes is buttressed by a commitment to excellent customer service.

“Local government works best when residents are involved and their voices are heard,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “This Biennial Report provides a great deal of information that can serve as a baseline for important discussions about how Riverside will use its financial resources in the next two years.”

Changes at City Hall detailed in the Biennial Report include creating a new Innovation Division to drive change within City government, and restructuring the Internal Audit Division into the new Office of Organizational Performance and Accountability to focus on providing services in the most cost-effective way. The changes utilize existing employees and do not increase costs. Each change is designed to enhance Riverside’s focus on innovation, organizational excellence and taxpayer accountability.

“Our local government has done a great deal of heavy lifting in the past two years, largely in the area of fiscal responsibility,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris MacArthur said. “The Biennial Report is a great way for residents to get up to speed on what has been accomplished so they can make informed suggestions regarding the upcoming budget cycle.”