December 22, 2015

City Manager Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, MBA, ICMA-CM

Contestants of the 2015 Ugly Sweater Contest

Season's Greetings:

On behalf of the Mayor, the City Commissioners, and City Administration, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season. As we pause for a moment to enjoy this time with our family and loved ones, let us never forget the men and women that serve our communities in various capacities. From the wastewater plant operator to the police officer, these individuals are critical to the sustainability and viability of each and every community. If you see them during this holiday season, please thank them and let them know how much you truly appreciate the work they do, which in many times is outside of the public eye.
Secondly, please say a prayer for our servicemen and women who are in conflict zones and green zones away from their loved ones and family members during this holiday season as they defend and protect our freedoms. Take a moment to look back at all the memorable moments we have experienced this year, good, bad and indifferent. Let us learn how to be better family members, better neighbors, and, more importantly, better Americans. As we listen to politicians convey their perspectives on what is best for America, I can assure you that a simple smile, a good morning and a wave doesn't require political affiliation or partisan politics, a simple kind gesture goes a long way. 

During this holiday season let us think more about one another for the betterment of mankind, rather than what party we belong to. Because at the end of the day, we are Americans. We believe that together we can accomplish so much more, but we have to learn how to treat individuals with respect and dignity and not deviate from what has made us great. Whatever you choose to celebrate or not is your choice this holiday season, but please ensure that the true meaning of the holidays is not about gifts or box office thrillers. The greatest gift that we have ever received has already been given to us, which is the opportunity to live free, worship free, and to pursue any and all opportunities our hearts desire. So during this holiday season let's take the time to enjoy the important things, fellowship with our clergy brothers and sisters, our family and friends, as well as those that are less fortunate than us. Let us educate our young people why we celebrate this time of the year, it is not because of Santa Claus, but the precious gift that was given to us nearly 2,000 years ago. 

Lastly, thank you for a great year, and on behalf of every member of the Haines City Family, we wish you a joyous and memorable holiday season. May continued blessings be bestowed upon you and your loved ones the remainder of this year and subsequent years.

Respectfully submitted, 

Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, MBA, ICMA-CM
City Manager

Budget for Fiscal Year 2016

Residents, Business Owners, Visitors, and Stakeholders,
The premise of this notification is to provide you some very substantive and important information as it relates to financial stability and sustainability of your community. Haines City, for the last three years, has put together a document referenced as the Budget-in-Brief intended to provide a transparent and simplistic understanding of municipal budgeting. 

This document serves as a snapshot and a sneak peek into our organization's major priorities and revenue streams, as well as the expenditures necessary to continue to provide the services that are uniformly enjoyed by you, our stakeholders. This transparent approach to governance is something that is very unique and special here in our community, and in just a couple of years under the elected leadership, Haines City has made tremendous strides. The Budget-in-Brief is merely a step in the process. The elected officials have also appointed a five-member independent board comprised of three residents and two prominent business leaders to review the City's annual budget, as well as any policy initiatives that would impact our stakeholders. This group of dedicated individuals review every department budget and major financial decision before it makes its way to the elected officials. On average, over 100 hours is spent by this group reviewing the City's budget. Staff spends approximately eight months and thousands of hours preparing for those meetings and creating a draft budget for discussion. There are also meetings with elected officials throughout the year intended for us to receive policy direction concerning the proposed budget, as well as numerous public meetings where the elected officials scour the budget and review the recommendations from the Finance Advisory Board. 

This transparent and robust process only leads to a more efficient and better run Public organization. Below you will find two very important links: (1) the City's Annual Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, and (2) the Budget-in-Brief. Both documents are critically important to understanding the vision and the direction of your community. We thank you again for investing in Haines City and supporting us as we constantly strive to be the most productive, fiscally responsive, government entity in the region. Should you desire to meet with the Finance Director and I, we will certainly make ourselves available to discuss any budget principles or any questions you may have concerning either of the documents. A copy of the budget will be available at Haines City's Public Library for public inspection, and the Budget-in-Brief will be available at a majority of City facilities accessible to the public. Again, thank you for your support and, more importantly, for understanding that the sovereign power of Government is derived from the public's desire to be governed, we work for you! 

Respectfully submitted, 

Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, MBA, ICMA-CM
City Manager

Holiday Hours

Due to the Christmas and New Year's Holidays, Administrative offices will be closed on the following days:

Christmas Holiday Hours: Administrative offices will be closed on Thursday, December 24th - Friday, December 25th. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, December 28th. 

New Year's Hours: Administrative offices will be closed on Friday, January 1st. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, January 5th.