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The Budget Process and Timeline

Budget Preparation Process 

The City's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) works over the course of the year to prepare the Mayor's annual budget document. The table below describes the milestones and timeline associated with the process.

Timeline City Operating Budget 
  • Maintenance Of Effort (MOE)1 expense & revenue projections are established for all City departments
  • Mayor solicits public input for the Budget
  • Budget Director reviews with Mayor the budget gap2 and possible gap closure options
  • Priorities and guidelines are determined by the Mayor for the operating budget 
  • Budget Kick-off: Departments receive their Budget Level Allocations (BLA)3  
February to March
  • Department’s proposed operating budgets (expense & revenue) submitted to OMB  
  • Budget submissions reviewed by Budget Analysts 
  • Issues, problems, and concerns identified and resolutions sought by Budget Analysts 
  • List of all proposed personnel actions compiled; meetings held with Departments, Dept. of Human Resource Management (DHRM) & OMB to confirm personnel proposals 
  • Budget Analysts provide departmental budget recommendations to Budget Director 
March to April
  • Departments meet with Budget Director & Analysts
  • Budget restorations and increments are considered at this time
  • Departments meet with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Budget Director, and Budget Analysts to review the departmental budget proposals and recommendations   
  • Review of all proposed personnel actions
  • Final decisions on proposals are made   
  • The Mayor’s final proposed operating budget is prepared and printed 
  • Proposed budget submitted to City Council 32 calendar days prior to the last regularly scheduled Council meeting  
  •  Council conducts a comprehensive review of Mayor’s Proposed Budget
    •  2024 City Council Hearings - May 29-31
      • City Council/Clerk
      • City Administration (Mayor's Office, OMB, DHRM, Communications, Law)
      • Finance Department
      • Department of Environmental Services (DES)
      • Department of Recreation and Human Services (DRHS)
      • Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD) 
      • Department of Information Technology (IT)
      • Rochester Fire Department (RFD) 
      • Department of Emergency Communications (911)
      • Libraries
      • Rochester Police Department (RPD) 
  • City Council votes on City's Budget with possible amendments; Mayor approves or vetoes any additions to the budget  


  • Operating Budget Fiscal Year begins


 1. Maintenance of Effort (MOE): The estimated cost of maintaining the same level of service in the upcoming fiscal year as in the current fiscal year with adjustments for inflation and any known changes. Used as a basis for determining the budget level allocation (BLA). 
 2. Budget Gap: Results when projected expenses exceed project revenues. The gap is the difference between the projected expense and the projected revenue.
 3. Budget Level Allocation (BLA): The target expense number provided to each department by OMB within which departmental budget submissions must conform.