6
FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING

What Ed Wynn said of general business conditions in the early days of the depression applies to the financial conditions and methods of our cities-- they are looking up because they have been flat on their backs. Revenues make the wheels go round, but the steering wheel of finance charts the course, when there is one, which is a risky assumption in the case of most American cities. Scientific plotting of the course and dexterity in following it depend on two things: the adaptability of the finance organization and the capability of its personnel. The dispatch of current work and the preparation of financial programs are dependent on forecasting ability, which must be based on dependable records. The records are subject to useful interpretation to the extent that organization permits the focusing of departmental objectives.


DEPARTMENTAL PROBLEMS

There are ordinarily five main objectives in the typical department of finance. In small towns, some or all of them may be grouped under a single person or bureau. In some large cities, two additional activities--purchasing and personnel--are assigned to the finance function. Since these additions are not yet commonly accepted, we will discuss their inclusion at some length. Finally, there is the problem of making recommendations for long- term programs. Preliminary to discussing the more controversial questions of municipal finance, we will describe its five chief activities.


TREASURY

The treasurer is, first of all, collector of moneys due to the city. He is responsible for gathering taxes, special assessments, and miscellaneous rev

-124-

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City Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Illustrations xix
  • 1 - The Changing City 1
  • 2 - Administrative Principles 22
  • 3 - The Civil Service 49
  • 4 - Personnel Management 70
  • 5 - Revenues and Taxation 95
  • 6 - Finance and Accounting 124
  • 7 - Expenditures and Debts 151
  • Conclusions 174
  • 8 - State Financial Supervision 176
  • Conclusions 194
  • 9 - Centralized Purchasing 199
  • 10 - Planning 226
  • 11 - Zoning 249
  • 12 - Slums and Housing 275
  • 13 - The Law Department 300
  • 14 - Public Health 319
  • 15 - Recreation and Parks 355
  • Conclusions 378
  • 16 - Public Welfare 383
  • 17 - Police Administration 412
  • 18 - Traffic. 449
  • 19 - Fire 477
  • 20 - Public Works 509
  • 21 - Streets 539
  • 22 - Public Utilities 566
  • 23 - Wastes 593
  • Conclusions 620
  • 24- Water 623
  • Conclusions 646
  • 25 - Courts 649
  • Conclusions 669
  • 26 - Education 673
  • 27 - Nominations and Elections 696
  • 28 - New Horizons 716
  • Index 747
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