Sylvya Stevenson, a budget analyst in the Finance Department, talks about the budget team heading into budget season
The Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget season is off to a fantastic start, thanks in part to our two new team members—Cookingham Fellows Mark Allen and Aaron Shroyer. Instead of describing their education and where they’re from, I’d like to dive into the immense experience they’ve acquired from their rotation in the Budget Office and how their individual knowledge and diverse practices have thus far helped improve the Budget Office processes. To better emphasize the significant impact Aaron and Mark have made to the Budget Office, I’ll also share comments from other office team members.
The Budget Office likes to integrate the fellows into the office as budget analysts with similar job duties to the permanent staff. They’ve relieved the staff during our most intense season, and I’ve appreciated their ability to jump in and complete some of the long-standing project analyses that needed attention. Mark and Aaron are very inquisitive and not afraid to get their hands dirty, metaphorically speaking. They’ve done this while balancing projects they inherited from previous assignments.
—Scott Huizenga, budget officer
My first interaction with Aaron involved his assistance with Triple Threat, a 2016 ICMA (International City/County Manager Association) Basketball Shootout Committee consisting of three budget analysts: Jordan Brown, Nick Hawkins and myself. Aaron provided support in drafting the Basketball Shootout flyer and attended ICMA Host Committee planning meetings. He has proven his adaptability in different working capacities that directly and indirectly affect the City’s Budget Office. Mark and I are currently working on improving the Budget Office website so stay tuned!
—Sylvya Stevenson, budget analyst
The fellows have provided some good questions about how we currently operate. They’ve also been very helpful keeping the line moving during a hectic time. They have caught on quickly, and implemented practices that have helped us stay better organized as a group. Mark’s and Aaron’s fresh new perspectives have helped improve Budget Office practices immensely.—Nick Hawkins and Jordan Brown, budget analysts
Aaron, among many other contributions to the Budget Office, has jumped in to assist with facilitating the development of draft Fit-for-Duty policies. Project team members remarked after the very first meeting how quickly both Mark and Aaron picked up on the subject matter and contributed to the discussion.
Mark, among many other contributions to the Budget Office, created an excellent return on investment template and instructions that will be rolled out at a future date. A common template is important in having consistency across the organization in how return on investment is calculated. City program funding requests should have a return on investment calculation included to help City officials make informed decisions. I look forward to seeing their collective contributions in the short window they are with the Budget team.
—Krista Morrison, finance manager
We look forward to the remainder of the Cookingham Fellows’ rotation in the Budget Office and have no doubt that they will succeed and help improve other City departments as well. Keep a close eye out for our new Budget Office website!