Few of us have taken the time, possibly even the inclination to wade through the City, County or State annual budget reports. I admit, I have undertaken the task a couple of times. Still the idea of spending untold hours with reams of digital paper covered in sometimes difficult to decipher references to myriad other sections remains near the bottom of my “things to do in my spare time” list. Well, today Lane County released its “Popular Annual Financial Report“; kind of a Cliff Notes in a Powerpoint approach to presenting the budget.
According to the Lane County website,
The PAFR was first brought to the Board’s attention by a concerned community member in 2010. In response to this, and as directed by the Board, Lane County Finance undertook to prepare a Popular Annual Financial Report or PAFR. From here on out, future PAFRs will be published by December 31 each year and submitted to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for review and certification.
Lane County is one of only two local governments in Oregon to prepare a PAFR; the City of West Linn, Oregon is the other.
As to why they decided to name it Popular, I’m not sure and there was no explanation on the Lane County website. It seems like naming your kid Elvis would guarantee less derision, but the report itself is well laid out and informative. There is a feeling of a little salesmanship in some of the presentation, but nothing that would make a real estate writer proud. You can view the PAFR here: http://www.lanecounty.org/Departments/MS/Finance/Documents/FY10_PAFR.pdf.
Having read the Popular report, I think this is the year I’ll give the Complete Annual Financial Report another go.