From left, Grosse Pointe Shores Interim City Manager Tom Krolczyk, Finance Officer/Treasurer Rhonda Ricketts and Administrative Assistant Lynn Michaux pose with an award for the most recent budget report.

From left, Grosse Pointe Shores Interim City Manager Tom Krolczyk, Finance Officer/Treasurer Rhonda Ricketts and Administrative Assistant Lynn Michaux pose with an award for the most recent budget report.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran


Detailed Grosse Pointe Shores budget report honored again

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 11, 2020

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — There are plenty of financial professionals in Grosse Pointe Shores, but you don’t need to be one to understand the city’s budget report.

Earlier this year, the city learned that Shores Finance Officer/Treasurer Rhonda Ricketts had received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the 2019-20 budget report.

The award recognizes budgets that go above and beyond minimum requirements and serve as a financial plan, an operations guide, a policy document and a vehicle of communication.

According to a letter to the city from the Government Finance Officers Association, this honor “represents a significant achievement by the (governmental) entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.”

The Shores report includes council goals, city history and demographics, a list of the city’s top 10 taxpayers, explanations of how property taxes work in Michigan, explanations of various Shores revenue sources, and much more.

“It’s about being as transparent as you can possibly be,” Ricketts said. “I just feel knowledge is priceless.”

Ricketts has worked for the city for the last 33 years.

“We’re very proud of the work Rhonda has been doing,” Mayor Ted Kedzierski said. “Rhonda has been an invaluable employee and director of finance (for a long time). … She’s taken it upon herself to make the (budget) reports more user-friendly.”

This year’s report has more information — including policies, statistics and explanations about the Shores Beautification Commission’s Sponsor a Garden program — than last year’s report, Ricketts said. She estimated that she added about 20 pages to the 2019-20 report.

“There’s a lot of information in here, and each year, there’s going to be more information,” Ricketts said.

Kedzierski said the Shores doesn’t receive revenue sharing funds from Michigan, making property tax revenues even more crucial for the city.

“We’re trying to explain to the taxpayers how the money is being allocated,” said Kedzierski, noting that the more detailed budget report demonstrates how those funds are being spent and which services residents are receiving as a result of their tax dollars.

This marks the Shores’ second annual receipt of the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, and Ricketts hopes there will be more to come in future years.

This isn’t the same as the award that cities like Grosse Pointe Farms and Grosse Pointe Woods have gotten for their audit reports. That honor is called the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and is also awarded by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.