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Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood, seen in this file photo, was honored by an international association for his work in revamping the city's budget document and presentation.

Pittsfield's Finance Director Honored For Budget Presentation

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood's efforts to revamp the budget presentation hasn't gone unnoticed. 
Last month, Kerwood was honored with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada and a letter of recognition for his work on the budget document itself.
The award is given for "the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting." The budget had to meet guidelines for "effective budget presentation" on how the city serves as a policy document.
The award comes for the 2018 budget, which was significantly overhauled in 2017. The city was awarded a $25,000 contract from the state to work with the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management to revamp areas of the city's financial systems.
One of those objectives was to increase the amount of information provided in the document. At the time Kerwood said the city's budget presentation had dated to 2004 and "I would argue that the document is very much an 'inside baseball' document. It is really designed for one audience and that audience is the City Council."
The Finance Department created a new budget that included historical data, long-term capital planning, and statistics to show the state of the community. The goal was to help tell a deeper story on the state of the city's finances as well as making it more easily worked on by department heads during the budget development process.
"I am thrilled that the city of Pittsfield, and Finance Director Kerwood, received these prestigious recognitions. The GFOA sets high benchmarks for its review of the various components of the budget and our budget was judged as proficient or outstanding for most of these components. This is a testament to my administration's commitment to present budget information that is clear, comprehensive and transparent," Tyer said in a statement.
There were more than 1,600 participants seeking the association's budget award, The organization is a professional association with more than 19,000 appointed and elected government officials and financial practitioners.
"This award was a team effort with all departments working to make improvements to our budget document," Kerwood said in a statement. "Each year we will make improvements so that we can maintain this sought after status as a distinguished budget."

Tags: awards,   budget process,   municipal budget,   recognition event,   

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Strat-O-Matic Clinic To Be Held in Pittsfield

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Baseball in the Berkshires Museum is hosting a learn to play Strat-O-Matic event on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Lichtenstein Center.
Billed as the original fantasy sports game, Strat-O-Matic debuted in the 1960s and allows players to "manage" teams of Major League Baseball players using statistically accurate data.
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