On this page, you can find all of the updates as the City moves through its new budget process for 2020. We suggest bookmarking this page and coming back to find new updates.

-- July 2020 Update -- 

Please find all budget documents below. 

-- May 21st 2020 Update -- 

City Responds to Misleading Budget Information

Dear Lambertville:

An unsigned budget analysis was provided to the public and to the City this week. It is filled with inaccurate information that misleads readers. I feel strongly that this document requires a detailed response. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

This document is built specifically to make it appear legitimate, with charts and graphs and specific numbers, but it is not accurate. To help show the total lack of legitimacy of the circulated information, we are providing the following summary of the over ten false, opaque, or misleading claims on just the first page of this document, to serve as an example.

Some key takeaways of the first page of this document:

  • This document is a misrepresentation of the numbers the City provided to the public to create a narrative that the city is over spending. 
  • If you include all spending by the City, both operating and capital, the 2020 budget will likely have the lowest spending levels since before 2017. 
  • There is basic math in this document that does not work. It is impossible to tell why because no proper citations are used nor was any backup documentation provided.
  • Multiple line items from the budget were wrong. In our response we have provided the Sheet and Cell number for each of our corrections in the state budget document.
  • This document uses a label “discretionary spending” within which they include over a dozen completely non-discretionary items, in an attempt to exaggerate spending levels. 
In the age of the internet, where you get information from is important. We must all be wary of unsigned and unsourced information that is circulated. Our community is not immune from tactics that are designed to make false information appear true and persuasive. For example, using a footnote that neither cites a specific page or line item, but rather broadly references an 85-page spreadsheet. This document uses that citation to source a number that does not appear anywhere in the budget they referenced. This style of writing makes the document, on firstglance, appear legitimate. But these tactics should raise red flags as the author is not actually providing backup to their claims.  It is important to look at anonymous “information” posted on the internet with a critical eye. 

Our community deserves better. My administration has shown our work by providing dozens of presentations totaling over hundreds of pages of accurate budget and finance information. All of which was vetted by named finance professionals, auditors, and others. This includes spreadsheets and screenshots of the City’s accounting system. A historic level of data has been  provided to the public for review. All information was shared publicly in six presentations in 2019, as well as several Council meetings in 2020 and the Q+A webinar hosted by myself and our Administrator.  I have asked this local organization that produced this “analysis” to do the same: Sign your names to your work, provide backup documentation, and host a public forum where the public can ask questions. 

Click here to view a detailed point-by-point analysis of the first page of the presentation. 

-- May 20th 2020 Update -- 

Thank you to the 45 members of the public who tuned into the Mayor and Administrator's live Question and Answer session on the 2020 budget last night! The next discussion is the public hearing/adoption scheduled for June 9th. 

-- May 6th 2020 Update -- 

Last night, the City Council introduced the City’s 2020 Budget. This budget confronts a number of significant challenges, and makes sustainable choices to help reduce the short and long-term tax impact to the community in a way that is more responsible. We encourage all community members to familiarize themselves with the available information. The public hearing and adoption is scheduled for June 9th at 7pm.

To help navigate the various budget documents that the City has made available starting this year, please feel free to use this list:

-- May 1st 2020 Update -- 

The City faces a number of financial challenges going into 2020 and beyond. These challenges require immediate and significant action to help prevent future tax increases.

Join Mayor Julia Fahl and Business Administrator Alex Torpey as they give a comprehensive review of the City's finances and budget for 2020, including:

Background of the budgeting practices that created the City's current financial challenges

  • A detailed explanation of the status of the City's savings, reserve accounts and surplus
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the City's finances and taxes, and why the City's finances were especially vulnerable to this unexpected event
  • A review of the available options the City has to reduce the oncoming tax increases caused by many years of spending beyond our means
  • Tax impact for 2020, and anticipated impact for 2021 (and through 2025)
  • And more

All documents available prior to the meeting can be found here.

If you'd like to review only the summary highlights, we have also created a short ten-minute video with some of the key takeaways. 

--April 24th 2020 Update-- 

To view the budget slides from the 4/23 Council meeting, please click here

-- March/April 2020 Update --

Due to the coronavirus public health emergency, the anticipated introduction, public hearing and adoption of the budget has been pushed back, per guidance from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The current anticipated schedule is as follows. As soon as materials are completed they will be made available here.
- April 23rd 2020: Budget Discussion
- May 5th 2020: Budget Introduction (and public comment)
- June 7th 2020: Budget public hearing & adoption

-- December 2019 Update -- 

Please find below pdfs of all budget presentations. Most of the information contained in these presentations was sourced from the City's internal accounting software (screenshots at various points) or the budget documents publicly available here online. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to [email protected]

-- October 2nd Update -- 

Would you like to learn more about the City's finances and new budget process? 

Please join Mayor Fahl and other interested and engaged Lambertville residents to learn about the City's new budget process, ask questions about the City's finances, and find ways to get more involved as important changes take place in how the City's budget works.

The dates and locations are below. If you can't make any of the dates, please don't hesitate to reach out to Mayor Fahl at [email protected] to find offices hours, setup a one-on-one meeting or learn more. More dates may be added so check back on this page as well.

  • Budget Talks: Monday, October 28th 6:30 p.m. at 208 Holcombe Way. Please reply to Barbara Coe [email protected]
  • Budget Talks: Wednesday, October 16th 6:30 p.m. at 10 Hillside Court. Please RSVP to Kelly Kappler at [email protected] 
  • Budget Talks: Friday, October 25th at 6:30 p.m. at 65 South Main Street. Please RSVP to Megan Ruf [email protected]

Don't forget to check out the resources below if you want to learn more!

-- August 12th Update -- 

Thank you for taking some time to learn about the City's budget and new budget process! Below, you can first find a summary video prepared by Mayor Fahl and the City's Business Administrator as they walk you through an overview of why this process is so crucial, some important facts and figures, and where we go from here.

Below, you can find a link to the full presentation that was given at the August 6th meeting of the Governing Body. 

Download PDF

-- August 6th Update --

You can view an (anticipated) timeline of steps of here:

Early August 2019

Governing Body goal setting process - workshop where Governing Body sets goals/priorities for the coming year

Early August 2019

Departments and Commissions are briefed on new budget process and provided summary sheet of the timeline and steps for new process

September 2019

Capital planning (for six years) performed, including facility reviews, vehicle inventories, infrastructure evaluation, etc

Mid October 2019

All operating and capital requests due from Departments and Commissions

Mid/Late October 2019

Administration discusses and finalizes requests with Departments and Commissions

End of October 2019

Mayor and Administrator finalize requests for Governing Body

November 2019

One or two public budget workshops held (Approx 2-3 hours of time total), where departments and commissions present “year in review” as well as operating and capital requests 

December 2019

Feedback (from governing and/or public) from budget workshops taken back and Administrator and Mayor finalize anticipated 2020 budget introduction 

January/February 2020

Budget is reviewed by Financial Team, and ready for introduction as soon as state/county/etc numbers become available 

Late February/Early March 2020

In three sequential governing body meetings:

  • Municipal Budget Discussion 

  • Municipal Budget First Reading/Introduction (and explanation)

  • Municipal Budget Public Hearing and Second Reading/ Adoption

End of March 2020/Early April

2020 Municipal Budget Adopted 

Early April 2020

Bond ordinance for 2020 capital items introduced/adopted 

April 2020

2020 Capital spending, road resurfacing, etc will begin process