Taking a Look Back – Commemorating Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s 1997 Budget

In his position as town manager of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Robert Baldwin proved to be a competent, capable administrator. Robert Baldwin, City Manager, organized and streamlined operations, and was recognized for his participation in the presentation of the city’s budget.

In the December 21, 1997, edition of the Sun Sentinel, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea was commended for the reporting of its budget, as overseen by the town manager at that time, Robert Baldwin. The Broward County municipality was recognized by the U.S. and Canadian Government Finance Officers Association.

According to the news report, before Baldwin took over in 1995, the town’s budget reflected a $40,000 shortfall, and failed to address a pending lawsuit of $170,000. In fact, a cigar box supplanted a cash register in the town hall. Commissioners, during the period, perused a financial spreadsheet instead of a budget proposal to assess the city’s financial needs and requirements.

During Baldwin’s tenure, however, the city commissioners employed an accountant part-time, acquired new software, and retained the services of an established Fort Lauderdale auditing firm.

The comprehensive report, which was accorded the recognition, was lauded for its adherence to generally accepted accounting practices. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s financial director was also presented with an achievement award for her preparation of the paperwork. Helen Short, who compiled the document, indicated that the report was not prepared to merely present numerical data; it was intended to provide information that was easy to understand.