Town of Wellington Earns National Budget Honor

Wellington’s Deputy Town Administrator Kelly Houghteling, left, stands with Town Mayor Calar Chaussee on Tuesday, April 23 after the Regular Meeting of the Wellington Board of Trustees at the Leeper Center, 3800 Wilson Ave. in Wellington. During the meeting, Chaussee presented Houghteling with a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation as part of the Town winning the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the first time. (Courtesy/Town of Wellington)


Wellington, CO — For the first time in its history, the Town of Wellington has earned the  Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. 

The award, which the town earned for the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, recognizes excellence in budget planning and communication and is awarded to state and local governments across the country. 

“The award represents a significant achievement by the entity,” states a news release from the  GFOA. “It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest  principles of governmental budgeting.” 

To earn the award, the town had to meet nationally recognized guidelines for an effective budget presentation designed to assess how well a budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan,  an operations guide, and a communication device. Budget documents had to receive a “proficient” rating in those four categories and in fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories to qualify for the award. 

When a municipality wins the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, a Certificate of  Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the person or department primarily responsible for that achievement. At Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Wellington Board of  Trustees, Mayor Calar Chaussee presented that certificate to Deputy Town Administrator Kelly  Houghteling, who, as Chaussee put it, “spearheaded this project, educated herself on the criteria  needed to receive the award, and created the document for submission.” 

“This is the gold standard for municipal budgets — the gold standard nationwide,” Trustee Ed  Cannon said about the award after the presentation. “It says that we care enough as a community  to want the very best, to be able to communicate that to the community. It shows everybody, not  only how government finance works, but how we care for government finance.” 

The 2024 budget document is available on the Town’s website at: The budgeting process for Fiscal  Year 2025 gets underway later this year. Town staff will present a proposed budget to the Board of Trustees in early autumn. 

“Receiving this award reflects the collective commitment of our entire team, from the governing body to every staff member involved in the budgeting process,” Houghteling said. “It’s an honor  to be recognized for our efforts in upholding the highest standards of governmental budgeting,  and it demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and transparency.” 

The Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program was established in 1984 to encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare budget documents reflecting the guidelines 

established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA’s best practices on budgeting and then to recognize the governments that achieve that goal. There are more than 1,700 participants in the program across the country. 

More information on the award, as well as the GFOA, is available at

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