With a degree in accounting and a designation as a certified public finance officer, Kari Carlson knows and works with numbers—big numbers that affect the community in big ways. As the City of Bloomington’s budget manager, she oversees an annual budget which includes 30 individual funds totaling more than $190 million.
In 2008, Carlson joined the City as an accountant and was promoted to assistant finance manager and then to the position she holds today. Carlson works closely with all departments to analyze revenues and expenses, compile budget requests and produce long-term financial models. This information is used in the City’s decision-making process.
Carlson enjoys the opportunity to contribute to the community she calls home. “I find the work that we do at the City very rewarding and I love working in the city where I live,” Carlson said. “I also enjoy working with the wide variety of departments that provide services for residents, visitors and businesses.”
Last year, due to COVID-19, the budget process became more open and transparent to encourage more participation from the community. All budget analysis information was published and shared with the Community Budget Advisory Committee. It was the first time that the City engaged citizens and businesses in multiple community listening sessions to obtain feedback on services and proposed budget scenarios. “I am proud of the level of public engagement we brought to the budget process and am looking forward to continuing it into the future,” she said.