West University Place City Council approved several items during its Feb. 8 meeting, including two fiscal policies as well as an ordinance calling for a 2021 general election.

Debt management policy adopted

The City Council unanimously approved a policy establishing guidelines for issuing new debt and managing existing debt.

The policy stipulates general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, certificates of obligation and other debt obligations shall only be used to acquire capital assets or refinance existing debt.

In addition, the policy requires the city to first consider other alternative funding methods prior to issuing debt. These include current revenues, unrestricted reserve funds, grants and liquidity needs, and the city’s fund balance policy, also approved Feb. 8.

The council previously discussed the item during a Jan. 25 workshop session.

Fund balance policy updated

Also unanimously approved by council was a policy ensuring the city is in compliance with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board in reporting its fund balance.

The board serves as a private organization considered a source of generally accepted accounting principles by most state and local governments.

To meet compliance, City Council adopted some of the following requirements to its policies and procedures, among others: providing additional justification for ensuring adequate fund balances, basing the working capital minimums and unassigned fund balance on operating expenditures instead of operating revenues, and ensuring surpluses in the unassigned fund balance will not be used for recurring operations.

Ordinance calls for 2021 election

City Council also officially called for a 2021 general election.

May 1 marks a joint election with Harris County that will decide the positions of West University Place’s mayor and four council members, as members of the council serve a term of two years and are unable to serve more than two successive terms in each office.

The candidate filing deadline for these races is Feb. 12.

The early-voting period will span April 19-27. Applications for ballots must be received by the Harris County Clerk’s Office in person no later than the close of business April 16 and by mail no later than the close of business April 20.

Harris County, meanwhile, has tentatively reserved a polling location within West University Place for early and election day voting, though that has yet to be confirmed.