Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This year, use this new objective tool to analyze the mayor's proposed budget and Council actions

In January, I introduced a new tool, An Objective Tool for Assessing the Mayor's Proposed Budget and City Council Changes (Word, .doc).   The tool lists 10 important issues budget experts believe are important to consider when reviewing the mayor's budget proposal, City Council actions and community recommendations.   These issues include whether there are court orders connected to the agency (e.g., LaShawn, Salazar, Dixon, Jerry M., Blackman/Jones, Evans); whether there are requirements related to federal funding (i.e., Maintenance of Effort (MOE), Match); and whether the proposed change addresses or solves a structural problem.

Why use this tool?   This year, there are three reasons.   The first is that these items are real and can play a significant role in a particular agency's budgeting and practice.   Related to this is the second reason that these items speak to the complexity of the budget, moving analysis beyond the usual fairly simple and surface-level analysis.   The third is that these are the types of items that explicitly drove the development of the FY 2012 proposed budget.

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