Friday, March 11, 2011

Results of quick poll on community input in the FY 2012 budget

Not the biggest deal in the world and not a scientific study, that's for sure, but 88% of the 17 folks who took the "Have you been invited to a DC gov-sponsored meeting to give input for the FY 2012 budget?" quick poll reported they had not been invited to such an event.   One respondent had been invited and one respondent had not been invited but had been asked for input.

What does this mean?   Nothing definitive, but here are some thoughts:

  • The promised tool kit/talking points to be prepared by the Mayor's Office on Budget and Finance, were not given to agencies.
  • Some agencies and staff do not have robust lists of advocates or interested parties, thus making it hard to invite the community to a meeting.
  • This is a complete shift from prior administration, where agency/community access and especially messaging were controlled.   It appears that neither the government nor the public have adjusted to this new openness.

I'm not sure what my takeaway is.   But I can tell you what it's not:   That the community had their input restricted; members of the public can, at any time, go to agencies and the mayor's budget office with ideas.

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