Saturday, February 25, 2012

Priority Based Budgeting Takes Center Stage as Policy Objective in Jersey City - Councilman Lavarro Leads the Way

Recently elected At-Large Councilman Rolando Lavarro, in an effort to make good on his campaign promise, has started the process of creating a citizens’ advisory committee to the municipal budget that he says will help the budget more closely reflect the concerns of citizens that often get lost in the “politicized” budget-making process.

“Priority-based budgeting,” explains Lavarro, who also calls it outcome-based budgeting, “is an approach to budgeting that is proactive about the types of services that we think of as our highest priority for the city. These are the goals we really want to achieve.”
“The purpose is to get a different perspective on what types of priorities we hope to establish,” he added. “Hopefully we’ll find that kind of input can achieve a budget that meets most people’s basic expectations of what they are looking to see.”

Congratulations to City of Chandler; Approach to PBB Recognized as Innovation in Arizona

Some budgets are so lean that there's virtually no fat to cut. But even as financial outlooks begin to stabilize, cities and school districts must remain smart about their budgets. Managers have implemented plans to use municipal funds as wisely as possible. For example, Chandler launched a new system this year in which directors and employees prioritized city services so funds go to the most important areas.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CCCMA Conference - Presentation Slides Available for Limited Time

Download our slides with the following link:

We were so pleased to present with the City of Vallejo during CCCMA's conference, and we've been thrilled with the response and enthusiasm for our work in Fiscal Health and Wellness (through Priority Based Budgeting). Please find our presentation materials here, available for download, and keep the interest coming. As Bob Adams said about Vallejo, the most important lesson from the City is that it could happen anywhere. We hope you'll agree that Fiscal Health and Wellness (through PBB) is a viable and attainable way for organizations to succeed for the long-term.

Friday, February 3, 2012

City of Vallejo's Turnaround Manager to Join Center for Priority Based Budgeting for a Powerful Conference Session

We're so pleased to announce that we'll be speaking with the City of Vallejo, California's Bob Adams next week at the CCCMA Conference in Glenwood Springs. Bob's story of Vallejo's Fall and Rise will be dramatic and quite possibly terrifying. Most importantly, his story will paint a picture of a City whose problems aren't as unique as most organizations believe - Vallejo could be any City. Our presentation will focus on ways organizations can prevent such a catastrophe through the implementation of Priority Based Budgeting.

Here's the session description:
Creating Sustainability from Fiscal Crisis– Lessons of Recovery and Prevention from the City of Vallejo, California and the Center for Priority Based Budgeting

Learn the lessons of fiscal recovery from Bob Adams, who helped to turn the City of Vallejo, California around as interim City Manager. Vallejo’s story is remarkable in that it the story of the “Perfect Fiscal Storm” that challenged the City in every way. However, the most important lesson of this story is that Vallejo is not an anomaly – to a degree, the challenges faced there are happening in every community. Bob’s presentation will focus on the tools he implemented to survive these challenges.

Jon Johnson and Chris Fabian from Center for Priority Based Budgeting will share lessons learned from communities across the United States, including here in Colorado, as these communities have implemented Priority Based Budgeting as a preventative measure to avert crisis. Hear about the process that has helped now 30 communities focus their entire resource allocation strategy on results, from the City of Boulder, Colorado to Fairfield, California (a neighbor to Vallejo); Grand Island, Nebraska to Chesapeake, Virginia. 

Sacramento City Council Begins 2012-12 Budget Process with Priority Based Budgeting

City Council Begins 2012-12 Budget Process with Priority Based Budgeting

As Sacramento gears up to face a $16.5 million budget gap in the next fiscal year, consultants from Colorado met with City Council members to outline a new approach to budgeting that focuses less on dollar amounts and more on top city priorities.

Budget consultants Jon Johnson and Chris Fabian were brought in by the city’s Finance Department to introduce details of “priority-based budgeting” – a method that focuses on matching funding decisions to predetermined city priorities, instead of on prior years’ spending patterns.
City Manager John Shirey said Sacramento, like many local governments throughout the nation, typically rely on such “spending-based budgeting” – that is, making spending and cutting decisions based on how much was spent last year with last year’s revenue levels.