Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Center for Priority Based Budgeting On.. The... Move....

Follow the CPBB as we spread the word about  
Fiscal Health & Wellness through Priority Based Budgeting   

May 1, 2013- Wheat Ridge, Colorado
On May 1st, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm, we'll be presenting both our Fiscal Health Diagnostic Tool, as well as the Priority Based Budgeting process and tools at the City of Wheat Ridge, with the Alliance for Innovation.

May 16, 2013- Golden, Colorado
On May 16th, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm, we'll be presenting Achieving Fiscal Health on behalf of the Colorado Government Finance Officer's Association (CGFOA) at the City of Golden. Register here.

May 29, 2013- Westminster, Colorado
And on May 29th, also from 1:00 to 4:30 pm, we'll be presenting Priority Based Budgeting on behalf of CGFOA at the City of Westminster. Is your "new" budget simply a revised version of your "old" budget? Are your strategies for allocating resources or for implementing cost-cutting measures in line with the priorities of the community and its elected officials? Find out more!

June 24, 2013- Tennessee Municipal League 2013 Annual Conference
The CPBB is proud to present Fiscal First Aid- Becoming the Picture of Fiscal Health on Monday, June 24th. Find out more and register for the  TML "for the Love of Cities" Conference in Memphis, TN.

The speakers:
-    Jon Johnson, co-founder, Center for Priority-Based Budgeting
-    Chris Fabian, co-founder, Center for Priority-Based Budgeting
-    Kathie Novak, former elected official, 2009 president of the National League of Cities and Senior Adviser, Center for Priority-Based Budgeting

Please Contact Us if you'd like to join any of these exciting upcoming presentations or to schedule a free webinar and identify the best CPBB service option(s) to meet your organization's particular needs.

Center for Priority Based Budgeting 2013 Annual Conference


"A Summit of Leading Practices"

July 9 & 10, 2013  Arlington, Virginia   Hilton Crystal City Hotel


BREAKING NEWS: Tom Miller & National Research Center added to 2013 CPBB Conference Program

                         CPBB 2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
                                    “A SUMMIT OF LEADING PRACTICES”

July 9 & 10, 2013   I   Arlington, VA   I   Hilton Crystal City Hotel

CONFERENCE PROGRAM UPDATE: Tom Miller and the National Research Council To Present Cutting Edge Work in Citizen Engagement at the 2013 CPBB Annual Conference

The Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) and National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) are pleased to announce the addition of National Research Center, Inc. to the roster of speakers for CPBB’s 2013 “A Summit of Leading Practices” Conference.

“We see such a strong link between the work NRC does to give voice to resident opinion and the budgeting principles of CPBB that rest on community-set priorities,” said NRC president, Tom Miller, “we can’t imagine a better conference to show that connection.”

NRC is a leader in the field of public sector research and evaluation, with clients from across the country and around the globe. The firm is comprised of a skilled team of social scientists who supports cities, counties, foundations and nonprofit organizations in using research to help communities thrive. NRC pioneered the development of The National Citizen Survey™ (NCS), and continues to offer a suite of products designed to enhance the public voice and aid local decision-making.

The NCS was among the first scientific surveys developed to gather resident opinion on a range of community issues, and is still the instrument of choice for 250 jurisdictions across 46 states. The NCS is the only citizen survey assessment tool endorsed by ICMA and the National League of Cities.  


Monday, April 29, 2013

Longmont, CO City Council Steps Into Priority Based Budgeting

During its annual retreat Saturday, the Longmont City Council took its first steps into a "priority-based" budget system, as reported by TimesCall.com. The method requires a city government to evaluate and define its goals, review what it's already doing, and then score each piece of the budget. The more points a program gets, the more integral it is.

The scores themselves are based not just on whether a program fits the priorities, but also on whether a program is mandated, how much it pays for its own operation, how much demand there is, how much of the community it serves, and whether the city is the only one providing the service.

The idea, said CPBB Co-founders Jon Johnson and Chris Fabian of the non-profit  Center for Priority Based Budgeting, is to make it possible for a city council to plan and get a big
picture of the city, rather than drown in a sea of line-items. Read the full story here.

What’s so interesting about Longmont is that the City took it’s very first steps into implementing PBB back in 2009, shortly after the first appearance of the process was published in ICMA's PM Magazine. Following the outline of principles, the City put into place a results-setting initiative, weighted the results through citizen input, and even evaluated programs based on results. The City is to be commended for it’s initial work in implementing components of the process!

We couldn’t be more pleased than to be part of the City’s evolution of the process, fully incorporating the use of the Resource AlignmentDiagnostic Tool. This is a major advancement in the work, and has truly been the breakthrough Tool to answer key policy questions surrounding resource allocation, public-private / public-public partnerships, service sharing, fee setting, policy review and revision, efficiencies, performance measures and so many of the other inspiring ways organizations are balancing their budgets so effectively.

To learn more about Priority Based Budgeting from CPBB and the nation's leading local government practitioners, be sure to attend the upcoming... 


Center for Priority Based Budgeting 2013 Annual Conference


"A Summit of Leading Practices"

July 9 & 10, 2013  Arlington, Virginia   Hilton Crystal City Hotel


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CONFERENCE PROGRAM RELEASE: CPBB 2013 Annual Conference- "A Summit of Leading Practices"


Center for Priority Based Budgeting 2013 Annual Conference


"A Summit of Leading Practices"

July 9 & 10, 2013  Arlington, Virginia   Hilton Crystal City Hotel



“Today’s challenges have required local governments to work differently, looking to new and innovative approaches to service delivery, while at the same time reducing costs and increasing efficiency of operation. While “best” practices are always important for managers to follow and implement, it is those “leading” practices—creative and innovative ways to approach service delivery—that hold the greatest promise for us to truly “reinvent” government and the ways we do business…"

Robert O'Neill- Executive Director, International City/County Management Association (ICMA)  

The 2013 "Summit of Leading Practices" is the ONLY conference where all  
local government Leading Practices come together under one roof.  Be a part of the community of leading practices in local government management.

Unique Session Highlights Include:
Dynamic Speakers 
-PBB from the Elected Officials Perspective- Kathie Novak (Past President NLC)
-High Performance Organizations- Anton Gardner (Commonwealth Center for High Performance Organizations/HPO)
-Civic Engagement- Pete Peterson (Davenport Institute of Public Policy) 
-Long-Term Financial Planning- Shayne Kavanagh (Government Finance Officer's Association/GFOA)
-Fiscal Health- Chris Fabian/Jon Johnson (Center for Priority Based Budgeting)
-Priority Based Budgeting- Chris Fabian/Jon Johnson (CPBB)
Cutting Edge Tech Tools
An intense and in-depth focus on the technology and tools that make the work
of leading practices effective
-Online Civic Engagement- Robert Vogel (Peak Democracy)
-Web-Based Fiscal Health Diagnostic Tool- Jim Teece (Project A)

Innovative Case Studies ("User Group Experience")
-Featuring the nations leading community pioneers sharing their unique experiences in implementing Fiscal Health & Priority Based Budgeting:
Cincinnati, Ohio / Walnut Creek, California / Fort Collins, Colorado
Douglas County, Nevada / Lakeland, Florida / Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Boone County, Illinois and many more.....

Exhibition Hall- Featuring PBB Alley & Conference Sponsors


Brought to you by the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), in partnership with the Alliance for Innovation (AFI).


Register here for the 2013 Center for Priority Based Budgeting Conference

Exhibit space and sponsorship opportunities are available!

Contact Erik Fabian at efabian@pbbcenter.org for more information

The 2013 CPBB Annual Conference is strongly supported by Quartile 1 Sponsor SAFEbuilt

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pete Peterson – Featured Speaker at 2013 CPBB Annual Conference – Announces Candidacy for California Secretary of State

Pete Peterson has played a major role in our work at the Center for Priority Based Budgeting. Fundamental to Priority Based Budgeting is our belief that better decisions result from a more explicit link between community values and the allocation of scarce resources. Through his work for Common Sense California, where he served as Executive Director, to his leadership at the Davenport Institute of Public Policy (again, as Executive Director), Pete brought us closer to what legitimate citizen engagement is all about.

He has challenged us to explore new ways of reaching citizens in a digital age, when online civic engagement can reach people like never before. And he's pushed us to pursue an honest, transparent, and open dialogue with citizens in the budget process – finding better, easier and more thoughtful ways to invite public participation and influence on decision-making. In short, Pete has played a pivotal role in the local government revolution that is Priority Based Budgeting.

We are so pleased to have Pete Peterson keynote the 2013 CPBB Annual Conference as he presents "The Power of Legitimate Citizen Engagement" this year in Washington, D.C. We're grateful for the role Pete has played in our work.

"A Summit of Leading Practices"

July 9 & 10, 2013     Arlington, VA     Hilton Crystal City Hotel

                                                  REGISTER NOW!                                                    


Monday, April 22, 2013

Contact: Kelsey Eiben 714-676-8879

Davenport Institute Executive Director Pete Peterson Announces Bid for California Secretary of State

(Santa Monica, CA)- Today, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University officially announced his bid for California Secretary of State.

“Nationwide, the relationship between government and citizens is fundamentally changing, and California is in desperate need of reform. With many Californians struggling to make ends meet or worrying about their economic future, it is crucial we encourage public engagement inside and outside of the voting booth,” said Secretary of State candidate Pete Peterson. “Using technology to encourage voter registration, voter turnout, and government transparency will increase public involvement in the democratic process. Working with governments from La Mesa to Eureka, I have seen informed Californians make better decisions than government alone, and we must bring these concepts and technologies to the state-level. I see this office as a means to change the direction of California, not as a stepping stone for professional politicians.”

Pete was the first executive director of the bi-partisan organization, Common Sense California, which in 2010 joined with the Davenport Institute at the School of Public Policy to become the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, where he is Executive Director. Peterson also co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, "Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times," which has helped over 500 public sector officials lead better, more participatory public processes.

Pete has worked around the state consulting with governments from Bell to Vallejo to improve how they engage their residents in policy-making on issues ranging from the budget to water policy. Pete has also consulted with municipal government in the use of online public engagement and data visualization platforms. Pete also teaches a masters’ class at Pepperdine University entitled “Leadership through Public Engagement.”

Peterson earned his BA in history from George Washington University, and a Masters in Public Policy from Pepperdine University. He currently serves on the advisory committees to the Institute for Local Government’s Public Engagement Program (League of California Cities), the California Civic Innovation Project, and the University Network for Collaborative Governance.

Prior to his work in public engagement, Peterson worked in the marketing/graphic communications industry for a dozen years, consulting with clients ranging from American Express to Kenneth Cole. Pete lives in Santa Monica with his wife, Gina, and daughter, Elsa.

Visit www.petesos.com for more information.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Why Does Local Government Exist: Douglas County + CPBB + Peak Democracy = THE SOLUTION

There has been a lot of (deserving) hype lately revolving around the success of priority based budgeting, citizen engagement, and how these two powerful and empowering "leading practices" are transforming local government budget processes and local governments themselves at the base level. Thanks to Peak Democracy, we now have yet another comprehensive case study that further proves how fundamentally effective and transformative priority based budgeting and citizen engagement can be, both independently and employed together.

Citizens have been increasingly going online to engage with family, friends, colleagues, businesses and organizations. Accordingly, local governments are increasingly interested in how to go online for civic engagement with their constituents. However, online forums, blogs, and crowd-sourcing tools are frequently dominated by bullies, vitriol and misinformation.

Peak Democracy and the Center for Priority Based Budgeting have trail-blazed an entirely contemporary way for today’s citizens to participate in and influence their government. Douglas County has taken it to a whole new level.

Douglas County Case Study


Douglas County, Nevada, in partnership with the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) and Peak Democracy, is using a priority-driven participatory process in developing its budget. An innovative undertaking, Douglas County's shift to an incremental approach to budgeting to a priority-driven budget invariably involved members of the public. The following case study illustrates how Douglas County involved the public using Open Town Hall as a major component of their community outreach strategy....

Read the full Douglas County Case Study here.

FINALLY- Peak Democracy, Douglas County, NV and the Center for Priority Based Budgeting will all be presenting at the 2013 CPBB Annual Conference. The 2013 "Summit of Leading Practices" is the ONLY conference where ICMA's Leading Practices for Local Government Management (and more) come together under one roof. 

To learn more about Citizen Engagement, Local Government Partnerships and Priority Based Budgeting from CPBB and the nation's leading local government practitioners, be sure to attend the upcoming... 

Center for Priority Based Budgeting 2013 Annual Conference


"A Summit of Leading Practices"

July 9 & 10, 2013  Arlington, Virginia   Hilton Crystal City Hotel




Brought to you by the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), in partnership with the Alliance for Innovation (AFI).

The 2013 CPBB "Summit of Leading Practices" Annual Conference is strongly supported by 
Quartile 1 sponsor SAFEbuilt, Supporting Sponsor Beehive Industries and Exhibitors Delphi and Revelstone Labs. Thank you sponsors!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fiscal Health: Your Strategic Plan for Best-case (or worst-case) Budget Scenarios

Strategic planning and fiscal scenario planning has been at the core of our work in ICMA's Leading Practice of "Fiscal Health." That is, scenario planning local governments financial forecast(s) for worst-case (and best-case) scenarios.

In “Excelling in Times of Fiscal Distress,” an article Bob O'Neill wrote for Governing, in October 2008, he wrote “Most of us can articulate the early-warning signs that preceded the current economic downturn: Global forces that dramatically changed the local, state, and federal playing fields. Skyrocketing fuel costs. A failing housing market…property tax limitations. Yet, many of us failed to correctly interpret these early-warning signs in relation to their impact on our government organizations.”

Interpretation is the key. For example, interpreting the impact of a major employer closing down and what the true impact would be on your organization and community.

The major "tool" the Center for Priority Based Budgeting has been working on is a data-visualization tool that depicts real-time impacts of various scenarios with a financial impact. So if the major employer closes down, what impact would it have on your "ongoing" revenues and expenses, and what impacts would it have on your "one-time" sources and uses of funds. Furthermore, what actions or initiatives are being considered to deal with this situation that would also have an impact (for instance, if there are any incentives on the table that could serve as an economic development strategy; tax abatement; TIF, etc, or re-investing in development, urban renewal, or recruitment to address attracting new businesses).

For all of these related activities, you want to be able to model the situation, demonstrate the impacts, and appropriately weigh the impacts of various decisions. That's what Fiscal Health modeling is all about.

Fiscal Health modeling is a powerful scenario-planning tool, providing easy to understand visualization of data.
  • Elected officials have adopted Fiscal Health as their preferred means of communicating with staff regarding any decisions brought before them that potentially might have a fiscal impact – asking staff to “show us” those impacts using the principles of Fiscal Health as the primary communication device.
  • Organizations have entered into labor negotiations with their bargaining units using Fiscal Health as a way to quickly agree on the assumptions behind the City’s fiscal forecasts, therefore establishing a basis of trust in the discussion – then modeling the bargaining units’ requests to demonstrate impacts to the City’s fiscal position.
  • It has even been used to help a Water and Sewer District prioritize capital projects, understand the ongoing impacts of those projects, and effectively develop rate increases by better understanding their ongoing and one-time sources and uses of funding in their operation.
At CPBB we're motivated by the exact type of objectives the majority of communities often have in  strategic planning (and how to bring the financial picture into the discussion), and look forward to sharing experiences.

Contact us to schedule a free webinar and identify the best CPBB service option(s) to meet your organization's particular needs.

The 2013 CPBB Annual Conference
"A Summit of Leading Practices"
July 9 & 10, 2013     Arlington, VA     Hilton Crystal City Hotel



Brought to you by the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) and the
International City/County Management Association (ICMA), in partnership with the Alliance for Innovation (AFI).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NLC’s Economic Conditions Report; Plus “SNEAK PEAK” at 2013 Priority Based Budgeting Conference Case Study Sessions

The National League of Cities has issued their findings from the 2013 Local Economic Conditions (LEC) survey, in a comprehensive four-part series. This is such an important report to understand thoroughly in order to come to terms with the fiscal reality of our communities, and then, perhaps most importantly, determine what we’re going to do about it.

If the LEC survey produced one key sentence to us at CPBB it is this: “city officials will continue to focus on core areas of local government that protect the welfare and safety of residents while increasing their focus on areas that create new jobs and revenue.”

For as unyielding as this continued economic downturn continues to be, the fundamental issue remains to be: how will we focus on our core areas of service? How do we still provide the vital services to our communities, despite our relentless fiscal challenges?

At the Center for Priority Based Budgeting, answering this very question – indeed, the question of our time – is the entire mission of our work. And this summer, in Washington D.C., we are showcasing some of the most inspiring and successful stories of cities and counties providing real answers to this question, with the use of Priority Based Budgeting.

We are pleased to provide a SNEAK-PEAK at the Case Studies that will headline the 2013 Priority Based Budgeting Conference co-sponsored by the International City/County Management Association and the Alliance for Innovations:

The City of Cincinnati’s use of Priority Based Budgeting (through their Priority Driven Budgeting initiative) establishes one of the greatest advancements in the use of the process to guide policy direction. The City’s response to Council’s policy direction provides one of the most comprehensive evaluations of city services across the entire organization.

Many organizations have approached us with a strong desire to bring their elected officials into a constructive and transparent discussion about the budget – Cincinnati has set the bar high in this respect. In the most direct way possible, the City used Priority Based Budgeting to guide policy-oriented discussions.  One of the benefits of the process is that it creates specific roles for elected officials to participate and succeed.When elected officials can focus on key policy questions that impact resource allocation, when they’re provided input and transparency in the way their policy questions are answered, and when they can make decisions based on policy impacts, then they’ve played a successful role in budgeting.

In June, the City Council received the results of the Priority-Driven Budgeting initiative and provided this budget policy motionwith direction for formulating the 2013/2014 Operating Budget: “That the Administration construct a budget based on the following factors:

Use the information from the Priority-Driven Budget process to:

•       Recommend elimination or reduction of functions based upon whether other organizations or entities are serving the same populations or providing the same function. If this is the case, the administration should outline a method of transitioning individuals to the other services or programs.
•       Recommend changes to mandated programs that exceed the minimum requirements of the mandate.
•       Identify functions that can be shared with other political jurisdictions.
•       Identify functions that, rather than eliminate them, can be made self sufficient through the establishment of a fee structure.”

“The Diagnostic Tool provided data to start discussions about the programs and services we provide to help the City analyze programs and services for cost savings, revenue enhancements and budget reductions. All of the analysis conducted allowed the City to more strategically allocate resources, and provide citizens more transparency, as well as a clearer understanding of the budget decision as we move forward.

While it is the first year Cincinnati has engaged in priority-driven budgeting to this extent, it provides a foundation for examining the services and programs the City provides that are important to the people the City serves.”

Click here to see a detailed program listing – the budget status of every City Program in PBB terms: the status of each program in terms of which are increased, decreased, receive no funding change, become reorganized, or are under review.

Douglas County, Nevada has implemented a game-changing approach to citizen engagement. In 2012, the County embarked on the Priority Based Budgeting process with one of the primary objectives being to bring their community into an ownership position with respect to decision making. What unfolded in their groundbreaking use of an online tool to engage citizens sets the bar at a whole new level in Participatory Budgeting. Not only that, but they actually experienced an increase in the County’s bond rating as a result of their work.

Citizen engagement in the budget process has been increasingly of interest in local government budgeting. The logic follows that the more citizens can authentically contribute and influence the decisions being made by their government, the more ownership they might take in their community. Trust increases with transparency. Compassion comes with trust. The benefits are undeniable.

Still, organizations ask us, "but what about the risks inherent in citizen engagement? What is the right role for citizens?" We're asked, "to what degree is it appropriate, safe, meaningful, realistic and effective to have citizens participate in decision making?" In our work, we continue to strive for answers to these questions - they are the right questions. With the potential for such great outcomes, if we can answer them correctly and involve citizens in more meaningful and influential ways, we are moved to try and answer the questions. 

Hear Douglas County, Nevada's experience in putting citizens in the driver's seat of their Priority Based Budgeting process. Special thanks to Peak Democracy - our partners in the development of the County Budget Challenge.

The City of Wheat Ridge, Colorado

The City of Wheat Ridge, Colorado is the first community to implement the entire approach to Achieving Fiscal Health and Wellness through Priority Based Budgeting – incorporating the Fiscal Health approach to communicating their financial forecast with the PBB process for resource allocation. Hear from City leaders how the Fiscal Health model changed the conversation with their elected officials, and how Priority Based Budgeting is being used to address the budget.

"PBB is truly more than just a way to address your 'budget woes.' The great thing about Priority Based Budgeting is it can help support the type of culture an organization desires by not simply viewing this process as a budget tool when it is really so much more.  PBB is helping us further our culture in areas where we know we have room for improvement.  PBB is more than being about the state of your budget, it is about the state of your organization..." 

Plus, a first-ever of it’s kind “User Group” experience will feature a panel discussion of the leading experts in Priority Based Budgeting from across the Country, featuring: 
  • The City of Fort Collins, Colorado
  • The City of Walnut Creek, California
  • The City of Lakeland, Florida
  • The City of Tualatin, Oregon
  • Boone County, Illinois
 And more! Stay tuned for the complete Conference Program Release!

The 2013 CPBB Annual Conference

"A Summit of Leading Practices"
July 9 & 10,  2013     Arlington, VA     Hilton Crystal City Hotel


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Citizen Engagement: In Ink & a Focus of 2013 CPBB Conference

In a recent Governing article, Citizen Budgeting Related to Better Outcomes, staff writer J.B. Wogan outlines the patchwork of efforts local government deploy to involve citizens in establishing budget priorities. The article cites efforts made by Hampton, VA and Chicago, IL in inviting public comment into the budgeting process in order to obtain better performance outcomes.

The Center for Priority Based Budgeting, in partnership with groups such as the Davenport Institute of Public Policy and Peak Democracy, has been an early pioneer of active citizen engagement in obtaining better performance outcomes. In 2012, CPBB successfully led the city of Cincinnati, Ohio through  priority based budgeting (see past blog post here).

“Priority-driven budgeting offers a common-sense, strategic alternative to conventional budgeting. It creates a fundamental change in the way resources are allocated by using a collaborative, evidence-based approach to measure services against community priorities. By bringing together community leaders and citizens to determine strategic priorities, the city can align resources with what the community values most, and create service efficiencies and innovation.”- Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls

To emphasize the value CPBB places on citizen engagement, we are excited to announce that Pete Peterson (Davenport Institute of Public Policy) will be a featured speaker presenting The Power of Legitimate Citizen Engagement at the 2013 CPBB "Summit of Leading Practices" Annual Conference.

Pete Peterson's work, and that of the Davenport Institute stands at the forefront of authentic citizen engagement. 
Pete was the first executive director of Common Sense California, an organization that promotes and supports citizen engagement as a way of producing more creative policy decisions and better citizens. He developed the organization's annual Citizen Engagement Grant Program, which has provided over $200,000.00 in grants over the last two years to municipalities and school districts across California. Peterson has also consulted on several of these "participatory planning" and "participatory budgeting" projects in cities ranging from Salinas to Palmdale. Peterson has co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, "Leadership through Civic Engagement" - a program offered to California leaders from city planners to regional officials. To date over 350 city, county, school district, and nonprofit officials have attended these seminars. He has written extensively on public engagement for an array of print and online journals. Peterson earned his BA in history from George Washington University, and an MPP from Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy. He was also a public affairs fellow at The Hoover Institution in 2006.

Learn what legitimate citizen engagement is all about, and how it can support Priority Based Budgeting. Also hear how the Davenport Institute can work with your city government, school district, and civic organization in a variety of ways - from speaking to your community about the virtues and possibilities of civic engagement, to their Public Engagement Grant Program, which offers communities up to $25,000 to carry out legitimate engagement projects.

The Center for Priority Based Budgeting has benefited from the Davenport Institute's mission and dedication to civic engagement. Through the Institute's Public Engagement Grant Program, both the City of Walnut Creek, CA and the City of Fairfield, CA were recipients of grant support for their work in bringing citizens into the Priority Based Budgeting process.

Priority Based Budgeting has been an effective mechanism to create a successful role for citizens to influence their communities. We couldn't be more honored to have Pete Peterson, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute, on the program as he brings to life stories of success in "legitimate civic engagement."

The 2013 "Summit of Leading Practices" is the ONLY conference where all of ICMA's Leading Practices for Local Government Management (and more) come together under one roof. 

                                                                 REGISTER NOW!

Brought to you by the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) and the
International City/County Management Association (ICMA), in partnership with the Alliance for Innovation (AFI).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Budget Document of the FUTURE is NOW – Walnut Creek and Artist/Designer Chuck Todd Stuns Transforming Local Government Conference

The Transforming Local Government conference took place last week in Atlanta, Georgia, bringing together some of the most cutting-edge, innovative, and proven examples of successful communities from the US and Canada. Keynote speaker and futurist Rebecca Ryan described the conference on Twitter as “drinking from the firehose of AWESOME!”

Direct from the Firehose of Awesome, comes this story…

Walnut Creek, California’s Lorie Tinfow and Liz Payne along with graphic artists Chuck Todd presented the City’s efforts to communicate their work in Priority Based Budgeting to a standing room only audience. (We’ll be announcing over the next few weeks that Walnut Creek’s Lorie Tinfow will be presenting their case study in full detail at the PBB Conference this July in Washington DC) To say the room was captivated would be an understatement. In fact, according to one reaction from the Wisconsin City/County Manager’s Group on LinkedIn, “Their presentation and concept of the budget document of the future was phenomenal!”

The following comes directly from visual visual journalist Chuck Todd, the artist behind the stunning PBB graphic:

“As a visual journalist on the project I was brought in to find visual ways to tell the story. And in the presentation I got to discuss what a visual journalist does and the process of working on the publication, cover and the Priority Based Budgeting infographic. A visual journalist takes complex information, data and ideas and turns it into a visual story….focusing on key messages and what is important to connect to the reader. Visual Journalism is visual reporting using illustration, infographics, design and/or sequential art.

Priority Based Budgeting is a process where a city establishes goals and with input from The City Council, city staff and citizens rank programs and spending in how well they met the goals. It is new, innovative way for cities to aproach budgets and the city of Walnut Creek is one of the first to embrace the process. 

The graphic and publication has been well received by the citizens in Walnut Creek and has garnered national attention. It was a great honor to be asked to give out “Think Outside the Bar Chart!” presentation at the TLG conference.  I’m including here the cover and a two-page spread from the Budget Story.

It was a great experience and I even got to meet the folks who came up with the idea of Priority Based Budgeting. Getting compliments from them on how well the graphic described the process was high praise indeed!”

Don't miss the 2013 CPBB Annual Conference- "A Summit of Leading Practices"
Brought to you by the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) and the
International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in partnership
with the Alliance for Innovation (AFI).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PBB Budget Balancing Act a Big Hit!

Last night, Douglas County, NV County Manager Steve Mokrohisky presented a balanced $45.43 million tentative general fund budget, which county commissioners approved. As reported by the Record-Courier, Mokrohisky said using priority-based budgeting, and looking ahead at future county revenues and expenses were key in producing this year’s budget and reducing future general fund deficits (see Douglas County Priority Based Budgeting Update as presented to the Board of Commissioners here).

With the first balanced tentative general fund budget in five years, even Commission Chairman Greg Lynn had reason to smile on Tuesday night. “This is a far more comfortable discussion than we’ve had in the past,” Lynn said.

Mokrohisky went on to add, "PBB has really helped us frame our budget discussions and provide momentum for funding critical investments, such as road maintenance."

From the Slide Presentation: "What is Priority Based Budgeting?"
A long-term organizational change in local government budgeting to evaluate programs and services, and allocate resources based on priorities set by the Board and public
- Invest in priorities established by Board and public
- Continually improve efficiency and cost-effective services
- Recover costs within programs
- Pursue alternative service providers/regional collaboration

Congratulations Douglas County on exceptional use of PBB to balance your budget!