Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Budget Innovation in Local Government: How Douglas County, NV Continues to Push the Envelope!

At the Center for Priority Based Budgeting, we consider ourselves partners of local government communities. Our mission is to assist local government communities achieve sound long-term fiscal health and wellness by focusing community resources on results. So when a community we've partnered with is recognized for their success by their peers, we couldn't be more proud. The spotlight shines deservedly on this trailblazing County!

Douglas County, Nevada has been one of the most successful implementers, and now practitioners, of Priority Based Budgeting. In fact, they were the first county in the nation to implement Priority Based Budgeting. Douglas County has also 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 (see story here). Not only that, but the County's bond rating was affirmed as a result of their work. 

Another example of the County's success is how they prioritized spending to fund long-awaited transportation infrastructure needs with their shift to Priority Based Budgeting. See Douglas County newsletter article "Priority Budgeting Leads to $1 Million for Roads." Based on their progressive series of successes, the County was asked to present a case study at CPBB's "Summit of Leading Practices" conference held in July 2013. See the full Douglas County, NV slide presentation here.  

Douglas County Manager Steve Mokrohisky has been integral to the success of the County he serves. Through his leadership, Douglas County continues to innovate and prioritize spending to the benefit of the citizens of the community. Steve is frequently called upon by his peers to outline how Douglas County has achieved Fiscal Health and, due to a recent appearance on a regional local government panel discussion, is once again in the news. 

In an interview with The Record-Courier, Steve states, "I spoke on a panel with the Las Vegas City Manager about budget innovations in local government. Douglas County is the first county in the nation to implement Priority Based Budgeting and has had some early success in stabilizing our revenues and expenses through five year financial forecasting, engaging taxpayers in how limited resources should be spent, and shifting our budget process to focus on investing in the areas of highest priority to the community. 

The board’s action this year to shift over $1 million in property tax funds to road maintenance, as well as ending some lower priority programs, are good examples of how we can and should be spending tax dollars in a responsible and accountable fashion. We are now seeing other cities and counties around the country follow our lead. Placer County, Calif., and others have asked us to present our story to their leadership teams." Read the full interview here.

Congratulations to Douglas County, Nevada, for using Priority Based Budgeting to achieve Fiscal Health and responsibly allocate scarce resources for the overall benefit of the community!

Keep an eye on the CPBB blog for further updates. Sign-up for our social media pages so you stay connected with TEAM CPBB!

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If you're thinking of jumping into the world of Fiscal Health and Wellness through Priority Based Budgeting we would certainly like to be part of your efforts! Contact us to schedule a free webinar and identify the best CPBB service option(s) to meet your organization's particular needs.

"DATA VISUALIZATION" for Local Government


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