Is public engagement on public budgets even a thing? It is if you believe that traditional public hearings (a.k.a. “three minutes at the mic”), posting huge PDFs on websites, or sending out a budget survey without context counts.
For a task most people consider the single most important task of government — creating a budget —there is a lot of room to do better and many places in which to do it.
But what does “better” really mean in the public budget process? Is it public officials heading into the community for informal discussions? Is it harnessing the power of two-way communication that the internet provides? What is the role of leadership — from staff, elected officials, non-profits, the business community and neighborhoods?
There is no single answer for any situation, but when it comes to ensuring that public budgets reflect the public’s vision for our future, the stakes are too high to ignore.
Indeed. Look forward to the conversations.