As a member of the Eugene Budget Committee, I have been fighting hard for budget transparency and accountability. The current reality is that the City has no tools to make our municipal budget easy to understand and quick to access.
But those tools exist. After researching low-cost solutions that we could implement, I have introduced a motion in the 2017 budget proceedings to fund an open budget tool. For a great example of what we could have, take a moment to visit Open Budget Redmond (for Redmond, Washington). I spoke with staff at the City of Redmond to understand their process, and I discovered that their web site is inexpensive, quick to implement, and easy to maintain.
Please sign the petition!
The Budget Committee directs the City Manager to direct finance staff to procure and implement a public budget transparency solution, as described below, to go live in advance of the FY18-19 budget deliberations.
- Allow visitors to browse current revenues and expenditures at a detailed level.
- Have aggregation and disaggregation capability that provides a high-level view of the entire budget and entire departments, with single-click ability to move directly to more detailed views.
- Provide similar insights by fund.
- Provide similar aggregation and disaggregation of the revenue side.
- Have a clear bridge between the Department and Division views and the Fund view.
- Include connections to the Unfunded Needs Assessment (UNA).
- Provide (or provide links to) programmatic or project information for major expenditures, including those attached to bond measures (such as our pavement preservation program, and library activities funded by the recent bond.
- Up to $20,000 in one-time funding to cover one-time costs, such as the bid/RFP process itself and the upfront establishment of City capabilities. The funds shall come from the Reserve for Revenue Shortfall (RRSF), and specifically from the one-time money from the Comcast settlement.
- $15,000 in ongoing funding from the Sister Cities program (i.e., taking back some of what we added in the last budget cycle).
- $2,500 in ongoing funding from the current (increased, as of FY17) neighborhood association budget for newsletters and other external communication.
- $2,500 in ongoing funding from the General Fund (unspecified source).