Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/rjt90k

A better budget for a better city

2012

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Summary

Subsequent to wide- spread backlash, city council eventually waived the user fees for 2012, forfeiting the $1.5 million in expected revenues, with the promise to consult with the public prior to the next budget.2 •. Without adequate consideration of the impacts, Mayor Ford opted to freeze property taxes and eliminate the Personal Vehicle Tax in 2011, costing the City $132 million in revenue. [...] To do so, the budget process should provide a sound basis for anticipating and evaluating spending pres- sures relative to the “taxable capacity of the local economy.”7 The American National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting (NACSLB) argues that characteristics of the budget process ultimately shape the quality of subsequent decisions as well as political buy-in and public acceptance.8 [...] Prior to the selection and implementation of an engagement strategy, city officials and community partners must consider how variables like governance structure, political culture and diversity may affect the way community members perceive and interact with the budget process and its actors.15 Effective public management rests on the collective ability of civil servants and elected officials to en [...] At an October 2010 press conference, Mayor Nenshi told reporters that his election win “was about revitalizing the level of conversation in the city,” alluding to the need to engage Calgarians in the budget and decision-making processes at City Hall.19 Within the first year of Nenshi’s term as mayor of Calgary, city council began a review of munici- pal operations and the budget process. [...] Dia- logue Partners reported that the City consulted with more than 23,000 Calgarians, a combination of residents, representatives from community organizations, city employees, and council members, between the launch of the new engagement strategy and the adoption of the budget in November 2011.22 The three phases of the engagement strategy are outlined below: 1. Calgarians were asked about approp

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accountability government education politics budget public finance economy governance taxation fiscal policy government policy government spending policy tax government budget participatory budgeting budget process community fiscal further education society fiscal austerity public sphere public engagement audit committees borough presidents borough president independent budget office

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