By exploring the websites of your local government jurisdiction, you can determine the major issues facing this community and how its political leadership intends to address them. From here, you can examine the Annual Operating Budget to see if there are specific proposals and dedicated funding for implementing solutions.
For example, many communities are grappling with large homeless populations. There are many federal programs for homeless housing, but by partnering with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, there is enhanced federal support for programs that will provide housing for homeless veterans (HUD, 2014). If the homeless population is a problem that your jurisdiction is grappling with, you might examine whether the budget reveals the goal of housing homeless vets, indicates the cost, and specifies the amount contributed by the federal government. Similarly, your jurisdiction might be concerned about mitigating toxic wastes on a former industrial site that is intended for redevelopment. For this, you would look at the budget to see if the cost of remediation is included and whether federal government money is a resource intended to meet this cost. These examples represent the variety of approaches in linking financial planning and evaluation in public policy.
From the Annual Budget of your local jurisdiction,(Morgantown, WV) respond to the following questions in a 3- to 4-page paper:
Your jurisdiction’s budget is based on spending and revenue decisions made by its political leadership—mayor, city or county manager, council or commissioners.
How is the Annual Budget linked to community goals and needs?
Who proposes the budget?
Where is it discussed, and what body has the final say on what is included and how the necessary funds are raised?
Are there quantifiable measurements of progress articulated in the budgetary documents and resources? Explain, using Chapter 6 of Hyman (2021) on “Performance Measures and Government Budgeting in Practice” in your Learning Resources.
Are there any performance statistics or management-by-objectives information presented in the budget or in accompanying material?
Do you think that cost effectiveness analysis is as important as political considerations in justifying the level of overall expenditures or special initiatives?
Sources to use:
The City of Morgantown. (2021, February 16). Annual budget. https://www.morgantownwv.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/223
The City of Morgantown. (n.d.). Financial reports. http://morgantownwv.gov/207/Financial-Reports
West Virginia State Auditor’s Office. (n.d.). County budgets. https://www.wvsao.gov/LocalGovernment/Default#CountyBudgets
Hyman, D. N. (2021). Public finance: A contemporary application of theory to policy (12th ed.). Cengage Learning.
Chapter 5, “Public Choice and the Political Process” (pp. 154–195)
Chapter 6, “Cost-Benefit Analysis and Government Investments” (pp. 196–226)