Mayor Megan Barry has unveiled a new interactive website where citizens can view details of her FY2017 Recommended Budget. ‘Balancing Act’ gives citizens the opportunity to provide feedback on the budget proposal, while also adding and subtracting from priority areas to come up with their own balanced budget.
“This is not my budget, it is Nashville’s budget,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “I think that we have done a good job putting together the budget proposal. It was developed with departments, takes care of our youth, our employees, and our future. I want the public to feel confident in how we spend our funds and this application helps further that goal.”
Balancing Act is an initiative of Engaged Public, a public policy group focused on connecting government with its citizens. The web-based simulation has been used across the country in cities from San Antonio to Virginia Beach. Unlike traditional methods of community engagement, Balancing Act is truly interactive and available anywhere online.
“This is a real opportunity for Metro and our citizens,” said Talia Lomax-O’dneal, Metro Director of Finance. “The budget has more impact on the public than virtually any other function of government. It is important that citizens not only understand what the budget contains, but that they have the opportunity to influence its priorities. This is one way to do that.”
Balancing Act is just one aspect of Mayor Barry’s overall community engagement strategy. Over the next year, her Department of Finance will unveil other new initiatives designed to gather citizen input on the front-end of the budget process. The goal is to create a budget each year that reflects the priorities of Metro citizens, no matter their zip code.
Citizens wanting to view details of the Mayor’s Recommended Budget or to try their hand at balancing their own should visit Nashville.gov/Finance and click on the Balancing Act link or visithttp://nashville-tn.abalancingact.com/