Joplin City Council agree to work with consultants on priority based budgeting

Joplin City Council agree to work with consultants on priority based budgeting
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Joplin City Council members voted tonight on an agreement between the City and the Center for Priority Based Budgeting. It’s a consulting firm and it involves the city’s budget.

Currently, the city uses a line item budgeting system, which takes the previous year’s expenditures and makes adjustments based on revenues or any changes in cost. This system doesn’t leave room for strategic planning or forward thinking, something City Manager Sam Anselm thinks priority based budgeting could change.

“Doing things on a year by year basis I think tends to be a little short sighted so this process kind of helps organizations think more strategically, if we’re going to have a program that’s valued by the public and that’s valued by the council then we can provide the resources for that program for the benefit of the community,” says Anselm.

It will allow the city to budget according to the community’s values and will provide flexibility to meet changing needs and create transparency, allowing residents to see specifically where their tax dollars are going. The public will also have the opportunity to engage in the process, letting public officials know what they want to see in Joplin.

“We’re looking forward to being able to offer that question up to our residents and to our city council and say what type of city do you want to be and what programs do you want to offer and it’s up to us as an organization and an administration to then be able to provide those services,” continues Anselm.

The new budgeting could benefit the city substantially. Priority based budgeting focuses the city’s spending on its means rather than its needs and could help the city become more financially stable.

In a first reading, the council voted 8 to 0 to approve the plan and will vote on a 2nd reading on October 5th.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the council approved Mike Woolston’s resignation in a 5-3 vote. Council members Scearce, Rosenberg, and Colbert-Kean voted against it.