Wednesday, June 2, 2010

OPINION: A truthful perspective of Mayor Marchione's "Budget By Priorities" process

When I read the following "Redmond Reporter" headlines on May 2, I never laughed so hard! 

"City asks citizens to help prioritize next budget" 

"Public input will help drive city spending for 2011-12." 

Why is this so funny?  

Only two public budget meetings were conducted by the John Marchione Administration and only 18 total citizens showed up!   Six attended the March 1 meeting and twelve attended the May 3 meeting -- both held on a Monday close to the dinner hour.   Could you pick a worse day?

Redmond has a night-time, resident population of  ~50,000 citizens and only 18 residents turned up?   This year's  "Budget By Priority" process is more than a belly laugh, it's much worse.   Six of the 18 residents were lobbying a special interest.  Businesses were invited but none registered.  Six citizens were hand selected by the Mayor to participate in the process with staff,  but never engaged with the Public.   

John Marchione's "Budgeting for Priorities" process asks four basic questions"

1. What priorities matter most to our citizens?
2. How much revenue will we have and what price of government will we charge our citizens?
3. How much should we spend to achieve each priority?
4. How can we best deliver each priority to achieve the results the citizens expect?

What citizens?   (Read more).  
When you compare the 0.0004% citizen turnout to the Reporter's headlines, it's apparent citizens weren't empowered by the "Budget By Priorities" process.   The program didn't have legs -- certainly, not enough legs "to help drive city spending and prioritize the next budget".  

This is just one example of why I write this disclose a truthful perspective and cut the P.R.

OPINION By Bob Yoder


Paganne said...

I'll bet more people attended Little League games at Hartman Park on those monday nights. Frankly, i think budgeting by priorities is just another way to stick their finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing. What is important for our city? 18 citizens will determine our future.

Anonymous said...

When I served on the council, then councilmember Marchione fought for this process. I thought it naive then and still do. Citizens don't understand the depths of government. They expect their representatives to make the right choices. This process allows elected officials to hide behind the process and disavow responsibility for tough decisions. Redmond deserves better.

Tom Paine