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City recognized for public engagement in budget planning

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published February 28, 2022
Updated on February 28, 2022
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The City of Bloomington was one of seven recipients of the Government Finance Officers Association 2021 Award for Excellence in Government Finance. Bloomington was selected from entries representing a diverse set of nationwide governments. This year’s winners provide inspiration, model examples and implementation guidance for others looking to adopt GFOA’s best practices or to develop creative, innovative solutions to common government challenges.

The Government Finance Review magazine featured the City’s work with an article titled “Transforming public engagement amid a budget crisis.” The article highlights the work of the Community Budget Advisory Committee in 2020 following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Bloomington’s tourism and entertainment industry and the resulting multimillion-dollar shortfall in the City’s budget.

In an effort to ensure budget discussions reflected community preferences, the City Council appointed a Community Budget Advisory Committee in May 2020. In September that year, the committee asked what services mattered most to residents. The following month, the committee presented budget reduction recommendations to the community for comment and presented their findings to the
City Council.

“It means a lot to be recognized for engaging residents in budget decisions,” Budget Manager Kari Carlson said. “2020 was a difficult year for many reasons. Through the work of City staff, Council and CBAC we were able to make sure the community had a bigger voice than ever in how we addressed the budget shortfall.”

Along with the City of Bloomington, recipients include the cities of Austin, Texas; Bondurant, Iowa; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Cook County, Illinios; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Riverside County, California.