How to make sense of local budgets || Office Hours || Greg Sund, MPA and Edward Erfurt

Norm Van Eeden Petersman
Norm Van Eeden Petersman
  • Updated

00:00 Introduction

09:00 What would you say are some of the simplest ways to learn how a city budget works?

14:14 How can you increase the odds that doing GOOD municipal budgeting gets into the "Institutional memory"?

16:41 What is the most important page in the budget? Where do governments hide expenses in the budget?

20:59 Budget page example

24:15 What's the best way of determining whether expenditures in a budget are reasonable for the City, or whether the City is doing the right thing with its budget?

31:30 Accurately accounting for depreciation/budgeting for replacement costs is NOT something most local govs do due to capacity.... What can be done to rectify this?

41:14 Are there any smaller cities which have implemented ST-thinking and are less budget strapped than years ago?

46:17 What are some questions citizens can ask themselves and/or city leaders about the hidden costs of new developments like stadiums, big chain stores, etc.? How should we evaluate these types of projects from a financial perspective?

52:25 What's the difference between priority based and traditional budgeting? How can you tell which your municipality is using?


Referenced in the session


About Office Hours

Our door is wide open once a week for Strong Towns members to come and discuss how to build resilience and prosperity in their communities. Each week will focus on a different topic with a member of the Strong Towns team. The tone is casual and conversational. Drop in late if you need to; you’ll be just as welcome.

Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET on Zoom

Submit your questions and ideas for topics in advance as you register, or ask them on the fly. Just so you know, pre-submitted questions and topics will be given priority during the conversation. 

Schedule & Registration Details Are Available Here

Can't attend? Catch the replay in Action Lab once it gets posted.


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