Budget Advice Scorecard: An Exercise in Public Involvement & Prioritization

With Janesville’s current fiscal concerns, the Administration desired a way to examine the services we offer and get feedback in a new way from residents. The City offered an online survey for residents to look at the shopping cart of core services they purchase through their tax dollars and provide input on what Levels of Service should be provided in 12 core areas, including fire/EMS services, police, parks, recreation, transportation, trash collection, and snowplowing. Before residents completed the survey, a YouTube presentation was available for them to watch if they desired. For each core service, there were four service level options and respondents were asked to choose the service level they believe the department should provide. The questions were tough and made residents think about what each service was “worth” to them. The survey was available for ten days in July and there were computers at the library, senior center and the Municipal Building for those that didn’t have internet access at home.  The results of the survey were available to department heads as work began on the 2011 budget.

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