FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2018
The City of Kansas City, Missouri, is being honored for successfully engaging residents in the citywide business plan that frequently includes direct feedback from taxpayers who attend public work sessions or share their views online.
KCMO is among several cities the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) recently announced as winners of its 2018 Awards for Excellence in Government Finance. These cities are recognized for contributions to government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management.
The award, which was presented on Tuesday during the GFOA’s annual conference in St. Louis, stresses practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance.
In 2013, KCMO developed a comprehensive Five-Year Citywide Business Plan that includes its overall strategic plan, a financial strategic plan, and a five-year planning model. The business plan guides financial and operational alternatives through the planning and budget process. The City then recognized the importance of resident engagement in the process and created Resident Work Sessions to provide residents the opportunity to learn about the plan and to directly influence it through activities that simulate the City’s budget process.
The high-level strategic plan and long-range financial plan come before the annual budget process begins. The annual budget is viewed as the “one-year snapshot” of the business plan. The program and its components have been featured in several regional and national seminars and conferences.
“We know our residents want us to project forward when we set up our short-range and long-range plans,” City Manager Troy Schulte said. “So it makes a lot of sense to create a model that directly incorporates input from our taxpayers so that we can clearly demonstrate the influence that their feedback can have on the overall look and feel our City.”
During the past five years, resident engagement expanded beyond just the work sessions to include online transparency tools and social media platforms. These online platforms include KCMOmentum.org, OpenBudget, Twitter and Facebook.
Feedback collected from residents has led to several citywide investments, including:
- $10 million bond issue to eliminate dangerous buildings
- $200,000 for the Land Bank to add a 6th vacant lot mowing cycle
- Transfer of garbage pickup to the Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department to align trash collection with citywide revitalization efforts
- $300,000 to the Housing Court home repair program for code violations
For more information, please contact Chris Hernandez, City Communications Director, at 816-513-3474.