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New Budget Academy to Help Residents Understand How and When to Provide Ideas
Have no idea when’s the best time to give your ideas for the City of Durham’s budget? Attend a free event next month to find out how and when to share your budgetary ideas and priorities.
Set for Monday, March 16 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, residents are invited to meet with employees while learning about the annual budget process and the various ways they can provide ideas about the City’s current and future direction at the first-ever Durham Budget Academy. Food will be provided as will Spanish translation. Free parking will also be available in the gravel parking lots located at the corner of Cleveland Street and Seminary Avenue.
“When we’re out and about in the community, our team often engages with residents who don’t fully understand where and how the City allocates tax dollars. Residents also don’t know about all of the opportunities they have to voice their thoughts about Durham, and how those opportunities can influence future budget decisions,” said Director Bertha Johnson with the City’s Budget and Management Services Department. “One way we’re working to address this is by hosting a Durham Budget Academy, which will give attendees insight into this process, the tough decisions that must be made when deciding what gets funding, and how the City Council’s budget guidelines serve as a crucial guide for our staff.”
During this event, attendees will engage in a budget process simulation while learning about how budget guidelines influence funding decisions. Staff will also share annual budget timeline information and provide insight on the best time to share budgetary ideas. Other City departments will also be on hand to share ways residents can get involved with their work and help shape the City’s direction, whether that’s by joining a Board, Commission or Committee, voting on Participatory Budgeting projects, or providing input on the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
According to Johnson, this free event is being held prior to the first-of-two Public Budget Hearings, which takes place at 7 p.m. inside Council Chambers as part of the City Council’s regular business meeting. During this hearing, Council will vote on this year’s proposed budget guidelines, and Budget Academy attendees are encouraged to share their thoughts with elected officials since Public Budget Hearings support the City’s strategic goal of involving the community in decision making, problem solving, and continuous improvement through information sharing, collaboration, and partnerships. The second budget public hearing is set for Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. inside Council Chambers also as part of the City Council’s regular business meeting.
To RSVP to attend Durham’s Budget Academy, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/budget-academy-tickets-93563096741. For more details about the Budget Academy and the annual budget development process, visit https://durhamnc.gov/204/Budget-Development-Process.
The City of Durham Budget and Management Services Department is responsible for the development and oversight of the City’s annual budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The department is also responsible for performance management, continuous improvement, and strategic planning. A division of the department, the Office of Performance and Innovation, serves as internal consultants, helping City departments accomplish Durham's "One Vision and Five Goals" through advancing the City's Strategic Plan; providing framework for data-driven decisions; fostering a culture of innovation; and facilitating process improvements.