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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Budgeting Outcomes and Priorities in Lincoln

The goal of this project, initially launched in the winter of 2008 and completed later in the spring, was to solicit public opinion about how the City of Lincoln should spend its tax dollars. A scientific phone survey of 600 randomly selected residents was undertaken by the Public Policy Center, working with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Sociological Research. The phone survey was a step toward outcome-based budgeting, a process that ties programs to the goals that citizens want local government to accomplish. In addition to the phone survey, an online survey was offered for residents to respond to, Leadership Lincoln and the City convened town hall meetings, and a deliberative discussion was held in April. These techniques were intended to give voice to the needs of the entire community rather than special interest groups. After the public input was obtained, Mayor Chris Beutler issued his proposed City budget in May to the City Council and the budget was released to the public in June. The City Council voted on tentative changes to the Mayor’s budget in July. The mandated public hearing was August 11, and the Council adopted the 2008-09 budget on August 25.

Related Projects
Budgeting Outcomes and Priorities in Lincoln (2008)
Citizen Input for Budgeting and Performance Management in Lincoln (2009)
City of Lincoln Satisfaction Survey: “Taking Charge” (2010)
Taking Charge 2011
Taking Charge 2012
Taking Charge 2013

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