City to Offer Public Finance Workshop
On Wednesday, January 22nd, City Treasurer, Linda Moore, and City Comptroller, Sheri Ray, will offer a community workshop on Public Finance and Balancing the City Budget. The workshop will be held at 6pm at Mercantile Bank, 200 North 33rd Street, Quincy. Participants are encouraged to bring their smartphone, tablet, or laptop to the workshop.
The one hour workshop will include an overview of public finance and a budget simulator for the city’s operating and capital budget. After a brief presentation, city officials will introduce attendees to Balancing Act, a software program that provides local governments with meaningful financial transparency, accountability, and participation. The tool allows the city to share information with residents about the budget and educate them on key financial issues.
Attendees will have an opportunity to review the budget, make changes and suggestions, or move money from one department to another, as long as the budget remains balanced.
“Every year, the City is challenged to fund increasing needs that are outpacing the available revenues,” says Moore. “We want residents to understand public finance and what their tax dollars really pay for. We hope attendees will learn that much thought goes into presenting a balanced budget.”
Moore says the budget simulator tool will be available on the city’s website in mid-February. Until then, other workshops will be offered, based on demand. “I would encourage interested citizens to attend the workshop at Mercantile to learn more about the budget and how the simulator works. Then, once the tool is available on the website, everyone can participate.”
The city is paying $5,850 for a one-year license to use Balancing Act. Moore indicated that city officials will make a decision on whether to continue using the program based on engagement numbers and quality of feedback received from residents. “Our hope is to make it very easy for our residents to participate in the budget process. Many residents can’t or don’t attend city council meetings; now they will have a way to provide meaningful budget feedback from their smartphone or other electronic device.”
“Mercantile Bank is pleased to partner with the City of Quincy to offer this informative program to our community. Civic engagement is important for everyone in our community and I hope residents will take the opportunity to listen and be heard,” says Mark Tyrpin, President of Mercantile Bank. “We are honored to host this unique and educational program.”