"We're going to correct as much of our budget deficiency as we can through priority-based budgeting and through finding the best use of our money." – County Commissioner Don Cook
Moffat County is leading a completely unique effort to look across the region, and understand how the resources given to all of us by our citizens, businesses, visitors and members of our community are being prioritized and used most wisely.
The county is exploring ways to make up a projected $2.5 million deficit in the next two years, either through cuts or raising additional revenues. That number is significantly higher than what the county projected in late 2016, when it estimated $500,000 in cuts for 2018 and $1.1 million in 2019 as part of a five-year plan.
County leaders recently implemented a “Priority Based Budgeting” process, through which we’ve identified every single service the County offers (over 1,000 distinct County services!), the cost of providing those services (allocating our $31million operating budget to each), and key characteristics about each service (for example, the degree to which each program is mandated upon us, the likelihood that the program is provided by another private sector entity or public sector entity, and the size of population served by each program).
Much like Washington County, WI, (Washington County, WI Invites Neighbors to Consolidate Services or Merge) where County fiscal conditions across the State are requiring all counties to consider radical new ways to form partnerships to deliver services, Moffat County, CO is proactively taking similar steps.
With the assistance of ResourceX, Moffat County will hold an unprecedented Community Meeting inviting over 100 of the County’s leading public and private businesses. The sole purpose of this meeting is to evaluate partnership opportunities. Through Moffat County’s work in PBB, the County now has a crystal clear understanding of every program they deliver. And will make this data available with the intention of identifying partnership opportunities to increase the value of program delivery while simultaneously reducing budget expenses.
Moffat County Community Resource Meeting
Public sector organizations, non-profits, private sector service providers and the general public are welcome to join the meeting August 29th from 11am-2pm. You and your organization will be invited into a deeper conversation and analysis about the services offered our residents as an overall community, and how the County can perhaps partner together, combine forces, and even consolidate services where appropriate to prioritize ALL of Moffat County’s resources.
· Leading the conversation will be Chris Fabian who helped lead Moffat County’s implementation (Chris is co-founder of Resource Exploration and the Center for Priority Based Budgeting, who have implemented PBB in over 170+ communities) – see Chris’s bio here on LinkedIn, and company website here.
· Joining Chris will be Clay Brown from the State of Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Local Government.
· And accompanying Chris and Clay will be the City of Englewood, Colorado’s Eric Keck who has implemented Priority Based Budgeting in two cities, as well as the private sector.
This regional approach is among the first of it’s kind to free up scarce resources in all of our organizations as well as in this community, in order to refuel our unique and extraordinary efforts as local governments, non-profits, public sector and private sector entities to dramatically improve the future.
The concept is quite simple, and yet hasn’t been approached quite like this before: how can we discover and partner with other organizations in our community who are pursuing the same societal objectives are we are? Can we leverage their efforts, programs and services to tackle the challenges we seek to address in our community? And can we discover opportunities to not only partner, but merge and consolidate services, thereby freeing up our own staff and money to reallocate elsewhere?
On August 29th, Chris Fabian and Eric Keck will lead a presentation as to how this approach has led to community breakthroughs in the City of Englewood Colorado, the City of Toledo Ohio and Washington County Wisconsin, among other regions. Participants will then be invited to review the unique Program Inventory developed by Moffat County and the costs of providing each service.
For participants who wish to join the evaluation, they too will be able to “match up” the programs they offer to those provided by the County, initiating an exploration of how a partnership could lead to optimized service delivery at a more efficient overall cost. For resources who are “freed up” in the process, the most inspiring part of this approach will be to determine how to redeploy both human and financial resources towards the new challenges faced in the community, for which new resources are needed.
Says Chris Fabian, “the greatest source of new revenue and resources is shown to come from mining what we already have, freeing up scarce resources, and reallocating them to tackle the challenges we face in building a better future.”
Priority Based Budgeting has been implemented in over 170 communities across the USA and Canada. Moffat County is among 26 local government agencies in Colorado who have reengineered their budgeting process to focus on prioritizing resources to community results.
In the PBB Data Mine, there are currently over 93,000 unique local government provided programs identified. The community partnership approach which launches on August 29th is among the most innovative approaches to regional sustainability, with the number of community stakeholders invited to participate from all sectors of the community being one of a kind among all Priority Based Budgeting communities.