A big challenge each year for Counties is the budgeting process. There are many factors that have to be considered in order to ensure that the needs of your community are being met. As with our personal finances, often there are more needs than there are funds, so priorities have to be established and hard decisions have to be made. Each of your citizen’s views differ significantly on what they feel is important for their communtiy.  Leon County created the Citizen Engagement Series to help their citizens better understand how the County makes these tough decisions.

The Citizen Engagement Series was authorized by the Leon Board of County Commissioners in August 2011 and received two national awards in 2013 from the National Association of Counties and the City-County Communications and Marketing Association.

The Citizen Engagement Series sessions enhance transparency and convey the relevance of County government through immersive hands-on exercises that offer a glimpse into the decision making process that shape the community. The purpose of this program is to provide greater opportunities to build trust through meaningful engagement of the citizens of Leon County. Program topics include budgeting, tourism, sustainability, health care and more.

To better explain the budgeting process, the county offers a session, as part of the series, entitled, “Balancing Budgets and Exercising Fiscal Stewardship: Making Hard Choices in Challenging Times,” which offers citizens an in-depth look into the County budget process. Leon County’s national award-winning Let’s Balance exercise is used to give citizens a hands-on experience into the decision-making process of balancing the budget. Here is a video that showcases thier 2011 Let’s Balance program: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fa7WSvZzNcE

Would you like to see first-hand how this program works? A portion of FAC’s upcoming Financial Management CCC Workshop focuses on the county budgeting process, Leon County Administrator Vince Long and Deputy County Administrator Alan Rosenzweig will incorporate a version of the.  Let’s Balance exercise for Commisisoners as a part of this workshop. The workshop is being held on Friday, March 27 in conjunction with FAC’s Legislative Day Activities in Leon County. For more information on this program and to register for these upcoming events, please click here.