After speaking with several local officials and others for several months. It was go, no-go time to develop a project site with the goal of increasing understanding of the Grand Rapids City budget. An annual budget of $473 Million that until this project had only been released to the public in printed form of 324 pages or a PDF.
Together with the City of Grand Rapids and in about a month’s time we were able to launch a new resource for citizens and city staff that would liberate the information by placing it on the City’s Open Data Portal and leveraging the information so that it could be better understood.
welcome open budget: grand rapids
The Grand Rapids’ Open Budget tool is a real success story of several things I believe to be important:
- Collaboration: Positive and substantive collaboration between citizens and city staff toward a common goal of increasing knowledge and civic engagement.
- Open Data: A clear example of the possibilities when data is openly made available.
- Open Source: Because open source examples were already available from other cities we were able to deploy the website quickly and inexpensively. Special thanks to the Code for America brigades in Oakland, CA and Sacramento, CA for your contributions!
the reviews are in…
The site was launched as part of the City’s final consideration of the 2016 budget, a week before the final vote.
Open Budget: Grand Rapids was featured on the City’s website, and press release: Grand Rapids City Commission considers $473 Million spending plan. The site also received congratulations from Grand Rapids CFO Scott Buhrer, Commissioner Kelly, and Mayor Bliss during the Commission meeting for final budget consideration.
“This open budget concept promotes a deeper understanding of the City budget for our residents, officials and other stakeholders,” Buhrer said. “I am grateful to the team for assisting us with set-up and maintenance of the site.”
what’s next for open budget: grand rapids
We are hoping to include additional features and provide additional data so that the site can be utilized for a larger part of the nearly nine month budget process. Stay tuned in as we update you on the progress of the next version.
Open Budget Examples:
- Oakland, CA
- Github: openbudgetoakland, they also have a wiki with documentation
- Miami-Dade, FL
- Github: miami-budget
- Sacramento, CA
- Github: SacCityBudget
- Cary, NC
- Github: Community Budget Explorer, a lot of documentation on Wiki
- Raleigh, NC
- Github: Visual-Town-Budget, Well documented, Readme has information about datasets
- Cook County, IL
- Github: look-at-cook