skip navigation

Tips and Tools for Connecting Community to Your Budget

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
12 - 1 PM
Cost: $35
Credits Available: CPE, CML - see below


Registration closes Monday, October 14 at 12 PM. This webinar will be recorded, and all preregistered attendees will receive a link to view the recording. Read about scholarship opportunities.

Webinar Overview

Is your budget process too complex and intimidating for most constituents to want to engage in, even your most motivated residents? When communities are engaged in the budgeting process, they have a better understanding of the process and how budget allocations are made. This increases the transparency of the city’s finances, promotes greater trust and confidence in the city’s decisions, and builds a stronger comprehension of budgeting choices, taxes, and public benefits. This trust will become even more important when you seek to raise your property tax levy more than the 1% allowed without a vote.

Educational Objectives

Good public participation practices can help governments be more accountable and responsive to their communities. This webinar will look at two methods to involve residents in the budget. The City of Sequim has adapted a participatory budgeting approach that provides residents the opportunity to directly vote on spending for small capital projects. Balancing Act is an easy to use, cloud-based simulation that lets residents experience the tough tradeoffs that officials must make at budget time.

A 2013 survey conducted by the Center for California Studies shows that when people are less informed and disengaged, they are more likely to believe that the tax rate is too high. Developing a transparent budget process can help to improve a local government’s credibility and trust within the community, in addition to providing a greater understanding of the community’s needs, values, and priorities.

Who Should Attend?

Local government managers, administrators, directors, clerk treasurers, treasurers, finance directors and any other elected or appointed individuals responsible for revenue strategies associated with budget development.


  • Sue Hagener, CPA, Director of Administrative Services, City of Sequim: Sue was appointed deputy administrative services director in 2014 and previously served as Sequim’s accounting manager from 2010 to 2014. As the administrative services director, she is responsible for the operations of the city finance, human resources and information technology departments.
  • Chris Adams, President, Balancing Act: Chris is the president and co-founder of Balancing Act, a Denver-based company that offers budget engagement and financial transparency tools and which was named to the GovTech 100 in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs and an adviser to the Government Finance Officers Association's Online Financial Transparency Taskforce.
  • Mike Bailey, Finance Consultant, MRSC: Mike has worked in local government finance since 1980 and, most recently, was the City of Redmond Finance & Technology Director. He is a former president of the Washington Finance Officers Association and served on the Government Finance Officers Association’s Executive Board. Mike conducts workshops on local government financial management, budget, and financial leadership and leads council retreats and strategic planning processes.


Refund policy: Refunds of the webinar fee will be provided minus a $5.00 administrative fee if registration is canceled by 12 PM on Monday, October 14. If you are registered for the webinar and unable to attend, you will still be able to view the recorded webinar afterwards. However, if you cancel your registration, you will not receive a link to the recording.