News Flash

Finance

Posted on: February 1, 2022

How Budgeting Works in South Jordan

South Jordan City Hall

As the new year begins, City staff along with the City Council begin in earnest to put together the City’s budget for the next fiscal year, which will begin July 1st. For the past eight years, the City has utilized a strategic budgeting methodology called Priority Based Budgeting (PBB). This process has transformed the way our City creates success within our community, ensuring we align our resources (fiscal, physical and human) to our priorities.

PBB is a unique and innovative approach being implemented by local governments across the country. Through the PBB process, City officials can better make data-driven decisions while meaningfully engaging citizens in the budget process. This holistic approach provides elected officials and other decision-makers with a new lens to ensure our community maintains and preserves its highly valued programs and services.

The underlying philosophy of PBB is to align and invest resources to accomplish a set of mutually agreed upon strategic priorities. In turn, City officials can better articulate why the City offers each service and justify the value and price paid for each.

  • Prioritize Services. The PBB process determines the relative importance of individual programs and services based on a defined set of strategic priorities.
  • Do the Important Things Well. The PBB process identifies services that offer the highest value and aligns resources with sufficient funding. Services with less value are either outsourced, reduced or potentially eliminated.
  • Question Past Patterns of Spending. PBB places all the City’s resources on the table to encourage a more collaborative, honest and creative conversation about aligning resources to all services.
  • Spend Within the Organization’s Means. The PBB process aligns available revenues with prioritized services.
  • Know the True Cost of Doing Business. PBB focuses on understanding the actual costs of programs and services to ensure funding decisions are based on the true cost of providing a service.
  • Provide Transparency of Community Priorities. PBB allows decisions to be based on a set of well-defined and agreed upon community priorities.
  • Provide Transparency of Service Impact. PBB focuses on the results that services produce in achieving the community’s priorities.
  • Demand Accountability for Results. PBB demands accountability for results based on community priorities.

The City Council creates a budget that supports a comprehensive strategic plan focused on key initiatives. These key initiatives bring life to the budget and provide an easy guide for residents to link their taxes to measured outcomes. The City has long honored its commitment of maintaining outstanding programs and services to the community by not only a conservative approach to budgeting but through a highly productive team who are committed to providing excellent customer service.

The City Council’s strategic priorities will put us on the path to become a sustainable community that can provide quality of life through excellent services and public amenities, while preserving South Jordan as one of the most desired places to live.

On behalf of all City employees, we look forward to working with the City Council and the community as we use PBB to accomplish the City’s strategic plan. I am confident that the result of our efforts will demonstrate our commitment to providing excellent services; investing in our future through public infrastructure, facilities, and amenities; and proactively responding to changing fiscal realities.

City Manager, Gary L. Whatcott

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