THIS IS ONLY AN INTERPRETATION, FIVE SENTENCES AND A QUESTION IS ALL I NEED. TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS, HAVE REFERENCES
I do not have very much budget education or experience on a professional level. This class was intimidating for me to tackle. But I have come out with a better understanding of the complexities that are involved in the public budget process. While there are many obstacles and limitations that public entities have to deal with in regards to budget and finance, there are also many strategies to handle them. I think one of my favorite readings over the term was the case study of Toronto. This resonated with me because it showed real life solutions to problems that many public organizations face: aging infrastructure, insufficient revenue growth, and decreasing funds and increasing future costs for employee benefits (Brittain, 2006). The City of Toronto was able to effectively deal with these obstacles by setting anticipated outcomes, identify and research problems, modeling a long-term financial forecast, develop options, and establish a process for resolving specific issues (Brittain, 2006). Through the planning process, they were able to provide opportunities for securing new sources of revenue that would grow over time, reform property tax, provide financial support for infrastructure and reserve funding, account for capital assets, and restrained discretionary spending (Brittain, 2006). The city was able to gain the support for its plan from city council members as it focused on both expenditure and revenue solutions. Carefully articulating the problems the city was facing and putting them into context, along with establishing a stronger strategic plan were things that helped the city be more successful in problem solving (Brittain, 2006). This kind of success story was motivating to me of the things that strategic financial planning and having a good basis in concepts of budgeting can do for an organization.
One way I want to effect positive social change is by trying to come up with solutions to problems. By being engaged in my community and future organization, I hope to be a positive asset. It seems in our society there are many who are willing to loudly express complaints and be generally unhappy with how things are carried out. I find people are less apt to come up with reasonable solutions to these problems. I am hoping that my time and education from Walden will leave me better equipped to understand the workings of the public sector enough to be able to come up with viable solutions that can be used in public organizations (given mandates, laws, regulations, and finances these organizations are required to abide by). I am seeing many examples of social change in our country, and I see that as a positive. I was recently reading about Rhode Island passing legislation to make community colleges free to its residents (following in the footsteps of New York, Oregon, and Tennessee), and this encourages me that people can make a difference in creating opportunities for all (Lobosco, 2017).
Brittain, L. (2006). City of Toronto’s long-term fiscal plan. Government Finance Review, 22(6), 18–24.
Lobosco, K. (2017). Rhode Island just made community college free. CNN. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/03/pf/college/rhode-island-tuition-free-college/