Gardner city staff
Residents have an opportunity to provide input on the 2016 budget Jan. 22, and Gardner will also host a “Citizens Academy” to provide information on how local governments work.
This year, the city is focusing on creating additional opportunities to engage citizens. On January 22, from 6-8:30 p.m. Gardner will host the Citizen 2016 Budget Forum in the city call council chambers. The purpose of the forum is to facilitate a deeper understanding of this practice while ascertaining citizens’ priorities to assist the council and staff establish in goals for the 2016 Budget. No advance registration is required.
In addition, beginning on January 29t, Gardner will host its first Citizens Academy. The Citizens Academy is a seven-session interactive, public information program to provide participants with insight on how local governments work and promote open lines of communication. Remaining slots are open until filled. For more information, contact City Clerk Jeanne Koontz at 913-856-0945 or [email protected]
For the last two years, Gardner concentrated on visioning, planning and implementing best practices seeking to create a thriving community, enhance business attraction and more efficiently deliver quality City services.
Among the highlights of this work was the recent completion of a new Comprehensive Plan and Economic Development Strategy. The Comprehensive Plan serves as the vision for building a sustainable, resilient community through diversification of land uses, while the Economic Development Strategy identified economic development goals. Together, these plans will help City staff and the Governing Body create an environment that enhances business attraction.
Beginning with the creation of the 2014 budget, Gardner implemented the best practice of Priority-Based Budgeting, also known as “budgeting for outcomes,” which aligns resources to achieve the governing body’s strategic goals they use to guide their vision – and their funding decisions – for the city.
None of this important work could have been completed without the city working collaboratively with the local business community, local and regional economic development partners, the faith-based community, and several citizen committees that assisted in creating the aforementioned strategic plans.
Strong communities are the result of engaged citizens working in concert with their city elected officials and staff, so residents participation in these events is strongly encouraged.