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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

March 3, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Alan Tomkins, Public Policy Center, 472-5678

Phone survey to begin this week

Mayor Chris Beutler today encouraged those selected for a phone survey on the City budget to take the time to participate. A scientific phone survey of 600 randomly selected residents will begin this week. The survey is part of an effort to solicit public opinion on how the City should spend tax dollars.

“We are taking a different look at the budget process, and finding out what citizens want is a crucial step,” said Mayor Beutler. “If those originally chosen through the random selection process respond, it increases the validity of the survey and decreases the amount of time it takes to complete the calls.”

Those with caller ID will see a University of Nebraska number on the display. The City is working with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Bureau of Sociological Research. Alan Tomkins, Director of the Public Policy Center said the phone survey will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Beutler said the project is a necessary first step toward implementing outcome-based budgeting, a process that ties programs to the goals that citizens want local government to accomplish. The process have proven to be effective in other communities faced with escalating costs and declining revenues.

Those not included in the phone survey will be able to provide input in writing, online and at public meetings. The process for gathering those comments will be announced soon.

The Mayor is scheduled to make his decisions on the 2008-2009 City budget in May, and the budget is released to the public in June. The City Council votes on tentative changes to the Mayor’s budget in July. The public hearing is scheduled for August 11, and the Council is scheduled to adopt the budget August 25.

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