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Current Practices For Involving Citizens In Local Government Budgeting: Moving Beyond Method

Author: MAUREEN BERNER
Published in PAQ, Vol. 27 No. 4

If citizen participation is considered a desirable aspect of good
government, how should it be done? This article asks what method is
most effective for regular citizen input into policy-making at the local
government level from the perspective of government officials using
the budget process as an example. City and county managers and
budget staff across North Carolina were surveyed on this issue in 1998.
While there was no consensus on a practice clearly to adopt or avoid,
there was a clear theme concerning approach early and often. The
method is found not to be as important as how it is applied. Recommendations
for practitioners and researchers are discussed.

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