Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with city residents at a "Balanced Baltimore" workshop in East Baltimore on Jan. 18. Photo via Twitter.
More than 600 people have completed the Balanced Baltimore online budgeting game released by the City of Baltimore in late 2013.
As Technical.ly Baltimore reported, the web app lets people design the city’s budget — in an effort to close a $20 million budget shortfall projected for 2015 — by taking them through six “priority outcomes” used in the city’s outcome budgeting approach and allowing them to increase, decrease or keep as is spending levels for a variety of city services and agencies.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the tool has allowed the city to grab a larger cross-section of residents’ comments than in previous years:
In past years, the city collected input from between 250 and 500 citizens. This year, more than 600 have already played the online game, [city budget director Andrew] Kleine said, and many more have attended community workshops like the one Saturday.
At the end of January, the results from Balanced Baltimore will be collected and compiled into a report, which will then be submitted to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. During last week’s Twitter town hall, the mayor said the results from the budgeting game will be reviewed by her and the city’s budget office to “ensure decisions [are] in line [with] citizen priorities.”