CHAIRWOMAN KRISTIN GASPAR
VICE-CHAIRWOMAN DIANNE JACOB
San Diego County Board of Supervisors
Contacts: Steve Schmidt, 619-206-9108, firstname.lastname@example.org
Itica Milanes, 619-307-1793, email@example.com
SHOW ME THE MONEY: COUNTY CREATES BUDGET TOOL FOR TAXPAYERS
San Diego County today unveiled an online tool aimed at boosting transparency and public feedback on how it spends taxpayer money.
With the release of the county’s latest proposed budget, the public can weigh in directly on the $6.26 billion spending plan and see what others are saying by going to www.sandiegocounty.gov/budget. The county has also launched http://budget.sandiegocounty.gov, where engaged citizens can further digest and dissect how precious tax dollars are spent.
Creation of the interactive portal came at the recommendation of Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, currently serving respectively as the Board of Supervisors vice-chairwoman and chairwoman.
“This is the public’s money and we need to make it easier for folks to offer their two cents about how we’re spending it,” Jacob said. “Taxpayers, no longer limited to an outdated budget process, now have the power to offer direct feedback right at their fingertips and make certain their voice is heard.”
The portal brings public input on the budget into the 21st century and provides residents the ability to scrutinize revenues and expenditures by each department, and compare growth from year to year.
A smartphone, tablet or personal computer can be used to easily submit video testimony and e-comments on how public funds should be spent in the region.
“The online budget portal gives our residents an opportunity to weigh-in on the county budget using the convenience of technology,” said board Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar. “From now on, our constituents will be able to participate in the process without having to take time off from work to drive downtown to speak for the allotted three minutes. I am hoping the new portal will encourage more San Diegans to provide us with their input.”
Not only will electronic testimony be provided to county decision-makers via the portal, but the entire region would be able to view the input that goes into finalizing a multi-billion spending plan.
The recommended fiscal year 2018-19 budget, part of a two-year operational plan, focuses on homelessness, public health and other critical needs while it would also maintain or improve existing services.