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The goal of this exercise is to review and summarize our course content, and to use what you’ve learned in new contexts.

by | Jun 5, 2022 | Finance | 0 comments

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The goal of this exercise is to review and summarize our course content, and to use what you’ve learned in new contexts. Please individually prepare a short academic essay investigating and evaluating one of the four identified city budgets. Use the essay to demonstrate your mastery of the course learning competencies and objectives, mastery of concepts and materials, and application of theory to explain professional practice.
Recommended Essay Topic and Content:
Select one of the four city budgets for investigation, and then prepare a short, but in-depth 4-page academic essay using the following criteria.
Analyze and describe the technical structure of the budget. Analysis could include the fund structure, accounting basis, fund balances, budget policies, reserves and contingencies, and major interdepartmental transfers. Summarize the primary sources of revenues, revenue limits and fund designation/ limitations, and the allocation of funds to departments and programs. Give special attention to how the budget responds to the City strategic plans, sets spending priorities and annual goals, and evaluates performance. Critique these features based on the course readings and materials. For those of you that have completed PA 585 or with professional experience, access and use the latest ACFR as helpful.
Analyze the budget situation from a governance process and political perspective. Identify immediate and concerning needs and issues. Carefully read the Mayor’s or City Manager’s Budget Transmittal Letter and consider any other helpful communications to the City Council or the media.
City of Bend, Oregon (FY 2021-2023 Biennial Budget)
City of Tigard, Oregon (FY 2022-2023 Proposed Budget)
City of Vancouver, Washington (FY 2021-2022 Adopted Budget)
City of Boise, Idaho (FY 2021-2022 Adopted Budget)
Enrich your essay by analyzing and discussing one of the following articles in an evaluation of your city’s budget and governance experience.
Key, V.O. (1940). The Lack of a Budgetary Theory. The American Political Science Review, 34(6), (Dec.), pp. 1137-1144
Lewis, Verne B. (1952). Toward a Theory of Budgeting. Public Administration Review, 12 (1 Winter), pp. 42-54.
Schick, A. (1966). The road to PPB: The stages of budget reform. Public Administration Review, 26(4): 243-258.
Levine, C. H. (1978). Organizational decline and cutback management. Public Administration Review 38(4): 316-325.
Lastly, if it provides an explanatory or contrasting experience, consider and apply the budgeting experiences of another local government, a medium to large nonprofit organization, or a large health system.
Essay Specifications:
As noted, prepare an academic essay of argumentation, with a maximum length of about four (4) pages double-spaced. In the essay introduction paragraph, include: an issue, tension or paradox, a thesis statement or intended argument, a presage of your conclusion, and an organization sentence or short organization paragraph. Introduce your theory article in the introduction. The body of your essay should carry your arguments of comparison, contrast, evaluation and discussion. Your conclusion paragraph should reflect back to the introduction thesis statement and presage.
Consistently follow and apply one style/ citation system: Chicago author-date, or legal footnote. No need for a cover sheet, but add a title at the top of your essay; insert section sub-headings as needed. Cite and reference all published budget documents, journal articles and web publications. A separate reference list page will not count against your page limit. Cite all personal communication and emails in the text e.g. (Joe Smith City Finance Officer, personal communication, May 19, 2015) or in footnotes.
Upload your completed essay to Canvas by Thursday, June 9th at 11:59 pm (the Due Date). If you must upload later than 11:59pm Thursday, please email me ahead of time to make arrangements. Because this due date is very late in finals week, I very much reserve the option to reduce points on late papers.

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