Barbara Whitehorn and Stefan Jaskulak look at the budget process for the City of Asheville and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District to explore the benefits of a longer budget cycle.
When the City of Asheville, North Carolina expanded its annual budget process from six to ten months, it was the most significant change—and the biggest improvement—made to the program in recent years. This article explains how a longer cycle allowed for improved communication. Similarly, the budget development process at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is almost a year long. The time is invested in collaborating with department staff and the board of directors to involve all parties early in the process. As a result, the budget team has better communication with the departments, making budget adjustments easier to implement.