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Striking a Balance White Paper

This White Paper presents 1) a summary of current financial trends that cities are facing; 2) an exploration of how city managers are coping with those financial realities and the strategies they have adopted—particularly in the areas of personnel, core services and programs, service partnerships, and restructuring; 3) examples of successful citizen participation efforts, barriers to meaningful participation, and methods and mechanisms used to overcome those barriers; and 4) a proposed framework for essential and nonessential service prioritization that incorporates citizen collaboration and empowerment into the process.

This study was conducted in part to understand how managers will continue to provide necessary and essential services to their citizens, and how they might gather and then incorporate citizens’ stated desires about service prioritization into the decisions they make and policies they recommend for adoption.

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