Input sought on looming $1.8 million shortfall

The city of West Linn just launched its first crowd-sourcing effort: West Linn Ideas. This site is specifically designed to capture staff and community ideas. 

West Linn is focusing the site on the development of the 2014-15 biennial budget. The city is using crowd sourcing to try out a new way to engage the community on a complex issue by using a free platform provided by Granicus in exchange for being a “beta test” community.

The site is configured so users can submit ideas and receive responses back from staff and peers. Residents can also “like” ideas and share them on social media sites. 

The city is encouraging its Budget Evaluation and Efficiencies Task Force to use this platform to share ideas and questions.

Similarly, the city is also encouraging the citizen members of the West Linn Community Values Forum to use the site to communicate their ideas. The general public can also use the site to share ideas.

“Generally speaking, we like that the site will allow staff to show our work as we contemplate the great ideas that are suggested by our staff and citizens,” Assistant City Manager Kirsten Wyatt said. “The use of a crowd-sourcing solution is aligned with the city’s belief that we should make city affairs accessible to everyone.”

Because not everyone has the ability to participate in traditional meetings at city hall, the city hopes this is another way to engage the community and get some ideas to manage the anticipated $1.8 million shortfall in the upcoming biennial budget.

If this effort is successful, the city anticipates using for other big-picture, long-range issues (e.g., the transportation system plan update in early to mid-2013).

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