The City of Asheville’s proposed budget is more accessible than ever thanks to a new tool developed in collaboration between the city and the volunteer group Code for Asheville.
The tool, available at www.avlbudget.org offers an illustrated breakdown of how the city’s revenues and expenditures fit together and gives the public a picture of where the money goes.
“The city’s budget process is probably the most intricate and involved decision City Council makes, and this tool offers the public a chance to see how it all works,” said Dawa Hitch, the city’s Director of Communication & Public Engagement. “We are so appreciative of the efforts of Code for Asheville in making this happen.”
The success of the budget tool rose out of a Code Across Asheville meeting in February in which the volunteer group of local developers, designers and self-described “data geeks,” expressed enthusiasm for finding opportunities to utilize City of Asheville open data to increase the public’s access to information.
Code for Asheville worked closely with an interdepartmental city government team that provided information on typical resident inquiries and the data necessary to develop the tool.
“Publicly available data is a fantastic resource, and groups like Code for Asheville show what can happen when the community jumps in and provides solutions to presenting that data,” said Scott Barnwell, the city’s Business & Public Technology Manager. “Those folks deserve a lot of credit for making this a reality.”
Asheville City Council will hold a public hearing on the 2014/2015 budget at its June 10 meeting, with a final vote on June 24.
Find out more about Code for Asheville at CodeforAsheville.org.