Friday, July 25, 2008

This ain’t CSI

Another in my “this ain’t CSI” posts:

About 5:20 pm yesterday I got an email that said: “I hope this doesn’t make it on your blog!” If you wrote that I’d advise you to stop reading now. I couldn’t resist.

Over several hours and multiple emails yesterday I and a very patient staff member of Finance tried to set up a meeting to go over my FY2009 budget with County Administration.

In one of my emails I described the interaction “like a game of Twister or Checkers on crack”. Over 20 emails rocketed over the wires and airwaves back and forth to get all of the folks scheduled together for the meeting. Last I heard it was still pending responses from 2 folks, so I am watching for more emails.

Our budget setting process might be “fun”, but I don’t think it will ever make an episode of CSI. I begin with my proposal shoe-horned into their forms and format. At times their forms seem arcane and not a good fit for what or how I want to submit stuff. That stuff is reviewed by Finance staff and some changes are made based on that back and forth give and take.

The next stage is the face-to-face review with a group of County administrators with my justifying changes from last year (e.g. a latex shortage in Asia threatening to drive up the cost of gloves in a few months). Heady stuff, but not the stuff of TV drama.

After that they review my budget without me present, figure how it fits with the County’s overall budget, and decide what they will recommend to the County Board. Then it’s through the Board committees and the full Board for approval in a few months.

On second thought, I think I’ll begin work on the script proposal, I think it has potential.

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