Bath Township to incorporate “measurements” into budget

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By Courtney Culey
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff writer

Citizens all over the country are curious about how their tax money is spent.  In an effort to make this clearer to the public, Bath Township officials plan to place measurements on many different elements of the budget.

Superintendent Troy Feltman explained that he wants to manage the township in a performance-based manner.  He want to link inputs, money brought into the government, to outputs, expenses for government based programs, in a more specific manner.

For example, the township will take measurements of things like how much it costs to patrol a road mile, or a new piece of software being used by the government.  Superintendent Feltman hopes this will make the township’s expenses more transparent to the public.

“This movement towards measurement is simply enhancing the communication of the budget in terms articulating not only what we are doing, but how we are defining success,” Feltman said.  He also demonstrated a hypothetical situation where a measurement could be valuable.

“It gives us the ability to say, this is purely ficticious, it is costing us $1.83 per road mile and we want to get that down to $1.50, we can show over time things we have implemented to impact that number.”

Overall, the aim is to be more transparent to the community.  Citizens of Bath will get a clearer sense of what their tax money is being spent on, and what areas of the government are becoming more efficient or inefficient.  The township wants to make the public more knowledgeable about the government’s practices and have something factual to base their ideas off of.

Feltman says that there will be no cost associated with this new practice.  The government has access to many different numbers that will make it easy calculate these measurements.

The township hopes to compare these outputs with results and surveys to get a grasp of the government’s efficiency.  Government officials are hopeful that this will lead to new, innovate ways to spend more efficiently.  Now that all of their spending is more measureable in the public’s eye, the pressure to spend better is higher.

The budget is due in the first week of September.  Once it is finished, the new budget and measurements will be posted on the township’s website, http://www.bathtownship.us/.

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