Participatory Budgeting Committee
The Saratoga Springs Finance Department launched a Participatory Budgeting pilot project in Spring of 2022. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is "a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget". The New York Times calls PB "revolutionary civics in action" — "it deepens democracy, builds stronger communities, and creates a more equitable distribution of public resources" (Source)
Stay tuned for more information and announcements for Cycle Two!
The Following Projects Received 2022 (Cycle One) Funding through Participatory Budgeting:
Sustainable Saratoga's Urban Forestry Project
Outdoor Ice Skating at Congress Park
Jefferson & Vanderbilt Terrace Community Garden
C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios Youth Art Programs
Native Flower Planting
Saratoga Arts & Home Made Theater Broadway Live Musical Theater
Bikeatoga Community Free Bike Repair
Saratoga Dog Park Water Fountain
Curling Pilot Program
What are our goals for Participatory Budgeting in Saratoga Springs?
Make our local government more inclusive: Our goal with PB in Saratoga Springs is to expand and diversify participation in our city’s budget process.
Have meaningful social and community impact: Our goal is to listen to needs of our community members and utilize PB to affect meaningful change.
Promote sustainable public good: Our goal is to make sustainable decisions that promote the long-term future and well-being of the residents of Saratoga Springs, NY.
Create easy and seamless civic engagement: Create another welcoming space for residents to become engaged, fostering a “contagious” civic environment
How Do I Submit a Project Proposal to the Committee?
Cycle 1 project submission is currently closed. In the period between spring and late-summer of this year (2022), City residents and nonprofits were invited to submit project proposals for consideration. The Participatory Budgeting Committee has reviewed project proposals, assisted applicants with their submissions, and determined a list of finalists to be voted on by the public. While the Committee is not currently accepting or reviewing new project proposals, we do encourage City Residents to submit proposals for consideration in Cycle 2.
What are the Next Steps for the Committee?
The Committee has developed a tentative timeline for voting and project implementation for Cycle 1 (Update Here). The voting period will begin in December. Once concluded, winning proposals shall be reviewed and recommended by the Commissioner of Finance; final project funding shall be voted on by the City Council. Funding for selected proposals will be through a budget assignment not to exceed 0.25% of the city’s general fund budget, subject to available City funds.
Interested in Joining the Committee for Cycle 2?
The Committee is actively seeking interested and community-involved Saratoga Springs residents to join for Cycle 2. There is currently no set start date for Cycle 2 (updates to come). Below, you may find the appropriate links for applying to the PB Committee. Please be advised that the Committee is not currently seeking to fill any open seats for Cycle 1; you may not be contacted until Cycle 2 dates have been confirmed.
Interested in Joining Us for a Committee Meeting?
All Committee meetings are open to the Public and we encourage you to join us! Meetings are traditionally held in the Second Floor Conference Room of City Hall on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, though, the schedule varies from time-to-time. For the most accurate meeting dates, please visit the City Calendar link below.
Still Have Questions? Looking for More Information?
Keep updated on the Participatory Budgeting process and stay-in-the-loop here and our Facebook page (PB Saratoga Springs Facebook Page). Below are some helpful links, including the Saratoga Springs Participatory Budgeting Guidebook.
Other Helpful Links:
Meet the Committee
Mary Estelle Ryckman
Devin Dal Pos
City of Saratoga Springs Contacts
Commissioner of Finance Minita Sanghvi
Deputy Commissioner Heather Crocker
Executive Assistant to Commissioner of Finance, Samantha Clemmey