All Kent County, Maryland. All the time. A discussion of everything about our slice of paradise.
It's the operative buzz word that I'm hearing about Chestertown's and the county's operations, especially after last Tuesday's episode during the budget session.
This is where gubmints, large and small, can learn from the corporate world.
Ab Ovo - def: from the beginning. It's from Horace: Ab ovo usque ad mala... from the egg to the apple. But has been adapted to modern usage to mean 'from the beginning'.
And... that's how zero based budgeting works. Simply... an entity builds its budget every session by starting from scratch, which requires... ranking initiatives... asking why something is being funded... whether it is a necessary function at all (values analysis)... how something is done (operations analysis), etc. It forsakes building a new budget off of an old budget. Much like why build a new model car off of an old chassis. It's painful, because it requires the modeler to break the paradigms of the past. It requires the modeler to re-think how valuable $$$'s are spent... rather than just changing a few round numbers to fit into a square budget.
Yeah, there is a pitfall... re-inventing the wheel every time. If the modeler feels this pressure, then zero based budgeting has served it's purpose.
BTW, this is what happens when you hire efficiency experts... to ask questions that the modeler doesn't ask... won't ask... or can't ask.
hearing about Chestertown's>>>>
No... this isn't picking on the Chestertownies... even though they make an easy target. It all starts and ends with Chestertown... as in...
"What's good for Chestertown is good for the county, and what's good for the county is good for Chestertown." (Where have we heard this before?)
The Chestertownies have to start asking the right questions and clean up their inefficiencies... and co-ordinate their expenditures with the county. Last Tuesday was a start. But... as we saw... two of their council types are looking at things from the inside out... another name for parochialism. This is a natural turf protection reaction. Afterall... not many folks vote to eliminate their own jobs.
Chestertown is a state of mind... and that's a good thing. "Chestertown" doesn't stop at the town limits. Their thinking shouldn't either.
And the second half of the equation... the county MUST understand that any real economic growth requires an attractive focal point. The focal point now is Chestertown (the state of mind type is flooded by the town's stats) with all of its limits... tax rate, P & Z blockades, town limit barriers.
Ab ovo is a beginning. Yeah, that's a redundancy, but this opportunity won't last forever.