Middletown, Rhode Island Takes Financial Transparency to the Next Level
POPULATION: 16,150 | AGENCY TYPE: Town | ANNUAL BUDGET: $91 Million
Easy implementation enabled finance team to meet tight budget presentation deadline.
She worked with the OpenGov team to plan and implement Middletown’s program, a process that Dible described as “awesome,” especially given a tight timeframe – the Town Administrator had to present Middletown’s budget to the town council and residents in a matter of weeks. “Our OpenGov contact knew exactly what needed to be done and was always available,” Dible said. “And now, I wouldn’t hesitate to call. I know that someone is there to help.”
Finance Team Saves Significant Time
Since Dible’s finance team implemented the platform in 2015, she has found that their time savings have been substantial. “Of course, the vision was to improve upon the budget documents, so we were able to determine what we needed and load their data into the platform,” she said. “Using OpenGov, we incorporated all kinds of charts and graphs into our budget document to help with the presentation, and that was big. It absolutely saved us time. Otherwise, we would have had to do every single chart and graph manually in Excel. We wouldn’t have been able to develop the product that we did. There are only so many of us. We have a very small staff and not a lot of time.”
Citizens, Council, and School Committee Embrace OpenGov
Once the budget was prepared, Dible prepared media releases and a social media rollout via the town website to notify the public about how the team was leveraging OpenGov. The response was so positive,” Dible noted. “Throughout the budget process, the town council, school committee, and other town board members were pleased with how easy it was to go in and create their own reports on demand….It’s out there, and we are keeping the site up to date and the word out.”
OpenGov significantly enhanced award-winning budget document.
OpenGov also helped Dible and her team provide comparative data on the town’s school district as it related to the overall town budget. “I’ve used the OpenGov platform to analyze comparative items during negotiations and to prepare financial forecasts,” she said. “It provided those reports instantly, and they were very helpful.”