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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Wednesday, June 27

The city website's new brand of awesome.

Note: My previous post on this topic was deleted by Blogger, so sorry if this one is shorter and angrier, as things almost always are when I write them for a second time.

I may be a nerd (if you ask Online Editor Emily Donohue, I'm sure she'll make a good case why), but the new graphically-inclined (as in graphs, not graphics, though there are some of those too) section of the city's website is just plain cool.

It was created by Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan and has all the finance documents you could want, but also a series of interactive graphs that you can customize for what information you are looking for.

Here's a fuzzy screenshot:


For instance, I just found out that the Indoor Rec Facility's rental fees brought in $93,275 in 2011, representing .2365 percent of the overall revenue to the city that year and 10.2 percent of the Recreation Department's revenue.

Hell, I also found out that the city brought in zero dollars in its fly fishing clinic, something I didn't even know existed!

So if you are a graph/city finance geek like myself, check it out.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can use all the graphs and grahics you want. Pretty pictures don't allow you to understand how to address action plans as to what the numbers are created by and how to address correcting an issue without union contracts getting in the way.You can lead a horse to water and in this case they won't drink.A budget is a piece of art with several integrated features. You need to get the feel especially for revenues what is creating the trends and what the barriers are to improving them. If you don't understand all the different pieces all the pretty pictures create a bankrupt art gallery. The EMS Service is a ferfect example. Unless you understand that every year your reveues will go down and costs will automatically go up it doesn't take a rocket science to project failure in three to five years. By than it is someone else's problem. That is what you call a negative self-fullfilling prophecy.

June 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Website has masses of information. Union contracts which incluude contracted contributions to healthcare and pensions along with restrictions on you gets OT and when would be a major eye opener for the individual who ubderstands that contracts are the biggest barrier to the budget process. The barriers are found mostly in the DPS contracts where past commissioners have gone beyond being generous to the FF or Police especially at the higher levels. It also would open people's eye as to how it autmatically inflated the budget on a year to year basis. It would give the average individual an great perspective on why expenses incease significanlt on a year to year basis.

June 28, 2012 at 7:33 AM 

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