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As mayor pro-tem for Auburn Hills I often receive emails from residents, and recently I received one from a concerned citizen asking why the roads in his neighborhood were so bad and what I was going to do about it.

Most residents don’t understand the difference between a state, county or local road.  They just know that when their tire blows out—they are not happy!

We knew early on that this winter was going to be brutal on everybody’s road budgets.   Most local governments have already burned through their budget allocations, and we haven’t even got to the spring thaw yet.

Last month, I wrote a blog post entitled Six Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Budget from the Polar Vortex. But we all know that for this year at least, its all about stemming the blood loss.

That’s why the Michigan Legislature’s passing of an emergency road maintenance bill appropriating $100 million to local governments as a supplement to their depleted road funds is so important!  We commend the Michigan Senate for passing this bill, and hope the House follows suit and Governor Snyder makes a quick go of signing it.

Being able to anticipate non-budgeted extraordinary expenses is something governments typically don’t do very well.  Crystal balls weren’t passed out at the graduation ceremonies for the MPA program.

But contingency planning, and being able to react quickly using multi-year budgeting practices can help avoid the unexpected, or at least make it more manageable.  And that is what Munetrix enables you to do.

Predicting the next Polar Vortex may be easy to do if you are a meteorologist.  But as a city administrator or road commission chair – not so much.

In Munetrix you can run up to 5 scenarios per year testing various budget assumptions.  During a year, you can run amended budgets as scenarios as well, so it something changes, like you have to toss another $500,000 from the general fund to your local roads, you can do that and see how it impacts your overall position and metrics.

Plan ahead.  Run scenarios in your budget.  Expect the unexpected.  Your service delivery and customer (resident) satisfaction is dependent upon it.

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