Book Brief The Municipal Budget Crunch

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Municipal Budget Crunch
Edited by Roger L. Kemp
May 2012 

Many public officials have great ideas, but tend to work in a vacuum, so they don’t know what other cities are doing. The Municipal Budget Crunch, a new release compiled by Roger L. Kemp, Ph.D., offers an inside look at programs working municipalities across the nation. 

Based on a national literature search, the book focuses on the best practices of cities, of all sizes and geographic locations, intended to maintain public services while holding down taxes. Broken into three sections, this book codifies knowledge in this new field for the first time. Part1 includes chapters on  

  • Balancing Budgets with Job and Service Reductions
  • Prudent Options for Balancing City Budgets
  • Saving Money by Contracting for Public Services
  • Innovative Staffing Options Help Balance Budgets
  • Evaluating the Results of Staffing Decisions Beforehand
  • Options to Ensure Fiscal Health During Tough Times
  • Strategies to Ensure Long-Term Fiscal Health
  • Financial Measures to Restore America’s Infrastructure.  

Part II includes 40 best practice case studies for various cities throughout the United States. Every case study included has the city’s website listed for additional reference. For example:


  • Chicago Uses Citizen Input to Make Budget Decisions
  • Cincinnati and Other Cities Improve Public Trust in Government
  • Las Vegas and Other Cities Reassess Their Basic Services
  • Lewiston and Other Cities Consider Property Tax Relief for Senior Citizens
  • New York Provides Special Services to Low-Income Citizens
  • Philadelphia and Other Cities Reconsider Their Contract Services
  • Portland Uses a New Financial Management Assessment Process.

Part III is focused on the future. A sampling of chapters review:

  • City Revenues, Budgets and the Future
  • Financial Constraints and New Service Opportunities
  • Redefining the Quality of Life in Your Community
  • The Condition of America’s Infrastructure.
This reference work makes it easy for professionals seeking additional information on any and all budget reduction methods that seem to work somewhere.  

About the Editor

Roger L. Kemp has been a city manager of west and east coast cities for more than 25 years and holds International City/County Management Association credentials. A graduate of the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University, he has been a visiting scholar and adjunct professor at the University of California, Rutgers University, and the University of Connecticut. 

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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