America's Cities and Their Budgets
Roger L. Kemp
It should be remembered that government organizations, like their business counterparts, have distinct life cycles. During their lives, public organizations generally go through four phases: growth, stability, retrenchment, and revitalization. Different political and management strategies are needed to set the course and properly guide an organization through each phase of its development. Strategy is concerned with defining purposes and developing goals and plans for an organization’s future direction and growth. While some cities, particularly those in suburban areas with an expanding tax base, are in the growth or stability phase of their life cycle, many others have entered the retrenchment or revitalization phase of their development. Sound budget reduction strategies will assist public officials in this latter category as they debate and adopt policies that ultimately lead to the financial self-help and renewal necessary for the future.