Priority Based Budgeting

City Service Priorities Survey - Tell us!

About six years ago, the City of Battle Creek started work on intentional understanding of the services most important to our community. The City Commission and staff implemented Priority Based Budgeting to evaluate the services most important to our neighbors, and make sure we distribute our budget funds to match. Together, we identified our community results, and definitions of those results, with input by our elected officials, city team, and you, our neighbors.

With a majority of new city commissioners, it is time to ask again about the services that we provide as a city that are most important. 

This process helps us define why we exist, and how we serve our community. See our current goals and other information down this page.

We last engaged in this process in 2015, and hope you will engage with us now. You will see two parts to this survey - first, we will ask you to choose your top city goals, which are called "results," or why our city government exists. Then, we will ask you to rate the importance of listed definitions of those goals/results, or what they mean to you.

Click here to access the survey in English.

Thank you for participating!

Encuesta de prioridades de servicio a la ciudad

Hace unos seis años, la ciudad de Battle Creek comenzó a trabajar en la comprensión intencional de los servicios más importantes para nuestra comunidad. La Comisión Municipal y el personal implementaron presupuestos basados en prioridades para evaluar los servicios más importantes para nuestros vecinos, y asegurarse de distribuir nuestros fondos presupuestarios para que coincidan. Juntos, identificamos los resultados de nuestra comunidad, y las definiciones de esos resultados, con las aportaciones de nuestros funcionarios electos, el equipo de la ciudad, y usted, nuestros vecinos.


Con la mayoría de los nuevos comisionados municipales, es hora de preguntar de nuevo sobre los servicios que ofrecemos como ciudad que son más importantes.
Este proceso nos ayuda a definir por qué existimos y cómo servimos a nuestra comunidad. 


La última vez que participamos en este proceso fue en 2015, y esperamos que se involucre con nosotros ahora. Verás dos partes de esta encuesta- primero, te pediremos que elijas tus principales objetivos de ciudad, que se llaman "resultados," o por qué existe nuestro gobierno de la ciudad. Luego, le pediremos que califique la importancia de las definiciones enumeradas de esos objetivos /resultados, o lo que significan para usted.

Encuesta en Español

¡Gracias por participar!

Interactive tool - please click!

Priority Based Budgeting tool image

We have an interactive tool that shows the basic city program attributes or community results by department and scores.

You can choose to view this by department, and click on a program to find details about the program cost, staff positions, and operating cost.

This tool requires a login (the password is case sensitive):
Username: staff@battlecreekmi.gov
Password: Staffcobc

What is PBB?


Priority Based Budgeting is a way for us to look at our budget in a new way, as we consider the services we provide to neighbors. PBB is a method in which we, as a city, can achieve fiscal health and wellness. We do this by identifying the role of government in Battle Creek.

This involves:

  • Determine results - "What are we in the business to do?"
  • Clarify results definitions - "What do those results mean to us?"
  • Identify programs and services - "What exactly do we do, and what does it cost?"
  • Value programs based on results - "What is of the highest importance?"
  • Allocate resources based on priorities - "What can we 'see' differently?"
The City of Battle Creek has determined our results through focus groups, surveys and workshops with staff and city commissioners.
Results are "high-level and over-arching reasons the organization exists in the eyes of the community," are comprehensive, and remain consistent and unchanged over time.

City of Battle Creek Results


  • Access to recreational, cultural and leisure opportunities
  • Connected, accessible and reliable transportation network
  • Economic vitality
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Reliable and up-to-date infrastructure
  • Residents and visitors feel safe
  • Vibrant, healthy neighborhoods
  • Well-planned growth and development
The Denver-based Center for Priority Based Budgeting has worked with the city along the way to fully implementing this process.
The center created our Results Maps -- informed in part by a survey completed by city staff and community members -- which detail the factors that influence the way we achieve our eight results, as well as for our internal governance programs (Fleet Services, Human Resources and others).

City of Battle Creek Results Maps

Continuing the PBB process
Once the results were in place, each city department worked to create an inventory of programs and services offered -- what we do. These are all-inclusive lists of every program and service provided by every department in the city.

We then determined values of each program, based on our results. This includes "costing," giving a dollar value to each program and service, as well as a detailed rating process based on how well the program/service influences the achievement of each result. A peer review process had city staff review and evaluate other departments' rankings.

The CPBB has helped the city develop a method of allocating our resources based on our priorities. Representatives discussed and demonstrated this Resource Alignment Diagnostic Tool during a City Commission workshop on March 31, 2016. The model can be used to help departments prioritize city programs, understand the impacts of those programs and better understand the ongoing and one-time funding sources involved.

PBB presentation on diagnostic tool - March 31