In response to unfunded mandates, cuts or caps in federal or state aid, growing social problems, and a frustrated electorate, local governments have taken significant measures to improve their budget-preparation systems.
Berner discusses whether or not local governments want citizens to participate during budget hearings, and if they do, what do they do to encourage participation. She also examines a recent survey of 167 municipalities and 56 counties or citizen involvement during budgeting.
North Carolina developers believe the recession will have a minimal impact on the state's three biggest metro areas, Charlotte, the Triad, and the Triangle. This is in part due to the latest trend in municipal planning, in which development is corralled into more easily serviced areas and sprawl is slowed, allowing for more economical use of resources and infrastructure.