Participatory Budgeting (PB)

What is Participatory Budgeting (PB)?

Participatory Budgeting (PB for short!) is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend public funds. PB guarantees accountability in spending decisions, can increase equity and access, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and ensure that public money targets real community needs.

The Select Board has set $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for Lexington's first-ever PB cycle. 

What PB is NOT

PB is not the same as the Town's annual operating and capital budgets. In these budget processes, Town staff develop the recommended budget to present to the Select Board and eventually to Town Meeting. Residents can participate in those budget processes by commenting at the Select Board's annual budget hearings, or through their Town Meeting representatives. 

Submitting an Idea

Submit your ideas to improve Lexington! All ideas are welcome, but projects are only eligible if they meet certain criteria.

Criteria

Eligible projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Benefits the public
  • Are one-time expenditures that cost $500,000 or less
  • Are capital projects, (something bought or built--as opposed to operating projects, which usually fund salaries and services)
    • Some capital projects may have some sort of associated operating cost. It can't require the Town to hire additional staff.
  • Are implemented by the Town of Lexington on Town property (streets, sidewalks, parks, library, schools, youth centers, senior centers, municipal buildings, etc.)

Example Projects

Examples of projects that you could submit could be:

  • Water fountains in a park
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Bicycle repair station
  • Accessibility improvements
  • Planting trees

Update, January 2022: The Select Board is preparing to vote on a final list of projects before bringing the proposals to the public for the voting phase.

Timeline

Phase
Duration
Submit Ideas
Community submits ideas on how to spend the funds


July through September 16, 2022
Proposal Development
Town staff vet ideas for cost and feasibility and develop them into proposals that can be voted on. Select Board narrows list of proposals before bringing to the public for a vote


September through February 2023
Vote on Proposals
Residents vote on their favorite proposals


Anticipated February through March 2023
Implementation
Winning projects are implemented


Early 2023

Signup for Updates

Sign up for email updates throughout the PB process.

Translation

Translation services are available upon request in Mandarin, Korean, and Hindi. Email Sean Dugan for assistance.

提交您的关于改善莱克星顿想法。可根据要求提供翻译

렉싱턴의 발전을 위한 당신의 아이디어를 보내주십시오. 요청하시면 번역 서비스가 제공됩니다

लेक्सिंगटन को बेहतर बनाने के लिए अपने विचार प्रस्तुत करें। अनुरोध पर अनुवाद सेवाएं उपलब्ध हैं।

Contact

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact Sean Dugan in the Town Manager's Office by email, or call 781-698-4548.