Participatory Budgeting


Saratoga Springs Finance Department is launching a Participatory Budget pilot project in Spring of 2022. Participatory budgeting (PB) “is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. The New York Times calls PB “revolutionary civics in action”— it deepens democracy, builds stronger communities, and creates a more equitable distribution of public resources.” (


Our goals for Participatory Budgeting in Saratoga Springs, NY are: 


1. Make our local government more inclusive: Our goal with PB in Saratoga Springs is to expand and diversify participation in our city’s budget process. 


2. Have meaningful social and community impact: Our goal is to listen to needs of our community members and utilize PB to affect meaningful change. 


3. Promote sustainable public good: Our goal is to make sustainable decisions that promote the long-term future and well-being of the residents of Saratoga Springs, NY. 


4. Create easy and seamless civic engagement: Create another welcoming space for residents to become engaged, fostering a “contagious” civic environment


City residents and nonprofits are invited to submit project proposals for consideration. Funding for selected proposals will be through a budget assignment not to exceed 0.25% of the city’s general fund budget, subject to available City funds. 


The Participatory Budget Committee will review project proposals, assist applicants with submissions, and determine a list of finalists to be voted on by the public. Winning proposals shall be reviewed and recommended by the Commissioner of Finance; final project funding shall be voted on by the City Council. Mary Estelle Ryckman, Chair Norah Brennan, Vice-Chair Jeff Altamari Devin Dal Pos Dougles Gerhardt


Apply to be part of the Participatory Budget Committee PB Committee Application


Submit a Project Proposal PB PROJECT PROPOSAL FORM


Review the Participatory Budgeting Guidebook PB Saratoga Springs Guidebook


Attend an upcoming Participatory Budget Meeting Calendar


Participatory Budget Committee  

Mary Estelle Ryckman, Chair 

Norah Brennan, Vice-Chair 

Jeff Altamari, Member

Devin Dal Pos, Member

Douglas Gerhardt, Member

Tim Holmes, Member

Danielle Lepper, Member


For More Information


Participatory Budgeting in Saratoga Springs PB Background Information


Participatory Budgeting PowerPoint PB PowerPoint


The Participatory Budgeting Project

This is the leading organization for participatory budgeting advocacy in the United States.



City of Saratoga Springs Contacts


Commissioner of Finance Minita Sanghvi

518.587.3550 x2577


Deputy Commissioner Heather Crocker

518.857.3550 x2571


Budget Director M. Lynn Bachner

518.587.3550 x2567

518.518.898.7363 (cell)