Justifying budget requests

Here are some great thoughts from SFMA members on working
your budget goals:

“I find sometimes even for us it is hard to get enough labor
to do the work and labor is the highest part of the cost of your budget. Owners
can have a hard time with this but you need to have people to operate the
equipment and do the tasks needed for the job. I always tell people, ‘you can
get fired now for wanting things to do your job, or wait and get fired when
things are not done to the [boss’s] liking, it is your choice’.”-Joel White,
turf manager for Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL

“For me, not having an actual budget for our facility, but
rather pulling from the department’s overall budget, the past couple years we
have been able to better track the amount of usage on our fields, especially
for our field marking paint expense; last year alone it went up 40% from the
previous year.  On turf maintenance, we
have been able to show the benefits of being aggressive with our cultural
practices to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides. The only product we used
in the past year was a preventative for grubs.”-Rick Perruzzi CSFM, CPRP, South
Portland (ME) Department of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront

“Regardless if it’s a capital or operating request,
self-implemented due diligence is the key along with providing the necessary
information and documentation to back it up. We researched autonomous paint
robots for over 3 years. During that time we saw numerous in the field, real
life demonstrations. We made sure we saw the unit on our fields and our staff
had the opportunity to see it and ask questions. We brought in IT staff,
mechanics, management, and anyone else that might have input. We did
demonstrations of all other competing manufacturers; we wanted to see
everything that was available before making our decision.  To justify to our Board we showed videos to
give a visual and compiled a detailed cost saving analysis using current
methods vs. potential new methods. We also contacted other agencies that owned
the machine to get their unfiltered opinions. Ultimately if the budget request
is needed then you have to believe it yourself and do the homework to back it
up.”-Noel T. Brusius, CSFM, SportsPark and Athletic Field Maintenance
Supervisor, Waukegan (IL) Park District

“We justify our budget requests on a number of factors,
including historical data. We track varying assets based on life cycle and
overall use (popularity of the function, or sport), unique aspects, and/or “one
of a kind” characteristic of our facilities. User requests and petition to the
agency typically factor in to where limited dollars are spent as well.”-John
Cogdill, Park Turf and Irrigation Manager, Boulder (CO) Parks