Voting opened for this round of participatory budgeting (PB) projects at the North Carolina Folk Festival last weekend.

Those over 14 years old are also invited to vote online on the PB website.

PB allocates $100,000 for each of the five City Council districts for projects that receive the most votes from people in the district.  It also includes citywide projects that anyone can vote for.

However, if you’re interested in the PB projects, the only way to find them on the website is to go through the process of voting.

If you want to take a look at the various projects being proposed and try to figure out how you would like the $100,000 to be spent, first you have to sign up to vote and then you can find out what projects are proposed for your district as well as the proposed citywide projects.

When considering what projects you want to support, it might also be helpful to view past projects and when they were completed.  Some people might hesitate to vote for a project if a similar project took over four years to complete.

Unfortunately that information is also lacking on the PB website.  The latest project updates available on the website are from January 2022.

But from the January 2022 updates it is evident that PB isn’t working as planned.  PB is based on a two-year cycle where the first year the projects are selected and people vote.  The second year those projects are supposed to be completed and then the process starts over.

According to the PB website, 11 of the 20 PB projects approved in 2020-2021 cycle don’t even have completion dates and only two are listed as complete.

Going back to the projects that were approved in 2018, there is a lot more progress with 14 of the 25 projects listed as completed and only two projects four years after they were approved don’t have a projected completion date.

Going all the way to projects approved in 2016 there are three projects that are listed as not complete in the January 2022 update.