If like so many others you don't know what is going on at the county, or even what they do, it's not your fault. Seriously. I was told on the campaign trail "that's not a bug; that's a feature." Yep. And that's not okay.
We need transparency, public input, and innovation to rebuild our trust in the county.
Knowledge is a form of power and the lack of public awareness about elected officials and county operations has removed power from the people. In it's place, the public input that facilitates civic learning is treated as an obstacle. The less people know, the fewer people that know, the easier it is for power players to act without accountability and manipulate discussion. It's never been a priority for Karl; you knowing what's happening will be a priority for me.
Why is it so critical? Democracy requires an informed, engaged citizenry and our community is and always has been our greatest asset. To leave people out undermines trust in government and leaves valuable resources on the table. Our problems aren't easy. They weren't created by one person nor will they be solved by one. This package of transparency measures aims to bring more seats to the table, share knowledge in order to build power, and make it easy to participate, not hard.
You deserve a Supervisor you can see face-to-face. Not just during the campaign or during a crisis but regularly.
- Monthly town halls in our district
- Public office hours at a cafe, restaurant, or bar instead of holed away on the 4th floor of a County building
- Social media access that will always be a way to get in touch
- Email newsletters about district and county work
- Hitting the pavement to knock doors and say hello. Can't beat in-person contact
- Campaign finance reform by barring monetary donations between sitting Supervisors and candidates
- Public debates for each district in each district to get beyond 90-second sound bite answers
- Making internal Supervisor "Rules of Conduct" public
- Removing outdated restrictions on attire and any arcane parliamentary procedures
- Releasing the TCEDA Conflict of Interest reports to expose wrongdoing with tax dollars
- A Grand Jury special meeting to review and act on annual reports
- Barring Supervisors co-opting public forum for speaking on their own pet issues
- A "Meeting of Electeds" to rebuild broken municipal relationships and find synergy
More citizen input will improve the selection of ideas and your ability to have important concerns heard.
- Summaries of complicated documents like the budget
- Filling appointed committees to maximize citizen's voice
- Community budget hearings in my district that give you a chance to weigh in a Supervisor's biggest decisions
- A citizen oversight workgroup for Economic Development to stop hidden abuses like TCEDA from happening ever again
- A Public Relationship Officer or volunteer committee focusing on increasing public input
- Minimum attendances for government meetings that must be met for it to be considered public
- Meet-and-greet time before or after Board meetings
- Livestreaming all Board meetings on Facebook and other media
- Shared pay cuts for supervisors that match staff sacrifices
Capping compensation for top earners*
- *Our top ten make over $2.3 million dollars (not including benefits). One left with nearly $400,000. I won't approve raises for those making over $130,000 per year until we are financially stable
A host of tools are available to governments to improve communication and collaboration. We operate on a decades-old model.
- Revamping the website to be user-friendly and modern
- Digitizing public documents to save office space and increase access
- Online submission accepted for all county documents for which it is legal
- A county-wide calendar for public meetings rather than 20 different email listservs
- Modern software that makes county interactions easier