Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
An error in last week's message was brought to my attention by a subscriber,
which needs to be corrected. Last week my column included information about the cost of reconstructing a roadway. In the column, I wrote that the per mile cost was $775M, but the accurate per mile cost is $775K.
This week, my focus is on the fourth of the four most impactful initiatives undertaken by the City to improve the organization during the past six years. Those initiatives are: Use of Best Practices, Strategic Thinking, Performance Measurement, and Transparency. We hear a lot of criticism about lack of transparency in government. Transparency in government is openness, accountability, honesty.
The people should expect transparency from their government because without it there is no accountability. In local government, transparency is provided in a number of different ways, but the City of Bainbridge Island exceeds what is required by State law. Some examples:
- All citizen advisory committees are required to conduct meetings in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA). State law only requires City Council, Planning Commission, and certain other meetings where decisions are made or public comments are received to comply with the OPMA.
- City Council meetings are not only open to the public, but the City broadcasts meetings on Comcast Channel 12 and streams the meetings on the City website. In addition, video of all City Council meetings is archived and available on the City website.
- OpenGov Financial Transparency is another major step taken by the City to provide openness and accountability. This online portal provides access to the City's financial records, including detail a specific as individual invoices.
- Next Request is an online tool that has made is much easier for members of the public to submit a public records request and, it improves staff efficiency of the response process.
- See Click Fix has improved our responsiveness to service requests and increases accountability because the requests are available for public review. Members of the public can see when the request was submitted, how long it took staff to respond, and how long it took to close out the request.
City representatives are always looking for opportunities to provide more transparency and appreciate suggestions for improvements.