Well it’s Thursday evening and I realized I still haven’t posted my first “Solutions for Searcy” piece this week, as promised. Unfortunately it has just been ‘one of those weeks,’ but the week is not over yet and I have found a little bit of time, so here you go.
A note as we begin: I hope this series of proposals can serve as a basis for debate in cities across the state. The problems in Searcy government are widespread across the state (many of them facilitated by the Arkansas Municipal League) so the solutions should be applicable around the state as well.
As I mentioned earlier this week, one of my suggestions to Mayor Morris at our meeting last week was, assuming the proposed tax passes, to setup a website called “SearcyStreets.com” (or something similar) where monthly expenditure & revenue reports can be posted. This will show voters that the mayor & city are serious about spending the money appropriately–and only on roads as promised.
The mayor expressed some concern about the cost of such a project, so I told the mayor and I will tell of you now: I will personally volunteer my time & abilities in web management to setup and maintain such a website. The only costs to the taxpayers would possibly be domain purchase.
This is a real solution for Searcy, a step that will work towards mending some of the lost trust between the voters and the city government. Furthermore, similar ‘online checkbook’ proposals have been proven to reduce waste and change the relationship between elected officials and constituents. The city has nothing to lose; taxpayers have everything to gain.
This is a win for everyone. I hope the mayor will seriously consider putting this reform in place.
Many more of my ‘Solutions’ proposals will deal with similar transparency reforms, including putting the entire city budget online. I discussed this specifically with the mayor. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.
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