I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
Noir – French - means black or dark; noting the black numbers in roulette.
Why must I data mine for information on our city websites only to find it on non-government sites? This is public information. I am sure you have heard me state that.
Is it “The less you know about the better”? To whom?
Is it “We just forgot, but we will fix it.” When?
Is it “That information is secret!” Why?
Is it “It protects the city?” From who or what?
Is it “You may not understand the info!” Why not?
Why be secretive about facts and figures? Give us clear and concise information (it does belong to us), I think we would surprise the city in our abilities to understand and want. Don’t underestimate us! Do what is right, not what is easy. I believe that being informed on what's going on in the city and the neighborhood keeps a lot of misinformation and rumors at bay. I believe in the power of the people.
Which raises another question: What do all these guys know that we don’t?
As one of my daughter’s favorite words “MUCH!”
The reality is it is politics. They don’t want the stats at your finger tips because you may figure things out. They purposely leave them out or bury them. We live in a digital age, where nothing can be more simple then posting the info on the web. If I can do it, so can others.
Are they “Avoiding the Hard Questions (a future blog)” by not having us in the know? I think so!
Information, to them, is great as long as they can filter it and make it hard for us to find. We have earned the right to be in the loop, but we get very little, if any, information. It is not as if I am asking for the Mayor’s web access records, you know, the websites he visits while on the job (I am sure we would find my blog was viewed). YOU KNOW YOU CAN ASK FOR THAT UNDER THE OPEN RECORDS ACT!
I just watched a great Channel 4 (TMJ) I-Team investigation report on that very subject. “You Paid For It: More Surfing on My Dime”
I am sure all government workers who saw that special report had to worry citizens would start asking questions and for reports.
My grandma use to say, “If you are acting like you have something to hide, you probably are!”
I just want, on the City’s websites, to have easily found up-to-date facts and figures about:
Status of development and projects
In the area of public safety, traffic and pedestrian safety
Fire and Police departments
As I stated before in, “We can make a difference,” the public doesn’t fully trust our local governments. Given the long-standing concerns of mistrust and corruption in our past, can you blame people?
How can we fix this? A very simple way to bring accountability and transparency is to let the public see information posted as clear as day and easily accessible. There needs to be a change of attitude towards clear, open, written and easily attainable information. We are missing out on vital information, since they don’t share. Even my 22 month old knows how to share.
What I find really frustrating is not so much the dodgy-ness, but the lack of respect we get from in being able to decide on choices we make without having the answers.
Don't keep us in the dark, otherwise how would we know of “Conflicts of Interest”, cost, bad planning, lack of vision, or worse.
If we are kept in the dark, how do we watch them of abuse or corruption? We will have lost the checks and balances.
If the Mayor fumbles the ball and so does the council, who will pick up the ball if we don’t know what is going on? If the government cared about people, it would not keep it’s "secrets.”
The main thing is to keep us informed. There’s nothing worse than being kept in the dark; I would rather be led into the dark, than kept in the dark. All I know is we need to be kept in the loop, since they work for us.
Shhhh, that's a secret!
Link - On December 13, 2006, Alderman Sean Smith had this to say, “It's no secret that there are serious concerns with having a Wal-Mart in our community and I share some of those concerns. That is why I and some others have been arguing for a series of public meetings for the developer to present its plans to the citizens of Cudahy.”
The question in your mind should be, “Then why are most of the meetings behind closed doors?”Here is a email I received of the Mayor’s State of the City (I will be doing a post called “Year One Free Pass?” soon)
While I did not attend the Mayor's most recent meeting, I understand that he took a bit of a beating regarding snow plowing and the ice port.Usually, in the first year, you do get complaints; however, you do get somewhat of a pass, as you go through a tremendous learning curve. However, after that first year, all bets are off, and people go back to see what you as the Mayor, and the council have done. The free pass disappears, and people really start their rating of you all over again.
So far, I have not seen very much come out of this Mayor, and this council. Even at the committee level, personnel, finance, board of public works, I don't see much of anything coming out of committee and up to the council.From what I am hearing from others within the community, they don't see much out of this group at all. The Mayor has been saying he wanted to update the cities website, has apparently talked about this at the Chamber of Commerce meetings, but again, nothing is happening. Why is it like pulling teeth with this Mayor to get him to do something?