Issues: Tax Transparency, Representation, Accountability

Transparency in government, a representative government, and an accountable government are all qualities that enrich our city and empower citizens.  I will blog more in regards to each, and I hope to hear your thoughts as well.  Ultimately, I don’t care “who” is right, only “what” is right – generation of ideas via discussion is fantastic.

  • Transparency- Whether at the federal, state, or local level, there are many examples of less than transparent government.  One specific idea I feel would directly impact transparency in government is the recording and disseminating of open meetings.  While Bountiful has made progress in this regard, there is ample opportunity to stream ALL open meetings and to create greater public participation. Technology offers fantastic opportunities for busy people to virtually attend city council meetings, as well as be heard.  Bringing meetings online has the potential to immediately generate transparency, engage citizens, and provide near-instant feedback for elected officials and administrators.  Tax Transparency is critical taxpayer protection.
  • Representation – Elected officials should resemble and be close to the people represented in Bountiful.  With Bountiful’s diverse and changing population, it is important to explore options such as: “walk-shops”- walking neighborhoods as a council as a sort of “moving conversation” with busy citizens who may not normally have contact with the city council; it may be time to explore the creation of voting districts for city council members, and limiting at large city council bids.  Not only does this hold the possibility of reducing costs for citizens to run for office, but it also holds the promise of new ideas and innovation from our friends and neighbors across Bountiful.
  • Accountability- Bountiful City’s elected officials’ role is to represent the interests and values of its citizens – this is the standard we need to keep.  Recently the topic of accountability and Truth in Taxation has been brought to the forefront in Bountiful.  If there is a project I support, it is then incumbent upon me to persuade citizens.  If unsuccessful, then I need to heed the will of the people and represent them with my vote rather than act unilaterally.  As part of the city council, I promise to represent my constituents rather than leaning upon my own reasoning.  It’s important to note that I am very appreciative of our current mayor and city council, as well as Bountiful’s engaged citizenship.

What do you think?  Please leave feedback in the comments section, on Facebook, or please contact me directly.

Note: I snapped the above photo at Snow Canyon State Park in Ivins, UT.