Transparency Update: July 11, 2017

Recently I’ve been contacted by a few organizations that have invited me to participate in surveys, and will then assign me a “grade” depending on how they score the survey.  They then comment that depending upon the grade they give me, I may receive a public endorsement and even possibly financial donations.

These invitations are valued, however carry with them opaque, indirect elements.  For example, there is no grading rubric provided, nor am I informed on these e-mails who will be be doing the grading and what qualifies them to do so.  I prefer a more deliberative, transparent, and direct discourse.

Currently, I am tabling these surveys due to the concerns I list above.  Early in the campaign I replied to questions from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, and have the same reservations regarding that survey that I’ve expressed in a different post.  As the campaign progresses, I am learning more and more about how these third party organizations work.  What do you think?  I’m open to and welcome feedback.

 

The first organization is the Utah Cultural Alliance – here is a screen shot of their e-mail:

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The next organization is Equality Utah- here is a screen shot of their e-mail:

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Meet Bountiful City Candidates, July 20th at 7pm

Meet 2017 Bountiful City Council & Mayoral Candidates!

(Click above for Facebook Event)
Where: Bountiful City Hall 790 S 100 E Bountiful, UT
When: July 20, 2017
Time: 7pm

Here is the letter from the League of Women Voters with more information about the event:
“The League of Women Voters along with the city of Bountiful has agreed to host a Meet the Candidates event on July 20th that provides you the opportunity to meet and greet the audience as they arrive, and also to allow you to express your thoughts and opinions in a series of questions in a more formal environment.

Questions will be suggested by members of the audience, and we also invite you to provide us with questions / topics you feel are of special interest to your neighbors and friends.

We suggest you bring any campaign literature you wish, to be placed on a table with that of other candidates. No campaign signs can be erected in the immediate surroundings outdoors.
We suggest you arrive at 6:30pm to meet and greet your voters.

At 7pm we will have the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a brief introduction by the moderator. The candidates for mayor will begin immediately following the Pledge. The candidates for council will be seated at 8pm. The procedure for both mayoral and for council candidates will be as follows: You will each have 1 minute to introduce yourself and to express your strengths and areas of interest and why you are running for this position. The moderator will then ask a question and tell you how many minutes you have to answer the question. Responses to each question will have a one-minute or a two-minute time limit, depending on the number of candidates and the complexity of the question. Each candidate will have the same amount of time to respond to a question, and the League of Women Voters will have a timer with time cards showing you how much time you have left for your response.

Each candidate will answer the questions in order, and the first candidate to answer the first question will become the last person to answer the second question. The second candidate to answer the first question will become the first candidate to answer the second question. This rotating order will continue throughout all the questions. At the end each candidate will have an opportunity to speak directly to the audience, telling why the candidate thinks he or she should be elected and ask for the audience to vote for her or him.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that encourages informed voting, running for office, voter registration, and studying issues of importance at all levels of government.”

Transparency: Salt Lake Board of Realtors Candidate Survey

I received a letter from Marcus Jessop, the Government Affairs director for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.  Here it is:

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I was out of town on a trip with my family, so I requested a survey that I could complete and return via e-mail.  Here is the survey he sent me, with my answers highlighted in yellow:

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These are very interesting questions (#3 is very specific) – what do you think of my responses?

I will continue to post any correspondence like this on my blog as it comes to me, as well as upcoming financial disclosures (minus the junk mail from vendors who want to print signs, etc…).

Transparency, Representation, Accountability

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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.  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.
  • 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.  Also, 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, it also holds the promise of new ideas and innovation from our friends and neighbors across Bountiful who normally wouldn’t run.
  • 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 has been brought to the forefront in Bountiful in regards to previous plans for a new city hall.  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.  I am supportive of public referendums as well.  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 here, on Facebook, or please contact me directly.