By Elk Grove Vice Mayor Steve Detrick
Special to Elk Grove Patch
This past week was International “Sunshine Week,” an opportunity for citizens and governments around the world to advance dialogue about transparency and accountability. Since my election in 2008, and for years before that, I have worked tirelessly to make public officials accountable to the people, not special interests. I think that this “Sunshine Week” is a terrific opportunity to reflect on what transparency means to us, and why it’s important our government.
As part of Sunshine Week, the reform group California Forward issued a “State of Transparency” report examining core issues in state and local government. They cite core issues in state government such as the 11th hour ‘gutting’ of legislation, as well as more fundamental gaps in the information available to the public – as well as elected leaders.
Like all cities in California, we face tough choices about the direction for our community. Budgets are strained and the council faces constant decisions about personal, planning and a range of things that have true impact on our quality of life.
Focusing on making these decisions with the best possible engagement from our city residents is not just good government, its good public policy. A transparent government gives citizens the ability to interact with government and become more educated and involved. It also ensures that government is accountable to the taxpayers and sensitive to the concerns of residents as they deliberate often multi-faceted issues.
So with Sunshine Week in the books for another year, I hope you’ll take a few moments to think about what transparency means to you, and explore the many strides Elk Grove has made in communicating with our community.