Friday, January 09, 2009

Letter to our elected officials about transparency

Kevin McCrea/218 West Springfield Street/Boston, MA 02118

January 9, 2009

Dear Boston Elected Officials:

With the recent ethics scandals afflicting our local politicians, transparency and openness in government are getting renewed interest. Since the government is an extension of its citizens and is entrusted with the citizen’s money, I ask you as a first step to be transparent with our money.

With the exception of one City Councilor, all of our elected officials in Boston are, like me, Democrats. I hope you share with me the ideals outlined by the national Democratic Party:

“The Democratic Party is committed to keeping our nation safe and expanding opportunity for every American. That commitment is reflected in an agenda that emphasizes the strong economic growth, affordable health care for all Americans, retirement security, open, honest and accountable government, and securing our nation while protecting our civil rights and liberties.”

I believe it is past time for our Boston City Government to be open, honest and accountable. I have heard from many people, even City Councilors, that they can not get information from the City of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. It is time to change the way our city does business with its Citizens.

As we usher in the era of “Change we can believe in”, I request that we begin with one simple change: the online publication of all payments and all expenses incurred by the City of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. This will go a long way towards establishing the “open, honest, accountable” government called for by our national committee.

In Boston, and Massachusetts, we are proud of our progressive heritage, and of being the “bluest of the blue states”. However, we still have work to do on transparency. Even the “red” state of Alaska, under Governor Palin, has already instituted this policy of online posting of all state expenses of over $1000.00. I am sure that with our wealth of local high tech talent we can do better and post everything online.

If the Boston Redevelopment Authority refuses to cooperate, you should refuse to provide the millions given to them in funding from the City of Boston budget each year, and start charging them rent for their use of the ninth floor of City Hall.

I look forward to you taking this opportunity of public interest in government accountability to provide the citizens of Boston with the “open, honest and accountable government” that we deserve.


Kevin McCrea


Steve said...

Kevin - speaking of open and honest government - do you think the BRA people are reading your survey - I find it hard to believe that 2/3 of YOUR readers would say that the BRA has brought us to "new heights". Somebody's stuffing the ballot box!!! ;-)

the zak said...

Departmental Annual Reports

At our municipal Boston City Council the budgeted The City Messenger has charge of the shelves of printed Departmental Annual Reports but deflects, delays, denies enquiries for these publications. Each City Department's Annual Report is given a number. In the City Ordinances our City Departments are to make Annual Reports to our Boston City Council. How do you get to read these Annual Reports with Council staffers that flaunt sunshine open public meetings principles, freedom of information FOI public records principles of open government?

Rob said...

When are you announcing for Mayor?