Friday, June 19, 2009

Transparency Update, Menino, Yoon and Flaherty worse than Sarah Palin

As I have been telling audiences in my stump speech, Boston City Hall is less transparent than that well known conservative Republican Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska. Mrs. Palin came to office as a reformer and understood that corruption happens where the sunlight does not shine. Alaska implemented a system where every check that the State of Alaska writes of more than $1000 is available to viewed online by the citizens. Here in Massachusetts for example we could have traced payments to COGNOS, or in Boston we could see how Lisa Menino ended up being payed more than $100,000 for being an administrative assistant. You may link to this system here.

Back on January 9 before anyone had announced they were running for Mayor, right after the city council held a hearing on transparency and Sam Yoon promised us a transparency committee that hasn't materialized (very transparent!) I sent an email to all the City Councilors and the Mayor asking them to follow Sarah Palin's lead and implement a similar system. The response was deafening. Not one reply from any one them.

How is that 800,000 citizens in the frozen hinterland known for shooting coyotes, not for their digital superiority, has been able to set up such a technical feat ahead of our supposed 'world class city' filled with 600,000 citizens and their advanced thinking
elected officials?

Maybe they would like to keep things in the dark?

Part of the leadership we need in this city is the ability to look at best practices from other areas of the country and the world and implement them here. Not every thought needs to be visionary, it just takes an ability to be open to new ideas, share the credit, ask for help, and cooperatively make everything better.

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