Transparency in Government

It is no secret to any resident of our city or county that local politics has a very dirty history.  The FBI coming to Muncie, indictments being handed down, backroom deals, and questionable contracts are just a few of the phrases we have become all too familiar with.  To be clear, these types of actions and events are an embarrassment to our community. The types of illegal actions we have seen have no place in a government focused on the improved lives of all residents. 

 

When a small group acts without restraint to increase their power, what the community loses, besides respect, is empowerment. Apathy takes hold because it seems like the powerful can do as they please and the rest of us don’t have a voice or the ability to stop it.  Well, no more! We must not only make it clear that these illegal behaviors are unacceptable, but we must go further. We must go further to include even those shady endeavors that don’t always rise to the level of illegality: cozy deals, questionable bidding practices, wink and nod conversations behind closed doors, etc.  These also have no place in the people’s government. If a discussion or deal or ordinance cannot stand the light of day then it must not stand at all!  

And yet, we must go even further, because a clean government that does not strive and put in the work to include and empower its constituents is not enough.  We must openly communicate our processes, priorities, and policies to the people. We must actively seek feedback. We must honestly engage in discussion. And we must...we MUST be responsive and available.  Only then can we truly be a good government, one that puts in the work in every movement to support and empower ALL of the people. Only then can we truly earn the people’s trust. And only then can we move forward together in a city and county that are the people’s land, the people’s economy, the people’s community, led by the people’s government.

If elected, I pledge to take the following action steps, at a minimum:

  • Ensure that the public has access to all information that the County Council does

  • Change the County Council meeting time from a weekday morning to an evening hour

  • Allow for public comment before the Council votes on each issue (in addition to the current public comment period at the end of the meeting)

  • Live stream each County Council meeting and allow for online comments to be read aloud

  • Encourage Council debate at meetings so that the public knows why positions are held

  • Ensure explanation of issues before the Council, so they are not solely identified by number

  • Respond to constituent calls and e-mails promptly

  • Provide my analysis of issues before the Council, including research, through an online platform

  • Attend community events in every city and town I represent even when it is not an election year (including neighborhood association meetings)

  • Seek feedback from a full variety of constituents on the issues on the table

  • Research open government portal software and explore the feasibility of providing real time county spending updates to the public

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: 

(765) 216-5125

© 2020 by Ari Hurwitz