Efficient, Transparent Government & Public Engagement
Efficient Government Despite the fact that affordable, proven platforms exist so municipalities can automate financial reporting, Leominster does not take full advantage of them. Year after year, our city government has used inefficient, archaic methods to produce unverifiable and late reports. We need to embrace appropriate technologies, such as MUNIS, to be efficient with staff time and tax-payers’ dollars and accountable to partners as well as the public.
Transparent Government Democracy relies on a well-informed public.To be well-informed, the public needs all levels of government to be open and transparent about how and when it makes decisions.
As in many small cities, local news coverage in Leominster has withered in recent years. Journalists rarely cover our City Council or School Committee meetings, much less the meetings of our appointed boards and commissions.
A lack of media coverage makes it harder for the public to be informed and involved, and also harder for the local government to engage the public. With so many different social media platforms and communication channels appealing to different age groups and cohorts, it is immensely challenging to reach people. As it stands now, when residents want to know what happened at a public meeting, they must either watch the full meeting or make the effort later on to find and read the meeting minutes when they become available.
It is no individual’s fault that the press stopped being a key intermediary in Leominster. But it is still the local government’s responsibility to make information easy for the public to find, in a timely manner. Whether it is a report, draft budget, resource list, event announcement, or meeting minutes, affordable technology has existed for years that makes it easy to share and find information online.
Public Engagement In addition to getting information to the public, city government is also responsible for gathering input from residents who may have a variety of different perspectives. To truly benefit from community engagement, it means getting input from a group of people that isdiverse in terms of a number of things, such as age, gender, physical abilities, race, ethnicity or skill sets. Getting community input from different perspectives requires more effort in the beginning, but the results are more thoughtful and relevant to more people- in the community.
Contact Committee to Elect Andrea Freeman 431 Pleasant St, Leominster, MA 01453 (978) 728-3787