This evening as I knocked on door number 1,026 a man told me the only thing he is concerned about is "transparency in city government". Well, me too so I asked the next question: "Tell me, is your concern that the Windsor Heights City Council is not or has not been transparent in their dealings?"
"Exactly, we don't know what is going on there and they rammed sidewalks (yes, again) down our throats!"
I hear this a bunch. Now, to be clear, I was not on the Windsor Heights City Council when they voted to add sidewalks to several areas of our community. However I think sidewalks do three very important things:
- Provide a safe mode of transportation for pedestrians and for vehicles;
- Increase the value of the property;
- Create a community that is open to more than just cars as a means of getting around.
That said...my new friend was concerned about "transparency".
Let me see if I can help... The City of Windsor Heights offers lots of ways to engage and know what is going on. For example:
- Windsor Heights Living Magazine - Each month there is two pages of information in the magazine;
- Water Bill News Letter - Each month the city has inserted into the Des Moines Water Works bill a newsletter;
- Ten in Sixty - Where city officials welcome citizens to a monthly open forum to discuss what is on their mind;
- Email News Letters - While I'd like to see better numbers (and I suggested a way to increase those email numbers years ago) the city sends out regular pieces of information via e-mail;
- Twice Monthly City Council Meetings - I go and take part on behalf of the Windsor Heights Chamber and it's where I get plenty of information about "what is going on";
- Windsor Heights Web Site - The new and improved site offers visitors information in easy to find areas if you spend the time looking.
Can it be better? Sure, we can improve on just about anything. But to suggest there is no transparency?
So my question is this: I have no "inside track" and I have never sat on the Windsor Heights City Council so how come I know what is going on in my community?
From the beginning I have promised to listen and to communicate...heck, I do that for a living. I can tell you that while we may not always agree it does not mean that I'm not listening. That is, my friends...being transparent.
Thanks for reading!