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Public Statements

Issue Position: Accountability & Openness

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Ombudsman & Openness

An accountability Department, like the Swedish Ombudsman (citizen advocate) should be set up to monitor all calls and concerns from the public. Many cities, states and even large corporations have an Ombudsman as a liaison between citizens and government. The public would be encouraged to call with concerns such as a street or tree problems all the way to more serious problems of burdensome land development or complaints of city employees and officials.

An Ombudsman would be useful in preventing problems. Sioux Falls has seen what it is like to have a problem hand fed to the media by a few cut-throat entities instead of contacting an impartial ombudsman. Recent policy problems could have been nipped in the bud - before the media had frenzy with it.

This department could also investigate and report any favoritism given to developers, architects, contractors, corporations etc, over others so as to prevent monopolies, price fixing and cronyism.

So instead of the "Big Brother" of government hovering over its citizens, the opposite would happen - citizens would be keeping a closer tab on their government.

We also need openness in our city government. I will keep the City Council informed of all important city developments and major contract negotiations. The people are not content with current problems such as under-the-table deals with major developers; City Hall pushing major projects the citizens don't want; hiding multi-million dollar cost overruns on projects; and election funds and debts going unreported for years (and it is not just the recent hubbub with the Mayor). If we elect another professional politician, we will likely get more of the same. If voters want REAL change at City Hall, we should elect a regular citizen who is concerned about the damage professional politicians have done to the city and its image.

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