Transparency is a word that should never be taken lightly and should always be at the forefront in order to maintain a strong community. According to the Journal of Management Policy and Practice, “Transparency is a fundamental component of democratic government and addresses the rights of citizens to know about activities of their government. Too much secrecy in government often leads to an abuse of power and a lack of accountability.”
The Town of Oro Valley exists to serve you, its residents — the people who live and work in our community. You have a right to know how the town conducts public business and allocates taxpayer dollars. Governments have a duty to share this information with the people they serve. That is where accountability begins.
A good government keeps the best interests of its citizens at the forefront of its efforts. It is open and transparent in the process of serving them. This includes the use of citizen-based Boards and Commissions, advisory committees, adhering to the public meeting process, and holding required neighborhood meetings. The Town must provide residents feedback on the town website, through press releases and the use of social media platforms.
An excellent way to achieve transparency will be for the Town of Oro Valley to institute a program such as Arizona Open Books that allows everyone to review and see the revenues and expenses that town departments report in any given month. With this level of detail, all interested citizens would have the ability to see how their tax dollars are being spent. This approach would strengthen financial controls by presenting actual expenditures vs budget in real time.
Pima County and more than 15 Arizona cities and towns already use such a system. I will advocate instituting this degree of transparency in the Town of Oro Valley.
Follow this link to the Arizona Open Books site through the Pima County website by clicking HERE.