- Burlington VT - Ward 4 and Ward 7

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Open Goverment Commitee Part 1

The first meeting of the Open Government Committee was almost entirely public comment. Aside from the Mayor speaking at the beginning and end and the rules being laid out for the meeting and being facilitated by Beth Truzansky, everybody that wanted to speak got a chance or two. Predictably, development issues and the city's website were at the top of the list of most speakers. DPW's activity also seems to be a concern high on the list.

Some of the surprises (IMHO) include: 

  • The style of the seating arrangement. Something less formal.
  • The URL/Address of the city website. Something easier than
  • Body language and behavior of City officials. Listen politely.
  • Follow up. City officials and DPW are not following up with communication.

These are issues that I, and the possibly the rest of the commission, would not have considered without your input.  Thank you.

One thing I plan to keep in mind when making my recommendations is the impact on the  employee(s) or official(s) time when executing the requested tasks. I have no expectations that any additional funding will be available for most of our recommendations. Looking at it from an employee point of view, it will tend to look like more work for the same pay. Where we can point the way to a smarter way of performing a particular task and replacing, rather than adding to an existing responsibility, we can help our government most. However, some things will need funding, and we should not be shy about stating our case. 

The website issues intrigue me the most for obvious and selfish reasons. I'm a web geek.  A website should be relatively straight forward and easy to navigate to find the information you seek. The task of laying out the informational aspects of a city government in an easily navigated website is big. The current website does not the job very well, and obviously needs improvement. Developing a clear architecture of the site with a separate citizen and marketing audience in mind would be a good start.




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