I’m fairly swamped this AM so today’s post won’t be the full-out epic you’ve come to know and love here on the Pencil.
Rather, I’d like to pose a couple of quick question/suggestions to the four candidates for mayor of Bloomington, so here goes:
- Would you commit to putting in place a mechanism wherein every single municipal expenditure — that is, every check written, every credit card charge, and even every outlay from the various petty cash boxes in every city office — would be published online?
See, the Herald Times doesn’t watch our elected officials and their minions. There’s no city or county Inspector General doing it. So we have to do it. You and I. We’ve got to watch our Bloomington payrollers ourselves. Since every single expenditure as noted above must be recorded anyway, it seems to me to be a simple process to simply paste each cell entry into another spreadsheet that is updated in real time on a website accessible to all.
I’m not asking for much. Something on the order of:
$300, Check No. 18735, December 16, 2015, Office supplies from Staples, Authorized by so-and-so
Yeah, sure, there’d be hundreds, even thousands, of such entries. But I guarantee you there’d be apple polishers and gadflies all around the city who’d pore over each day’s new postings with their fine-toothed combs. Every once in a while, one of them just might catch a line item like:
$1200, Visa charge, September 1, 2016, Tuition, Harmony School
That sharp-eyed soul could pose the question, “What does this have to do with city business?” on the website’s comments section. Then our intrepid H-T or Indiana Public Media reporters could follow up.
Yep, we’ve got to do it ourselves as long as no one in any official capacity will.
- Will you ask each and every one of your at-pleasure department heads to submit a letter of resignation, undated, on Day One of your term as mayor?
Why? Simple. It’ll serve as a reminder that the new mayor is taking control of city hall. Department heads and such won’t be able to sit back, fat and happy, thinking their gigs are birthrights.
It’d be the new mayor saying, in effect, “Produce or you’re out.”
Okay? What say you, Darryl Neher, John Hamilton, John Linnemeier, and John Turnbull?
I bet Linnemeier would do it! I like these suggestions. Hardass transparency.