One of the major criticisms of the Gillette City Council in recent years has been a lack of transparency surrounding the council, particularly in choosing replacements and disseminating potential negative information about sitting council members. What level of transparency should residents expect from their elected officials?
At the Oct. 6 meeting, the City Council moved to executive session to discuss personnel issues, and I believe that is appropriate.
All other issues can and should be addressed in front of the public. This includes voting for council replacements and discussions about councilpersons since they are ELECTED officials and not city “personnel.”
Our Gillette city government must get back to serving its people (citizens) rather than “governing.” Neighboring communities of similar size or larger (Sheridan, Casper and Rapid City, for example) have available on their city government websites a “Code of Conduct,” “Conflict of Interest Policy,” “Code of Ethics” and “Mayor/Council Handbook.”
The Gillette government site provides nothing like any of those. There is a “Vision Statement” under the picture of City Administrator Davidson that I believe could use a bit of re-working.
While I can appreciate the “pre-council meetings” and other such meetings providing more efficient use of time for the council members, I 100% disagree with not conducting ALL, or as much as feasibly possible, council business during the actual, publicized, regular council meeting times.
I have heard a few people say that “those pre-meetings are open to the public,” but they are certainly not viewed in the same manner as the actual City Council regularly scheduled meetings. I find it quite odd that all we as the general public see is the summary of items accompanied by a usually unanimous vote.
This is one of my most pressing concerns for my candidacy. I absolutely believe our city/council business, discussions and voting needs to be much more open and receptive to citizen input.
As an elected Ward 2 city councilperson, I will strive for transparency, accountability, accessibility and open communication. SERVING our community is the foundational duty of EVERY elected official!