Fischer Unveils Transparency Plan

by Gabe Bullard on September 28, 2010

Democratic mayoral candidate Greg Fischer Tuesday unveiled his plan for transparency in government. But Republican candidate Hal Heiner’s campaign says Fischer’s plan is unoriginal.

Both candidates have made transparency a key part of their platforms. Heiner has long touted his work as a Metro Councilman on the e-transparency ordinance, which put city spending online.

Fischer’s transparency plan includes similar measures. It also calls for the city to develop a smart phone application and website that would allow citizens to report problems such as potholes and then track how Metro Government resolves the issue.

“This is much more than a checkbook online or spending online,” says Fischer. “This gets down more into performance measurements and metrics. This is what I’ve done in the private sector.”

Heiner proposed a similar application earlier in his campaign. A Heiner spokesperson says Fischer has co-opted his transparency plan.

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{ 2 comments }

Curtis Morrison September 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Awkward elephant in the room: potholes, etc can be reported online now already and the city does a bang-up job of updating citizens on progress. How could he not know that?
As for the iPhone app, what the heck- that needs a plan? I’ll save him the time and set one up this afternoon. Jesus.

Michael S at Metro Mapper September 28, 2010 at 12:17 pm

The candidate’s push for government transparency in this race is terrific. They also seem to be going beyond the usual “put some documents online” and heading towards the real transparency goal of putting all public records online in a way that citizens can understand.

Public records would include all crime reports, building permits, restaurant health inspections, 311 calls, alcohol licenses, etc. From his press release Fischer says:

“Put more city services online … so the public can have access to government information, including a feature in which people can snap pictures of neighborhood problems then e-mail them, with geocoding, to the city.”

A key addition here is the word “geocoding” which means the latitude and longitude needed to accurately map the report. A visually engaging interactive map would go a long way to helping citizens visualize, share, and collaborate on the information. This would help Fischer reach his goal of “involving the entire community in the improvement process and allow[ing] a quick, meaningful interaction between the citizens and their government.”

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