Blog Post: Transparency, accountability and...

Blog Post: Transparency, accountability and lessons learned

Miesha Headen
on Jul 22, 2011

This is a conversation about a blog post from Dan Moulthrop: Transparency, accountability and lessons learned

A few months back, a citizen from the Orange school district started a conversation calling for transparency at her local school board. It got us thinking about school boards and why they are the way they are--which is to say, why are they often so bad at doing one of the key things they were originally designed to do, represent the interest s of citizens by staying in direct communication with them?

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Anonymous
on 2014-11-28T19:07:06+00:00
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Louis Alloro
on Jul 23, 2011
"I agree Miesha - it's a delicate dance for elected officials and one that requires we build this..."

Miesha Headen

Miesha Headen - 2014-11-28T19:07:06+00:00 - "This is a conversation about a blog post from Dan Moulthrop: Transparency, accountability and..."

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Louis Alloro
on Jul 23, 2011 - 10:05 am

I agree Miesha - it's a delicate dance for elected officials and one that requires we build this thing called trust. As a former high school teacher, I know the tensions that exist between school boards, unions, parent groups, etc. It's amazing to remember that we're all in this together and out -- I think -- for the same thing: no child left behind. But many are being left behind and so, what gives?

I think it comes down to a very basic "threat" response we all default to when stakes are raised. And given what's happening in our school districts (CMSD + beyond), it's time we come together and think differently. Otherwise, this vicious cycle we see/feel will continue. Choice is (y)ours - individual level commitments to a new mindset.

Check out our SOMO work in this area: http://theciviccommons.com/blog/cleveland-so-needs-mo-positivitywww.somoleadershiplabs.com

 
Miesha Headen
on Jul 22, 2011 - 1:41 pm

Transparency is a little scary for an elected official. It is strange to be in a position where you have information that residents and tax-payers should know while also knowing that other elected officials - with whom you must work - would prefer to keep the information undisclosed. I so much admire my friend and fellow elected official Jill Miller Zimon for always erring on the side of transparency.

I recently followed Jill's lead and started a blog to write about issues in Richmond Heights which residents frequently ask me about. My first post concerns the number of vacant homes owned by the City. The issue is complex. Most of the properties were "donated" to the City by the Landbank, grant money, or elderly residents. However, the properties are far from "free" because the City pays all utilities and upkeep while maintaining tax-exempt status. This issue deserves discussion but people cannot intelligently have the discussion until they see the entire list of properties. Part of the leap of faith with transparency for an elected officials is trusting people to know what to do with the information.