Accountability

We were not without our fair share of crises management during year one of my term. Early in my term, the City Manager uncovered irregularities in the Finance Department that led to a transition of leadership in that Department. Later in the year, the new Finance Director and City Manager uncovered financial discrepancies in the Police Department, which led to not only a transition of leadership in the Department itself, but a discovery of several sexual harassment claims. These discoveries led the City to enlist third party investigators to conduct extensive investigations into the Police Department and provide the City with recommendations for moving forward.

We have now moved forward on a path to implement all those recommendations, with credit due to our City Manager who continues the hard work of professionalizing a staff culture that had worked under a series of lax policies and procedures. Working to protect against returning to that reality will require continued vigilance on the part of City management, your elected officials, and the great citizens we serve. We will also need to show respect and gratitude to staff who have worked through all of this trauma to perform services for our community. 

I have spent a lot of time pondering over how we got here, and how we could do better in the future. In response, I have decided to make two proposals.

The first proposal is for concise quarterly reports from each Department on its program areas, with updates on planned deliverables and any risks associated with achieving those deliverables. Such reports could be quickly shared with the Mayor, Council, and public. The second proposal is to establish quarterly evaluative meetings between the Mayor/Council and City Manager to ensure the Mayor and Council are fulfilling their role as supervisors of the City Manager.

This legislation will serve two purposes. One, it will promote the regular and recurring sharing of information between City Departments and residents, balancing the need of our Department to have space to operate and the regular updates residents should be receiving. Two, it will promote the proper lines of sight intended by our Charter by creating a structure for elected officials to better hold the City Manager accountable.

Overall, my goal with this legislation is to make sure no one can fly under the radar of accountability. The public will be armed with updates on progress made at each Department which will, in turn, enable them to hold elected officials responsible. And our elected officials will, in turn, be able to hold the City Manager responsible for any lack of progress at each Department. In sum, it's getting the system to operate the way it was intended.

Pay attention to the agendas posted for upcoming Mayor and Council meetings, as I will be introducing a blueprint for these proposals at the November work session.

  • Luke Chesek
    published this page in Issues 2018-10-13 12:06:46 -0700

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