Editorial: “I’m running on the Transparency Party!”

Local elections are coming up and around here and I keep hearing the same stuff: the boardwalk needs to be replaced, taxes are too high, parking and traffic issues, overdevelopment, it’s the Allegria’s fault, blah blah blah. All of those are important issues, but one topic that keeps popping up everywhere is our city government’s transparency, or lack of it. I did a search on the LB Herald & The LB Patch for the word TRANSPARENCY in Long Beach and it came up with pages of articles! See for yourself:

Long Beach Herald – Over ten pages in the last year or so.

Long Beach Patch – 31 recent results!

Now granted, not everyone of those searches deals with the issue of transparency, but people are talking about it. I also saw that particular word on the many political fliers that were sent to my mailbox these past few weeks. It seems to me that ‘transparency’ is a big issue in Long Beach concerning our government! Heck, even the White House cares about it and its importance:

Government should be transparent.  Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. 

Whether or not the White House actually practices it is something left for another debate, but still, the idea of open government something that I can stand behind. I think a lot of our problems will go away if there was an open government. I’m no therapist, but I do know that communication is key to solving so many problems and relationships! In this case, the relationships between the private & public; not to mention within the public themselves!

Did you know many municipalities actually put their council meetings up on youtube? Do a google search and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The first video in this search is hilarious. And here is the late Steve Jobs, for example, at his city council meeting earlier this summer. Not everybody in Long Beach can make our city council meetings, especially the sick and elderly. It would be of great service to give them the opportunity and see what they are paying for (more about that in a minute).

Ahh transparency.. nothing is hidden! Which is why I half-jokingly threw the idea out to some friends how I want to run for City Council under the ‘Transparency Party’ ticket: Open Government for all! Every citizen of Long Beach would have the opportunity to be involved with all major decisions and have easy access to every single public record, public contract, public payroll and public etc. Why not? Let me remind you of something: These public officials think they own us, but they don’t. Look at Long Beach, for example. We, the people, own Long Beach. We pay these public figures their salaries and they have to listen to what we have to say. They are not royalty and these are not cushy jobs that last forever. We have the right to know who is working for us and what they are doing with our money. That is something that both Republicans and Democrats SHOULD agree on.

So yeah, as a joke, if you elect me on the Transparency Party ticket, I will serve you well with a complete and open government. You won’t work for me. I will work for you, the public.

(PS. I’m not really running for office. I have better things to do with my life. You know, like enjoy it!)

11 Replies to “Editorial: “I’m running on the Transparency Party!””

  1. SHAPE SHIFTER NATION by Adios Amigo

    It is time for a change. What we have in power is a coalition clubhouse.

    I supported the Coalition in 2003 for the same reason that I now support their opponents.

    They got off to a great start in 2004. In less than a year they contracted the clubhouse syndrome that ravaged their predecessors. The symptoms are cronyism, lack of transparency (there’s that word) and abuse of power. It leaves the inflicted with narcissism, delusions of grandeur, vengefulness and lack of empathy.

    Syndrome carriers are typically found in dark places and are associated with a political party or a powerful civic group. They are shape-shifters with a pleasant public face that lead the unsuspecting to say, “What a nice guy.” They have a more pernicious private persona characterized by sociopathy.

    Those infected with clubhouse syndrome exhibit erratic behavior. For example, in 2004 the Coalition replaced a talented professional city manager with an unqualified one who, acting as their proxy, routinely denies access to information to members of the minority, directing them to FOIL the information.

    Sometimes the infected cross party lines and successfully transmit the disease, co-opting former adversaries to do their bidding. There is at least one such shape-shifter in City Hall at this time.

    To arrest the syndrome the infected must be voted out of office. Then Kennedy Plaza can be cleaned of infectious matter. Will that be enough to keep the new group from being infected?

    Time will tell.

    Adios Amigos

  2. I’m going with all new blood! Weiss, Mandel, and Adelson. I don’t like the suing thing but I really think Sofield and quiksilver should me this to be true is way to powerful and arrogant

  3. Transparency is important for lots of reasons. It allows the electorate to see facts rather than either side’s spin. For example, the recent assertions on the city’s present financial condition. Show the actual accounting. It will be what i will it be. Referring to bond rating is nice, but they make mistakes and maybe aren’t using the latest numbers but last year’s.

    Tell us how many employees full and part are on the payroll this year and last year and the year before so we have a clear picture. Show us the city payroll for each of those years.

    What projects were projected a few years ago and are they done and at what cost in comparison to projected cost.

    What is on the table and how will it be funded?

  4. Anthony, thank you for your comments. I am just saying what many residents on the street are saying. This is not hard stuff. Our politicos don’t have to deal with campaigns consumed with abortion, gay rights, past sexual peccadilloes, et cetera. Get out the facts. Then explain vision. Please.

    PS – Not a PF ref.

  5. I find it quite frustrating that there are FIVE Council members yet the division of majority vs. minority is SO blatant and not constructive for any resident. The Coalition has done blah, blah, blah. Torres and Fagen have to file FOILs. It’s a mini DC.

    Us vs. Them mentality which does absolutely none of us any good. That is unless you happen to be employed because of the US vs. THEM.

    Listen to the whispering on an audio cd and you have to wonder who, why, where and how anything gets done.
    Personally, I’m going for the Geico version of gerbils rowing boats.

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