It is a sad thing that most people vote in local elections yet, in general, that is where their interest ends. However, if citizens had better access to their local officials and local government was more accountable for its decisions, then more would be achieved. Improved accessibility and accountability could, would and should make local governments perform better.
To begin with, citizens are entitled to a more open style of administration from their local government. Local officials should be available to meet with individuals and organized groups. After all, local governments are elected by the people to serve their interests on a local level. In addition, citizens should also be able to converse online or in person with their elected representative. This would save time and would well serve the more remote communities.
Moreover, local officials should be more accountable to local residents for their actions. This can include an exhaustive, detailed publishing of reports and future plans. One way this could be done is by publishing them on the internet. Furthermore, residents should be able to petition their local administration and demand that their particular grievance be investigated. This way, local governments would be obliged to respond and justify their position, which would result in positive action.
Nevertheless, there are those who believe in maintaining the status quo as they prefer the actions of local governments to remain private. For example (and the examples to choose from are many, believe you me), many local officials prefer to give building construction to companies they know, which is abuse of power. To this I would say that local government should be more open, which would oblige local officials to observe democratic processes. More open local government would promote better use of public funds and trust in the elected officials. Better communication and close public scrutiny would bring an improved service for everyone.
A heartfelt thank you for reading my blog! Feel free to leave a comment and share your own views and thoughts. Even the most contradictory will be gladly received, as long as they are not offensive and even then, I might say: OK, that’s an opinion! not a good one, but an opinion!