I believe that once our citizens are informed and involved, they will be empowered to make a difference. Accessibility means more than just listening to input – it means actively seeking it. Instead of waiting for people to come to City Hall, we must go to the people.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND FOLLOW THROUGH
The first step in improving City services is ensuring our government listens, and responds, to constituent concerns.
Ithacans on the ground can spot problems well before anyone in City Hall, but too often their input isn’t prioritized. We need a new approach to constituent services that brings accountability and follow-through to the process.
As Mayor, I would instruct the City to track the progress of every request for services. Each concern – be it fixing a pothole or graffiti removal – would move within our system from ‘pending’ to ‘ongoing’ to ‘completed,’ without falling through the cracks.
This way, if you suggest to the City that they fill a pot hole or add a speed bump, you’ll be able to track exactly where your request is in our process and know exactly who to call if there’s a hold up.
TECHNOLOGY AND PUBLIC INFORMATION
The current administration has been dedicated to using technology to improve the people’s access to government. For example, the City of Ithaca has just overhauled its website for easier use and will begin streaming meetings online.
I believe we can go even further. We can use social media to engage populations in their own city government. Using tools like Facebook and Twitter, the City of Ithaca can make announcements and seek feedback in real-time.
As Mayor, I will use technology to inform the people of Ithaca about how their government is working for them on a daily basis.
CITY REPORT CARD
I believe that informed decision-making is the key to our success as a city. An annual report card would allow us to measure our performance. Through sampled surveys, citizens would be asked directly how the City government has impacted their lives. What could we improve? Where are we excelling?
The results would be made available online and would help us improve our services.
CITY PERFORMANCE MEASURES
The current administration is working with Common Council and City staff to create performance measures. As Mayor, I would continue to support this important work.
As Mayor, I’ll require each department to establish its own outcome and efficiency goals, and report them to the public each year. Many departments already report this type of information to the state or federal government, and others create annual reports with similar information. I will streamline this process and ensure each department’s goals and actual results are compiled in one concise document, so that the public can more easily access this information and contribute to a discussion of how to move Ithaca forward.