Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blog Going Dark

Jennifer's Musings is going silent so I can devote my time to my sick and dying Father. I am sincerely grateful to those readers who expressed concern and offered words of comfort and prayers. This is a very difficult time for my family and me. My focus is on what is truly important - love of family and commitment and support to a father who has shaped my life and provided me with guidance, love and support my entire life. Good-bye.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Transparency Only When I Feel Like It

Transparency in City Hall has a new meaning under this city hall administration. I suppose one could say the mayor is clever to hide behind the construction manager at risk designation for the Event Center.

The administration is not following the normal bid process because they are using the construction manager at risk process. The normal process is for the city to publicize the bids for projects. There is a deadline for submission of sealed bids. There is a bid opening and the bids are opened and publicized at the deadline.

The city can deflect the transparency issue and even state bidding laws with a straight face by stating that Mortenson Construction is awarding the bids, not the city. Deflecting who is in charge is pure doublespeak and does a disservice to the voting public. It's all about controlling the message and the information.

“The city is involved, in the room, throughout the process, but clearly they’re Mortenson’s subcontractors,” said Mark Cotter, the city’s director of public works.

It is pure rubish to say that the city is the subcontractor in the construction of the Event Center. That is like saying Morstenson Construction is the final decision maker which is as far from the truth as you can get. Can the public be that naive to swallow this line of bull?

It begs the question why this administration is so against publicizing detail information about the Event Center construction project. Oh yes, there are massive press releases coming out of the mayor's office all the time, but it is clear that it is only the information that this mayor wants to release. It is only information that makes this mayor look good. There is never any information that could be viewed as negative. It's all about controlling the news. Have you ever noticed that if a question is asked that might require the mayor to state something other than the "good news" he deflects to Cotter or Turbak?

I am not a star gazed follower of Councilor Staggers, but in this case, I have to agree with him. Why does City Hall use stonewalling tactics when asked for information? I can live with not releasing the information while the process is going on, but once it is complete, it should be public.

If the administration can't support and justify the result of their process, then the process and selection looks stinky even when it may not be stinky. The point is, who knows? The people who are paying for the Event Center have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent. That's why transparency in government is paramount.

Transparency only when you feel like it is a dictatorship. It is controlling the message. It is not open government. And it is not what the mayor promised when he was elected. When one controls the message, it usually means there is something to hide. Is there?