Monday, January 11, 2010

New Press Release from the Brandon for Athens Committee

A More Transparent Government

For far too long, government has been able to work behind closed doors,
spending the people's hard-earned money with little-to-no input from
outside. In May 2005, the leadership of Mayor Davison and the Commission
took transparency to the next level for Athens-Clarke County. The mayor and
commission worked to see that more information from the local government
was placed the county website for the public to see. This was a large step
for our city, even though we see this as a common sense approach to helping
connect the people with their government.

It's time to take the same kind of progressive action we've seen in
cities across our nation; it's time to change the status quo and give the
people a larger stake in their community. We've all seen elected
officials promise time and again that they'll have transparent
government, but nothing ever happens. Not here. Not now. I will implement
policies toward true transparency in the government of Athens-Clarke
County.

I will spearhead the establishment of a public database, as part of a new
county website, where all government revenues and expenditures will be
available for public scrutiny, line-by-line. As well, all government
contracts will be posted on the website to increase competition in the
marketplace. I stand firm on the concept of transparency because of the
positive effects it can have on a community. The elimination of wasteful
spending provides relief to the city budget by saving money that can be put
towards other projects on a refined scale of priority.

I will work hard to give you the tools you need to educate yourselves on
the workings of the county government, and then I will give you the access
you need to do something about it. Gone are the days of closed-door
commission meetings. The only meetings that will be held behind closed
doors are those on sensitive topics such as personnel. All in all, a
transparent government is a better government, accountable to the people,
and because of that accountability, more careful about how it uses the
resources given to it by the people.

An open government saves you money, and I will work to lead the way not
only for the people of Athens, but to serve as an example of what
transparency can do for the people of Georgia and beyond. The other
candidates are still on step one when it comes to issues like transparency
reform. It makes me question their ability to lead, and you should too. To
me, it seems like they are trying to run a car without wheels- now that is
quite a dilemma and struggle of leadership that guarantees to move us
backwards.


Brandon Shinholser, Candidate
Andrew Watts, Campaign Manager



Brandon Shinholser is a candidate in the race for Mayor of Athens-Clarke
County. His website can be found at www.brandon2010.com

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