Sunday, March 23, 2008

MAJOR OPEN GOVERNMENT INITIATIAVE: RESOLUTIONS POSTED ON WEB SITE

Sunshine Week (a national effort by the American Society of Newspaper Editors to educate the public and make government more open) comes to a close at midnight yesterday (3/22/2008). In the Town of Greenburgh, however, Open Government initiatives continue to be advanced 52 weeks per year. The most recent initiative of the Town Board is the posting on the town’s Web site of resolutions that will be voted upon at the next Town Board meeting. Town Clerk Judith Beville, Councilman Francis Sheehan and I discussed this initiative at a department head meeting earlier last week and we developed a plan of action to move this initiative forward. After the meeting Councilman Sheehan took some draft resolutions, standardized them, and began working with Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Joe Lucasey, who doubles as our Webmaster, to work out the logistics of posting the nine resolutions for the March 26 Town Board meeting. Seven resolutions have already been posted, as have the agendas for Tuesday’s Town Board Work Session and Wednesday’s Town Board Regular Meeting.
Although it is a work in progress, the foundation is now in place for posting resolutions at least 24 hours before the meeting and we hope to expand that to 48 hours or more, even when we have our typical number of 20+ resolutions on the agenda.
Judith Beville and her staff, Francis Sheehan, and Joe Lucasey have taken the lead on getting resolutions posted, supported by the enthusiastic encouragement of the entire Town Board (Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Kevin Morgan, Francis and myself), and the full cooperation of staff in all our departments responsible for drafting resolutions. We welcome your comments regarding the availability and usefulness of resolutions posted on the Town’s Web site at the following link: TOG Documents & Forms.
Councilman Sheehan is working to expand this initiative. In the future we hope that if the Board retains the services of a company they will be able to click on the resolution, and then visit a hyperlink to the company's web site. This will enable visitors to our web site to confirm, for themselves, how reputable the company is and could generate additional questions from the public prior to a Town Board meeting.
Under Documents & Forms we have also posted a picture of all the documents we had to throw out after the last Town Board meeting. We made the copies because the public at the prior meeting insisted we have an ample amount of hardcopies available. It is hoped that this open government initiative will also help to reduce such waste.
Email responses sent to TownBoard@GreenburghNY.com will be received by all five board members. We welcome your comments.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Resolution posted on the web site,big deal.
What ever you print has already been settled behind closed doors.
When it comes to meetings you all seem to be schooled as to what to say and when.
do you think that you are fooling the public.
THINK AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

I differ with 10:07. There are many smart people in our town who might be able to find mistakes in the resolutions and alert the Town Board to them before the Board votes.
Good move.

Anonymous said...

Would anonymous 10:07 prefer the old style government--when resolutions were not posted on the web site? YOu can't win with some of these hacks!

Anonymous said...

Is the resolution for the money to Fairview posted? so any one who wants can send it the state comptroller? Do those guys get their offices in Greenburgh??

Anonymous said...

11:25
Get over it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Get a Life !!!!!!!!!!!
They deserve it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

9:59 the whole town deserved the money.

hal samis said...

This is an excellent undertaking; one that not only saves trees and taxpayer money but also gets information out to the public faster and more conveniently.

Another step forward in government transparency and an example of the payoff from having fresh blood in the Town Clerk office. Thank you Judy!

Let's face it; there is a reality that the Town must move forward on all cylinders operating. Greenburgh can no longer operate by snail mail and hard copies. Whereas I am by no means very computer literate (cut and paste still terrifies me) I do recognize that the internet is now the standard and, as for those residents who don't have this capability and are proud of this distinction, they must defer to the overwhelming body of residents that do.

Democracy does not claim to represent every one; instead it seeks to placate the majority.
Making Resolutions available online is just seeing Democracy served, 2008 style.

My appreciation to all involved.

competition is good said...

feiner promised
feiner delivers

watch out domino's

Anonymous said...

Mike the best decision that was made this year so far was putting you in the comptrollers position.
Since they have many friends in different departments the board may regret in giving you the position.
You are the only person with what is needed to investigate the goings on that have cost us much more in taxes.
The police dept. does not need overtime if they put out the police that are at police headquarters.
Were these people hired to push pencils or were they hired to uphold the laws and protect the public.
If we have the cops to help other areas that means that we have hired too too many.
We all know that you will do a great job in bringing some honesty back to Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

This review must be conducted BEFORE any capital committments for a new public safety building. If there werent so many Police OFficers in HQ, we could get by with a smaller one, which would leave more room for the judges.

Anonymous said...

At the very end of the meeting a question was asked about an audit concerning sewers but was never answered by the board.
Is this something new ? Does the new comptroller know what this is all about.
If anyone does please comment ?

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in the sewer district audit I would encourage you to go to www.sewerdistricttruth.com. That site has all the relevant information and history about the issue.

Anonymous said...

The Valhalla audit is in! Check it out at:

www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/2008/valhalla.pdf

Anonymous said...

Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations
The Board did not provide sufficient oversight over District financial operations. We identified significant deficiencies in the internal controls over the accounting for and disbursement of WestHELP Grant monies, payment of employee compensation and fringe benefits, the Treasurer’s office and computerized data. For example, of the approximately $1.7 million expended for the Grant, approximately $456,000 was not expended in accordance with the Grant agreement, proposals or applicable laws. Furthermore, the Business Administrator chose to be reimbursed for a term life insurance policy that combined death benefit protection with the opportunity to direct the investment of net premium dollars into a broad portfolio of investment options. This selection provided him with benefits greater than provided for in his contract, resulting in $38,500 in unnecessary costs to District taxpayers. Finally, District officials paid a retired transit police officer as a vendor, while also occasionally paying him as an employee through the normal payroll process. As a result, this employee may have received retirement benefits in excess of the amounts allowed by law and the District may be held liable for taxes, penalties and interest.

Anonymous said...

OPen government is here: bloggers are able to post the valhalla audit on line. No censorship from town officials. Democracy couldn't get better. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It is dissapointing that Paul and the rest of the Town Board have not posted on the blog with their comments.