Open records laws allow citizens to be privy to what their local, state, and federal governments are doing with taxpayer money. They also provide transparency so that citizens can see whether or not elected officials are performing appropriately. During his tenure as a Magistrate on the Pike County Fiscal Court, Chris’s attempt to obtain records regarding a public water district was denied. Legislation passed in the 2012 General Assembly had left a loophole that allowed private companies operating in governmental capacities and paid with taxpayer dollars to keep their records private.
Following the Women's March in DC in February 2017, many had come home with a strong desire to “do something” to make a difference -- beyond a march or protest -- but weren’t sure how. They wanted to connect with their elected officials; to learn how to run for office or support someone who was; and, to connect to groups who were making our community a better place. Organizations and leaders needed a way to reach those very people. Websites were helpful, but the ability to have personal interaction was invaluable.Read more
Salt Lake County has seen homelessness expand and, as the opioid epidemic has also grown, the area surrounding our main homeless shelter has been unsafe for the public and for those experiencing homelessness. There were no easy solutions to address the challenges that are complex and diverse. In order to effect the system it required stakeholders from the criminal justice, law enforcement, homeless services, nonprofit, faith, and philanthropic sectors to work in a more sophisticated and organized manner. There is no easy or quick fix and collaboration at the highest level is required to effectuate the changes needed.Read more
Government investment officers face difficult choices. Not only do they seek investments that are safe and high-performing, but they seek – and their constituents demand – investments that are responsible. They seek investments that not only strengthen the economic well-being of their community, but they seek investments that reflect their community’s values, contribute to admirable ends, and advance the greater public interest.
The problem is that traditional investment strategies fail to incorporate these priorities, often described as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Traditional investing heavily relies on financial indicators, technical data, and short-term gains. While those factors are certainly necessary, government investment officers need a way to integrate additional factors into the investment process if they strive to fully execute their fiduciary duties. In other words, they need a new strategy, one that not only is good for business, but is also good for the communityRead more
Governments today - at the federal, state, and local level – must accomplish more with fewer resources while ensuring taxpayer funds are wisely spent. Decision making and problem solving often rely on institutional inertia and a top-down managerial approach, making the entire organization less responsive to constituent demands. By contrast, startup businesses and entrepreneurs generally embrace innovative solutions that leverage unique insights into action, regardless of where those insights come from. In short, governments tend to operate as a hierarchy; entrepreneurs and startups tend to operate as a network. The challenge is how to apply an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset to the public sector to both spur innovation and manage resources, creating workable solutions to pressing problems.Read more
In 2015 five giant banks- including Wall Street behemoths JP Morgan Chase and Citicorp- pleaded guilty to criminal felony charges that they rigged the world’s foreign-currency market for their own profit. In 2016 Wells Fargo Bank admitted that thousands of its employees opened millions of fraudulent consumer accounts without authorization, harming people across our country. The actions of these banks pose risks to investors and the public and I question whether these banks can be trusted with County funds. It is absolutely critical that government entities only work with the most trustworthy institutions as we invest and protect the public’s tax dollars.Read more
Too many veterans return home with health, substance abuse and/or psychosocial problems, making it difficult to re-enter the civilian population. A lack of jobs, along with family and housing issues, also takes its toll. When these veterans run afoul of the criminal justice system, it’s important for their unique circumstances to be understood and addressed.Read more
Government departments collect information on their services but rarely have enough time to analyze their data to ask meaningful questions that could lead to delivering services more effectively.Read more
City codes are complex, confusing and often maintained by a private third party behind a paywall. How they are updated only adds to the confusion and makes it near impossible for anyone, other than a chosen few government employees, to understand the changes. As a result, there is often very little input from citizens when the code is changed and no way for a citizen track let alone suggest changes.Read more
Citizens often don’t have access to the same data and information that city officials use to make their decisions and as a result it can often be confusing how decisions are made.Read more