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Editorial: City Guide a great way to keep gov’t transparent

August 25, 2011
The Alpena News

Transparent government is good government.

City residents in Alpena should be pleased, then, with recent news stories that have described how city government leaders are striving to be as transparent as possible with their constituents by adhering to guidelines suggested by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

Earlier this year Snyder and the Legislature tied together certain incentives, such as the dashboard, for cities to obtain a portion of state funds.

While ultimately cities that hope to participate in funding have no choice but to comply, City Manager Thad Taylor said in a newspaper story this month he believes the dashboard is a good tool.

"This is going to be useful to our residents so they can see and understand how we operate."

City officials also announced this week that work on another state incentive - a Citizen's Guide - was nearing completion and should be ready for the public in late September. The publication will help residents understand more about city finances, view the city's annual financial report and see graphs and charts plotting current year finances to previous year numbers.

We applaud these efforts, and are glad to see Alpena being a leader in adhering to the new requirements.

City residents have worked hard for the tax dollars they share with government entities, and it's only right that those entities provide taxpayers with a clear and concise accounting of how those dollars are being used.



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