Finally, we are getting full disclosure
October 3, 2008 · Updated 12:15 AM
I applaud the North Bend City Council for its recent decision to petition the state Public Disclosure Commission and subsequent approval over campaign finance disclosure. It's one step, in many, that the North Bend Council needs to take to gain the trust of all its citizens with regards to specific interests and possible hidden agendas. I'm not sure it will be that big of a surprise to the members of the council as to who a specific candidate's financial backers might be, but it will be in the open.
I even commend Councilman Sollitto's statement that, "All the families in North Bend deserve to know what is going on in their city."
Let's take that a step further and continue the process of disclosure. I challenge the council to task city staff to develop a process whereby all correspondence between council members, staff, the mayor and any other person conducting city business is disclosed. We have uncovered examples where disclosure was requested and there was denial of any documentation, then an e-mail pops up corresponding to the requested item. This is no way to meet Councilman Sollitto's desire to let everyone know what is going on.
Take another step and create a city-based e-mail system for all electronic correspondence. All council members, commission members, committee members, staff and the mayor should use this system with their correspondence open for disclosure. In this day and age the technology is available, and I would think at a minimal cost.
But the challenge isn't just to North Bend. Snoqualmie should adopt a similar plan. I can't be the only one who feels there have been discussions among council members prior to or away from public meetings. Those discussions are just as important to hear as the final decisions. I would think trust is the key to re-election for many officials, and this would go a long way toward creating a more solid basis of trust.