Central Texas Cities Code of Ordinances
- City of Austin Municipal Code
- City of Buda Code of Ordinances
- City of Kyle Code of Ordinances
- City of San Marcos Code of Ordinances
- Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice Edited by Daniel Lathrop and Laurel Ruma. ©2010.
- The Open Meetings Act in Texas state law
Other Entities' Efforts for Transparency
New York City:
New York City has their own Public Advocate who has a website portal: http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/open-govt
I'm starting to see cities create similar positions. Of course, in these times of belt tightening, any new position in city government needs a compelling ROI.
Here is a link to their open government web portal: www.arlingtontx.gov/open/
Elsewhere in contemporary reading, I see Andrew Krzmarzick (GovLoop Community Manager) recently blogged that he, "learned that the City of Austin has launched an innovative online tool for the public to provide comment about their 2010-2011 Budget.
Community members will be able to vote on priorities for unmet service demands and potential service reductions as the City works toward formulating its budget for next fiscal year. The public will also have the chance to add its suggestions to the list of options."
Our leaders need to discern the will of the people. That requires regular and open dialog within the community. And, when critical issues are pressing, we should consider opening up additional avenues for input and conversation. For example, from the recent O'Reilly Gov 2.0 Conference:
"While the City of Santa Cruz, CA, is best known for its surfing and the beach boardwalk, the City is quickly becoming known for its interactive social media strategy for engaging residents in resolving the City's budget crisis.
Santa Cruz officials realized that it couldn't wait 12 or 24 months for community forums and elections; decisions needed to be made immediately with the help of its residents. As a result, the City just launched a special community feedback portal which gives residents an opportunity to offer City leadership constructive suggestions to the City's fiscal problems."
Seattle has an awesome video portal: www.seattlechannel.org/videos/browseVideos.asp?topic=government
Check it out!
Over at the Texas Transparency website, they have success stories on Cities, Counties, and ISDs across Texas: www.texastransparency.org/local/success.php
They even have a profile on the Texas State system, where shining a light on the financial records helped them reduce/contain costs.
That site popped right up when I entered, "transparency open government success stories" into a Google search string, by the way (with a lot more listed, too).
Very nice looking transparency portal at the City of Chicago website: www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/progs/transparency.html
Salt Lake City:
There are a LOT of good things going on in Salt Lake City during the past couple of years: http://www.transparencyslcgov.com/
Interesting (and relatively brief) article with the Mayor of Philadelphia on transparency and business retention: http://technicallyphilly.com/2010/07/30/....iness-retention
They deal with much bigger dollars than we do, but there are some parallels to cities all across the country.
Doing a Google search string of "transparency city website" brings up a lot of examples where cities across the country are making great steps forward in transparency and open government.
Here is one such example from Albuquerque:
"ABQ View - Welcome to the City of Albuquerque's project for open government and transparency"
As we find other examples, let's start an individual thread for each city's website. That way, we can jot our notes impressions observations here on-line specific to particular examples.