Brown County Matters Facebook Group. Great seeing everyone today! I enjoyed the discussions and meeting the new people in the group. Some of my takeaways from the meeting include the following.
There are at least four separate areas (independent and interdependent) that would be involved in making the kinds of changes that will lead to needed improvements.
- Identifying issues and challenges (BROWN COUNTY MATTERS),
- Addressing issues and supporting changes (CANDIDATES for elective offices),
- Identifying and selecting the best candidates (VOTERS) and
- Providing OVERSIGHT (various groups) to help assess if a change is resulting in improvement.
BROWN COUNTY MATTERS. We have a focus on community and government-related issues and decisions that are being made (or not made) that affect all county citizens. Topics have included spending, debt, budgets, lack of planning, septic ordinance, Maple Leaf, CVC oversight, Bean Blossom Sewer Proposal, and economic development to name a few.
CANDIDATES for Elective Office. When issues are identified that require needed action, then we need elected representatives and their appointees to boards and commissions to LISTEN and UNDERSTAND and then support the changes that will lead to improvement.
VOTERS. In addition to any political platform of a respective political party (Democrat, Republican, et.al), the Independent Voters of Brown County IN site that I administer is non-partisan and includes suggestions for basic governance “Principles” that can be considered when selecting and voting for a candidate. These principles include support for Transparency, Fiscal Management, Planning, Assessment, Continuous Learning, and Collaboration
An “Independent Voter” is an individual that votes for the best candidate regardless of any political party affiliation.The criteria for the “best” representative is someone that can lead change that results in everyone benefitting or at least, not being any worse off.
The site also identifies an Example of a County Decision-Making Process that if applied, could help prevent issues and lead to better decisions and results.
CITIZEN OVERSIGHT of Government Operations. The State Board of Accounts provides audits and reviews of government operations.
In addition to Brown County Matters, the League of Women Voters of Brown County also supports oversight. The local league has a New category of membership referred to as “Friends of LWVBC.” This category was created for those that support county initiatives but are opposed to one or more positions taken by the national headquarters.
In 2017, local league published their Fiscal Management Study of the County that includes “positions” that support improved fiscal management. The next step will be to provide a strategy to monitor and assess the results of improvement efforts.